Thanks to Jacqueline Whyte Appleby for blogging Webcom Toronto today!
Webcom Toronto 2010 started off with a keynote from Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics and, most recently, MacroWikinomics. You’re probably familiar with the premise of Wikinomics: that mass collaboration is changing the way we live, think and work. MacroWikinomics looks more specifically at how businesses can move forward in this new environment, and it was this premise that acted as the jumping off point for Tapscott’s talk. What will the future of the enterprise look like? We’re in an economic slump right now, and it could last decades. It’s no secret that organizations need to change, that a lot of them exist in an outdated form that simply cannot survive without radical restructuring. And that restructuring is already happening, but largely outside traditonal institutions.
Tapscott gave a plethora of examples: while foreign aid is being slashed from government budgets, kids are volunteering abroad more than ever. While record companies make a large share of their profits by suing the people who love their product, plenty of musicians are finding success online. What’s happened? And who’s in charge here? Tapscott laid out four drivers of this change: Web 2.0, the Net Generation, the Social Revolution, and the Economics of Collaboration.
Of course, giants are rarely nimble; the larger an institution is, the harder it is to make the changes necessary to compete in the future. Tapscott laid out “the Five Principles for the Age of Networked Intelligence”:
- Collaboration (which is “not about five people in a meeting room”)
- Openness and Transparency
- Sharing Intellectual Property (“sharing is about capitalism and competition at its best”)
- Interdependence (between the State, the private sector, civil society, and the individual)
The talk ended with a metaphor: the “murmuration” of starlings, when the birds flock together to keep warm and defend against predators. Birds are not smart, but instinctualey work together. Surely, Tapscott argued, capable, communicative humans have the ability. The sessions today are certainlymaking me hopeful!
More to come…