In this prescient 2005 talk, Clay Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning.
Clay Shirky’s consulting focuses on the rising usefulness of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, wireless networks, social software and open-source development. New technologies are enabling new kinds of cooperative structures to flourish as a way of getting things done in business, science, the arts and elsewhere, as an alternative to centralized and institutional structures, which he sees as self-limiting. In his writings and speeches he has argued that “a group is its own worst enemy.” His clients have included Nokia, the Library of Congress and the BBC. Shirky is an adjunct professor in New York University’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches course named “Social Weather.”
Shirky is author of Here Comes Everybody.