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The Future of Collaboration: Sharing and Work in the Networked Age

Can the profound problems of social fragmentation and an economic system in crisis be resolved by sharing technologies and collaborating and innovating with online ‘friends’?


The 21st century looks set to be age of online collaboration. While old forms of community and solidarity have waned, leaving us apparently more fragmented and individualised, the social web enables many of us to work, play and organise with others in ways previously unimaginable. Technologies like Flickr, Delicious, Wikipedia and LINUX evidence new means of sharing information and working together. Many suggest these technologies will have far-reaching social implications, and even presage a new form of production and work outside the market system. While traditional free market capitalism is compromised by the worldwide recession, the world wide web is said to promise an exciting alternative. Wired’s Kevin Kelly suggests we are entering a new collectivist epoch, a ‘New Socialism’. Technology guru Howard Rheingold sees these developments as disruptive, and will change the way people ‘meet, mate, work, fight, buy, sell’. Charles Leadbeater, author of We-Think, sees the new means of networked collaboration as presaging a new production model: ‘Mass Innovation rather than Mass Production’.

There are challenges to the optimists, though. What about privacy and authorship, if innovations, ideas and information are open to all? Does ‘sharing’ our photos, ideas, and writing open up egalitarian and creative possibilities, or merely allow multinational corporations to take advantage of free labour and have access to our intellectual property? Cory Doctorow argues we are in danger of becoming IP serfs having to pay to access ideas which should be freely available, and champions a ‘creative commons’ as a bulwark against this trend.

Can and should these new forms of production be regulated? If so, by whom and how? Is new technology really a utopian challenge to the market, or merely more of the same in virtual space? Can the profound problems of social fragmentation and an economic system in crisis be resolved by sharing technologies and collaborating and innovating with online ‘friends’?


Speaker(s):

Michael Bull | talks
Cory Doctorow | talks
Nico Macdonald | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

25 September 2009 at 9:00 am

Duration:

2 hours

 

Venue:

Jubilee Library
Jubilee Street
Brighton and Hove
BN1 1GE


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Organised by:

Institute of Ideas
See other talks organised by Institute of Ideas...

 

Tickets:

£7.50 (£5)

Available from:

http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2009/session_detail/2691/

Additional Information:

http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2009/session_detail/2691/

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