Eindhoven
2020

Wicked challenges 2

How do we activate the potential collective intelligence of teams? How do we make the total bigger than the simple sum of the elements? We can learn a lot from the research done in Artificial Life and even Artificial Intelligence. Let us use the metaphor of soccer.

Use metaphor of soccer

To start with, each soccer player needs to be an intelligent, autonomous and communicative agent. Intelligence means intelligent enough, good enough. Autonomy means that nobody manages, controls or commands them. Communication means that they want to cooperate, otherwise there will not be a game.

Next, the players have to agree that they’re playing the same game, such as soccer instead of basketball, and that they’re all playing on the same field. They are on-board for the same ride. They need to share the same purpose, the same objective. In soccer, this is scoring goals; in music, this is playing for the joy of the audience. If any of the players have a different goal, this will hamper the collective intelligence needed for success.

Finally, the players must agree on a minimum set of interaction rules. In soccer, these are the rules of the game. In a jazz combo, these are the chords which the musicians will use.

Facilitate activation collective intelligence of team

We can now translate these four rules for activating collective intelligence into guidelines for innovation teams. All team members need to be intelligent, autonomous and communicative agents. They all need to play the same game on the same field. They share the same goal for the project and, finally, they have agreed on a minimum set of interaction rules.

The Eindhoven Engine Academy aims to facilitate the activation of the collective intelligence of teams along those lines.