Large corporations, big governments, and other centralized organizations have long determined and dominated the way we work, access healthcare, get an education, feed ourselves, and generally go about our lives. The economist Ronald Coase, in his famous 1937 paper “The Nature of the Firm,” provided an economic explanation for this: Organizations lowered transaction costs, making the provision of goods and services cheap, efficient, and reliable. Today, this organizational advantage is rapidly disappearing. The Internet is lowering transaction costs—costs of connection, coordination, and trade—and pointing to a future that increasingly favors distributed sources and social solutions to some of our most immediate needs and our most intractable problems.
As Silicon Valley thought-leader Marina Gorbis, head of the Institute for the Future, portrays, a thriving new relationship-driven or socialstructed economy is emerging in which individuals are harnessing the powers of new technologies to join together and provide an array of products and services. Examples of this changing economy range from BioCurious, a members-run and free-to-use bio lab, to the peer-to-peer lending platform Lending Club, to the remarkable Khan Academy, a free online-teaching service. These engaged and innovative pioneers are filling gaps and doing the seemingly impossible by reinventing business, education, medicine, banking, government, and even scientific research. Based on extensive research into current trends, she travels to a socialstructed future and depicts an exciting vision of tomorrow.
About the authors
Sue Reed is a registered Landscape Architect with thirty years' experience designing sustainable landscapes that are ecologically rich, energy efficient, and climate-responsive. Sue served for 14 years as adjunct faculty at the Conway School of Landscape Design and has led numerous workshops on the subject of ecological landscaping. Sue is the author of Energy-Wise Landscape Design, for which she also provided much of the photography.
Other titles by Michael Puttonen
Becoming a Kind Father
A Son's Journey
A Rebel History of Rural Life
The Transgender Child
A Handbook for Families and Professionals
Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution
Dumbing Us Down
The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
Weapons of Mass Instruction
A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling
Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives
Cold, Hungry and In the Dark
Exploding the Natural Gas Myth
William Egan Colby and the CIA
The Arrogant Autocrat
Stephen Harper's Takeover of Canada