… An unusual gathering took place in San Francisco on Friday: NPR corralled about sixty Bay Area technology thought leadersâ€”innovators, entrepreneurs, strategists, and investorsâ€”put them in a bunch of conference rooms, and asked them to brainstorm ideas for the networkâ€™s digital future. NPR called it a â€œDigital Think In.â€
The goal was to come up with ideas that would help NPRâ€™s digital teams â€œcreate a more informed public.â€ A key requirement was that all ideas had to be things the network could realistically implement within the next five years….
The â€œopen kimonoâ€ approach was another unusual aspect of Fridayâ€™s gathering. Instead of keeping the discussions behind closed doors, NPR opened them up, broadcasting live from the group sessions and live-blogging and tweeting from the breakout groups. Reporters were invited to attend the event, and participants were notified that all discussions would be â€œon the record.â€ The thinking is that the more brains NPR can get working on the challenges it faces, the better the ideas that will be generated.
â€œClay Shirky talks about how thereâ€™s no way any single organization, no matter how smart the individuals inside it are, can respond to the pace at which things are changing,â€ Wilson said. [Kinsey Wilson is NPR’s senior vice president and general manager for digital media.] “The value of allowing people to come into the conversation will exceed whatever you give up in terms of proprietary ideas.â€
â€” from NPR Builds a Brain Trust, by E.B. Boyd
in the Columbia Journalism Review
â‰¡ photo of Clay Shirky via ted.com