The Knowledge Networking Project

The rationale for and nature of Probably42 is described elsewhere; here we focus on the development of the online site operation and the supporting project.


Brain of coloured cogsAs described under the rationale for Probably42, the aim is to establish a means by which we can each participate in discussing (face-to-face or online) topics of national, local or even global importance, or of particular interest to us, and developing new ideas or the best solutions and then implementing these. This ranges from the big issues and opportunities of our time to innovation in any sphere which takes us forward both individually and as a society.


The ultimate goal of the Knowledge Networking project is therefore hugely ambitious and we know it is impossible to get there in one leap, so it is an incremental project over time. It is intended to be very pragmatic, implementing a first phase as quickly as possible to get value from that and then building on it phase on phase. Also by getting it off the ground as quickly as possible, in a way that we can all contribute to, the intention is that as quickly as possible it will have a life of its own that doesn’t depend on the originators who are all in their later life and therefore realistically, although we hope otherwise, could disappear at any point in time. 


So Probably42 will be far from static. In the same way as the ideas will be developed based on our joint KSE (Knowledge, Skills and Experience), the intention is that the site technology and operations processes will also be developed through that same Knowledge, Skills and Experience. There are shades of an Open Source approach in our minds too. In particular, those who have an IT background have a special role to play in getting involved in how we develop the site to become more and more effective. If you would be interested in getting involved just use the link to the Contact form in the footer menu to suggest how you might like to be involved and what KSE you could bring.
In a simplistic way we have a vision of a site that draws on several strands of thinking. We see the technology that we need to develop Knowledge Networking, as akin to, but being the next step on from Social Networking.
We see several strands of thinking and research being important:

  • The science of how we create ideas (face-to-face and online), then develop them individually and in groups, and how we make decisions related to improving ideas, and how we make decisions to select and agree the best ideas to implement.
  • How we can manage large volumes of ideas on any subject, large number of contributors, alert people to areas of interest, allow people to endorse ideas, suggest amendments or alternatives and get the best ideas to bubble to the top. We see Artificial Intelligence, or at least the Adaptive Systems branch of Artificial Intelligence as potentially having a role to play here.
  • How, once ideas reach a certain level of development and endorsement by others they can be made to happen.
  • The 'Knowledge Networking' technology to support this. 

On and off the web


Being a web site the natural way of things is to develop ideas through online propositions and then discussion of those. However, with Knowledge Networking we need to recognise that ideas and innovations are often formulated best by a group working together in the real world. So part of the approach of the site is to encourage and enable formation of such face-to-face groups based on being able to identify others with common interests through the site and arrange to meet to discuss them.


We believe this will also add an enjoyable social dimension to idea creation and that the first submission of an idea on the Probably42 web site might be as the result of a team proposition based on such face-to-face meetings and discussions.



Brain of coloured cogsScope


The long-term goal is that ideas and innovation at any level can be included on the Probably42 site, once the site technology has developed to the point it can manage the creation and development of huge volumes of ideas. However, in the early days while the technology is still limiting the intention is to focus the site on ‘Top 10s’ in a number of categories e.g. the Top 10 Issues of our time, the Top 10 opportunities, The Top 10 ideas for the forward path for the site. Therefore, there will be a valuable debate around what constitute the Top 10s.


Our main focus initially will be ideas at a UK national level; however, we will have basic Top 10s at Community and Global level.




The intention is that every aspect of this project will be visible publicly on this web site so that it is truly a national resource and so we can together apply our joint Knowledge, Skills and Experience to every aspect.