Friday, October 3, 2014

Seminar 3 topics

Please read the instructions (separate blog post)
  1. The open source commons. Open source is a commons that works, right!? How does it work? Why does it work? Can lessons from the open source world be leveraged to other areas or is there something with software that makes it a special case? What is the future of open source software?
  2. The future of crowdfunding. The digital commons needs its own model of financing all the great ideas that are out there. Is the future of the digital commons to be found in crowdfunding? How does crowdfunding work? Why does it work? (Specuation:) Why does crowdfunding work terrifically together with the digital commons and/or the sharing economy?
  3. The future of piracy. What is the connection (if any) between piracy and the commons? Do pirates perceive themselves to be “commoners”? Are pirates “liberating” things that should be in the common or are they criminals who should be stopped? Hunt down your very own pirates (and anti-pirates) and find the answers to how these things go together.
  4. Sharing as a religion. Can the sharing and copying be seen and established as a religion? Some people are actually trying… Check out the (Swedish-language) Church of Kopimi [“Copy me”] and figure out what the implications could be… This topic is a high-risk, high-yield topic for the right group!
  5. Sharing and size. With smaller size comes trust and intimacy, but increased usefulness comes from scaling up. Are there (social/sociological) limits to the commons and to sharing? Can these be overcome by technology (or legal frameworks)? How?
  6. The future of trust. Trust might very well be *the* issue that determines the future of the digital commons and the sharing economy. How do companies (and non-profits) work with issues of trust today? What are the possibilities and what are the challenges?
  7. The bottom-up revolution. Instead of installing expensive meteorological weather stations, why not let (many) ordinary users report the temperature and the shape of the clouds through an app (e.g. Shareweather)? And why not build bottom-up maps of pollution or congestion or where the nearest sushi bar or free wi-fi is? What are the implications of creating new commons through this bottom-up “revolution”?
  8. Sharing against resource scarcity. Roope (Oct 1) mentioned that commodities (raw materials) are increasing in price. Is sharing (making smarter use of natural resources) not an optional, but a necessary strategy to maintain current standards? If so, what are the implications for the future?
  9. The future of financing. Can we share money (loans) better? We need to find funding also for all the great digital commons/sharing economy ideas and startups, so how can money and financing (loans) be shared through p2p lending (kickstarter, zopa, fundedbyme, toborrow etc.)?
  10. The future of money. Can decentralized cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin etc.) be seen as a commons? How about local currencies or “time banks”? What is the future of (shared, algorithmic?) money? How do we understand local/digital/algorithmic money as a social, political and technological phenomenon and as a commons? What are the advantages and disadvantages compared to the present system (including taxation)? See “From Barter to Bitcoin”.
  11. Reputational capital. Botsman suggests that it’s only a matter of time before we have “reputational capital” and/or “reputational currencies” that integrates data about your behavior from many different sources. How could such a currency (or “currency”) work? What would the advantages and disadvantages be?
  12. The future of (online) identity. Trust must be grounded in stable identities - but identities can easily be fluid online. What is the future of identity (and trust) online? Can (will) there be a war between trying to authenticate online identities vs trying to “game” the systems with the help of “identity” or “persona management software” (yet - it exists) etc.?
  13. The future of patents. On the one hand we have the electric car maker Tesla giving away all their patents earlier this year as well as (Teigland’s example) Quirky. On the other hand we have huge companies like Apple and Samsung suing each other and buying up companies to get hold of their patent portfolio and “patent trolls” who sue companies that “infringe” on their patents. What is the future of patents vs releasing information and knowledge into the commons?
  14. The future of shared food. Can food production (locally cultivated organic food in gardens) and preparation/consumption (shared dinners etc.) be brought to the cities and mediated by ICT?
  15. The future of direct democracy. How will ICT change politics and decision-making. What are the alternatives to elections every fourth year? Collaborative decision making, direct democracy, polls - what has been done and what could be done? How can politics go from being “a profession” to involving many (again).
  16. All in. If a country would fully commit to a sharing economy in, say, a 20-year perspective, what could that society look like? Would everyday tasks be more efficient? Would people enjoy life more? How would culture have changed? Would trust be used as currency (how)?
  17. 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! 5
  18. 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? 12
  19. 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 4
  20. 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? 4
  21. 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? 10
  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? 6
  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? 4.

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