Beyond Knowledge: Toward a Connections Economy (2008)

Beyond Knowledge: Toward a Connections Economy (2008)

As part of my A Decade in Digital series, I’ll be reposting some older articles from my original blog — articles that date back as far as 2006 but contain ideas that to some extent (and to me, at least) still feel relevant. This post, originally written on January 30, 2008, considers an economy that was moving from one based around knowledge to one built around the connections we form (as individuals and as organizations) by making more of the things we know free and public. In the time since I wrote these thoughts, more and more of our IT infrastructure and software services have moved toward open source and into the cloud, the pace of social sharing has only accelerated, we’ve witnessed the rising tide of social business, newly posited models for leadership and the future of work, and even bold moves like Tesla’s release of their patents for free use by any other business that wishes to innovate around them.

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White Collar Robots

White Collar Robots

Technology gets better, cheaper and faster at a rate biology can’t match.” – C.G.P. Grey

If you’re interested in the ways automation (aka robots) will affect the world of work, I highly recommend “Humans Need Not Apply” – a 15 minute primer on the current state and future possibilities for robotics in the workplace. While it’s not difficult to recognize how robots might replace blue collar workers and take on repetitive tasks, the video’s most eye-opening moments begin around 7 minutes and 25 seconds when the creator — C.G.P. Grey — looks at how large populations of white collar workers and even creative “snowflakes” may find themselves not simply unemployed but outrightunemployable. Bummer — but interesting nonetheless. Watch “Humans Need Not Apply” and ask yourself: Will automation create opportunities or (as the video contends)limit them? Is your job at risk?

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