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The Next Edge
Nurturing the Emergence of a Thrivable Future
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The Sharing Economy Lacks A Shared Definition

The Sharing Economy Lacks A Shared Definition | The Next Edge |

You may have noticed the terms “sharing economy,” “peer economy,” “collaborative economy,” and “collaborative consumption” being used synonymously. Ideas like “crowdsourcing,” the “maker movement,” and “co-creation” are being thrown into the mix. The space is getting muddy and the definitions are being bent out of shape to suit different purposes. So, do I think these terms have different meanings? Yes. Are their common core ideas that explain the overlap? Absolutely.


People have asked me why I have not publicly clarified this earlier. To be honest, it is hard to do so without being accused of trying to “defend” a term. The words used concern me less than how they are being defined, and the core meaning of the space being misunderstood. Definitions are hard, especially when they are trying to capture new ideas never expressed before. As Bertrand Russell famously once said: “Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize until you have tried to make it precise.” When I first began writing about this space nobody knew how big it might get. Its growth and expanding nature are, for the most part, a good thing but we need clear definitions that will enable us to move forward with a common understanding.

ddrrnt's insight:

ht @Zaq Mosher

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Creatives, Non-Linear Thinkers and So-Called Misfits

Creatives, Non-Linear Thinkers and So-Called Misfits | The Next Edge |

The idea of the misfit worker occurred to me when I considered the challenge of bringing together individuals whose unique identities and contributions had been critiqued for so long that they were 'burned' by the concept of collaboration. How might we start to welcome them into a less-critical innovation or creative team?

Good ideas arise when people are given space to truly explore, in-depth, a particular train of thought. Susan Cain's recently-released Quiet details the challenge of introspection in the modern work environment. As she describes it, the prevailing concepts of what's best in the workplace are premised on the often-incorrect theory that group discussion and constant collaboration are the best way to solve problems. Instead, she suggests that we consider the extensive research which shows that better-quality ideas—especially those related to complex problems involving a lot of variables—require time and nuance to develop.

Via Peter Vander Auwera
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Archive for ‘P2PF/Orange Report’: Synthetic overview of the collaborative economy full appendixes

Archive for ‘P2PF/Orange Report’: Synthetic overview of the collaborative economy full appendixes | The Next Edge |
Rushkoff on “Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy Report”   “There is no longer any excuse to remain ignorant of the vast peer-to-peer landscape that is slowly but surely replacing ...

Via Networked Labour - One Big Meshwork
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Open Collaboration Encyclopedia

Open Collaboration Encyclopedia | The Next Edge |

A New Cultural Literacy (version 2.3)

We bring with us into the future many ideas from the past about how to build the world, how to relate with each other, how to think, how to create, how to share. Advancements in our understanding of what really works, and works for everyone not just a few - what constitutes sustainability - is rapidly sweeping away long-held certainties. The playing field has had its gravity rules flipped. As a result a new game is emerging.

What if you were told that every traditional model of ownership, hierarchy, economics, politics, organization, education, and evolution you had ever taken for granted could be turned on its head, had been turned on its head, and was now in many cases working better than it did before? We imagine you would say, “Where can I get some?”.

Ed. Alpha Lo and Alden Bevington

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Collective Intelligence in Neural Networks and Social Networks

Collective Intelligence in Neural Networks and Social Networks | The Next Edge |

"Context for this post: I’m currently working on a social network application that demonstrates the value of connection strength and context for making networks more useful and intelligent. Connection strength and context are currently only rudimentarily and mushily implemented in social network apps. This post describes some of the underlying theory for why connection strength and context are key to next generation social network applications."

Via Howard Rheingold, Jim Lerman, Julien Duprat
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The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies

The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies | The Next Edge |

"While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. In fact, the most powerful applications of social technologies in the global economy are largely untapped. Companies will go on developing ways to reach consumers through social technologies and gathering insights for product development, marketing, and customer service. Yet the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that twice as much potential value lies in using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises. MGI’s estimates suggest that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers—high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals—by 20 to 25 percent."


McKinsey Global Institute 

Via Wildcat2030
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The Hivemind Singularity

The Hivemind Singularity | The Next Edge |
In a near-future science fiction novel, human intelligence evolves into a hivemind that makes people the violent cells of a collective being.


Adam Roberts inquires into the phenomenon we call "hive mind":


"Are our electronic technologies on the verge of enabling truly collective human intelligence? And if that happens, will we like the results?…

In short, [soldiers equipped with advanced electronic communications technologies] behave like a slime mold, which changes size, splits and combines, according to need, in such a way that it's hard to say whether the slime mold is one big thing or a bunch of little things. Slime molds and social insects behave with an intelligence that ought to be impossible for such apparently simple organisms, but, as Steven Johnson points out in his fascinating book Emergence, simple organisms obeying simple rules can collectively manifest astonishingly complex behavior….
New Model Army presents us with a question: What happens when human beings, not just slime molds or ants, submit themselves to collective will and become part of an immense shared intelligence? If complex behavior can simply "emerge" through the simple decisions of simple creatures, what might happen if much more complex creatures become absorbed into a collectivity?...

The first answer that science-fiction fans are likely to give is: The Borg. Which is to say, the prospect of any single human intelligence being lost in a collective mind fills us with fear. We fear that the transcending of human intelligence will also mark the transcending of human feeling, that all of our familiar and deeply-treasured ideas about what constitutes human flourishing will be simply cast aside by a superior intelligence that has other and supposedly greater concerns….
What if this is the Singularity? Not simply our machines becoming smarter than we are, but the machines we use to communicate with one another enabling our own translation to a supposedly "higher" sphere of being?"


In this article, author Alan Jacobs makes a case for the importance of cultivating wisdom and consciousness to match our technological capacities. As we grow in the strength of our technological tools and weapons, can we expand our empathy, apply the intelligence of the heart-mind, and strengthen our integrity even more?

Via Culture of Choice
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The Alchemy of Intention And Collaboration

The Alchemy of Intention And Collaboration | The Next Edge |

An intention is an internal statement of what you are committed to creating for your life, including your business. It describes the essence of what you want in terms that your subconscious will recognize and attract to you.

Collaboration is the willingness to look beyond competition and scarcity in order to freely work with others inside and outside an organization for the greater good of all concerned.

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An Integrated Approach to Global Change

An Integrated Approach to Global Change | The Next Edge |

I am pleased to share a clear set of guidelines for a rigorous design science to build a pathway to global sustainability... (via Joe Brewer)


1) Critically assess all assumptions with the standards of empirically responsible philosophy to ensure that interpretations of value-laden topics stand up to the rigors of the scientific method.

2) Look for convergence across disciplines of key findings that bolster confidence in the core elements of human systems and their causal relationships with the broader natural world.


3) Cultivate an appreciation for deep history as the appropriate lens for embedding historical trends within the larger networks of biological and geophysical evolution from which they arose.

4) Build a foundational knowledge of complex adaptive systems and the mathematics of networks to build diagnostic models for the global dynamics of interconnected systems.

5) Acknowledge the cognitive feedbacks of human comprehension that shape the formation of conceptual categories, tacit beliefs, and overarching worldviews as they interact with the scientific method — especially in the study of economics, politics, and culture.

6) Make use of iterative design methodologies such as rapid prototyping and user-centered design to empirically test and refine working models of social innovation in the real world.

7) Maintain a vigilant practice of questioning our theories of change to avoid falling into the trap of applying static conceptual models to an ever-evolving dynamic reality.

Via Anne Caspari
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The Interplay Games Experiment — DeepFUN

The Interplay Games Experiment — DeepFUN | The Next Edge |

The kids who had played together, worked better together.

The kids who hadn’t played together spent most of their time defending their pile of junk, and trying to steal or grab junk from the other piles. Even though the materials were purposefully selected to be of the no-apparent-appeal-to-anyone junk variety, they spent more time fighting over the materials than in building with them.


The kids who played together eventually built a single city. They started out, dividing themselves into groups around each junk pile, building streets and houses and apartments and playgrounds, and eventually built roadways to collect their cities together into one metropolis.

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The True Hive Mind – How Honeybee Colonies Think

The True Hive Mind – How Honeybee Colonies Think | The Next Edge |

"This extends to decision-making, which is the main subject of Honeybee Democracy. The bees exercise a collective intelligence that mimics not just small-group decision-making but the cognitive deliberations of our own brains:"

Via Howard Rheingold
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When dominator systems can't respond to the challenges of the time, mutuality-based systems become a necessity

When dominator systems can't respond to the challenges of the time, mutuality-based systems become a necessity | The Next Edge |

We are emerging from a long dominator era into one that demands mutuality. The dominator (hierarchical) mode appears strong, but in reality is too slow to respond to the crisis of the time. Mutualism, on the other hand, is liable to be too fragile in the face of dominator pressures: the only way to resist these, based on intricacy, “is for small circles to join hands in a collaborative network that is broader and tighter than anything domination can provide.(p 286)” The keys to doing this, which she works out through many practical examples, are “education, empowerment, infrastructure, support networks, liberation and love.

Via Mushin
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Collaboration is the New Competition

Five ways to drive large-scale social change by working cooperatively.
ddrrnt's insight:

Leaders and organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts can't stack up against today's complex and interconnected problems. They are putting aside self-interests and collaborating to build a new civic infrastructure to advance their shared objectives. It's called collective impact and it's a growing trend across the country. (...)

While collaboration is certainly not a foreign concept, what we're seeing around the country is the coming together of non-traditional partners, and a willingness to embrace new ways of working together. And, this movement is yielding promising results.

... five lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration:

  1. Clearly define what you can do together: As Dana O'Donovan of the Monitor Institute has noted, many organizations find collaboration to be messy and time consuming. From the very beginning, you must develop clarity of purpose and articulate, "What can we do together that we could not do alone?" (...)
  2. Transcend parochialism: Even the most well intended collaboration is often crippled by parochialism. Individual organizations earmark their participation and resources for activities that perfectly align with their own work or they use the collaboration platform as a way to get other participants to fund their own priorities. (...)
  3. Adapt to data: The complex, multidisciplinary problems that many collaborative projects tackle do not have easy fixes. These challenges require continuous learning and innovation and the use of real-time data to help participants understand what is and isn't working. Adjustments must be made on the fly. (...)
  4. Feed the field: You have an obligation to share what you learn — both the results and the methods for achieving them. Living Cities has long understood the value that our member institutions get by learning and working together. (...)
  5. Support the backbone: In our experience, progress is best achieved when a "backbone organization," keeps the group's work moving forward. Staff at these organizations ensure that work is completed between meetings, track data, enable adaptation, disseminate knowledge, and build buy-in and ownership from all participants.(...)

Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht is President & CEO of Living Cities, an organization that harnesses the collective knowledge of its 22 member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low income people and the cities where they live.

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The Evolution of A New Trust Economy - Brian Solis

The Evolution of A New Trust Economy - Brian Solis | The Next Edge |

Social Media is rooted in relationships, the dynamic interaction and collaboration between real people.

Individually, we’re realizing the power and potential of social media.

The rise of Social Media resembled a global celebration of freedom and empowerment.

The 2000's engendered a more social Web.

Essentially, attention dashboards are any one of the three screens (mobile device, PC, TV) within the Golden Triangle (mobile, social, real-time) and is usually experienced as an activity stream, TweetDeck, the Facebook Newsfeed, FriendFeed, any feed reader, etc.

To have any hope of connecting with discerning consumers in the social web, we have to gain visibility and momentum across individual attention dashboards, where, when, and how they’re tuned.

It is this practice that lays a promising foundation for implementing a social CRM (sCRM) or Social Relationship Management (SRM) infrastructure supported by established workflow, processes, and governance.

To help, the social Web is on the verge of realizing the potential and corresponding benefits of real-time filtering technology.

As we traverse the dynamic landscapes defining the social and attention economies, we realize that something much more powerful is required to earn ongoing attention in the social web.

With time, our contribution to the state of the social, attention, and trust economies is measured by reciprocity, recognition, value, and benefaction.

Brian Solis

09 Dec 2009

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Finding the transcendent interest

In theory, the Internet has vastly increased the potential for human beings to work together. But we think something is missing in the collaborative venues designed by technologists thus far.

Dibyendu De's comment, December 7, 2012 12:23 AM
I feel the way G+ is progressing it would soon be a great collaborative platform (may be combined with Twitter). Loved G+'s introduction of the new 'community' feature (today). Rest would be on human imagination and connecting various communities to share common resources.
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Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons

Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons | The Next Edge |

Our proposal is that the users of the commons should be commons-friendly enterprise structures and not profit-maximising companies. These ethical companies, whose members are the commoners/contributors themselves, would be organised as global open design companies. These would be linked to networks of small factories that produce on the basis of shared values and could more easily adopt open-book management, open recruiting and open supply lines, ensuring transparency to the whole network, in order to create maximum mutual alignment between participants. This is simply an extension of the existing organisational practices of ‘immaterial commons production’, which combines full transparency of all actions with negotiated coordination. (...)


It requires distributed access to physical places for collaboration – co-working centres – as well as the widespread possibility for peer learning. Distributed access to financial capital is a further condition, notably crowd-funding, social lending and distributed, decentralised currencies such as cryptography-based digital money Bitcoin. The spread of these peer to peer forms of funding has already attracted the attention of the Bank of England executive director, Andrew Haldane, who has suggested that peer to peer finance models could sweep away the inefficient retail banks before too long.

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How Might We Leverage Informed Intuition for Decision-making? - Design - GOOD

How Might We Leverage Informed Intuition for Decision-making? - Design - GOOD | The Next Edge |

"By using a network of knowledgeable experts, each of whom is good at recognizing a certain type of pattern that works, you can ultimately catch many more of the types of things that will succeed. Call it “network intuition” if you will—building on the cumulative pattern recognition of multiple expert perspectives to create a more systematic way of using intuition.


A networked approach to intuition also allows you to eliminate some of the error and bias that can creep into intuitive judgments. It’s possible to see the flaws when you’re using logical reasoning, but it’s almost impossible to catch mistakes and biases in your intuition. By compiling the perspectives of a network of advisors, you can begin to filter out some of the specific biases that might taint a single individual’s intuition."


Design - GOOD 

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Sharing lessons on inclusive business - The Practitioner Hub - Business Fights Poverty

Sharing lessons on inclusive business - The Practitioner Hub - Business Fights Poverty | The Next Edge |

“Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes.”

Peter Senge, Center for Organizational Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management


Collaborating, innovating, asking hard questions and learning from others....are all vital ingredients for successful inclusive business. Every inclusive business project is unique but many of the opportunities, risks and challenges it faces are not. And every project, whether it succeeds or not, will provide a wealth of understanding that can be used to inform and improve future ventures.

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Collective Intelligence: Ants colony solving TSP – CodeProject

Collective Intelligence: Ants colony solving TSP – CodeProject | The Next Edge |

Some nice examples of stigmergic collaboration in eusocial organisms. Humans are not cells in a superorganism, but we can apply stigmergic collaboration to collective intelligence involving populations of intelligent humans (Wikipedia, for example) -- Howard


"The algorithms based on collective intelligence have some “interesting” properties:

flexibility, adaptability
“robustness” (failures)
These algorithms are inspired by the nature. Here are some examples of collective intelligence which can be observed in the nature:"

Via Howard Rheingold
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Multitude Project: How to play the open game in the present and future economy

Multitude Project: How to play the open game in the present and future economy | The Next Edge |

One of the problems we need to solve during this transition is to define a strategy to play the open game. How can we make sure that those who invest in open products get rewarded for their contribution? How can we make sure that one can feed his family from participating in the design, production and distribution of open products. We often hear: "if your product is successful you'll get copied"; "if you offer your recipe to everyone no one will buy your product, people will make it themselves"; etc.


Playing the open game is not just about releasing all the information and knowledge about the product.

Games require rules. A lot of efforts have been spent on drafting licenses for open products (see example from p2p foundation). But these licenses are, in some sense, as good as patents, i.e. as good as YOU can defend them.

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Interview with Jean Russell: How to Kickstart your Agency Engine

Interview with Jean Russell: How to Kickstart your Agency Engine | The Next Edge |

The concepts of individual and group agency are recurring themes around our virtual water cooler discussions of late. As eager change agents, edgeriders, and transitioners to a new world, we’re all more than blessed with big ideas. What many of us lack is the ability to reign in the ever expanding “cone of possibility” into a laser beam, pick a specific actionable project, and execute. Instead of implementing ideas, much time is wasted pitching them at each other, with no discernible path towards action.

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Reflection on the Edge. | The Next Edge

Reflection on the Edge. | The Next Edge | The Next Edge |

There is a proposed “project in development” which seems aimed at expressing this potentially beneficial scenario on a scale which enhances the emergence of interconnected systemic contexts which are generative and life affirming. The ‘form’ of such an ideasphere need to be represented digitally and simulated iteratively in order to accelerate its evolution.


by Glisten @cyber_shaman

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The Mirror in Us: Mirror Neurons & Workplace Relationships

The Mirror in Us: Mirror Neurons & Workplace Relationships | The Next Edge |

Emotions and actions are powerfully contagious. When we see someone laugh, cry, show disgust and experience pain, in some sense we share those feelings. When we see a great actor, musician or athletic perform at the peak of their abilities, it can feel like we are experiencing something of what they feel.


In the 1990’s when a research team at the University of Parma, lead by neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, made the serendipitous discovery of “mirror neurons,” a new revolution in our understanding of humans as social beings began. Since that time, neuroscience findings have helped us to appreciate the implications of the powerful sharing of experience.


Relationships are all about connecting with others. However, very few people consciously think about how relationships are formed. When relationships are working, there is a tendency to take them for granted and not think about how they’ve been established.


by Louise Altman

Via Edwin Rutsch
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About the Book – The Age of the Platform

About the Book – The Age of the Platform | The Next Edge |


In the 1990s, platforms and ecosystems were not nearly as powerful, robust, and vibrant as they are today:


As I demonstrate in the book, it’s these connections between and among platforms and planks that allow Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google to:


- Innovate so quickly–and profoundly
- Rapidly deploy new features
- Create and dominate new markets


Welcome to the Age of the Platform.

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