In 50 years
The Victorian era marked the peak of the Industrial Revolution, it also changed the work and earning models for millions of people all over the world. In the 1950’s the “Big Iron” and heavy goods industry underwent a transformation as manufacturing and commerce evolved further into high tech materials, silicone and plastics. Then in the 1980’s the Information industry emerged and quickly began to take over as the major global economic provider.
Every one of these economies has marked quantum leaps in cultural growth, global transformation and change, all inspired and driven by quicker, cheaper, and more efficient methods of production.
Today we have legions of highly skilled unpaid “amateurs”, driven by a common principle – to work and create for no monetary compensation. I like to call it a “peer democracy”. Many internet based companies are building business models based on user-created content. On demand, anywhere anytime, Blogs, Podcasts, audio-video sharing, and open source are part and parcel of the peer democracy. Global products, awareness and expansion come freely from the genius, and capacity of everyday people, who are creating a distributed work force of unprecedented scale. Check out the likes of Wikipedia, the Flickr photo service and YouTube, each of these, and many more provide free access to technology that wasn’t even imaginable 30 years ago. Something simple such as deciding to buy a book today is so much easier thanks to millions of (free) reviews on Amazon.
Google gives you dynamic relevant perspectives which enhance your exploration experience, click-ads make money for Google and consequently adjust the charge for the next advertiser.
It’s all part of “what about” thinking – it’s the next level up from systems thinking. When people have the capacity to learn and query knowledge and fact without fear or reprisal, the world becomes a better place. This is the expanded consciousness from the wisdom of crowds – obtaining more “stuff”, things, products, insight and information from what is already there anyway. It is really simply a case of looking inside and creating opportunity when someone notices something “new”. All we need to do today is to watch TV news to see what happens when oppressive cultures enforce dogma that is 2000 years past it’s “use by date”, where despotic rulers restrict the freedom to think.
True growth comes from looking deep inside things and discovering that everything contains enough latent potential to create things that are often of greater magnitude. A quantum leap in thinking but nevertheless fact.
If we stop to concider the fact that millions of us add to the information universe, there are 100 million or so internet blogs and millions of encyclopaedia contributors. It’s a new culture age – one where everything is shared by peers. Even giants like IBM now build commercial product on the top of free-software.
Classic “olde-worlde” economies were built with the blood and muscle of individuals, and it was simply called “good old-fashioned” labour. People exchanged time and presence – from the farmlands to the factory floor, from the office-office to the home-office, for money. The world has moved from “hard earned cash” to electronic commerce – money has moved from physical exchange (beads, livestock, gold, etc) to the potential exchange – derivatives and “exotics” (bets & promises:-) ).
In the next fifty or so years the concepts of exchange will need to change drastically. The peer-democracy industry is giving rise to a non-monetary economy. An economy that can and will eliminate welfare thinking and poverty among those that subscribe. Poverty, like time, is a construct that has been enforced by too few on too many for far too long. Soon people will have the “right to remain poor” – poverty will simply become the equivalent of a “bohemian” lifestyle choice. A benefit and capacity driven economy will transform the world as we know it. The world will soon become a wondrous place. Each of us benefiting the former and the next.
A peer-democracy driven economy will create things that give a true lifestyle choice to everyone. A world where we all provide for one another because we provide value to someone, somewhere. A world where reputation and skill, not licensed credentials carry weight. A world where energy and passion creates all the empowerment you need to live in wealth and abundance. A world where power comes not from controlling people and things, but through unleashing the immense energy of thought and knowledge and love of humanity.