Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Ways of Living and Working – The growing importance of communities

In the industrial age, which has been replaced by the information age (but many people still don’t realize this yet), life and work was divided like this:

-      -  Citizen
-       - Companies
-       - Cities
-       - Countries

As citizen, we did work in companies, which where located in cities. If we did work in other cities, the commute challenge was added to the equation. And it did matter in which country you did live and work.

These old ways of living and working are now rapidly changing.
Lifetime employment for a company has completely vanished. Especially large companies are having difficulties in adapting to the information age. Almost all (needed) innovation comes from small companies, specifically startups.
Countries are also loosing their power. The level of trust is also here (like with companies) at an all-time low. People don’t trust their governments and politicians any more.  Cities are becoming like countries in themselves, look at the sheer size of mega cities. Many cities have now more inhabitants than my whole country (The Netherlands -16M).

The crises (financial, economical, environmental), which we endure since 2008, show no sign of retreating. It is therefor crucial to focus on two new entities, which are (and should be) facilitating innovation as well as new ways of living and working.

-       - Cyberspace
-       - Communities

There is already a lot been written about cyberspace and the benefits that it brings to our living and working.  E.g. commuting is no longer needed, I can work globally from the comfort of my home; ‘the internet of things’ enables me to monitor (from a distance) and manage the energy consumption in my house, as well as the safety. Transparency in the ways of operating within companies and countries has been increased, due to the availability and sharing of information (either voluntarily or forced).

I do believe in the growing importance of communities for both our living and our working. Instead of using sources outside of your city/country for example oil from the Middle East, and food from big farms in South America, more and more is sourced locally. This ‘insourcing’ creates employment and decreases the burden on the environment. New ways of working can be provided by promoting a local ecosystem of entrepreneurs.

By combining these new ways of living and working within communities, the highly needed impulse is given to both our societies as well as our personal happiness.

What do you think?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

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