this is my first post here, but some of you may have seen me ‘around’ on the community email list. I have been ‘an active bystander’ of p2pu for quite a while now, and really am impressed by the amazing people affiliated with it (including me ;)). I love the experimental, hands-on attitude and I think that has been noticed. P2PU is becoming a rather well-known brand, and I think that offers new opportunities. It happened that I was chatting with Philipp this week as he was moving with over 600 mph in some direction. He told me they were developing the strategy for P2PU for the coming years, and it happened that an idea I shared with him and Vanessa was quite in line with what they were thinking. I gave it some more thought and share it here with you for feedback and elaboration.
I have tried to expand the ideas I had in mind to put it in line with what is already discussed at P2PU headquarters (wherever that is :)). What Philipp talked about was moving into the direction of a toolkit for open social learning, maintained by a community of innovators. After some prodding, it seems that an innovator can be anyone who wants to try something new, so we are talking - as I would like to understand it - about experimental educators, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Personally, I think community involvement and participation is always constrained by time people are willing or able to invest. I was therefore thinking about ways in which (the prospect of) financial return can be introduced, also to kickstart innovative ideas.
My original idea/proposal was aimed at research, and supporting that the p2pu way. A great example is the openscienceframework.org - which offers a Github platform for science. The idea of getting people on-board for an open source science project is very appealing. In summary, my idea can be described as follows;
- A market-place like platform that matches ideas with builders, research questions with scientists, and maybe even aspiring entrepreneurs with investors.
- A place where you can start and kickstart any kind of innovative project, whether a cool new technology, approach, or research.
- Aimed at facilitating the entire workflow from idea to either innovation or (research) project through funding and/or community building.
Let me give an example of how that would work. I recently submitted a proposal to the MOOC research initiative, and we got through to the second round, but unfortunately, it was not funded. How I did it, is more interesting, and got me thinking in this direction in the first place. I posted a question on the P2PU mailing list asking if anyone was considering a proposal for MRI2013. After a few days, I got an email from Sasha Skrypnyk, who was notified of my post. We hooked up through Google Hangout, and started drafting the proposal. In the end, we managed to get a pretty decent proposal, and based on the reviews I think we nearly got through, all through a virtual collaboration.
I think such collaborations may be better supported by P2PU because of the cool and inspiring and smart people affiliated with it. I think there could be something like a virtual research department, pro-actively acquiring new funds and pursuing research calls and getting people together around a central theme or question. Looking at the entire workflow, it should try to aggregate people with ideas/research questions, funds/investors, and those with data/potential users/cases.
Philipp told me about the PERTS team at Stanford, and you can read about their research on adaptive mindsets (i.e. if you think intelligence is innate → more likely to give up in situations you cannot master // if you think intelligence is product of effort → better able to deal with challenging assignments) on their website - http://www.perts.net/home/orientation/hs7.php. I imagine that even such a big study could in theory be facilitated and organized through such a P2PU platform: getting schools affiliated where such studies can be conducted, getting a team of researchers together to discuss the research questions and approach, getting funded through national or international foundations or funding institutes.
- Open datasets: publishing datasets (for example through openscienceframework.org) to be used and explored by individuals or teams of affiliated researchers;
- “Ideagora”:organizations, companies, funding agencies that want to explore particular questions or are looking for solutions to their problems (kind of Innocentive model);
- Careers: Job options for ‘open science’ positions - possibly linked with a StackExchange-like forum focused on open social learning;
- Affiliated organizations: Organizations who support the initiative or individual researchers/makers, because of the great research or because of the affiliations P2PU has (networking purposes);
- Crowdfunding research ideas/questions: the possibility to kickstart an idea or (M)OOC through community building an crowdfunding - concerning courses, this has the benefit of only building courses that already have an audience (quality control);
- Local teams: support for developing local (country) teams, communities, and projects.
If I continue this post any longer, I will lose readers. I think/hope I have made my ideas clear, and look forward to seeing you build upon/criticize this idea. I think a lot more can be achieved if people can really earn a (part-time) income through such a platform, because that increases the overall time/effort people can dedicate to advancing the field of open social learning.
####My original email:
hi there P&V.
I was just thinking about the following:
The reason I am involved in a few research projects, is because TU Delft is asked as a partner (or asks others) for a project. Delft University of Technology is a known university and therefore carries some weight which is important in getting funded. However, if I look at the finances, my official overhead at the university is €5600, which is ridiculous (believe me).
Also, the way the university is organized is far from optimal. I wonder if P2PU has ever thought of extending the research ‘facilities’ into a more serious effort, for example by determining how people can get hired through p2pu as research partner. P2PU as a serious research university I mean, taking it a step further than a group of people affiliated with p2pu who also do or did research. I think it could offer an interesting revenue model. P2PU is now sufficiently ‘known’ and might be able to support such peer-based research teams. It should be aimed at connecting researchers who are willing to work part-time on a p2pu research team, and who get together locally and online, develop proposals, and actually act as a regular research department (being pro-active in sending out proposals, acquiring contacts, visiting conferences, getting funded, etc.), and of course aimed at open research practice and developing relevant methodologies.