What are we re-defining? From my vantage point, learning fuels the economy and social networks are empowering us to connect in ways that support new paradigms and possibilities. I’ve compiled a few snippets that reveal what myself and my sources may be mulling. The basic idea is that there are “other worlds” where networked learners can solve global issues and form back-up plans while earning alternate currencies.
The DYNDY project encourages us to re-consider how we deal with and create money in our present world where financial, banking, and economic crises result from faulty top-down decision-making processes that serve the few and not the many.
“We are in a situation whereby the incapacity to re-define how we deal with money could resolve in an a severe damage to society as we commonly refer to it: contrary to what happens with information systems, there are no backups with money systems.”
The folks at DYNDY remind us of how we’ve become locked in a one-dimensional “bank-debt system” that obligates us to indefinably pay taxes to a monetary monopoly run by centralized banks. They challenge this paradigm with an “ontology of money” within a “multi-currency system” that operates in a “P2P network where transactions will be transparent”.
Participatory Age of Imagination
New currencies are rising from the ashes of the Industrial Age. The Washington Post wrote about the phenomenon: Monopoly money? Nope, just local currency. These alternatives are stemming from a realization that the monetary system is simply a product of imagination, and we can choose to participate in a different game.
Chuck Blakeman says we’ve shifted into a “Participatory Age” and that because we’re no longer “extensions of machines” we can spend our time however we choose, rather than being obligated to a job.
Learning is the new work, and the process is more stimulating and meaningful in engaging environments. Tom Malone, the founder of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence suggests how work could be more fun, like a video game. It could also be more fulfilling, allowing us to fully connect and learn about our “imaginary worlds”. In fact, this may serve as the best incentive.
Fun, modular work
We are finding that work can be modular, as Chris Brogan points out, sets of tasks within accompanying projects needn’t entangle us into careers or jobs, but into self-organizing teams who complete projects together. These teams would be focused on providing social good and wouldn’t need to be managed by “butt in chair” metrics. Teams would align with “social giving initiatives” and would participate wherever they can connect to the net. This is how we as participants would engage our worlds.
Global Action Networks
These worlds arise from our participation in multi-level networks, or rather, what Steve Waddel calls “Global Action Networks“. GANs are said to embrace entrepreneurship and innovation, providing tools and processes that benefit both its participants and the sectors of business, government, and civil society. Teams self-organize around critical global issues like climate change, poverty, health, education, and human security. These networks connect us as “systemic change agents” who push the boundaries of local, regional, and global networks of power.
With our multiple worlds and multiple currencies, our new forms of money may well involve augmented reality. Some may think of our worlds as games and our currencies as mere points, but with AR technology we’ve enabled “the magic” of print to share stories in “thrilling ways”.
Money as media
Gunther Sonnenfield sees a marketplace emerging where “holistic media ecosystems” are nurtured by activist storytellers. He cites Rohit Bhargava’s piece regarding journalism’s rise as an entrepreneurial practice and envisions a “transmedia movement” that propagates the story elements of an extended narrative concerning land rights. Land can be linked to money, each holding stories within a “participatory narrative” concerning the “other world” where we transcend limiting systems.
Behind every information architecture, there is said to be a “power structure” and according to Stowe Boyd, the internet generation could write a “New Constitution” for a virtual Eighth Continent where we all could defect to (grokking Jeff Jarvis’ idea). @shiftctrlesc encourages us to remember how Egyptians re-defined the codes of their constitution after overthrowing Mubarak’s regime. Could the Eighth Continent be the land we seek? The global marketplace we need to exchange lessons and form our networked narratives?
How this may all come about is uncertain to me, but to put it simply, I’m seeing a shift toward participatory lifelong learning in “Global Action Networks” that is focused around alternative worlds, or quite possibly an Eighth Continent. Participants in these networks would exchange AR-currencies earned from shared lessons, stories, and projects. The development would be fun, fulfilling, and potentially revolutionary.