I ended one of my previous posts by saying that the greatest strength of human kind is our ability to collaborate in ways that well exceeds the understanding of a single individual. Just think of the complexity that characterizes the information-driven modern day society filled with a vast range of continually changing technologies. In order to achieve such complexity of knowledge, humans have had to specialize, that is, to develop specific skills and competences for different individuals and exchange these specialized skills with others. In other words, our knowledge is specialized, yet collective by nature.
How can knowledge by simultaneously specialized and collective by nature? With the first glimpse, it might seem that knowledge resides within a single individual. However, if you think how your knowledge has accumulated over the time, you cannot explain its emergence without accounting for a vast number of people with whom you have interacted over the years – your parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, colleagues and various random acquaintances. In other words, you represent a unique combination of collective knowledge and to make the best use of that knowledge you need to further make it collective by integrating it with the specialized knowledge of others.
In my own journey of accumulating and integrating knowledge, I have had the pleasure to learn from and work with numerous brilliant people across the globe. For the past six years VTT has been my home base from which I have visited other research teams and organizations. Next year I will have the opportunity to enjoy yet another inspiring research environment and new colleagues as the next phase on my journey will take me to the CTF service research center at Karlstad University.
I wish everyone Merry Christmas and success in knowledge integration for the Year 2015!