Technology solutions can be software or hardware or even new ways of using old processes. They are tools that assist individuals and communities to engage with each other, share information, and take action.
Last week, I was in San Francisco as a panelist and plenary speaker at the inaugural SHARE conference. The event was organized by Peers (a research partner in January) and SOCAP, and I spoke about the future of work. I also gave a lightning talk at the closing plenary. All of the plenary speakers had to bookend their lightning talk with "--- catalyze the sharing economy." I took advantage of this five-minute window to urge thoughtful discussion. This is the script that I more or less adhered to:
I’ve been at MIT for the last few years researching peer-to-peer marketplaces. When I got the prompt for this talk, “BLANK will catalyze the sharing economy,” I had lots of different reactions. But in the five minutes I have, I want to say that straight talk is what will catalyze the sharing economy.
Yesterday, we launched The People's Bot, offering scholarships, media fellowships, and an auction for people to attend and report on events where they are not physically present, including CHI 2014 and a 13 year retrospective on wearable computing and Google Glass. Together with Nathan Matias, we're imagining uses of robotic telepresence for the public good.
Airbnb, Etsy, Uber, Lyft, and TaskRabbit. These are some of the most well-known names in the peer economy—online, peer-to-peer marketplaces that enable people to monetize skills and assets they already have. People choose to work whenever they want, whereever they want.
Submitted by hiDenise on February 17, 2014 - 11:35pm
People are often boggled when I follow up my research interest in the future of work with the name of my M.S. program: Comparative Media Studies at MIT. While I could go on about how economic security is the cornerstone for meaningful pursuits—including civic participation—here's a direct media tie in. The following is an excerpt from my thesis draft.
The Fordist framework1 is fraying quickly. Economic decline, technological displacement and globalization have resulted in a shortage of jobs that will not rebound. A powerful social contract is broken, leading Americans to question if investing in human capital—apprenticeships, internships, education, experience and technical know-how—is a smart use of time and personal resources.
These conditions account only partially for why attention is shifting to other work models. Another powerful influence is former and current media portrayal.
Submitted by hiDenise on January 16, 2014 - 12:12pm
The radio silence is over; the last time I posted specifically for the Civic blog was fall 2013. I'm not continuing onto a Ph.D. after June, so before I leave my post as an academic who researches the peer economy, I'm going to report what I'm seeing and sensing as I see and sense it.
20-20! Get it?! This will also be the last semester of bad puns.
To keep myself accountable, here's a smattering of what I'll dive into this semester:
Clay's first point is that of all the criticism of Healthcare.gov and the Affordable Care Act, no one has argued that it's a bad idea to rely on the web as the central component of citizen interaction with a government program. All of the other communications options, from phone to fax, have been considered second-rate fallback options.
This change has happened almost imperceptibly, but it is nevertheless a marker of where we are.
There's a lesson to be learned from the website's poor performance, especially given Obama for America's campaign success with technology.
Internet technology and politics have hooked up every 2-4 years since 1992, when Clinton hosted an internal campaign listserv on MIT servers. Now, the internet and politics have gotten married.
Comparative Media Studies @ MIT kicked off the 2013 academic year yesterday with orientation presentations. The second-year CMS grad students pulled together a 10-minute presentation about their thesis topic and summer research and then presented to faculty, staff and incoming graduate students.