Blog Archives

Blockchain technology: a new (r)evolution in the digital economy

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By Primavera De Filippi, researcher, Centre d’Études et de Recherches de Science Administrative, CNRS-Université Paris II.

Remember the world, back in the 90’s? Before the Internet had invaded pretty much every aspect of our lives? It was back then quite difficult — if not impossible — to foresee that one day, not too far away, people would be able to communicate directly with one another, that they would be able to broadcast themselves to the world and interact in a peer-to-peer fashion, bypassing most of the intermediaries of that time.

This marked the beginning of a new paradigm shift in the way people communicate — the beginning of a digital revolution characterised by a process of decentralization and disintermediation. With the Internet, traditional media operators, such as publishers and broadcasters, have been progressively displaced by a more distributed network of players, relying on emerging information and communication technologies in order to provide new opportunities for people to receive and impart information.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Dividing the Wealth – Do peer networks like Airbnb distribute value fairly?

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By Robin Chase, author of Peers Inc; co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar1.

The ideal of capitalism I perceived as a child seems a far cry from what I understand today. American capitalism has moved from an industrial path that grew a middle class to one that seems to be increasingly taking the ugliest, most extractive form, reversing those gains.

In economist Thomas Piketty’s 2014 bestselling Capital in the 21st Century, his analysis found that the top 10 percent of Americans in 2010 owned 70 percent of the capital, trending toward the extreme capital inequality last observed in 1910 monarchical Europe. In the fall 2014 issue of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, an economist at Bard College, updated Piketty’s data through 2012 and looked at which groups got the benefits of economic expansion.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

How many peers does it take to light the world?

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By Geoffrey Moore, author, speaker and advisor.

When confronted to the main question of this blog, I would rather rephrase it to this one: How many peers does it take to light the world?

The new collaborative economy is organically more altruistic and philanthropic than our current language of business knows how to process. Thus when we ask an operational excellence question of a disruptive innovation, we create humor, but perhaps not insight.

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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.

UOC/IN3 degrees