The social (r)evolution

Today, swarms, tribes and teams of people for every purpose can be quickly created (and dismantled again), they contextually emerge and operate in more or less loose relationships where geographic location of the team members only plays a secondary role. We see this as much in business, than in politics and in people’s ‘private’ spheres.

Swarms almost build spontaneously and very flexibly according to where complex problems, shared desires and needs for solutions arise, which means that our management systems are more and more self regulated by what is called “swarm intelligence”. Swarm intelligence is fundamentally democratic by nature, as an inclusive collaborative decision making & solution finding process, that tends to be much quicker, creative, responsive and more objective than the old school command-and-control model which in turn gets less efficient.

It seems that this radical change in management and organizational models will be beneficial to all of us. It enables co-solving of problems and co-creation of solutions at every level, including co-sharing of benefits, regardless of location and status (building new types of ‘mindset nations” and tribes) where the power of the crowd is rising to the disadvantage of central powers as we still see them often today in politics, public management and business. Distributed communication enables tons of new types of value creation & decision making models that have the potential to be socially more balanced, taking into account the “real social price” of things (Soon to be followed by distributed energy production & consumption systems as well).

Interestingly, I see similarities between what is happening in the social sphere with processes in physical and also biological systems, which both rely on more evenly distributed and self regulated communication & interaction processes too, necessary for their viability.

Human beings are inherently social beings. Without any social contact, we would be worthless, it’s only through the interaction with others that we can value our skills and our emotions. The need or wish for ubiquitously available hyper connectedness to form any types of mutually beneficial tribes & swarms is in the DNA of human beings: Since our origins, we have always been driven by developing better communication and better transportation (which is a form of communication) facilities and systems. And then the Internet came and initiated an unprecedented and dizzying increase in the speed of those developments. Social is human, how else could it be that Facebook got 500 Mio users around the world within a few years ? And the others, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube….etc ?

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin ..etc are on their way to become the user directory, the ‘LDAP’ of the Internet, dynamically updating, connecting, interconnecting, and unleashing tons of new data and new insights in human behavior (that they in turn also influence) – which also raises ethical questions of course. The Internet itself is becoming the operating system of society (of business, politics and the private sphere) where more and more of our old roles and functions in work & society are automated (as much as at each computer OS’ major update there are more and more functions formerly executed by extra software that are then integrated) and new types of roles, functions and skill sets constantly emerge, thereby fundamentally reshaping our management & value creation models (also under the impression of today’s globalized and complex existential challenges).

And all this goes somehow at the speed of light compared to the average development speed in human history…

1 comments
Sylvain Cottong
Sylvain Cottong

I posted the following comment : "Thanks Willi for your comments. It all depends on the level of analysis....;) And the swarms created via social media mustn't necessary behave totally similar to fish swarms for example. But I think tribes are not sufficient to explain social media & networks, tribes tend to have more long term ties between their members whereas swarms are created ad-hoc and on the fly as an immediate answer to arising problems and questions. They can also bee dismantled quickly and painlessly once there is no more need for them. Kind of a flexible democratic collective intelligence." on http://www.facebook.com/socialforesight

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