This post is a part of the blog relay leading up to Media Evolution The Conference 2013. I will of course attend The Conference, last year I wrote several blog posts from sessions that both inspired and provoked me. Personally I consider Media Evolution The Conference as the best meeting arena in Sweden todayg to discuss how society and the media industry is affected by technology. This is the third post in the relay. Yesterday Lauren Anderson from Australia based Collaborative consumption about how the trend of having access instead of owning is disrupting the world and is causing companies to rethink their business models, tomorrow Mathias Eriksson of the Swedish content strategy agency Matter will take over the baton.
The theme for Media Evolutions The Conference 2013 is Power, Disruption and Lies and they want to “explore who sets the agenda, what changes the playing field and how we all can shape society from now on”.
Every single attendee to the conference will be agree on how powerful, and needed, disruption is in order to create changes. All will have many recent and wonderful examples of what the disruption within their field has lead to. And I am sure most of the speakers will give us some brilliant new insights and cases on the same theme. Lauren Anderson mentions some examples in her blog yesterday:
“Shifting away from a top-down world based on hyper-consumption, we are doing away with the middleman and centralized power structures in favor of platforms that help us to connect and collaborate with each other.
From the rise of peer-to-peer accommodation platforms such as Airbnb that are disrupting the hotel industry; to recommerce platforms like Kladbyte, thredUP or Gazelle that are giving us alternatives to buying new things; to carsharing and ridesharing startups like Zipcar, Sunfleet and BlaBlaCar, who are reinventing the mobility sector; collaborative consumption is disrupting sectors and industries all around the world.”
What I personally hope to explore further both in Malmö the next week during the conference as well as during the coming year is the other side of what is going on. Lauren touched it with these words: “On the other hand, the negative reactions of the hotel industry and taxi lobby groups are setting a precedent of legal battles and regulatory challenges to be faced by the disruptive startups.”
I do believe it now is essential to focus more on Power and Lies and not only on the possibilities for new businesses and role changing created by disruption in the information age. We will fool ourselves if we keep on praising disruption without being aware of that even people that thrive on disruption strive for power. And lie.
Last year at The Conference I listened to Ben Hammersley´s praise for the nerd and asked myself afterwards if he really meant that “the nerds” are the only ones being able to develop society nowadays?
Collaboration is wonderful but is it really wonderful if not everybody is being collaborative?
I believe we have a huge responsibility to ensure that everybody around us, be it friends, relatives, neighbours or colleagues feel that they are part of this new disrupted information age. In order to really change things deeply, not only on the surface, we need to prioritise inclusion.
I see three important steps in order to reach deeper change in an era that nourish on information:
- Stop talking about the old players in every line of business, be it politicians or business leaders, as stupid. They too have understood everything that we geeky early adopters understood, at the best, a wee time earlier.
- Don´t underestimate the power of power. And money. It´s not only the old players that had power and cash that want to hold on to their assets. Even new players on the field will be holding on to their new power and wanting to earn cash.
- Ensure digital inclusion. It is as essential for development as the ability to read and write has been for the development of societies since ages.
The future is not brighter solely by the fact that I or you get power. The future could be brighter when we dare to rethink on a deeper structural level on how we build societies, share knowledge and ensure democracy. Or maybe are we only lying to ourselves since humans always will be humans…
Update 16th of August: I found a wonderful article on the same theme today ”Enter the Disrupters” read it!