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Nós Agora - Resumo

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More people can say more things to more people than ever in History, and that is still growing enormously. There is this possibility of using these tools to do massive things which is completely unexplored at the moment. We can work together in ways that ask a deeper question about the role of government. There's a whole new model that's emerging where we become part of the government. I think we've got the technology that any vote that's in parliament could be offered to the entire country. This is a very profound change. I'm not talking about people lobbying or outside parties influencing government... I'm talking about unbundling and reconstituting what is a government. Nós Agora That kind of gift economy has always been there. It's just that it remains invisible and partly what social media is beginning to do is bring that gift economy out into the open, to make it more tangible. The cost to you of sharing one piece of information is a lot less than the benefit that you get back from everybody else's information. So, you know, it's like the old adage "You've got one thing to teach and lots of things to learn." And I think that model is present in many of these sites and these phenomena. If a system can actually give people responsability and actually allow them to act in a positive way, then they will do that, they will do that with "gusto". They're connecting on the basis of highly relevant similarities. It's not generic do-gooding. This is highly specific and highly individualized and therefore far more powerful. Whether it's traveling on a budget, whether it's being a mother, or whether it's being someone who feels they need a bit of help from a friendly stranger who's been in the same situation... Everything can be fulfilled by allowing people to help each other. So far, through Alain, I've met quite a few people and within just a few days I've already hung out and, like, met tons of people in a city that seems otherwise, unfriendly. It's just the beginning of this fantastic phenomenon. It's really a very powerful force for good, the potential for people to connect in this way. It's just about creating the circumstances that allow people to do that. And I think that there's so much stuff out there which kind of treats people as if they're going mess things up, or they're incompetent... And I think that our approach to people is that generally they are competent. And, ok, they might mess up occasionally, but if you offer them an opportunity to help, they will gladly take it, and they will get a warm feeling as I always get a warm feeling from doing the stuff that I do. What's happened in the 20th century was really the anomaly. We're actually seeing a reversion to a very common and deep human pattern of doing things because we like each other, doing things because we care for each other, doing things to get recognition and to get reputational capital. There are collaborative ways of working and doing things which deliver the public service outcome far better than the old model. People will increasingly expect to be able to make choices, to be able to express themselves, to stand up and be counted in more than just a number, a vote or a tick. So how will governments relate to people who are more empowered? If you look at how public services work currently, it's very much a kind of they're built on a model of each of us being passive consumers. So actually we're beginning to understand that public services need to start not with problems and needs, but instead with people and what they can bring. I think the reason that people want to get involved is because they feel they have something to give back. And I think that's something that all public services are going to need to grapple with. These hugely centralized approaches have got huge dangers and I think if they overlook the fact that people are naturally collaborative and cooperative and that different versions of the same technologies are now available to everybody, so people can work together in ways that ask a deeper question about the role of government. In the past, we've needed institutions. These days we have mechanisms for joining together lots of individuals based on their own self interests that are now competitive with the power of institutions. Hierarchies are very inefficient, they're very slow moving, they concentrate power and information at the top and they often deny people opportunities to take initiatives, to share ideas and to seek solutions themselves. And they often rob people of a sense of agency. The big shift I think that's going on is the idea that everyone is available for group action. It doesn't mean that everyone will participate in group action, it doesn't mean that all participation will be equal, but it does mean that everybody can get involved. In this self-organizing model, it can be very low cost and very efficient compared with top-down bureaucratic hierarchy. Just compare... Open Source software with Microsoft. Open source software is a public good provided by volunteers. The source code used to generate the programs is freely available. Microsoft spends billions to develop products which are less sophisticated than Linux. Linux is this large open source software writing community. Linux doesn't have a head office, it doesn't have any corporate jets, it doesn't have any away days, it doesn't have any human resources department. It has none of the stuff that large organizations have, yet it manages to produce something which is reliable and is used by governments all over the world. The code is out there, just use it, it's free. You can submit your own patches, if you are a programmer. Maybe you're not a programmer, maybe you give feedback to developers, go on forums, you know, say... "Ah, this software is very good but, maybe..." "I'm not a programmer but I'd really like to see this feature." A lot of developers are very open to ideas. So you suddenly get into all sort of systems people take for granted as well as the desktop PCs. Banks are all heavy users of Linux. A lot of it is on services used across the Internet like Google, Amazon... At home, in things like televisions these days, mobile phones... We've had people do things like wire the speedometer data into the music system so that as they pass a certain speed, it starts playing "Ride of the Valkyries" reminding them to slow down. Because you can actually tinker with all this stuff, it gives you an enormous power to customize it to your own taste. What someone else put in might benefit thousands and thousands of other people. And by having that collaboration and having people get their say and other people contribute to the code you can get more valuable software. You're not just getting what one person wants with the software... For leaders in an online world, the critical thing is not to feel threatened. I think it is about...letting go. The proponents of participative government could say here is evidence... ...the wisdom of the crowd is right... and that listening to everybody is a good idea. And instead of phony consultations you should probably do real consultations about issues that people really care about. The major change is that institutions are now threatened in terms of their power relations by groups of individuals who can actually organize to change things. Across the spectrum from banking, education, health... through to entertainment culture you'll see a gradual move over the next two decades towards much more open models of organization. And that's a very, very powerful recipe. Throughout the 20th century we created wealth through the vertically integrated corporation. It did everything from soup to nuts. Why does the firm exist? If markets are the best mechanism for determining how goods and resources are allocated, why isn’t everybody an independent contractor at every step along the way of production? The answer is collaboration costs. Because the Web drops collaboration costs, consumers can now produce. There’s been an expression for a long time that “You do well by doing good”, and I don’t think it’s been true in the past. Lots of companies did well by being really bad! By being monopolies or having terrible labour practices, or having lousy products that they put a lot of money into advertising and sales. And companies are having to clean up, not because of regulation... They’re having to clean up because of market forces and the power of transparency. So every company is becoming naked. And if you’re going to be naked then fitness is no longer an option. If you’re going to be naked, you'd better be buff! I think the losers will be the people who say “I’ll always make better decisions” The winners will be those who are more open-minded and understand that the world is changing and the Internet is a huge opportunity to make things better. It shouldn’t always be looked at as a threat. The change in the relationship between customers and companies is mirrored in the relationship between citizens and their governments. If you could actually... combine that innate intelligence... The millions of diffent diverse opinions from people who have diverse perspectives, you would end up with fantastic policies. They go from incompetence to complacency and there are questions about his integrity. Aren’t people rightly asking now: “is this man simply not cut out for the job?”. Order! Prime Minister... Right now the whole model of policy development and arguably in democracy, is a broadcast model. It goes like this: I’m a politician... listen to my advertisments and debates. Then go and vote for me and then I’m going to broadcast to you for four years and then we get to do it all over again. You vote, I rule. Government in Britain is based on the party system. And although the elector marks his cross against the name of an individual, he is in fact casting a vote in support of a party program. This model is inappropriate for the 21st century. I’m not talking about people lobbying government or outside parties influencing government, I’m talking about, in some ways... Unbundling and reconstituting what is a government. I think there is a great potential for decision making to start actually on a ground level. On a far less grand stage than Parliament deciding about immigration laws but actually about... really participatory budgeting. I represent a model railway club and we’re looking for some funding to purchase track. For this event they’ve got 20 thousand pounds up for grabs and the community decides where the money goes. Well today I’m going to to try and get some funding for playground equipment for the children at school. I have nominated a project which is to regenerate the churchyard at Morcombe parish church. The whole idea is that the people of Poulton, and only the people of Poulton, will vote on each project and the 20 thousand pounds will be given away this afternoon. Good afternoon everybody we’re going to start proceedings in 5 minutes Each group is going to have a three minute presentation and we are going to have to keep it very strictly to three minutes. We know that people’s perception that they can participate in decision making is a key driver and has a direct correlation to the levels of trust and satisfaction. Now we know that both trust and satisfaction are taking a bit of a dive in the public sector at the moment so... actually there does seem to be a correlation between the sense that people can influence decisions and trust and satisfaction. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they do, but it’s that sense that they can... I’d like to hand you over now to Ebony who’d like to speak... Hi, my name is Ebony. We would like you to give us a grant for two thousand pounds... So in order for us to continue please, please support our bid. Thank you. Hello, I’m Dean Harrison, down there is Jack Lord... When you do it in public, and when other people know that it’s your reputation on the line... I can give my mate 10/10 for his little project but in fact... this business about making the hospital work better in the town I live in... I’ve actually got to pay some attention to that. Once you deliver something that actually allows people to make a decision, it’s incredible how compelling it is and how willing people are to participate in these things because... they are exciting! That's why people are... less engaged in politics in the representative sense but they’re much more engaged in politics in a personal, sense in terms of the power that they feel to... to affect their community and the world around them. I think that’s steadily increasing as their trust in representative politicians is steadily decreasing. We got the money! It was absolutely superb, we had a really good day... we’re really chuffed by it all and everybody that’s been involved is absolutely delighted with it. Right guys... yesterday Jack and I went to the "In Your Hands". It was unsuccessful. We didn’t get enough votes. Although we weren’t successful at that time it opened my eyes up to how many different organizations were in the area. - But at least the people are making the decision... - Yeah, for the community it was a good idea. - I don’t think the money was spent on anything that didn’t deserve it so... - Is this the first one? -This is the first one, yeah.. - It's the first time I'd ever heard of it... - So we know better next time. - Yeah, it’s a learning curve... You don’t have to get your way to feel enfranchised. What actually comes of giving people responsibility for decision making is that they really care about the decisions of the minorities within a group and that people are very willing to compromise and that compromise is easily achievable once everybody’s cards are on the table and people can really understand the viewpoints at work. Democracy is a lot more than majority rule on a nightly basis. The technology is becoming possible for millions of people to have a conversation. The assumption... that people will be included is spreading so widely and so deeply. That, I think is going to be a big driver of governmental change. It’s not just when it becomes an option for the people in elected office but also an expectation of their constituents. It’s just that now we have a mass consumer technology that supports this, and so... we’re only now beginning to discover what we can do with it. In a country where, clearly voter turnouts are pretty low lots of people believe that politicians don’t really work for them. Lots of people feel that nothing they can do matters or in any way has any impact at all... it would give citizens a lot more power if they knew a lot of stuff that was currently hidden or effectively secret. But I also think it would enable politicians to run a much better government and this is a thing that I think politicians don’t often believe. They tend to think that transparency is just something used to harm them and opacity may hide problems today but it almost certainly builds the biggest scandals of the sort that then cause politicians real amounts of trouble. So, if I can make them understand anything about this new world it would be that much greater transparency probably makes them much more electable people. New paradigms cause dislocation and confusion and they’re nearly always received with coolness or worse: mockery, hostility... Vested interests fighting against change. It’s very important that the role for government remains. The role of government being to provide the resources for people to make local decisions about how they want money spent in an area. You know, this isn’t about a DIY country... because if you had a DIY country without any role for government then where would the funding come from for all the important things that people want done in a particular area, for example. I think representative democracy was based on the idea that people are thick. That’s not true. I think there’s a much more radical thing that will happen which is basically that people will go around the side of representative democracy. And rather than saying "I want to have input on what this politician is deciding in Parliament" they’ll do it themselves. I think what we’ll see is just some of the activities and powers of government moving into the public realm and they will be run better by citizens than they are by government. Imagine you wanted to build a new railway between London and Birmingham that would cut the journey time, how much would that cost? At the moment, the only method of doing that is through taxes. Now, if you were to use "The Point" to do that completely outside of public policy... You could do it! You could do it! There is this possibility of using these tools to do massive things. which is completely unexplored at the moment. Broader numbers of people could be engaged in something like policy formation. For example, the Green Party in Canada created its program through a Wiki where all members of the Green Party could come together, just like with Wikipedia and co-innovate and co-create a political program. And it worked out pretty well. And actually what these tools are doing are allowing people to make decisions themselves and to work collaboratively in a way that means that representative democracy is less meaningful to them. There’s a whole new model that’s emerging where we become part of the government. I call it Government 2.0 What I think will happen is going to be a much higher degree of hybridization between government and the people and particularly the groups of people that they serve. There is a good analogy for the new model of government in terms of the changes in the Internet itself... MySpace beats MTV... gets eclipsed by Similarly with governments... Governments, rather than doing everything could more create a platform whereby citizens and others can self-organize to create better value than what currently exists. We've seen lots of other changes in the past that could potentially lead to a better world but actually they result in first world war trench warfare... or genocide in the second world war for example... so I think we should be careful about having too Utopian a vision for how these things will play out. Of course there are lots of challenges in doing something like this. There will be saboteurs... There’ll be some people who won’t have access to the Web. There’s the whole complexity of millions of ideas and how these get aggregated together and the good ones come to the fore... But these are all in the category of implementation challenges, they’re not in the category of “reasons not to do it”. In any revolution there are downsides. But I am optimistic that... We’re living through what economists would call a positive supply side shock to the amount of freedom in the world. More people can say more things to more people than ever in history, and that is still growing enormously. I think in the times when we’ve seen enormous increases in intellectual or political freedom there has certainly been a period of chaos immediately afterwards. But over the long haul, the values of those changes have been not just mainly positive but enormously positive for society. We will have a form of government that engages, and understands and knows what to do with what people are saying. It’s a politics where... where you can help as well as just saying what you want. And that’s an amazing thing. At the moment we’re starting to see that with some online projects but imagine if... a country was run like that or if even just a town was run like that. In the way that, we’re starting to see football clubs run like that. I think that’s the sign of things to come. As time goes on we will see people increasingly comfortable participating in situations where the social value is really about other people caring enough rather than someone being paid to provide that value. Where the end point of that is, don’t know... but I do think the end result is going to be quite profound.

Video Details

Duration: 24 minutes and 42 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Banyak Films
Director: Ivo Gormley
Views: 225
Posted by: zeitgeistportugal on Jun 8, 2011

Este vídeo foi utilizado no evento "Ventos de Mudança" que foi realizado a 19 de Junho no Clube Literario do Porto.

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