Blog Archives

Providing new sources of trust

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By Javier Creus, founder of Ideas for Change and Pentagrowth.

An entrepreneur and specialist in collaborative economy, Javier Creus believes it takes more than one to change the light bulb, but gathering around one thousand peers working collaboratively might be enough to achieve a lot of things. According to him, organisations based in peer-to-peer alternatives can lead to new sources of trust and augmented resilience, but they eventually may have to deal with the complexity rise and effort sustaining over time. Watch the short video below to get his complete reflections on the topic. This contribution was possible thanks to the kind collaboration of the Ouishare Fest Barcelona event.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

The recipe for additive innovation

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By Dale Dougherty, founder of Make: magazine and creator of Maker Faire.

The maker culture might not be something totally new, but recently, and thanks to the advancements made in the technological sector, more and more people are applying a kind of do-it-yourself strategies in areas like electronics, robotics and 3D printing. The resulting products are usually open to improvements and modifications by users, since all the information is commonly available on the Net. Coiner of the term “Web 2.0” and founder of Make: magazine, Dale Dougherty kindly agreed to share with us his views on the maker revolution. You can check his reflections in the short video below. We would like to thank the 4 Years From Now event for this contribution.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Shining a new light on democracy

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By Andy Williamson, consultant, researcher and speaker on digital and social media, society and policy.

It was Jacques Ellul, in his book The Technological Society, who noted in the 1960s that technology, in its broadest sense, cannot be isolated from the social and human factors that surround it. Technology forms a core part of the ecology in which it is situated and, within which, we live. When the lightbulb blows, we notice it. It affects us in various ways and, as the light fades, it becomes obvious that it must be changed.

In a literal sense, one individual might physically change the bulb. But it takes an entire supply chain to ensure that the bulb is there when we need it. Package designers ensure it is packed safely, logistics experts get it from factory to warehouse to the supermarket, and electricians have installed the fittings. To ensure that it all works, regulators and policy makers must draft laws, create standards and ensure these are enforced. And without electricity the lightbulb remains dark. Even the humble light bulb is part of a complex ecosystem.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

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