The concept of collaboration. Wikinomics by Tapscott and Williams

Henrik Stamm Kristensen

Have you ever heard about Wikinomics? It is a macroeconomic model developed by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams (Wikinomics, 2006). They first talked about this concept six years ago when they exposed the influence that collaboration and mass actions had into corporate structures. Then, in the midst of the economic crisis, they completed this reflexion with another book: Macrowikinomics (2010), which is also an interesting read that I recommend.

This time, Tapscott y Williams talk about how innovation process is expanding thanks to collaboration between people and the support they find in Social Media. We are, the authors state, in a new historical period, in which we must decide if we want to remain wedded to the old paradigms of the industrial era or via innovation and collaboration transform the way we live, work, learn or govern ourselves. Millions of connected citizens are beginning to forge alternative institutions using the web as a platform for innovation and value creation.


Collaboration, development and sustainability

The authors argue that we are witnessing the end of an era, both at an institutional level and from the point of view of financial relations. The authors suggest that a new period based on collaboration to development and sustainability is a real possibility. They look at the social media phenomenon and extend it to a new idea of social production.

All these changes require us to incorporate terms such as transparency, collaboration, sharing, integrity. We are innovating in many different fields with this social model. Thanks to technological devices such as tablets, students are leaving behind an outdated educational model, emerged from industrialization that limited creativity. Patients are sharing data with doctors in crowdsourcing networks. Companies are developing new formulas to produce and distribute news and cultural content.

Even without sharing all the reflections of the authors, I think we should pay attention to the trend of collaboration they describe for a hyperconnected world. It has a lot to do with Open Innovation and it is really interesting for companies. They should be interested in how their customers act and think and even learn about this open and sharing model.

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