3.6 Social cohesion, the Web, and 3D printing contribute to a groundswell


    It seems as if the essence of the terms paradigm and the new cyberdigm lies in the human need for belonging. The Internet accommodates an ever-increasing number of online communities, and this has very large consequences. As it happens, this does not limit itself to “belonging“; in all these virtual social networks, more people are doing business with each other in their own way.

    In other words, we are organizing without formal organizations. For me, this is the real revolution. By saying this, I also imply that this revolution means the end of the organization as we know it. Most of the organizations will become superfluous.

    The American market research company Forrester Research calls this phenomena a groundswell: “A groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations and/or government…”

    On the surface of the sea, everything seems calm, but many miles offshore, out of sight, and at the bottom of the sea, there are huge rumblings. Big shifts are taking place. Of course, you may think that it will not come to that, or that it will sort itself out, that Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are more hype, but nothing could be further from the truth. The simple fact that the Internet enables people to organize without organizations, and that people are actually doing that, will turn out to be the final blow for our traditional economic and the ruling establishment’s organizational thinking, based on 1920’s industrial psychology..

    The job as we know it will be gone. The way we’ve educated people means that most traditional employees will not be ready for Society 3.0-type organizations. Many jobs are going to the dustbin.

    Dear manager: your self-managing stakeholders no longer require your organization to get what they want. People can and will use a disruptive bypass around your institution. This is thanks to the virtual social networks, the tribes of the Internet. We can belong to a tribe again, find like-minded people, create collective intelligence in a fast changing environment, and start sharing the abundance. Communicating digitally is fast and accessible. We are bound 24/7; we find ourselves in a state of permanent connectivity.

    Thinking about 3D printing, we only need designs for everything from cups to houses, and the costs of having these products printed on site will be cheaper than your current supply-chain. 3D printing is becoming readily available to people with no equipment of their own. Service providers that print objects on demand, such as Shapeways, show there will be a new breed of companies on the horizon.

    However, having many digital friends, connections, and a 3D printer does not equal having a lot of value automatically…

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