This entry is part 16 of 18 in the series The Idea Liberation Project

McArthur “genius” grants are famous for endowing single, brilliant individuals with the resources to pursue their dreams and vision for an extended period of time.

But genius often arises out of the interaction between close, complementary groups of colleagues. How about a McArthur grant for them?

It doesn’t have to be an actual McArthur, of course. But it would be fantastic if some creative foundation endowed a fellowship program that identified talent clusters: groups of tightly collaborative peers, likely in a single place,but possibly applicable to groups that have very tight, web-supported distance collaboration. These grants would be different from collaborative academic or NGO grants that support specific projects: the idea would be to support a group of people, and let them define their projects or areas of collaboration in part by using that funding to think big.

How would you identify these talent clusters? You could look at clusters of people who are frequent co-authors, project collaborators or event co-convenors.

But you might get more provocative results by tapping into social graphs, and identifying the proximity and intensity of working relationships by spotting the density of ties a given cluster of people have on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and noting the frequency of their interactions.

Supporting the work of genius groups — and not just genius individuals — could unlock new sources of innovation and transformation.

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