Archives For Own Words

The talk I gave a few months ago at Rebuild21 got me invited to speak at TEDxCopenhagen, which was a terrific experience.

A few days have gone by and our talks are now online. Here’s mine:

The REXpedition stops people on the street (Well, not really.  We find them on Skype), and asks, “What is going on here?”

Chris Messina is a well-known advocate of the open web, starting as a leader of the community marketing of the launch of the popular Firefox web browser in 2004. He is a board member of the OpenID and Open Web Foundations, and plays an instrumental role in advancing OAuth and safer online computing (more bio here). He currently works at Google as an Open Web Advocate.

Todd Hoskins:  If I told you we are living in the “Relationship Economy,” what does that mean to you?

Chris Messina:  I’d say that the relationship economy is one where I can leverage or make available the various contacts and connections that I’ve nurtured over some period of time.

So, if someone is willing to give me some shareable benefit, I might turn around and promote that benefit to my friends or colleagues, or other people that I’m affiliated with who might have some kind of interest in that benefit.  Obviously this is similar to word-of-mouth, but it’s somewhat more durable, and would take place over time.

Todd:  Openness has been posited as a force within the Relationship Economy.  As an open web advocate, do you see the web becoming more open as a naturally evolving phenomenon, or do we have to push, pull, and campaign for it?

Chris:  Openness is unfortunately one of those words that’s become somewhat geriatric, losing its teeth and forgetting what it means . . . There’s the Facebook “Openness” and Adobe “Openness” and Government “Openness” and they all mean different things.

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The REXpedition stops people on the street (Well, not really.  We find them on Skype), and asks, “What is going on here?”

Venessa Miemis is a futurist and digital ethnographer, researching the impacts of social technologies on society and culture and designing systems to facilitate innovation and the evolution of consciousness. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Media Studies at the New School in NYC.  Her recent work on the Future of Money has attracted attention from the Huffington Post and Fast Company.  The video is definitely worth seven minutes of your time.

Todd:  If I told you we are in the “Relationship Economy,” what does that mean to you?

Venessa:  I think we’re in a transition where we’re learning to renegotiate what “trust” means.  We’re not as interested in just arms-length transactions that keep us distanced from one another – we want to actually connect to other humans in a meaningful way and create value together.

Todd: How do you see openness playing out in this transition?

Venessa: I think it’s been an agreed upon paradigm for a long time that hoarding information and keeping it private is the proper framework for success.  Now, with accelerating change and increasing complexity, we’re seeing that this mentality leaves our infrastructures rigid and nonadaptive.  We are realizing that a degree of openness, sharing, and collaboration is necessary in order to solve problems and innovate.

Todd: What IS the future of money?

Venessa: Technology is a tool.  It is supposed to assist us in doing something more effectively and efficiently than could be done without it.  I see the web as a tool that gives us an advanced communication infrastructure and ability to make our wants, needs, and resources apparent.  This is only going to become more granular.  In time, we may realize that money in its current form is not the most effective means for allowing this information to flow.  We are going to quantify ourselves further (levels of trust, reputation, dependability, social connectedness), and new kinds of currencies will emerge that allow us to exchange value directly based on those metrics.

Todd: Thanks, Venessa!