What are we re-defining? From my vantage point, learning fuels the economy and social networks are empowering us to connect in ways that support new paradigms and possibilities. I’ve compiled a few snippets that reveal what myself and my sources may be mulling. The basic idea is that there are “other worlds” where networked learners can solve global issues and form back-up plans while earning alternate currencies.
The DYNDY project encourages us to re-consider how we deal with and create money in our present world where financial, banking, and economic crises result from faulty top-down decision-making processes that serve the few and not the many.
“We are in a situation whereby the incapacity to re-define how we deal with money could resolve in an a severe damage to society as we commonly refer to it: contrary to what happens with information systems, there are no backups with money systems.”
The movement in Egypt was said to be “very dependent on Facebook,” according to an Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah who was quoted in the Washington Post. Fueled by the anger over high food prices and high unemployment, the citizen’s communications strategy went beyond social media.
Collective Intelligence expert, Don Tapscott, wrote in HuffPo about Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to maintain a “firm grip” on the country’s media, which was ultimately lost due to the “interactive and decentralized” power of the web.
ReadWriteWeb noted that even when 90% of Egyptian internet access points were shut down by major ISPs, the coordination of “old-style” dial up connections helped maintain communications throughout the country.
Sean Grainger (@graingered) tells me “the world we all share is one big story written by history.” I agree with him, our collective story is summed up by each one of our individual stories. He says, “Teachers are in the story-writing business” and that our fundamental purpose is to be what we want education to be.
I’ve had the pleasure to occasionally exchange tweets with Sean, and in many ways he’s influenced me to think of myself as a teacher. Maybe not the certified-type who commands a classroom, but the sort who plays a necessary role in the future of education. My contacts have dealt me enough insight to understand what kind of lessons the next generation will need in order to lead society through the transition ahead. I’d like to play my part.
Governments, companies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are figuring out how to engage citizens in “civic problem solving”. The aim is to derive beneficial strategies, tactics and paradigms that might ameliorate the threats facing the planet and future generations. According to Doug Schuler of the Public Sphere Project, this involves “civic intelligence”, which is a means of bettering society as a whole through interaction, learning, and maintaining knowledge about the world and our place within it.
Research in the natural and social sciences has shown this conception to be too narrow. Intelligence is a property of collectives. For the purposes of this paper, one takes a collective to be some entity distinguished as being non-atomic. Ant colonies, swarms, flocks or herds are examples among the non-human animals. Collectives of people may exhibit superior problem-solving capabilities than any of their most intelligent members. Even individual intelligence may be conceived as the intelligence of the collective of neurons that constitute one person’s brain.
Paulo Garrido, (School of Engineering, Algoritmi Centre and Industrial Electronics Department, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal)
Paulo Garrido, (2009) “Business sustainability and collective intelligence”, Learning Organization, The, Vol. 16 Iss: 3, pp.208 – 222
Jason Liszkiewicz from re-configure.org tells us that “we are the most advanced technology” and that societies are “supercomputers”. He suggests the public needs a “system of world simulation” in which participants can earn “social currency credits” from their mobile devices by engaging in large-scale problem solving and global brainstorming. A form of virtual reality could begin to influence reality, as individuals “collaborate, create, and reinvent” their communities.