Collaboration is a documentary film that was created to record the process of an experiment in collaborative work within the context of the scientific community as well as to be a companion piece to the larger PhD thesis of student from Denmark named Alfred Birkegaard. The film discusses why work in groups of large, diverse numbers is so important in the scope of education and scientific research, the challenges ahead in attempting to apply collaborative work in both educational and professional settings, and also introduces audiences to bio-hackers and biochemists blazing the trail of open source and collaborative work in both Denmark and America.
The lesson to be learned from Collaboration affects more people than those who are currently in, or looking to become involved with, any greater scientific or academic community; although the scientific community is comprised of many people who wouldn't consider themselves a part of it. The film also makes you re-think how you, and how we as a whole, seek to answer the tough questions, and why the current approach isn't the best, as proved by how fast problems can be solved when openly sourced vs. when worked on by a single team of scientists.
Reaping and sowing, another aspect of working collaboratively and taking the time to use the best means as opposed to rushing through for ultimate end of individual gain, is also touched upon in the film in a way that should cause critically thinking audiences to take a step back and look at themselves as individuals as well as our world and country as a whole and what motivates how and why things are done. Our interests as a whole seems very slanted towards reaping, as soon and as much as we can, with no focus on the sort of sustainable sowing that in the past has meant the creation of things like open internet and electricity that we are able to access in more places in the developed world than not.
Collaboration, specifically open source collaboration, stands to end the stifling of anything or anyone who doesn't serve the status quo. Such stifling not only stops an individual from reaching his or her potential, but also stops potential and creativity in general.