To overcome the challenges facing our planet, we need to develop mechanisms to efficiently and effectively connect organizations and efforts to make life better for all its inhabitants. Such a platform should be open and accessible, with a continuum of resource and communication lifelines to pair challenges with solutions and bring them together.
We need an international team of people and organizations to work collaboratively to build backbone platforms that unify efforts across sectors to address and respond to humanitarian needs, quickly and efficiently. Optimally, the structure of such a platform would be completely open, allowing anyone to participate while also enabling the formation of subgroups customized to tackle specific problems or parts of problems, as needed. A completely open structure lowers barriers to entry and offers the possibility of attracting the largest number of problem solvers and the widest solution sets. The system should bring users that are closest to the problem into the system to ensure that everyone has a voice in the discussion.
Such a mechanism requires a collaborative community, – a community of trust working together with a shared purpose, – and a philosophy of contribution in which people are focused not solely on doing their assigned job well but also on making a good contribution to further the shared overarching goal. This framework would align people and organizations with shared purpose, but establishing, maintaining, and using this framework takes work on the part of individual team members. Effort must be expended to continually adapt and align efforts to synchronize with te overall effort.
We already possess all the technology we need to enable truly consistent, world-changing global collaboration. Our real challenge lies in demonstrating how vital and valuable such collaboration is, despite the real and perceived risks. Open collaborations make solutions more effective and efficient through the pooling of resources and information. Working together multiplies cost-effectiveness while reducing duplication of effort. It is the only real way to enable economies of scale that can scale innovative solutions. Perhaps more importantly, open collaboration encourages greater accountability, which in turn fosters trust. We are all in this together, so we should share common goals, and the only way we are going to overcome the challenges facing our world is by working together.