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Posted by Sarah Brown on 23 Oct '20

Using collaboration to change the world

Why collaboration is important, tips and an inspirational example

Collective Intelligence is the new sexy way of describing working together or collaboration. If you have a complicated challenge such as coping with a pandemic involving others in a structured way provides fresh insights and potentially better and more resources. You do not have to reinvent the wheel or know everything. The Oxford English Dictionary in the 19th Century got people to submit words and their definitions to their editors to short cut the process of gathering all the words. Technology now makes sharing information easier resulting in Wikipedia and Waze, for example.

In functional terms, our Collaboration Optimiser© identifies three primary reasons why people or organisations might work together:

  • Saving money, e.g. economies of scale
  • Improving/adapting your product, service or organisation, e.g. using other's expertise/resources
  • Improving marketing and sales, e.g. sharing contacts/joint promotions

Nesta has just released "Using Collective Intelligence to Solve Public Problems", a report which includes some inspirational and inspiring examples of how people working together are changing the world together. (You can download it here)

Successful collaborations, as clearly illustrated in the examples from this report, have a clear purpose at the outset of the relationship. Potentially any collaboration can go through three different stages with distinct goals for each:

  • Defining the problem
  • Identifying the solution
  • Making it happen – deciding the solution to use and then taking action

You might involve the same people at each stage, but this is not necessarily the case. At each stage, it is useful to identify the stakeholders and the issues and to have a simple explanation of the purpose of the sharing of the collective intelligence and potentially other resources.

Saving lives and stopping harm through technology

One inspiring example of collaboration and the power of sharing information is GoodSAM, and its development illustrates the three stages perfectly:

  • Defining the problem – people dying from heart attacks because of delayed care.
  • Identifying the solution – capitalise on the community of highly governed trained and trusted responders who can offer CPR/use a defib.
  • Making it happen – create an app, the world's most advanced alerting, dispatching and tasking platform with the community of highly governed trained and trusted responders. The GoodSAM Cardiac system integrates with ambulance service CAD (computer-aided dispatch) systems to trigger bystander response while the ambulance service is on route.

GoodSAM was founded in 2013 by leading emergency clinicians and a cutting edge coding team initially to radically change the response to Cardiac Arrest. By alerting those trained to nearby cardiac arrests while an ambulance is en-route, earlier CPR and defibrillation has saved many lives.

It has clear core values because it knows that people need to trust something which is dealing with life and death. They are

- Governance

- Security

- Collaboration

- Innovation

These core values have attracted some of the world's largest and most forward-thinking emergency services to integrate with GoodSAM. On average, GoodSAM now deploys a trained responder to a cardiac arrest every 3 minutes. The GoodSAM community also has the world's largest defibrillator registry.

The platform has grown considerably. There are now over 180 organisations using the platform and over a million people using the App. The platform dispatches emergency staff and community first responders to the full spectrum of emergency requirements, even offering a video solution to provide urgent assessment and help. It also provides a communication platform for incident management and has been used in major incidents around the world.

It has had a critical role in the response to the Pandemic. In March 2020, with a few days notice NHS England asked them to be the registration and deployment platform for 750,000 NHS Volunteers as part of the Coronavirus crisis. At one point they had 4000 people a second signing up as volunteers.

The App has revolutionised the third sector, connecting those in need to those who can help across a spectrum of conditions. On average, GoodSAM now deploys ten checked volunteers every minute.

You can find out more about GoodSAM here.

It all started with a clear goal and the willingness to work together to solve the problem.

We can help with collaboration and innovation. If you found this interesting you might like to read:

The three ways to grow your organisation

5 reasons any charity should develop partnerships

Working together to change the world

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Tags: collaboration success values