Making it easier to find the people, projects, and ideas that inspire us

When the postal service made it possible to send an envelope anwhere in the world, they revolutionized communications and allowed a flourishing of knowledge. We are creating something similar, for people and ideas. Except these days, the problem we need to solve is exactly the opposite: it is so easy to send virtual envelopes around the world that we can no longer keep up with the information overload. So our greatest problem is making sense of the mental chaos: what do we absolutely need to know, and how do we connect to the people, ideas, projects, software, and tools that we resonate with on a deep soul level? CICOLAB is the social "watering hole" facilitating connections that create sparks. We create the conditions for great projects and great people to find each other and actually do things together using resources that already exist.

Roundtable Discussion Format and Topics

It's easy to participate in a roundtable discussion, which are an hour and a half long. The discussions take place primarily online (via Zoom), are recorded, posted unlisted on YouTube (you can turn off your video if you prefer),  transcribed and condensed for accessibility and ease in spreading the most important points. By the end of each cycle, we've co-created multiple interlocking modules that can be retooled for future use.

Below is a growing list of topics we aim to dig into during the course of the Collaboratory. While these are fascinating topics in themselves, what really interests us is how these subjects overlap, feed into each other, and make the whole system stronger and more coherent. Thus, our mission is not only to cover these areas separately but to make meaningful progress in cultivating the information flow around the network so each discussion is seeding several others, dramatically boosting the learning across the entire cohort.


Anything is Possible

What could we see that would make us believe anything is truly possible? What does this look like in a small sense, and how could it work on a mass scale?

Future Forward

How can we continue this Collaboratory into the future by connecting to upcoming events, including hackathons?

Innovation Diffusion

How can we spread this concept, so it spreads itself?

Matching People, Projects, & Ideas

How do we connect people and projects in smarter ways to produce superior results?

Dissecting Powerful Visions

Which visions that we produce could actually be accomplished, and what would it take? How do we work backward from a clear vision to a clear set of tasks?

Utilizing Pattern Language

How can we use pattern language to build things more easily?

Better Profiles

Connecting individuals in the group would be so much easier with better profiling methods. How can we develop profiles that don't feel like more work?

Augmented Reality

How can we use augmented reality to promote our vision?

Condensing Information

How do we condense long meetings into digestible short chunks, to better process all the information being generated?

How do we make decisions together?

How will decisions be made, and who has the power to make them?

The New Story

When we integrate the information from different fields, what is the story that starts to develop?

New Business Models

What are the best business models we could use?

Group Coordination

How do we coordinate all of our activities effectively? 

Currency Design

How can we use currencies to encourage better flows in a network?

Wooing Corporations

How do we welcome corporations on board without their dictating the message or taking over the intellectual assets?

Artistic Collaboration

How do we co-create artwork? Who owns the rights? How to subdivide?

Reverse Engineering


How are communities terrorized? What is the psychology behind terrorism? How could we reverse-engineer the effects in order to undo trauma?

Pie Slicing

When we co-create assets, how do we figure out who owns what? (How do we slice the pie? And what new metaphors can we discover to go beyond “pie-slicing”?


How can we use “swarm” methodology and AI to better concentrate and disseminate our efforts? 

Coining a new term

How do we produce a new word or phrase to describe a phenomenon that is the opposite of terrorism, and then will it into existence?

Assigning & Incentivizing Tasks

What are the practical tasks that need doing, and how do we prioritize and incentivize achieving them?

Making Knowledge Flow

How do we better harvest, filter, and circulate the knowledge being produced by the roundtables through mycelial connections?

Conflict Resolution

How do we deal with conflict within the network?

Open, transparent and participatory design


One of the most important parts of CICOLAB is maintaining a detailed knowledge repository of everything that we are doing and each discussion we are facilitating. We are using Workflowy, the easist and most intuitive software we could find, to organize our documents and task lists, recorded interviews/roundtables and protocols. We have edited the permissions so that you can jump in and add resources to our knowledge repository yourself and tag things yourself. If you have video, audio, or written materials that you think are relevant to this discussion, you are free to add them. If you want to get involved, learn more,  or have any ideas on how we can better organize things, we would love to hear from you! Email us at We are also on Twitter (@cicollaboratory) and Facebook ( Also, feel free to join our knowledge gardening/annotation group on


Our Calendar

It is not enough for us to hold up a candle of truth;

we must plan and execute an audacious light show on its behalf.



We believe in data-driven decision-making and academic rigor, but we also know that you don't have to have an MBA or a PhD to have valid, life-tested wisdom, and we want to make sure that our participants feel like their opinions are valid and important, no matter what their background. Data alone can show important patterns, but it is also robbed of important, contextually relevant information that we can only get from real conversations.  The more diversity in viewpoints we can attract to our roundtables, the greater our collective wisdom.


People shouldn't need to feel like they have to ask for approval in order to show some initiative. They should feel empowered to produce things on their own, experimenting with new technology and business models.


Our strategy is not to govern from the top, but to help people make better decisions by giving them access to a variety of sensemaking tools and strategies to help them acurately assess where they are in the ecosystem, what information is the most relevant to them, and who could partner with to achieve the most success. With streams of information floating by, how do we best make sense of it all?


Giving agency to participants enables an environment of being free to ask questions and make suggestions.



We don’t know who will make the best contributions, so we are taking down the technical barriers to participation.



How do we judge what the meaningful contributions are, and how do we reward them? What tasks have intrinsic value, and what is the crap work that needs to be remunerated?