Integral Community Building & Collaboration Ecology – The Knowledge Age

I’ll be posting some thoughts I’m having that’ll probably be incorporated into an upcoming article.

The industrial age is slowly being replaced by what has been called the informational age. With the advance of the Internet information is turned into knowledge by millions day and night — knowledge being information that is useful for deciding, acting upon, or composing further or new knowledge. The knowledge-age will most likely in due time give way to an age of understanding, as the knowledge that is being gathered and created worldwide becomes understanding; for it is understanding, not knowledge, that allows us to conceive, anticipate, evaluate and judge matters. Eventually we might even reach an age of wisdom as our understanding becomes guided by deep purpose, by ethics, principles, and appreciative inquiry into the sources, heritage and future of humanity and planet.

Still living in the information- and at the beginning of the knowledge-age we are living with information that is valued on the basis of being separable, objective, linear, mechanistic, and measurable, and that is being thought of and treated as a scarce resource which often enough is made scarce by laws shielding it against free dissemination[1]F; whereas actually information and knowledge’s basic characteristic is one of abundance  — it doesn’t become less by being used and actually profits from free and large dissemination[2]F.

A growing number of people are discovering creative and new ways to handle knowledge. They recognize that knowledge creation, meaning and use are dynamic processes that emerge from interactions between people in communities and social structures. The Internet, and in particular values-based social and collaboration networks invigorate peer-to-peer learning and knowledge creation. This potentially creates the possibility of an economy not based on scarcity, leveling the field in which people can participate. In a knowledge based economy success is not the result of collections (of information or goods) but of connections.



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[1] For instance, instead of using restrictive copyrights we could create rights that would share eventual profits created through or from a piece of information fairly to everybody involved in its creation. (This is assuredly difficult but not beyond possibility.)


[2] The Open Source movement in software, the Wikipedia, social networks, the peer2peer movement etc. are great examples for the accelerating abundance that shared knowledge enables us to create together.

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