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Money, Wealth, Social Media and Gamification

There is a Shift between Money, Co-creation, Social Media and Gamification

We are in a historical paradox crossroad for humanity. It is thus a frightening time for the world finances and economics where at the same time the concept of money is pushed further through the advent of social media, co-creation, the social graph and concepts such as Gamification that are taking over of reality and creating a kind of twilight zone. On one hand there is extreme poverty mixed with extreme wealth, the advent and rise of countries that just 10 years ago were bankrupt, considered third world or out of the limelight. All of this surrounded by a profusion of media and news where the keywords are all around: demonstrations, “occupy” wall street, crisis, problems and the always eternal global local conflictsmixed with technology, startups, software, venture capital money, crowdfunding and so forth.

As David Kirkpatrick put it very well one of the main issues with our present society is that “(…) the world lacks enough leaders who understand the potential for new, technology-driven solutions for global problems. To the degree that there is such leadership, it is concentrated in the business community. But even there, an understanding of tech’s potential is disturbingly uneven. Some companies thrive by embracing new methods of marketing, managing, developing products, and engaging with society. Others, by contrast, steadfastly operate in the old ways.” inhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/techonomy/2011/11/12/how-to-be-an-optimist-in-a-pessimistic-time/

The rise of the 21st century brings with it a complex world where in the words of the research of  Edward N Wolff, of New York University, as of 2007, the top 1% of households in America owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% had 50.5% of the wealth. This means and According to the Congressional Budget Office (more info can be found in the entry for Wikipedia for the movement Occupy wall Street)  that just 20% of the world population owned 85% of the wealth, leaving only 15% for the bottom 80% of the people. Moreover the wealthy are wealthier and more powerful than ever in history: a minority of one percent of people owns almost half of the global assets. Being more clear that means that on the top of these numbers the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University reports that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. The bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.

All these extensive statistics, should make us think and indicating the growing world schizophrenia and disparity. Most of these numbers and data are present in the mouth of the protesters of the Occupy wall Street and similar movements, included in available reports, mass viral distributed in press releases, infographics, YouTube videos, Excel tables and Powerpoint slides.

Map of Wall Street and the surrounding streets...

With all this massive re-question of money and in the scope of this financial meltdown what can effectively be done? 

So the question is with all this massive financial meltdown what can effectively be done.  Should all these people change the world once and for all of just continue as it is until a further break down that at a certain stage will drive mankind (juts look at history) to more and more confrontation, riots, demonstrations, unemployment and at a certain point another possible proliferation of extremist movements, local guerrillas and possible another global war? Also how is this possible in a world where the creation of wealth, creation of commodities, goods and the most advanced technology, communications and health systems were developed further than in any historical moment before?

These questions drive us to much more queries. For the moment I prefer not to say what to do. It would be too much arrogant. And someone that pretends to so should think twice. At the moment I want to be humble, but with eyes wide open keep a positive look at what is happening around me. I want to make sure I do my own research and leave the questions in the air. A lot of people should think about it. But more than just be basic in the answers, or extremist the best is perhaps try to do some home work and use of game play thinking Gamification and other social effective tools and mechanics to listen, learn, solve problems and engage with other peers and audiences.

For me action can only come with moderation and homework, research and wise thinking. In the past all tentativeness to change the world in a radical, violent way just change the surface. Let us face it it all goes down to the nature of being human. Any solutions need to bear that in mind. It is not so much about complexity but about simplicity. The present landscape where we live offers and strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with other people alike, and for the first time in real time thinkers around the world in faster ways and viral methods using social media, co-creation, open thinking: open government, open business, open data through the use of social tech tools, applications can exchange ideas and funds and try to move things to a better port.

Present where money is going through a massive revolution that paradoxically few understand

We are in  a time where money, all the financial concept is going through a massive revolution. Money is now becoming digital, with new payment systems being built faster than the regulations and political movements, or pension systems thinking, where paradoxically the exchange of currency data, virtual currencies, trading algorithms, peer to peer exchange, advances in software and general semantic engines, algorithms, search and social media technologies are redesigning the way humans will interact with money forever. And all of this is going faster than politicians, governments, organisations realise. If the economy is on the brink and most governments are sitting on the sidelines, unwilling or unable to help there is as well a massive continuous shift and redefinition of the creation of wealth and commodities.

Looking at the Austrian School of economics and its advocacy towards a methodological “individualism” (through a sound action mode experimental research and natural experiments) whereas in interpreting economic developments coming up associated with the theory that the essence of money is non-neutral, and emphasizes the organizing power of the price mechanism it is clear that there is nothing as linear rational way of looking at the present shift. However there is something deeper going on that even the wiser / informed economic and financial players are not understanding. As the Autrian school puts it very well there are not a priori or non-empirical perfect models or solutions.

That is the backdrop and side by side of two paradoxical worlds: the one of the mega corporation and its successors – the startups, in Silicon Valley, New York, Bangalore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, with the immense wealth of its global companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Google, Apple (that could individually bailout a country like Ireland of Portugal) and also the frustration and angry tone of voice of the protests of the movement Occupy Wall Street, St Paul’s and hundreds of similar multiple demonstrations in cities across various big urban areas of the developed world.

However bear in mind in the middle of this dual paradoxical ecosystem something very important. Although some of these demonstrations are extreme  what is swift to dismiss is that there is no doubt they give voice to insatisfaction and frustration related to the established financial, economic, political and management values of the present business as usual modus operandus of the present society. And even more important these protesters are using the same iPhones, computers, iPads, tablets, and social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Google+ as all these companies and wealthy people that totalise the minimum 1% to 20%.

Organisations, resources, websites and lists of people looking seriously at Money, Wealth, Co-creation, Social Media and Gamification

As in any wise thinking the solution is not any radical revolution. By the contrary it all goes down to awareness, an effort to dis-mystify and namely have an open spirit. Realising all this it is thus critical to think out of the box. Thereby I present bellow some organisations, resources, websites and lists of people trying this kind of thinking and more important working effectively in open thinking through concepts such as crowd-sourcing, co-creation, WOM word of mouth, and also Gamification. This last one a new trend that well used in education can work effectively as a way to change behaviors and explain the overall complexity of the money and financial machines, making particular technologies, user design, platforms, communications more engaging, and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.

If there is something to change the paradigm is an open way of thinking, a shift towards open personal and open business strategies whereas people are able to interact (through all the fast changing social media platforms, mobile ever increasing powerful devices) and obliged to find solutions in a reasonable way. This is the main challenge democracies, business, finance, banking and the money industry needs to face.

The creative use of out of the box techniques can encourage people and businesses to change behaviors and start open their structures, self developing themselves. This done through open engagement principles and focusing in a new critical performance and chores that they ordinarily consider “boring”, such as looking seriously at their social map, networks, peers, communities, consumer behavior, completing financial and economical surveys to optimise their lifes, researching, shopping wiser, or reading optimal references in web sites.

So bellow some people / networks and insights for you not just about Money, Wealth, Co-creation, Social Media and Gamification. Also last but not least these are all people and organisations that work in creating bridges between innovation, money, new currency and systems. All of them use principles of co-creation, crowdsourcing, social media, and gambling to move their strategies.

The world trends: http://www.gapminder.org/

13 Books on the Future of Money & New Economy

Open government: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/

Co creation Innovations: http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/nov2010/ca2010112_927266.htm

http://www.crowdsourcing.org/

How data and open government are transforming NIC

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Comments

Dear Dinis,

Your post touches different aspects of the challenges we are facing nowadays and you have some interesting views on it. However, I will dare to defy some of your ideas.

My first challenge is on the virtualization of money. Before virtual reality, cyberspace or social media, we had Virtual Money. In fact, when the gold standard was abandoned for good (1971 with the end of Bretton Woods) money became increasingly virtual (or fake i would dare say). This along with the Banks Marginal reserve system creates a totally virtual monetary mass that fuels our current economy. Add to this an economy that lives on increased debt and governments that run recurring budgetary deficits and you come up with our current situation.

Paradox, this is also what allows the same countries you mentioned were bankrupt 10 years ago to show their current power. You know that when money is worth nothing, real assets rule, and I am not talking about real estate but of commodities.

Tying things up, we get led to the occupy whatever movements… The speech used is empty and devoid of useful ideas. If any, we hear the same crap against the banks, capitalism and the sorts and the defense of the same state interventionism that brought us here. Yes, let’s not fool ourselves – State Intervention on the western economies has never been so high since WWII. On the other end, these are the same protesters against globalization, the same that allowed the once bankrupt countries to be where they are now.

So what role does Social Media play in all this?… Social Media is the biggest resounding box ever created by mankind. The alleged credibility of personal reports on twitter or Facebook booms or busts stocks, destroys or creates brands, creates politicians or overthrows governments, turns demonstrations into revolutions. So what have we seen in the last months? Arab Spring took over the network, Syria, Libya… and now Indignados from Madrid or Occupy Wall Street (which by the way is already a trademark) in a well-orchestrated communication plan taking over the media either social or traditional. And what is the victim of this trend?… What a former Portuguese prime minister called “the silent majority”. Social media hijacked the “silent majority” and his now speaking on its behalf.
To finalize, I need to point what I believe is the most questionable point in your text – Is there anything to be done to overcome this situation? My answer is yes. We need to change the paradigm. – we need to go back to sound money, the observation of sound finance (no more recurring deficits) and a proper banking system. It is not new – it’s Austrian Economics and has been around for a century.

Hi Luis,

Thanks for your excellent comment and remarks! Powerful and effective. I end up agreeing with most of it. My main concern and remarks are that in order to change the paradigm it is not just a sound return to a proper banking systems that is necessary (although that is something a completely agree – money is money, commodities are commodities – not the artificial creation of numbers disguised as money). Looking at the Austrian School of economics and its advocacy towards a methodological “individualism” (through a sound action mode experimental research and natural experiments)whereas in interpreting economic developments coming up associated with the theory that the essence of money is non-neutral, and emphasizes the organizing power of the price mechanism. However there is something deeper going on that even the wiser / informed economic and financial players are not understanding. As the Autrian school puts it very well there are not a priori or non-empirical perfect models or solutions.

What I am defending is that one needs to go deeper, aiming to move into a sound new 360 degrees paradigm. What is happening is no longer just about finance and economics it is about a collapse of leaderships to understand the world, the needs of populations, (that are increasingly having massive shifts and gaps from generation to generation due to cultural changes and where young people using technology (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, GPS…), social real time geolocated platforms are in different contexts and ways of acting and thinking from their parents and grand parents)the complex social graph and the way people interact and are changing paradoxically.

There is a lack of understanding all these new concepts and the generation gaps and the social media tech disruptive fast change by the global leaders. That is what I was saying that is difficult to realise and needs wise thinking. And there is where it is necessary (sic Austrian Economics) experimental research and natural experiments to use in mainstream economics and analysis of the present local global societies.

Independent of whatever mainstream audiences get real time data, social media and technology are changing the way humans co-exist but the systems that are used by / for countries, mainstream organisations and most of its leadership and its financial players and industries are not prepared for it. And the gaps are becoming bigger and bigger. Thus what is going on in Europe, US and the hegemony of a few companies and its founders that are somehow understanding that and taking intelligently advantage of that creating multinationals that with their advanced products, design interfaces, customised engaging marketing and technologies are “eating” the whole economy with smaller resources and optimal management and software. This happens because they understand ways of addressing / engaging with / into consumers, “silent majority” populations and they can operate faster and without barriers.

I don’t believe there is a well-orchestrated communication plan taking over the media either social or traditional because the paradox of the open data and communications turns any orchestration of effort towards hijacking a sooner or later victim of its plans.

As David Kirkpatrick put it very well one of the main issues with our present society is that “(…) the world lacks enough leaders who understand the potential for new, technology-driven solutions for global problems. To the degree that there is such leadership, it is concentrated in the business community. But even there, an understanding of tech’s potential is disturbingly uneven. Some companies thrive by embracing new methods of marketing, managing, developing products, and engaging with society. Others, by contrast, steadfastly operate in the old ways.” in http://www.forbes.com/sites/techonomy/2011/11/12/how-to-be-an-optimist-in-a-pessimistic-time/

If there is something to change the paradigm is an open way of thinking, a shift towards open personal and open business strategies whereas people are able to interact (through all the fast changing social media platforms, mobile ever increasing powerful devices) and obliged to find solutions in a reasonable way. This is the main challenge democracies, business, finance, banking and the money industry needs to face.

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