complex networks of trust

What is innovation? — it is not so much about having ideas as it is about connecting and nurturing ideas.

“History tells us that innovation is an outcome of a massive collective effort — not just from a narrow group of young white men in California.”Mariana Mazzucato

Markets do not work in isolation from the public sector. Everything is connected. The lone genius does not exist. Networks of trust are what create value for society.

“It is important to stress that we are all connected through a complicated net of trust. It is not as if there is a group of people, the non-experts, who have to trust the experts and the experts do not have to trust anyone. Everyone needs to trust others since human knowledge is a joint effort. The most poisonous effects of social media may not be the spread of disinformation per se but the undermining of trust that comes from anger and division. It is well known that low levels of trust in a society leads to corruption and conflict, but it is easy to forget the very central role that trust plays for knowledge. And knowledge, of course, is essential to the democratic society. As the historian Timothy Snyder has said, post-truth is pre-fascism.” —Why do we resist knowledge?

We are nearing the end of the market era. Society has to move beyond the market and capitalism. New organizational forms are necessary.

“In this paper, we argue for a more ambitious and positive concept of public value which rejects the ‘market failure’ framework and puts public value at the centre of the economy, not in the periphery. Public value, we argue, is created by public sector actors creating and co-shaping markets in line with public purpose. This direction-setting role enables public, private, and civil society sectors to collaborate effectively to solve societal problems.” —Putting Value Creation Back into ‘Public Value’

Government and the market have to  come to a new relationship, where they are each part of a greater networked commons. The nation state cannot stop the climate crisis and neither can the market. Only global networks of trust can work on this complex problem. These networks start with individuals connecting to each other. The world is too complex for elites and hierarchies. All citizens have to be engaged in sensemaking. Everyone should take the advice of Donella Meadows — “We can’t control systems or figure them out. But we can dance with them!”

“Living successfully in a world of systems requires more of us than our ability to calculate. It requires our full humanity – our rationality, our ability to sort out truth from falsehood, our intuition, our compassion, our vision, and our morality.” —Donella Meadows

The emerging networked commons will need an educated and aggressively engaged citizenry to Seek > Sense > Share our knowledge. Trusted knowledge networks are the key to our growth as a society. In a network, we are the sum of our relationships.

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