Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Medici Effect, Meet We Think

I cannot wait to read Charles Leadbeater's new book We Think, and neither should you. The full draft is available for download *and* comment here.

It's a short read at just 62 pages, certainly not as weighty as Benkler's Wealth of Networks, but it's yet another example of relevant reading made available to netizens for *free* despite intentions to publish via traditional means - these guys live their message.

There is an intriguing article entitled "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" at TIMES ONLINE, and I really like this excerpt:

Traditionally, workers can be instructed, organised in a division of labour. Participants will not be led and organised in this way: the dominant ethos of the We-Think economy is democratic and egalitarian. These vast communities of participation are led by antiheroic, slight leaders — the likes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and Linus Torvalds of Linux. Such people are the antithesis of the charismatic, harddriving chief executive in the Jack Welch mould.

These collaboratives change the way in which people come up with new ideas. Innovation and creativity were once elite activities undertaken by special people — writers, designers, architects, inventors — in special places — garrets, studies, laboratories. The ideas they dreamt up would flow down pipelines to passive consumers. Now innovation and creativity are becoming mass activities, dispersed across society. Largely self-organising collaborations can unravel the human genome, create a vast encyclopaedia and a complex computer operating system. This is innovation by the masses, not just for the masses.

I call this the new Renaissance - the ultimate rise of the creative class - perhaps I should get to work on my own book soon.
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