The definition of serendipity is not well understood. From Dictionary.com:
Carla Thompson from Guidewire really pounded on the accident part of the definition and insisted that anything that interfered with accident or the randomness of the desirable discoveries was polluting the concept of serendipity.
As I reflect on this more I think that serendipity is like luck - preparation meeting opportunity.
You can set yourself up for serendipitous events by preparing to get lucky.
A few great examples from the panel from Kevin Marks in the audience:
- Pixar designs its offices in such a way to maximize serendipity (from Kevin Marks on Twitter)
- One of the reasons Google has free lunches is to get people to mingle with random people instead of just eating at their desks.
I think that Aggregate Knowledge is really providing people with the preparation part of having the opportunity to have serendipitious discoveries. The behavioral context that is analyzed and the recommendations which are generated creates the framework and the structure for people to have serendipitous discoveries.