What are the Policy Implications of an Open Design World?
What if our economic organization had it exactly backwards? That it wrongly considers the material world to be infinite, and that it creates articfial scarcities that impede the free cooperation and innovation by its citizens? Increasingly, innovation is becoming social as an emerging property of networks of collaborators. Slowly but inexorably, the lowering technical and financial treshold for creating collective value is bypassing the a priori financial and organizational need for private capital and creates scores of permission-free production communities in all domains of social life. In such a new context, the possibilities of creating value through non-proprietary formats, through a commons of open designs, become a realistic alternative to the impediment of social cooperation that is inscribed in the increasingly restrictive intellectual property regimes. At the same time, such peer production creates a problematic of how it interfaces with the allocation of scarce resources needed for the physical realization of open designs.
How does the emergent world of peer production, governance and property interface with the traditional political economy of industrial and cognitive capitalism, and how does this require and lead towards a shift from a vision of a Parent State to that of a Partner State, whereby public authorities enable and empower the direct social production of value. The key question is: how can this be done?