Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Applications to the executive group are open!

As mentioned in the introductory lecture as well as at today's "checkpoint", we will form a separate, special group called "the executive group" before all the other project group are formed. The project groups will be formed after the third seminar (Oct 8), and they will be announced at the fourth and last seminar (Oct 13).

The executive group will however not work project idea the relates to this year's theme (digital commons/the sharing economy) during the project phase, but will instead be a "project management team" and an interface between the teachers (Daniel and Malin) and the project groups.

The executive group will perform a number of tasks, some of which are mandatory and some of which are optional:

- One person will lead the executive group and have the overarching responsibility for making sure the the executive group performs and for communicating with the teachers.
- One person will have the overarching responsibility for producing the book, "The Future of the Digital Commons and the Sharing Economy".
- One persons will have the overarching responsibility for producing the final presentation/show in December.
- One person will have the overarching responsibility for the Future of Media project website (separate from the course website/blogs)
- Marketing/sponsorship/advertising (optional)

- Whatever else you can think about (optional)

The persons responsible for the final presentation and the website will also be jointly responsible for collecting all materials produced by the project groups and publish it on the course's web archive - perhaps including redesigning or updating the archive itself). 

It is usually quite popular to be part of the executive group and to make use of practical media technological skill that students have acquired over the years. You therefore have to apply for a position in the executive group. Send your application (1-2 pages) to Daniel (pargman at kth.se) and Malin (picha at kth.se) by mail. The deadline is Friday, October 3 at 15.00. Please specify what task or tasks (above) you are especially interested in/suited for and list relevant experiences and other reasons, arguments and supporting information that you would like to emphasize in your application. The executive group usually consists of around 5 persons and some positions are usually more popular than others.

Part of the responsibilities of all members of the executive group is to participate in regular lunch/work meetings (usually every second or third week) together with the teachers and with the project group leaders during the project phase (October - December).

For the first time we will this year allow also non-Swedish-speakning students to apply. We have earlier made the judgement call that it's an advantage to also speak Swedish (if you need to work things out with people outside of the course) but we think that might not actually be necessary - so everyone is welcome to apply.

NOTE on grades: As apart from all other project groups, responsibilities will be divided/negotiated individually in the executive group and grades will be set individually for members of the executive group (i.e. not all members of the executive group will necessarily get the same grades). Even though the work in the executive group can be very hectic at times (near deadlines), we still feel that it does perhaps not demand the same work effort as being part of an ambitious project group. The default grade for members of the executive group is therefore grade B or a C (assuming that you do "deliver", i.e. that there is a successful final presentation in December, that we each do get a printed book at the end of the course etc.). That means that members of the executive group have to perform outstanding work in order to attain the highest possible grade in the course (A). This was however the case last year and most (but not all) students in the executive group did get the grade A in the course.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lecture 12 - Wed Oct 1 (10-12) Teigland

Time & Place: Wednesday October 1 at 10-12 in D2.

GuestRobin Teigland, Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan).

Title: The Sharing Economy and Collaborative Consumption 

Talk: This lecture will discuss the Sharing Economy and Collaborative Consumption from a number of perspectives, e.g., underlying drivers, emerging business models, positive and negative impacts on society, as well as place it within the context of the Third Industrial Revolution.

AboutRobin Teigland is Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and Program Director for SSE's PhD Program in Business Administration. Robin's research interests reside at the intersection of strategy, technology, and entrepreneurship and focus on how the internet, social media, virtual worlds (3D internet), and other emerging technologies such as 3D printing enable communities to create value outside of a firm’s traditional boundaries as well as challenge long-standing institutional structures. Robin was nominated one of the Global Top 50 Business Professors on Twitter (@robinteigland) in 2013 and 2014. In her free time, she loves to SUP (stand up paddle) on her Von Orange board in the Stockholm archipelago. For more information, see www.knowledgenetworking.org.

LiteraturePlease take a look at these articles (available in Bilda):
- Benkler, Y. (2002). Coase's Penguin, or, Linux and" The Nature of the Firm". Yale Law Journal, 369-446.
- Botsman, R., & Rogers, R. (2010). Beyond zipcar: Collaborative consumption. Harvard Business Review, 88(10), 30.
- Keymolen, E. (2013). Trust and technology in collaborative consumption. Why it is not just about you and me. Bridging distances in technology and regulation, 135.
- You are furthermore encouraged to read about the benefits and drawbacks of the Sharing Economy and Collaborative Consumption through doing your own online search for relevant articles.

Lecture 11 - Wed Oct 1 (8-10) Mokka

Time & Place: Wednesday October 1 at 8-10 in B1.

GuestRoope Mokka, Founder of the think tank Demos Helsinki.

Title: Smartups – sharing economy as part of a next wave of startups 

Talk: We will explore why some of the biggest startups currently are actually "smartups" and what kind of opportunities the intersection of material and physical world entails. Our hypothesis is that the scarcity of natural resources together with the internet of things will change the way we live, move about and eat. We'll, it will change pretty much everything.

AboutRoope Mokka is an expert on societal change and innovation. He specialises in helping organisations weather great changes in the world around them, and his work often involves cross-sector changes that influence the daily lives of individuals.
Roope has 15 years of experience working internationally with hundreds of organisations as a strategic-level advisor on future technologies, markets, and societies, and has authored and co-authored more than ten publications from Finland’s country brand (2010) to the world’s first report on mobile games (2001).

- See Airbnb's recent sustainability report (infographic) 
- Please also have a look at Demos Helsinki's pre-release "Smartup Manifesto" report (available in Bilda)

Lecture 10 - Tue Sept 30 (10-12) Pargman

Time & Place: Tuesday September 30 at 10-12 in D2.

GuestDaniel Pargman

Title: Checkpoint & looking forward towards the second half of the course

Talk: This is week five out of the seven weeks long start-up phase of the course. Two weeks from now you will be divided into the project groups you will work with for the rest of the term. 

- Please read the course PM. It was handed out on paper last week and is also available in Bilda. Think about any questions you might have and bring them to the lecture.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

How should student project groups be put together?

I promised to post some information about how we put student project groups together in this course as well as my reasoning behind this.

This is something will actually happen pretty soon in the course - you will choose topics and project groups two weeks from now, so this text that I have written might be of interest to you.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Changes in the schedule next week

There are two changes in the schedule next week:

1) It is way to early to have a new brainstorming seminar next week. We need some more time to listen to new guests and to come up with new topics. The seminar om Monday (Sept 29 at 10-12) has been moved to the following week (Wednesday October 8 at 8-10).

2) The lecture on Monday (Sept 29 at 8-10) has been moved to Wednesday Oct 1 at 8-10. That means we will have two lectures in a row on Wednesday next week.

These changes should be propagated in the KTH scheduling systems!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cancelled lectures this week (Wed + Thu)

Our guest could not make it and our Thursday lecture this week was unfortunately cancelled (or will in the best case moved to a later point in time).

Unfortunately my son has fallen sick and I have to stay home until his grandparents can come and take care of him today (Wednesday). That means that also today's lecture is cancelled - since I was supposed to give that lecture.

Sorry about that!

Do note that there will be a few more changes to the schedule. The time between yesterday's brainstorming seminar and the next brainstorming seminar has to be longer than one week. The seminar next week (Mon Sept 29) will thus be moved to the week after. I will get back to you as soon as we have found another time slot for that seminar sometime during week 41 (Mon Oct 6 - Fri Oct 10).


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lecture 9 - Mon Sept 22 (10-12) Alexanderson

Time & Place: Monday September 22 at 10-12 in lecture hall M3.

Guest lecturer: Kristina Alexanderson, project leader at Creative Commons Sverige and manager for the ”Internet in the school” project at .SE (The Internet Infrastructure Foundation)

Title: Creative Commons: On leading a creative community with yourself as a ”guinea pig” 

Talk: Kristina will talk about the Creative Commons (CC) based on her work with - and the function of - the CC licenses at .SE. She will also discuss how she uses the Creative Commons.

AboutKristina Alexanderson has worked at .SE since 2010 and is responsible for the school competition ”The Web Star” (http://www.webbstjarnan.se) and the journey from a small competition to the largest web publishing competition for Swedish schools. Kristina has been active in Creative Commons Sverige since 2010 and is project manage of CC Sverige since the beginning of 2014


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seminar 2 instructions (Tue Sept 23)

Our next seminar will be held Tuesday morning (10-12 in B22 and B23) Here are the instructions for how to prepare for that seminar:

1) Read through all the 23 future-related topics in the preceding blog post. We have harvested these topics from your texts, from our guest lectures and from literature. Some topics are very brief, other topics are slightly more elaborated.

2) "VOTE" HERE for your three favorite topics. These are the topics you could imagine yourself working with during the project phase, or, that you at least would like another group to work with during the project phase. Your vote is a vote on interesting topics - not a pledge of yours as to what you want/will work on during the project phase. NOTE: perhaps we were better at formulating certain topics than others - but your task is to see through and beyond the short descriptions and imagine what these topics could be developed into!

3a). Preferably: You are hopefully inspired by several of the topics, but you realize that we have missed an excellent topic that really should have been on this list. Invent a title and write a short text about that topic (50-200 words) and bring it on paper to the seminar on Tuesday. You can use bullets to make you idea/topic more clear. Don't forget to write your name on the paper!

3b) Otherwise: If you can't think of a new topic, take one of the 21 existing topics and "develop" or specify it further. Take the topic one step further ("to the next level") and bring it on paper (50-200 words) to the seminar on Thursday. Don't forget to write your name on the paper!

4) NOTE: We all meet in the biggest of the two seminar room for initial information before we divide into smaller groups. Please be on time! Late arrivals will have fewer options!

Seminar 2 topics

Please see the blog post with the instructions for seminar 2.

Do note that many of the topics below are relatively abstract. It's possible to use the formulation below as a starting point from which to delve deeper and choose to explore a much smaller sub-problem. One angle could for example be to ask what opportunities there are for innovative sharing services (commercial or non-commercial) and go for it by exploring one specific idea within that space.

  1. Commons lessons. Physical commons have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years. What are the physical-world lessons learned and how can they be leveraged/implemented in the 21st century digital arena?
  2. Digital commons lessons. Physical resources are “rival” - only one person can eat an apple. Digital resources are “non-rival” - my use of a digital resource does not diminish that resource and it might even be the case that information and knowledge is worth more when more people use it. What are the implications for the future of information, knowledge and culture on the Internet? What is possible to do online/with digital resources in the future that could not even be imagined before?
  3. The future of the intellectual/creative commons (CC). What is the future of copyrights vs the future of sharing and of the commons? The electric car company Tesla released all their patents only this summer (search for “tesla patents release”) to grow the pie rather than to protect their own share of a much smaller pie. Is this an anomaly or a harbinger of things to be? 
  4. Open source and/or Wikipedia lessons. Open source software and Wikipedia are the poster children of the digital commons. What are the most important lessons that can be learned from their successes? How could this be leveraged to further support the creation of digital commons and/or a sharing economy?
  5. Sharing motivations. Why do people share? For the noble good, for making some extra cash for myself, from dire need or for some other reason (or combination of reasons)? What does this imply for the future of sharing?
  6. The sharing generation. Generation Y (millennials) is said to be the sharing generation. Why? What can we understand about the future of sharing by looking more closely at the sharing generation? Go out and explore!
  7. Share or die. Decreased affluence will be the big driver behind the sharing economy. Use countries in southern Europe that has fallen on hard times as a template and invent ways of leveraging the digital commons and the sharing economy to improve the lives of formerly-affluent Europeans. Perhaps we urgently need to build trust and learn to cooperate to increase our resilience against present or future economic hardship?
  8. 3D society. 3D-printers (and makerspaces and Fab labs etc.) will change society forever. Explore and explain how by finding, talking and participating with the Stockholm “scene”. Choose to explore the positive effects (Rifkin) and/or possible negative effects (printing guns and drugs, who has control over the printers or of the equivalent of the “ink”).
  9. A future sharing society. If today’s services are only precursors to a future sharing society, envision what that society looks like? If the sharing economy reaches a tipping point/critical mass, how could that “change everything”?
  10. Trust and reputation systems. For sharing to be able to work, there has to be (justified) trust between strangers. So who should you trust? How do state-of-the-art reputation systems encourage and ensure the creation of “social capital” and mutual trust today (and punish free riders and cheaters)? How could such systems be further developed to support the digital commons and the sharing economy of tomorrow?
  11. The future of discrimination. How will the sharing economy create a worse society for those who belong to minorities of different kinds - including ethnic minorities and those who are too poor to consume (or even to connect online)? 
  12. A sustainable sharing economy? What is the relationship between sustainability and the sharing economy? How can a future sharing economy be shaped to be maximally sustainable? 
  13. The end of big business. The sharing economy will undermine and topple some (or many?) of the giants of the 20th century industrial economy. Explore and explain how. Will collaborative consumption ruin old business structures and create a new economic system?
  14. The future of work. What will happen to work (good jobs, bad jobs, no jobs) if the sharing economy expands? Will sharing create a better society for all or will it undermine safety and security in the job market, e.g. taxi drivers starting to work for Uber but with lower salaries)? What are the effects of the current sharing economy on job creation and the job market?
  15. The future of crowdwork. Crowdwork is a powerful idea. Some work is done by voluneers for free (Wikipedia, Foldit), other work is done for profit (Amazon Mechanical Turk). What is the future of crowdwork? For for-profit crowdwork, how can such ideas be leveraged to be beneficial for employers and service providers (e.g. Amazon) as well as for employees?
  16. Digital commons infrastructure. What are the nuts and bolts in terms of technical systems that provide us with access to the commons? Delve into the internet, specialized tools and new services that underpins the digital commons
  17. The future of libraries. Libraries have been around for a long time and are part of the industrial-era state-supported commons. What is the future of libraries in a digital world? 
  18. The future of Wikipedia? What is the future of knowledge and the future of the creation of a knowledge commons on the Internet (e.g. Wikipedia)? What are the pros and cons of Wikipedia compared to the alternatives and how can Wikipedia be developed?
  19. The future of learning? What is the future of learning and the future of universities in an age of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the Internet? What are the pros and cons of MOOCs compared to the alternatives?
  20. The future of (shared) transportation. What sharing solutions, companies and services are “out there” for sharing transportation (sharing cars, sharing bicycles, making public transportation better)? How can sharing transportation be improved in the future?
  21. The future of (shared) spaces. What sharing solutions, companies and services are “out there” for sharing spaces (workspaces, unused rooms or homes, public buildings or public spaces like parks, streets and plazas etc.)? How can the sharing of space be improved in the future?
  22. The future of (shared) stuff. What sharing solutions, companies and services are “out there” for sharing stuff (drills, surf boards, kayaks or motor boats, supercomputers). How can sharing stuff be improved in the future?
  23. The future of (shared) time. What sharing solutions, companies and services are “out there” for sharing time (time banks, delivery services, babysitting, neighborhood help)? How can the sharing of time be improved in the future?

Attendance lists online

We have created a Google spreadsheet with info about attendance. Do check that it looks ok. If there is a problem, do get in touch with Malin to figure out how to solve it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lecture 8 - Fri Sept 19 (10-12) Lampinen

Time & Place: Friday September 19 at 10-12 in lecture hall D2.

Guest lecturer: Airi Lampinen, Postdoctoral Researcher at Mobile Life Centre, Stockholm University 

Title: Social Interaction in the Sharing Economy 

Talk: Many existing and emerging online systems allow people to connect with strangers to coordinate the exchange of goods and favors. These exchanges tend to necessitate negotiations over interpersonal boundaries. This talk will discuss social interaction that takes place in the context of the so-called sharing economy. The talk will present empirical studies with people who engage with Airbnb, Couchsurfing, and Sharetribe. Moreover, it will address design implications stemming from a deepened understanding of user practices, including account sharing and efforts to avoid indebtedness.

About: Airi works as a postdoctoral researcher at Mobile Life Centre, Stockholm University. Previously, she has been a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's School of Information and a research intern at Microsoft Research New England. Her research is focused on interpersonal boundary regulation in networked settings, such as the sharing economy and social network services. Her qualifications include a PhD in social psychology from University of Helsinki and a BSc (Eng.) from Aalto University's interdisciplinary Information Networks degree programme

Lampinen, A. (2014) Account Sharing in the Context of Networked Hospitality Exchange. CSCW’14 Proceedings of the ACM 2014 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. ACM New York, NY, USA.
- Molz, J. G. (2014). Toward a network hospitality. First Monday, 19(3). 
- Lampinen, A., Lehtinen, V., Cheshire, C., & Suhonen, E. (2013) Indebtedness and reciprocity in local online exchange. CSCW’13 Proceedings of the ACM 2013 conference on Computer supported cooperative work. ACM New York, NY, USA.

- Collaborative Economy Honeycomb

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lecture 7 - Tue Sept 17 (8-10) - Ainali

Time & Place: Wednesday September 17 at 8-10 in E2.

Guest: Jan Ainail, CEO of Wikimedia Sverige.

Title: Collecting the sum of all human knowledge - why and how? 

Talk: Looking at the Wikimedia community and the ways that people collaborate on and off the Internet, can we say something about why it seem to be working fairly well? What can be said about the tools that are used and the culture on Wikipedia taking into account that it is one of the ten most visited websites in the world? Jan will take a look at and explain some of the inner workings that has made Wikipedia what it is and give a glimpse of what will happen in the future.

AboutJan Ainali is the CEO of Wikimedia Sverige. He started editing Wikipedia in 2006 and was part of founding Wikimedia Sverige in 2007. Jan has been an administrator on Wikipedia and is also responsible for @Riksdagwikiedit on Twitter - a service that sends out a tweets when someone edits Wikipedia from the Swedish Parliament without first logging in.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lecture 6 - Tue Sept 16 (9-11) - visit to Dieselverkstaden

Time & Place: Tuesday September 16 at 09-11 in Dieselverkstaden bibliotek/library. (We’ll meet up in the lobby).

Getting there: The suggested route is to take the 8.40 tram (Saltsjöbanana) from Slussen to Sickla (2 stations). There are also a number of busses you can take to from Slussen to the bus station "Sickla bro". Walk south from the station to Marcusplatsen 17. The entrance to the library is pretty much exactly where it says "Klätterverket" on this map (just north of the park).

HostsMargareta Swanelid (CEO), Kalle Molin (librarian), Per Perstrand (librarian) and Anna Lundmark (librarian) at Dieselverkstadens bibliotek, Nacka.

Title: Dieselverkstadens bibliotek AB: A public living room in a digital age 

Talk: We will begin with showing you our library and resources, describing our public activities.  We’ll go through the history behind our library and the political visions that made it possible to start the company Dieselverkstadens bibliotek as a private actor in a municipal context. We will describe how we differ from a traditional public library in the way we organize, and how our way of thinking and working influence the way we do things for the public. Digital media is an integral part of our public library, and we will show and discuss the e-media we use, including the library web-page and social media. Finally we will talk about advantages with physical libraries, why they should be protected and developed, and the role libraries and librarians play in today’s society that won’t be replaced by resources and large amounts of information on the Internet.

AboutDieselverkstadens bibliotek AB started in 2002 and is Sweden’s first private public library. It is currently running 3 physical libraries in Nacka municipality.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Instructions for Seminar 1

We will have our first seminar next week on Monday (Sept 15 at 8-10). We have two lecture halls that are not near each other, so everybody in class with a family name that starts with the letters A-J should go to D41 and everyone with a family name that starts with the letter K-Å should go to K42. 

Here are the instructions for the seminar.
1) Read the assigned literature (5 different texts, all in all around 50-60 pages). 
2) Prepare answers to the questions below and be ready to discuss your answers in class. Do note that you might personally be asked about your proposed answer to any of the questions below. We thus suggest that you prepare for the seminar by not just reading the texts, but by also taking down some notes to the questions below.

Botsman & Roo (2010), "What is mine is yours: How collaborative consumption is changing the way we live" (available in Bilda/Documents).
  • What are the most important factors behind "collaborative consumption" according to Botsman & Roo? Why for example is it happening right now (instead of for example a decade or two ago)?
  • What products and services have a higher potential to be shared/redistributed?
  • The authors seem to suggest that the economic developments during the last 50 years are an anomaly and that sharing and collaboration (and, by extrapolation, collaborative consumption) is more "natural". Do you agree?
  • Can collaborative consumption work everyone or does it only work (or work especially well) in some places, at some times and in some societies? If so, which and why?
Rifkin (2014), "The zero marginal cost society: The Internet of things, the collaborative commons, and the eclipse of capitalism"  (available in Bilda/Documents).
  • 3D printing (and Fab Labs and the maker movement); is it (in your opinion) a hype or a force that will reshape our societies forever?
  • Rifkin sees information as the crucial factor in decreasing the costs of producing just about anything and he imagines we are entering an age of abundance. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  • Is "3D printing" and "sustainability" best friends, on speaking terms or worst enemies (i.e. can they be combined or not)?
  • Is the sharing economy a scam for the benefit of the haves (tech entrepreneurs, investors etc.) but to the detriment of the have-nots ("the 99%")?
  • Discrimination - a) won't happen, b) is an unfortunate side effect we'll have to battle or c) a fact of life?
  • What is Shirky’s main point?
  • What are the implications in terms of "the old industrial" vs "the new networked" information economy, i.e. for example for Detroit building cars compared for Uber providing rides? Will we spend more or less money on transportation in the future (do we spend more less money on Spotify today compared to buying CDs in the past)?
  • Do you agree with him? Why or why not?
Finally, have a look at the book "The wealth of the commons". There are 73 short chapters in the book and almost all of them are available online. Freely choose one chapter that you think sounds interesting and read it!

3) Summarise the main idea in the chapter you chose in around 200 words (half a page of text). Also select the one most interesting and insightful thought, idea, question or reflection - based on your reading of these five texts above or on previous readings and lectures in the course. Please write another 200 words (half a page of text - 150-200 words are also ok), print your text on paper and bring it to the seminar. Remember to write your name on the paper as your submission is proof of your attendance at the seminar! 

Results from previous years available online

One student asked about the results/output from previous years' courses. The results of the three previous years of courses (Future of Radio 2011, Future of Magazines 2012, Future of News 2013) - including for example the book - can be found online in the Future of Media archive.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lecture 5 - Wed Sept 10 (8-10) - Gradin Franzén

Time & Place: Wednesday September 10 at 8-10 in lecture hall E2.

Guest lecturerChristofer Gradin Franzén, Psychologist and master of science business and economics

Title: Co-creating the financial, social and psychological space for a paradigm shift 

Talk: Hoffice is a pop-up workspace for social entrepreneurs and activists. Its aim is to facilitate the power of the collective as support for individual ventures. Workspaces are set up in individual members homes and a facebook group is used to invite others to join in. A methodology inspired by action research has been developed with the intention of infusing the concept with a spirit of continous development. Hoffice participants experiment with various practices aimed at creating a work environment that supports efficiency, creativity, a healthy balance between work and recovery as well as important new social connections. Attending a hoffice event is always free of cost. Thus social entrepreneurs and activists working for a paradigm change gain access to a vibrant and focus inducing workplace, expanding their networks while they cut down on the money spend on having access to some kind of workspace

AboutChristofers work revolve around psychological perspectives on sustainabilty and sustainability perspectives on psychology. He works primarily with various aspects of how to facilitate and spread processes associated with collective intelligence. For the past 2 years this has manifested in the development of the game based psycological process tool, Cohero.

- Please read the Wikipedia article on Participatory action research.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lecture 4 - Tue Sept 9 (15-17) Silberman

Time & Place: Tue September 9 at 15-17 in lecture hall V3

Guest lecturerSix Silberman, Co-maintainer, Turkopticon; PhD student, Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine

Title: Crowd work and the 'sharing economy': a non-exuberant introduction to the commons

Crowd work
+ What is crowd work?
+ What are some different models of crowd work?
+ What is Mechanical Turk?
+ Who works on Mechanical Turk and why?
+ What is Turkopticon and why does it exist?
+ What is at stake in serious discussions of the 'future of crowd work'?

'Sharing' economy
+ What is the 'sharing' economy?
+ What do people like about it?
+ Who does the work in the 'sharing' economy?
+ What are some of the obvious difficulties (e.g., threatening livelihoods and quality of service in existing regulated industries)?
+ What are some of the more subtle critiques (e.g., increasing precarity)?
+ What might a 'real' sharing economy look like?

About: With co-founder Lilly Irani, moderators Taintturk, Anne M, rubyr, and Tribune, and the crowd worker community, Six helps maintain Turkopticon, a web service for workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform. With Bill Tomlinson, Bonnie Nardi, Lisa Nathan, Maria Håkansson, Eric Baumer, Daniel Pargman, and other collaborators, he also works to contribute to actionable understandings of "sustainability" and "unsustainability" among human-computer interaction researchers.

Literature"Ethics and tactics of professional crowdwork" (Silberman, Irani, and Ross, 2010) gives a brief introduction to Mechanical Turk and the challenges workers face. And it's short, written for a general audience, and it has pictures. Also please have a look at this paper (which Peter Jakobsson also recommended for his lecture):
- Irani, L. (2013). The cultural work of microwork. New Media & Society, 1461444813511926 (Published online but not yet in print).


Friday, September 5, 2014

Some important changes in next week's schedule

It is unfortunate but due to me falling ill, you have not been given proper materials and instructions for the seminar that was supposed to happen this coming Monday (Sept 8 at 15-17).

The seminar is thus postponed to the following week. Do note that we already have four planned activities that week (Mon Sept 15 and Fri Sept 19), so will will "convert" a lecture into a seminar. I will get back when we have changed the lecture hall into seminar rooms as well as directly after the weekend with proper reading materials and instructions for the seminar itself. Do note that this does NOT affect the lecture on Monday in any way - we will still meet on Monday (Sept 8) at 13-15 i E3!

There is however one more change in the schedule next week. We will have a guest who will lecture remotely from California. Due to the 9-hour difference in time zones, we have booked a 15-17 time slot for him and the lecture on Tuesday is thus moved from 8-10 in the morning to 15-17 in the afternoon instead. I can promise you that it will be totally worth it because this guy has a lot to tell us. More information to follow!


Lecture 3 - Mon Sept 8 (13-15) - Pargman

Time & Place: Mon September 8 at 13-15 in lecture hall E3

Guest lecturerDaniel Pargman, KTH/CSC/Media Technology and Interaction Design.

Title: The digital commons, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption

TalkDaniel will, based on reading a bunch of books about these topics in preparation for the course, discuss how we can understand these topics and the theme of this year's course on The Future of Media.

AboutDaniel Pargman is an assistant professor at the Department of Media Technology and Interaction Design (MID) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He holds a PhD in communication with a specialization in Human-Machine Interaction. He is the team leader of the MID for Sustainability (MID4S) research team, a member of the management team at the interdisciplinary KTH Centre for Sustainable Communications (CESC) as well as a representative in the KTH Sustainability Council (KTH-S). His academic blog can be found at: http://danielpargman.blogspot.com

Literature: TBA

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Essay 1 - instructions

You have to write an individual essay twice during the course; one in the beginning and one more right when the course ends. Writing these essays are compulsory. Below are the instructions for the first essay.

Please download and use the template that is available in Bilda (Bilda/DM2571 fmed14/Documents/130908 FoM essay 1) when you write your text. Use your family name to name your file ("Pargman essay 1") and upload it to the "drop box" that has been created exclusively for this purpose in Bilda (see "contents"). Do note that you can only upload the file formats .doc, .docx (MS Word) or .pdf to the drop box.

If you have any practical or other questions about this task, please ask them in the form of a comment to this blog post so that others can see the question and the answer!

Deadline for handing in the essay is Monday Sept 8 at 13.00 (just before the Monday lecture). I'm sorry for the delay in handing out the instructions, but, this task is meant to be neither comprehensive nor especially time-consuming.


1A. "Expectations and apprehensions". 
This is the 12th time the course is given. Some students have previously seen one or several final presentations and have furthermore (perhaps) talked with older students about the course - while others know very little beyond the course introduction that was given at the beginning of the week. In both of these cases, it is important for us teachers to avoid misunderstandings, to adapt the course according to the participants' preferences (where possible) and to explain why that is impossible in other instances.

Please write 200-600 words (0.5 - 1.5 pages) about your hopes and expectations, or your fears and apprehensions about the course as it now starts - based on whatever information you have available right at this moment. Perhaps you have opinions about the form or the content of the course that you would like to voice?

1B. "My relationship to the digital commons, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption". 
Please write 400-1000 words (1 - 2.5 pages) about your personal relationship to the theme of this year's course. What if anything does the digital commons, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption mean to you? Have you or do you use any services that belong to these categories? If so, which and in what context? If you have no idea of what the digital commons and the sharing economy is about then read this short article from The Economist (2013), "The rise of the sharing economy", have a look at these Ted talks or check out this absurdly long directory with 1000's of companies that are active in this area. If you haven't used any such services, why do you think that is? Have your habits changed lately or at some earlier point in your life*?  Have you ever been involved in not just consuming but also in creating and sharing "resources" of some kind on the internet (or off the internet)? Are there already at this point some issues that you find particularly interesting and that you would like to immerse yourself in (or suggest that someone else should immerse themselves in) during the project phase of the course?

*I (Daniel) for example habitually check Airbnb before I search for a hotel if I am travelling somewhere these days... 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lecture 2 - Fri Sept 5 (08-10) - Jakobsson

Time & Place: Fri September 5 at 08-10 in lecture hall Q2

Guest lecturerPeter Jakobsson, Ph.D. in Media and Communication, Södertörn University.

Title: Contested cultural commons: a political-economy perspective

TalkFor a long time we have relied on the market and the state to provide us with cultural goods and opportunities for cultural participation. Networked digital and social media has however led to an increase in cultural production and cultural participation within the sphere of civil society. This talk discussess the relationship between the market, the state and civil society and analyses the interactions between online media companies such as Google, public service institutions, archives and museums, and the online digital commons.

AboutPeter had studied Media Technology at KTH and took the course "Future of Media" in 2004 (that year's theme: "Future of books/Books of the future"). Peter defended his Ph.D. thesis, "Öppenhetsindustrin" ["The openness industry"] (pdf file), two years ago.

- Fish, A., & Srinivasan, R. (2012). Digital labor is the new killer app. New Media & Society, 14(1), 137-152.
Fuchs, C. (2011). A contribution to the critique of the political economy of Google. Fast Capitalism, 8(1), 1-24.
- Irani, L. (2013). The cultural work of microwork. New Media & Society, 1461444813511926 (Published online but not yet in print).

Comment: I hope you can access all the three texts above. Remember that some academic texts that you cannot access from home can be accessed on campus (since you are on the KTH network and KTH pays royalties to publishers).

Further readings. Peter also recommends the following chapters from Yochai Benkler's 2006 book "The wealth of networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom (Yale University Press):
- Chapter 2, "The networked information economy"
- Chapter 3, "Peer production and sharing"
- Chapter 4, "The economics of social production"

Comment: Benker has good ideas but his writing style is cumbersome. Do your best!

Tomorrow's lecture (Thu Sept 4) postponed!

I came down with a seriously annoying cold and missed yesterday's lecture. I am unfortunately still not well and will therefore have to cancel the lecture I was supposed to give in the course tomorrow.

In short: my nose and my voice is not up to lecturing tomorrow (Thu) and I will reschedule the lecture to the beginning of next week instead.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

About this year's course theme/in preparation for Thursday's lecture

Rachel Botsman is of the early persons who identified the trend and who coined the term "collaborative consumption". Her "breakthrough" was the book she wrote together with Roo Rogers in 2010, "What is mine is yours: The rise of collaborative consumption" and the Ted talk she gave the same year, "The case for collaborative consumption".

You should prepare for the lecture by listening to her Ted talk as well as to Lisa Gansky's Ted talk. I wasn't aware of it but I note that Botsman has since given another Ted talk. I haven't seen it yet but it's probably a good idea to have a look also at that talk (given two years after the first talk).

Please prepare for the Thursday lecture and for this year's theme in the course "Future of Media" by watching the following movies/Ted talks. Feel free to take down notes or questions and bring them to the lecture on Thursday:

Rachel Botsman, "The case for collaborative consumption" (2010, 16 minutes)
Lisa Gansky, "The future of business is "the mesh"" (2011, 14 minutes)
Rachel Botsman, "The currency of the new economy is trust" (2012, 19 minutes)

For your interest and as a bonus, this is what I wrote on my academic blog after I read Botsman and Roo's book:

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers' book "What's mine is yours: How collaborative consumption is changing the way we live" (2010) is the book about "collaborative consumption". How can we switch from materialism (everyone owning their own lawn mower) to sharing lawn movers, cars (ZipcarUber) and that extra room you hardly use in your apartment/house (AirbnbCouchsurfing)? It's not only great for your wallet, for strengthening human relationships and community, but also for the planet (decrease resource throughput). Much of this is made possible through networked computers and the internet:

"There is now an unbounded marketplace for efficient peer-to-peer exchanges between producer and consumer, seller and buyer, lender and borrower, and neighbour and neighbour.
cooperatives, collectives, and communes - are being refreshed and reinvented in appealing and valuable forms of collaboration and community. We call this [...] Collaborative Consumption [...] sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting and swapping, redefined through technology and peer communities."

As with any "movement", there are a lot of different services (many mentioned/enumerated in the book), many different kinds of people/actors and many different kinds of motivations (including entrepreneurship, sustainability, alternative personal values, pure economic need, and being fed up with "stuff" - including buy-now-pay-later and the subsequent fees for the self-storage facility. That makes the collaborative consumption phenomenon all the more interesting to study and contemplate.

I wrote a blog post half a year ago about my problems with Airbnb, but was happy with the way the issue was resolved and have used Airbnb no less than five times since then (!) to book houses for between one day (weekend in the mountains with my family) and a week (conference in Toronto).

This is a good book, but perhaps with a tad too much "cheerleading" and "evangelism" in it. Collaborative consumption is a great idea, but I'm sure there will be set-backs, backlashes and unexpected rebound effects. If booking a house (apartment, room) though Airbnb is supremely easy and convenient, would that not eventually lead to increased travel? That might then hollow out, or even negate the environmentally beneficial effects of not building more hotels, right? I can however see few negative effects of sharing cars - instead of every family or every person over the age of 18 owning their own car.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lecture 1 - Mon Sept 2 (13-15) - Forsmark

Guest lecturer: Jan Forsmark, coordinator for the Transition Sweden network - the Swedish part of the international Transition Town network.

Title: From Global challenges to local projects

Talk: This lecture will discuss the four major global challenges humanity faces during the 21st century: energy, economy, environment and social challenges. What is the Transition Movement and how are Transition Towns  working on a local platform to support people acting together to face these challenges? This lecture will discuss the Transition Town movement with focus on Sweden and discuss why sharing and collaborating locally is the key to overcoming present and future challenges.

About: Jan Forsmark has been the coordinator for Transition Sweden since its inception in 2009. His background is as a teacher and consultant. He has also worked with environmental issues for 30 years and cultivated vegetables, bees and sheep for 10 years. Before accepting the job as coordinator for Transition Sweden, he was the enterprise coordinator in the county of Sala ("näringslivschef i Sala kommun").

- Please have a look at this Ted talk: Rob Hopkins, "Transition to a world without oil" (2009, 16 minutes)
- Also check out the website The Transition Network.