Charles Leadbeater is one of the world’s most brilliant minds, when it comes to discussing the theories of global connectedness and the wisdom of the crowds. He wrote a book about it: We-think: mass innovation, not mass production.
We Think explores how the web is changing our world, creating a culture in which more people than ever can participate, share and collaborate, ideas and information. Ideas take life when they are shared. That is why the web is such a potent platform for creativity and innovation.
Internet enables people to organise themselves. It supplies a certain amount of freedom, by giving more people the opportunity to be creative and by allowing knowledge to be set free.
But sharing also brings with it dilemmas, according to Leadbeater. It leaves us more open to abuse and invasions of privacy. Participation is not always a good thing as it can create disorder. Collaboration is sustained and reliable only under conditions, which allow for self-organisation.
Share or control?
Everywhere we turn there will be struggles between people who want to freely share – music, films, ideas, information – and those who want to control this activity, either corporations who want to make money or governments who fear debate and democracy. This conflict between the rising surge of mass collaboration and attempts to retain top down control will be one of the defining battles of our time.
Read more in We think, by Charles Leadbeater