The End of Institutions?
Technology is a tool which can be used for good and for bad.
How do we know which it will be?
How do we know what the consequences will be when we build a gadget, an app or a web platform? And, perhaps more importantly, what the unintended consequences will be?
Today the most powerful organisations are created by young people. Facebook, Google, Youtube etc influence our lives far more than GM, GE etc influenced past generations. These new organisations go straight into your mind; they’re with you 24/7. Past generations could park their Chevy in the street and turn off their TV, but we can no longer do this. We slowly merge with the phones, watches, glasses, clothes and other products and services around us.
This is one of the reasons why we need wisdom in the creation process of new companies. We need wise people in the start-up ecosystems. Today, power is slowly transformed from institutions to start-ups. We cannot tell these companies what to do but we can inspire them.
A start-up which was formed 50 years ago could reach global impact within a couple of decades. A start-up founded five years ago could reach global impact in a couple of years. A start-up which will form in ten years might consequently have global impact within seconds. How can we make sure that these start-ups and their innovations are wise?
Unless we get in there: Into the start-up scene and the start-up ecosystems around us. So if you want to have a say in your future; start our own companies, work with entrepreneurs and visionaries.
I like science and technology. But to me that is only one part of the future. I think we must reclaim the future from the science and technology futurists. There are other futures.
A couple of years ago I included this image in the research proposal for my Masters thesis. It shows roughly how organisational innovation has changed from being the task of one “lone genius” (à la Thomas Edison) to today’s models, where the world is invited to be on your R&D team.
My question here was;
Are the products and services, being born in today’s collaborative, creative initiatives wiser because there were more people involved in the innovation process?
In the end I left this initial research question to something more feasible, but the question still fascinates me.
What do you think?
Another thing that intrigues me with this graph is the question; “What Next?“. What comes after open innovation, crowdsourcing and collaborative webs?
I suggest that we add another, third dimension; a z-axis.
And I hope that we collectively decide to put wisdom on this axis.