Friday, October 14, 2011

Thoughts from afar

I've been traveling, meeting new thinkers, and seeing the world from vantage points beyond my norm. So many ideas are moving in my head - think of this blog post as literally a chance to grab some of them, "tie them down" for the nanosecond it takes to write them, and see if they spark insights for you.

The sharing economy is much more than just a bunch of neighbors sharing cars and tools. It could be the platform for the next iteration of social and political change.

Movements are really messy and what you see on the internet, television, and public statements is only one thin layer of what's really going on. What is the #occupy movement and how will it matter in the short and long terms?

The Post-Industrial Social Economy, a headline I blasted out a few days back, is real. We are creating (through the contraction of the formal economy, a slow shifting to informal networks instead of and in addition to institutional NGOs, the power of mobile enabled organizing, sector agnosticism about social change, and the legitimate elements of the social business movement  a new economy of good.
Here's a new book on sharing - Share or Die - that I look forward to reading.

I finished reading Jeff Jarvis's Public Parts on a plane a few days ago. He raises some interesting questions about the transformative nature of publicness. He also connects the "personal" public with the "shared" public - his own decisions about sharing information with changing community expectations about what information and resources are shared. I think this is important.

Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International wisely summed up two key forces of change in the world: "The creation of a middle class in developing economies simultaneous with the destruction of the middle class in developed economies."

People my age (late forties) in eastern European countries have lived half their lives under communist autocracies and half their lives under capitalist democracies. They seem better able to reckon with the likelihood of real system change than I am - they've lived it. Some of the people I've spoken with have basically different understandings of "long term" than I do.  It's odd for an American to travel to Europe and feel like our country is "old," but that's how it felt to me. How do these experiences influence individual's commitment to a European Union (or to any political system?)


mpmi said...

Hi. I like you love to transform people's lives. I worked abroad for two years in an orphanage, came back to New York and now Virgina trying to make a difference in the lives of young people. I work with all cultures but recently started my own non-profit for scholarships. Let me know if you would like to help. Thanks.

J. Manone said...

Thanks for a thought provocative article. Occupy movement does promises a social reform, but I agree with you on when that time would be. How do we know that a movement would bring about a reform in a long run or for that matter of fact any short term positive impact! What we consider reform, might not be in another part of the world. I guess, we ca just keep making our effort. History does reflect that great reforms came impromptu.