25 January 2016

Future Trends: Crowdfunded Public Works

Some great reflections on future trends from the Economist. I’m particularly enthralled with the third: public participation in development of cities and communities via mechanisms such as crowdfunding. Imagine: green spaces developed not by government committee and taxpayer dollars, but by citizens with a vision.

Some effects of this trend: More public works being dreamed up by citizens and funded by citizens; privately executed in the public domain. A new creative breed emerging, carrying high esteem: those with the vision, capability, and marketing skill to drive major crowdfunded projects. Increased public awareness and enthusiasm for their ability to shape the world around them, and a growing understanding of the dynamics that make good community.

This is part of an overarching theme: the gradual decline in relevance of the centralized state, and a decomposition of its functions into decentralized organizational structures, as the network effect enhances the efficacy of the grassroots, and as decentralized models become more efficient and effective than centralized governance.

I predict this will be a slow and peaceful transition, although the accompanying social and economic disruption by tech innovation will no doubt cause massive upheavals.