If you want to be a racing champion..

then you need somone to set up Formula 1. Otherwise all you have is a fast car. I was reflecting this after last night's Cloud 5 event – the most populous of the Cloud of Knowing events we have ever run. When you face a room of collaborators and competitors (spot the difference) there is a point when you have to make judgements about how much to talk about. Its all very well shooting your mouth off toa couple of friends in a bar but how far do those conversations travel?  Many companies are set to confidentiality as the default setting. There may be lots of amazing things that I am missing out on because they are safely locked away. But I doubt it.  I prefer to think that all confidentiality means is that there is no pressure to develop and commercialise. But when you create a category (Formula 1) and give a groups of interested parties roughly the same resources the race begins in earnest.  There will be winners and losers but the result will be much better than if the whole process has been cloaked in secrecy. 

Last night at Cloud 5 going round the room we had researchers from 7 different agencies, social media mavens, an anthropologist, a couple of mathematicians, a psychologist,  specialists in digital and in journalism. Oh and the world's first evangelist for research robots. I had the sense that what got discussed would actually get plugged into to what people were doing and would lead to better work. For everybody. Its a risk putting your toys on the table. But not as much of a risk as locking them away and telling everyone that you're world class anyway.



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