“We made up these rules, and we can change them”

Now is the time for a serious rethinking of how we organize in our society: from businesses, to schools, and as communities. We need to base all of our organizations on the principle of temporary, negotiated hierarchies. In this way, citizens can freely cooperate and from time to time, as required, collaborate to get things done. This requires a new approach to organizing work, abolishing the separation of employer & employee, as well as the artificial and unequal division between labour and financial capital. Simultaneously, our educational systems need to phase out teachers and curriculum and focus on everyone becoming a better learner.

Top down leadership, including teaching, is no longer necessary in the network era. As Donald Clark notes, “We have fetishised ‘Leadership’, we’re all leaders now, rendering the word meaningless”. I have noted before that smart cities need smart citizens. The smart citizen is connected: to communities of practice, extended social networks, the community, and society. In the network era rigid hierarchies are counter-productive, as they shut off opportunities for serendipity and innovation, which is why self-organization must be the basis of new organizational models. The market era is ending. The emerging network era needs new operating principles. Now is the time to create these.

 

Here is part of an interview discussing the book, Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and The Fall of American Business, by Rana Foroohar:

John Batelle: “Is there any hope of us getting out of this financialized mess?”

Rana Foroohar: “Even though all these things we’ve discussed seem really big and weighty, and they make you a little tired, and a little depressed, I would just say market capitalism is not a system that was handed down in perfect form from the heavens on stone tablets.

We made up these rules, and we can change them. It won’t happen overnight, but we can start the process. There are lots of companies that are starting the process. There are lots of really smart politicians that want to have a real conversation about this stuff.

Increasingly, empowered by technology, there are citizens that are just sharper than ever and want to talk about these issues. I’m hopeful in that sense. In that way, this election cycle, and how disruptive it’s been, actually makes me hopeful that we’re at a change point.”

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