Transforming your staff's potential

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finds: Informal Cooperation trumping Institutions

This TED talk by Clay Shirky was given in 2005 but is even more relevant today as his predictions are coming true. Mr Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will be forced by the progress of technology to give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning. He give an historic example of how the printing press wrested control of knowledge from the Catholic church, with a new model, the nation state, ultimately filling the void as it could accommodate freely distributed knowledge.

This is certainly already happening in universities and other institutions where costs to manage systems, create structure and create inherent exclusion are outweighing their historic value as information, knowledge and learning cannot be as easily monopolized.

Shirky asks compelling questions about what cooperative models will form as loosely coordinated groups get more leverage and how institutional models will evolve to remain relevant.

Compelling ideas and questions include:

How will the emergence of mass amaturization impact professions?
Coordination will increasingly replace planning.
What will the new imperatives and motivators be?
The concept of coordination of group output as a byproduct of the operation of the system (integration of cooperation into infrastructures).

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