GUERRILLA Vs ENGINEERED SERENDIPITY
Showing the fine line between Guerrilla and Engineered serendipity mindsets.
Serendipity is a rally of independent events which have come together seemingly by chance to bring a surprisingly good or wonderful outcome. We should live in the mindset that serendipity is always with us, here and now. We can plan for serendipity and we can be prepared for serendipity when it comes our way.
Engineered Serendipity is the intentional creation of opportunities for people to meet and interact in unplanned ways. The goal is to spark new ideas, launch collaborations, and create innovations.
The idea of engineered serendipity is based on the observation that chance encounters can be a powerful source of creativity and innovation. When people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives come together, they spark new ideas and solutions that would not have been possible otherwise.
There is evidence to support this claim. For example, a study by the Harvard Business School found that scientists who attended the same conference were more likely to learn from each other and collaborate effectively when they had common interests. However, the study also found that scientists who were from the same field were less likely to cite each other's work. This suggests that there is a sweet spot for engineered serendipity, where people have enough in common to be able to connect and collaborate and create, but not so much in common that they become competitive.
There are numerous known ways to engineer serendipity. Some common methods include:
* Designing spaces that encourage random encounters. This involves creating open and inviting spaces with plenty of seating, or configuring furniture that encourages people to interact.
* Organizing events and social activities that bring people together from different backgrounds and disciplines. Such as conferences, workshops, or social meetups or public rallies or explicit brain storming sessions.
* Using technology to connect people who might not otherwise meet. This involve using social media, online forums, virtual meetings, or matchmaking services.
The key to engineered serendipity is to create opportunities for people to connect with each other in unexpected ways. Social diversity is a catalytic element. When people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives come together, they often spark new ideas and create innovations.
Here are past examples of how engineered serendipity was used to achieve productive outcomes:
* Google's “20%” time policy encourages employees to spend 20% of their work time on projects that are not directly related to their job duties. This policy has led to the development of many new products and services, including Gmail, Google Maps, and AdSense.
Google engineers were encouraged to take "walkabouts" around the company's campus. This gives them the chance to meet people they might not otherwise meet and to discuss new ideas.
* The XPrize is a competition that offers large rewards for solving difficult problems. The XPrize has helped to accelerate the development of new technologies, such as the SpaceShipOne suborbital spacecraft and the DARPA Grand Challenge autonomous vehicle race.
* The TED Conference is an annual event that brings together speakers from diverse fields to share their ideas. TED Conferences have helped to spread new ideas and innovations around the world. This has led to many unexpected collaborations and innovations.
* The website “meetup.com” allow people to find and join groups based on their interests. This has helped to connect people who might not otherwise have met and to spark new ideas.
Engineered serendipity was well described by the work of John Hagel et al. from Delloite Touche (2010) - how small moves, smartly made can set big things in motion.
Engineered serendipity is a powerful tool that is used to achieve productive outcomes. By creating opportunities for people to connect with each other in unexpected ways, we can spark new ideas, collaborations, and innovations.
Guerrilla Serendipity is a term used to describe the unexpected and delightful encounters that happen when people at large go around and about in their open communities. The term "guerrilla" is used to accentuate the spontaneous, random and no cost nature of these encounters.
The term "guerrilla" refers to the use of unconventional tactics to achieve a goal. In the context of guerrilla serendipity, these tactics include the use of social media, crowdsourcing, and other forms of social communication to spread information and ideas.
Guerrilla Serendipity refers also to the unexpected discovery of new knowledge or insights that challenge the status quo.
The point is that where and when guerrilla is deployed there is no involvement
Guerrilla Serendipity has the potential to have an impact on the way we think about knowledge and acquisition of power. By challenging the traditional social gatekeepers, guerrilla serendipity helps to create a more open and democratic society.
Guerrilla Serendipity was term was coined by Claudio Paolucci to describe the use of new technologies that spread alternative and non-institutionally certified interpretations of reality. It is a form of "semiological guerrilla warfare" that challenges the traditional relationship between knowledge and power.
Here are examples of practical benefits of guerrilla serendipity:
* The use of social media to spread information about protests and demonstrations.
* The use of crowdsourcing, (OPM) to fund and produce independent media enterprises. Examples are Medium and Substack.
* The build free social networks to share information and ideas.
* The use of free or almost free community resources such as computer labs, public libraries, volunteers, NGOs, public schools, disposed recyclable materials, public bulletin boards, civic clubs (low cost membership), Internet cafes, your cellphones, participating talk shows on TV and radio, writing letters to editors, book reviews, advertising on public service radio and TV.
Guerrilla Serendipity is not without its risks. It can be used to spread misinformation and disinformation. It can also be used to target individuals or groups with harassment or abuse.
However, the potential benefits of guerrilla serendipity outweigh the risks. By challenging the traditional relationship between knowledge and power, guerrilla serendipity helps to create a more open and democratic society.
Guerrilla serendipity is productive in the social life as well as in the liberal arts:
* Using free social media to connect with people who have different interests and perspectives. This can help you discover new information and ideas that you would not have otherwise found.
* Following hashtags for keywords (#), address (@) and acronyms on social media to stay up-to-date on trending topics. This tool helps finding new and interesting content that you might not have otherwise seen.
* Using online tools such as chat-generative AI to produce random recommendations, helps finding new services, new music, movies, books, and other content that you might enjoy.
Experimenting with various ways of using digital technologies in the liberal arts.
· A musician who uses social media to connect with fans and other musicians, and who then collaborates with them on new contents.
· A writer who uses online tools to generate random prompts, and then writes short stories based on those prompts.
· A photographer who experiments with different ways of using their camera, and who then takes unexpected and beautiful photos.
All of the examples above help users to find new and unexpected ways to interact with the world around us.
Guerrilla Serendipity is a powerful mind set and skills set for learning, for evoking creativity, and stimulating personal growth. By intentionally creating opportunities for serendipity, you open yourself up to new experiences and possibilities.
In finality, Guerrilla Serendipity is creative, playful and low to no cost manifold resources. It can help you to find new friends, useful information, life experiences, recommendations, and connections that you would not have otherwise found.
If you are looking for new ways to learn and grow – assume the mindset of and go experiment with the guerrilla serendipity.
Mandy Lender is on Medium and on Substack.
THE DAY BEFORE SOMETHING IS TRULY A BREAKTHROUGH, IT'S A CRAZY IDEA. ~ PETER H. DIAMANDIS
Mandy Lender’s books are sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, eBay,