Cultures of Participation

by Kevin Makice

Understanding cultures of participation can help address issues like:

  • project magnitude
  • collaboration between wide-ranging systemic mindsets
  • wicked, ill-defined problems that cannot be delegated
  • modeling changing worlds dependent on living information

This article describes three components of a framework to understand cultures of participation. Meta-design looks at the technical infrastructures. Social creativity is about making voices heard during problem-solving. Richer ecologies of participation differentiates and supports distinct roles based on expertise, interests and motivations.

This is interesting organizational research that is applicable to Kuali. The design guidelines Fischer came up with — support human-problem interaction; Underdesign for emergent behavior; Support different engagement levels; reward and recognize contributions; Co-evolution of artifacts and user community — might be good lenses for reflection on our own culture and processes.

Understanding, Fostering, and Supporting Cultures of Participation” (Interactions, May-June 2011) by Gerhard Fischer (download)