Our technological and organizational framework is more and more evolving to distributed networks, the new peer to peer relational dynamic becomes responsible for the direct social production of value, both through sharing networks (think Web 2.0) and through commons-oriented social production. (think Wikipedia or Linux) . These two models, respectively individual and community oriented, are creating two distinct business models (respectively the web 2.0 proprietary sharing platforms and the commons-oriented derivative business strategies already evident with open source software), two distinct property models (think Creative Commons vs. GPL), but are also, in one way or another, impacting all businesses and societal institutions. What happens to business strategies, when innovation shifts from individual entrepreneurs funded by capital in exchange for intellectual property, to become social, i.e. an emerging property of the networks themselves? Between the polarity of pure peer production and ‘pure hierarchical’ organizations, many hybrids will emerge, and the lecture will examine some of these adaptative practices by business organizations.
Michel Bauwens is the founder of the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, which documents, researches and promotes P2P alternatives in all fields of human activity. Previously he has been the founder of two dotcom companies in Belgium (E-com, KyberCo), was eBusiness strategy manager for Belgium’s largest telco (Belgacom), and co-produced a 3 hour TV documentary, TechnoCalyps, on the metaphysics of technology. He taught post-graduate MBA courses at ICHEC-St. Louis Brussels, and other courses at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he now lives as a downshifter, practicing peer production and governnance in the P2P Foundation.
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