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revolution

Resilient Capitalism 2.0

February 7, 2014

While I don’t have much to quibble about in terms of the aspirations of Jeremiah Owyang in SPN’s recent post on the collaborative economy, something’s missing. Networks and inclusivity need to be front and center at The Resilient Summit: Exploring the Rise, Impact and Opportunity of the Collaborative Economy event in Kansas City.

If we’re really witnessing an unraveling of the industrial revolution, I tend to think of it as a return to an earlier balance. Resilience is founded on enabling permanent, motivated, incentivized and sustainable networks to emerge, democratizing the benefits of the new collaborative economy, ensuring it includes the most vulnerable. Otherwise it is capitalism as usual and we will be no more resilient than our present state. Resilience cannot be just the work of big corporations and their consumers, even if the average maker/consumer gets to play across lines in the emergent business models.

We humans have rented, bartered, reused and shared objects and ideas for far longer than capitalism has been in place and much, much longer than the new social media economy can claim impact on. The difference today is we have the technology, awareness and attitude to take it to a revolutionary level (this is where I am in full agreement with Jeremy), cutting across long geographic and cultural differences to bind us even more tightly together than our pre-industrial revolutionary ancestors.

Resilience is in no small part about being prepared, being able to survive shocks and to bounce back. But it often assumes we did not plan ahead, we did not bind ourselves together to prepare, and therefore we have to do the work afterwards. In this reactive model, vulnerable populations pay the biggest price, hence the call for inclusivity. To create resilience for all populations, the work must be done on the front-end and the place to start is building inclusive networks.

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