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“How do we organise ourselves without organization”
In this short but insightful Ted talk Charles Leadbeater, author of the book We Think, invites us to examine the chasm between the rising open culture model such as what we see with projects like Linux, Wikipedia and open source versus the old traditional closed corporate model. On the one hand we have the traditional model which sees creativity as “special people, in special places” handing down their innovations to passive consumers, and on the other we have the open culture model where consumers are also collaborators and creators.
This is what he refers to as the “rise of the ProAm“, the professional amateur, someone who takes their leisure seriously and collaborates in the creative process. The traditional closed corporations are increasingly threatened by the open model and have been spending enormous resources fighting it, music and film copyrights battle being the most prominent of the examples.
I share this video because of its pertinence; many of the problems we are facing now and will be facing this generation are precisely because of this chasm between the old world and the new one trying to break up the solid ground on which the old system is perched. In my view the old system has no chance, it can fight back, and from the great vantage point they posses now being the market leaders and having great resources at their disposal. They will reduce the speed of the change all they can, and on occasions they might paralyse it.
The old system has no chance, the open culture
will smash the old ground open
But in the long run this is all expensive and cumbersome life-support that is keeping the dead system alive for just a little while longer. I call the organisations and individuals that run the old system Dodos; you know that bird that was utterly unprepared for change, could not fathom or adapt to the sudden transformation. You know what happened to the dodo right? That is where the 21st century dodos are heading. Although I must admit, the fate of the dodo bird saddens me a whole load more than the fate of the human dodos.
The open culture will smash the old ground open and it is already doing just that. The resulting new model is way beyond our prediction now, if we have learnt anything we know that we are seriously bad at predicting the future. One thing is for sure, the new model will be radically different and the 20th century will soon seem very antiquated. The difference will be greater than the change that took place when we moved from an agrarian to an industrial society.