Thanks to the internet (and google) we have almost endless information and resources at our fingertips. We can access the life work, groundbreaking ideas, and carefully developed resources of experts in any imaginable field with a few strokes of the keyboard. So why shouldn’t we? It seems to me that in this age of information there is absolutely no excuse for reinventing the wheel. There is just no sense in wasting time and energy re-doing something someone much smarter than us has already done.
We’ve mentioned before that we’ve recently developed a social innovation curriculum at the PF - something none of us have ever done before. We have an idea, and we think it’s a good one, but to really make it useful we’ve found it’s best to borrow wherever possible (as long as we have all of the appropriate rights and permissions, that is). For each lesson we’ve pulled articles, videos, and frameworks from across the web and our networks. We think this makes our curriculum much, much stronger. We may know that it’s important for our students to understand root cause analysis, for example, but we also know that someone else has far superior tools to actually teach it to them.
Throughout this process we’ve been pleased to find that everyone we have asked has been more than happy to share their resources and expertise (and we’ve asked a lot of people). It just doesn’t make sense not to. Especially in the context of the social sector—we all have the same vision and should help each other achieve success wherever possible.
So here’s our vote for more sharing, more borrowing, and much less reinventing.