I have a group project.
Anthony D. Williams, my co-author of Wikinomics, and I are writing a new book about rebuilding the world for an age of networked intelligence. We need to redesign all of our institutions for the global, knowledge economy.
The global economic crisis is a wakeup call to the world. Centerpieces of the industrial economy are at the end of their life cycle. American newspapers are beginning to tumble. Much of the auto industry, once the epitome of the North American industrial economy, is insolvent. Similar upheaval afflicts other sectors — from the universities and science, to entertainment and media, to government and democracy. The financial services industry doesn’t need just a fresh infusion of capital or some new regulations; it needs a whole new operating model.
In the midst of this turmoil one challenge rises above all others: Creating a green energy grid and a reindustrialization of the planet for sustainability.
We need to rethink and rebuild many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades — in some cases centuries — but are no longer up to the task.
Thanks to the new web, for the first time in human history the peoples of the world can build a global movement — where everyone is on the same side.
Which is why Anthony and I believe these challenges, particularly global warming, can be overcome. While the burning platform of the global economy is propelling change, there are also new opportunities, driven by Web 2.0, offering a global platform for collaboration and an unprecedented level of connectivity. We are transitioning to a new age, where wealth creation, social development and a sustainable future flows from knowledge – an asset more widely and freely available than ever before. The distribution of real power, and with it formal power, is changing.
The current financial crisis and recession will be remembered as a watershed, dividing the old from the new. Many of the ideas and concepts of the knowledge age were ideas in waiting; waiting for a new medium of communications to network human intelligence on a global basis; waiting for a new generation of digital natives for whom a new paradigm was like the air; and waiting for a global economic convulsion to shock the world from its determination to cling to the old.
This is what the book is about, and our tentative title is Rebuilding the World. But we think the wisdom of the crowd could co better, both in the content and in the title. What advice do you have? Soon we’ll unveil a contest with prizes.