Mental Models

Over the last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about mental models and how we come to understand new ideas, technologies and ways of doing things.  At a meeting at the MOS regarding the next global World Wide View conversation, Larry Bell mentioned the idea of “anticipatory governance.”  The idea that if we start changing how we do things and thinking about things in new ways, policies will change.

I was then talking to Peter Taylor about the Collaborative Explorations process and trying to link it to the 119 Gallery.  When the 119 Gallery opened up its space for others to coordinate and book events and exhibitions, our programming and attendance jumped.  I was wondering if by opening up CE would we get more interest.  But then, I though the 119 Gallery worked because people already had the mental model of how to use the space.  They knew what a band was, an art exhibition, a performance, etc . . . there were and have been many spaces like these before.  But what does a CE online look like?  Certainly software developers and international folks work on collaborative projects.  But what if you are brining a new practice to someone?  How do you help them gain the mental model so that they can in turn act?

I was then thinking about an interview that I did with a teen at SSI yesterday.  She loved the place because she could have the kinds of conversations she always wanted to have.  She was allowed to see herself as a leader.  And without the space, she wasn’t sure if she would see herself in such a role at this point.

I think I’d like to explore more fully how we come to understand new ways of doing things of understanding new processes.  I am wondering if this might not be a CE of my own.