Start your review of Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World Write a review Shelves: own , non-fiction , canadian-author , science , technology , politics , first-reads , autographed , economics , read Full disclosure: I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Loves me the free books. Williams argue that the Internet has irrevocably altered the way corporations and businesses will interact and develop new products and services. The proprietary, closed models of research and design are obsolete and must be replaced by mass collaboration with outside talent. Companies that do not embrace this new ethic of economics, the eponymous Full disclosure: I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Companies that do not embrace this new ethic of economics, the eponymous wikinomics, will be left behind, their innovation too glacial for a world where news moves at the speed of the trending topics on Twitter.
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Start your review of Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World Write a review Shelves: own , non-fiction , canadian-author , science , technology , politics , first-reads , autographed , economics , read Full disclosure: I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Loves me the free books. Williams argue that the Internet has irrevocably altered the way corporations and businesses will interact and develop new products and services.
The proprietary, closed models of research and design are obsolete and must be replaced by mass collaboration with outside talent. Companies that do not embrace this new ethic of economics, the eponymous Full disclosure: I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Companies that do not embrace this new ethic of economics, the eponymous wikinomics, will be left behind, their innovation too glacial for a world where news moves at the speed of the trending topics on Twitter.
As I said in my review of Wikinomics , I am biased because of my generation. The books share the same effusive tone that makes me wince for how it must sound to the truly sceptical. However, this sequel has managed to win me over in a way the business-oriented Wikinomics did not. One thing I noticed with Wikinomics was how dated it felt, even though it was written only in In contrast, Macrowikinomics is a lot more topical and much more embedded within the current events of , yet it paradoxically feels like it will age more slowly.
It owes this success to its expanded scope and more ambitious premises. By applying wikinomics in a more general setting, Tapscott and Williams make a more convincing case for its relevance. Macrowikinomics covers several topics of contemporary importance. After introducing their concept and bringing those who did not read the first book up to speed, Tapscott and Williams briefly cover how they think wikinomics will help to avoid any repeats of the financial crisis more open data means more watchdogs.
Oh, not angry at the book! No, Tapscott and Williams blithely discuss how wikinomics is beneficial for the transition away from fossil fuels, and although their conclusions and futuristic scenarios often err on the side of optimism, much of their analysis is valid.
And so, the normally level-headed and mellow Ben feels the first signs of rage simmering beneath his placid surface. We know the effects of carbon dioxide emissions on the atmosphere. The same goes for our dependence on fossil fuels. Maybe the opponents of the transition to clean energy are right, and there are vast, untapped reserves of oil.
That does not change the fact that oil is a finite, non-renewable resource; we are using it faster than it can be replenished by several oils of magnitude.
Of course, the people who deny human culpability in global warming and the danger of our dependence on fossil fuels often do so out of a particularly insidious version of myopia. We humans are notoriously bad at our long-range planning, preferring to jump from crisis to crisis as our evolution has conditioned us to do. The result is a sort of "not in my lifetime" deferral of the problems of global warming, fossil fuel dependency, etc.
Yet we are only just beginning to come of age and exert an influence on the conventional halls of power—corporations, governments, NGOs, etc. Our governments mumble about "emissions targets" and "carbon taxes" even as our world leaders fly off on expensive jets to international summits where they talk about treaties that, if ever signed, are never really honoured.
Our poor politicians are trapped between the rock of the powerful, well-funded corporate lobbyists and the increasingly-vocal youth calling out for change. Change, however, is slow in coming. And if our governments are slow in implementing clean energy, designing intelligent electrical grids, and subsidizing automobile innovation, then we are going to do it ourselves.
One of the more reassuring points that Tapscott and Williams make is that, contrary to how I sometimes feel, one does not have to be an expert in everything. Sometimes, with all of the issues that seem to be clamouring for my attention, I am just overwhelmed by the amount of information available to me.
Tapscott and Williams have a suggestion to help mitigate such problems: openness and participation. Meanwhile, I can contribute where I feel most comfortable.
I am almost finished my undergraduate education. This was the last year of my honours bachelors degree in mathematics; next year I take "professional year" education courses and complete two sessions of student-teaching in schools. As I approach the attainment of that goal, I ruminate often on how I will teach.
I have so many new options available to me, new technology and new strategies. As a new teacher, it threatens to be a little overwhelming, since I still have no experience. For now, I think about how I can bring my comfort and familiarity with current technology into the classroom and apply it to my teachables. If Macrowikinomics made me angry about global warming, it made me excited about education. Tapscott and Williams tackle mostly the "ivory tower" of universities in the first chapter of part VI: "Learning, Discovery, and Well-Being", but they also mention projects in elementary and secondary schools of which they approve.
Many of their proposals are controversial, and many of them seem obvious, and there is plenty of overlap between these two categories. It should come as no surprise that they want pedagogy to shift away from one-to-many delivery methods, such as the traditional professorial lecture, toward collaborative learning environments where teachers guide students toward making discoveries.
They quote Seymour Papert: "The scandal of education is that every time you teach something, you deprive a [student] of the pleasure and benefit of discovery. As a student, I have always loved learning, and that has made it easier for me than many of my peers. I can recognize that everyone learns differently and try to foster that difference rather than ignore it as I deliver the same lesson in the same style to the same bored faces.
Mostly, Macrowikinomics calls for a flexibility in the education system that would be as awesome as it is, at present, unattainable. The success of OpenCourseWare and Khan Academy suggest that there is a niche traditional textbook and lecture-style learning is not satisfying.
Of course, Tapscott and Williams would like to see those institutions become collaborative at every level, not just when it comes to accreditation, and that would solve the problem—but the problem is a deep one, embedded with the very system itself.
In the last two parts of the book prior to the conclusion, Macrowikinomics turns first to the dying newspaper industry and then to the effect of wikinomics on freedom and democracy. The former contains little that will be new if one has been paying any sort of attention to the news in the past five years: newspapers are dying, free is killing them, bits are cheaper than atoms, etc.
It is a solid enough analysis, but it is not the strongest part of the book. I am pleased by the inclusion of the latter part, because it addresses some of the concerns I voiced in my review of Wikinomics about the absence of any perspectives from less developed nations.
The repetitive style that sometimes irked me in Wikinomics returns in all its glory. Also, if you have read Wikinomics, and especially if you read these in quick succession, some sections of this book will feel very familiar—in fact, some are reproduced verbatim from the first book. While I understand the need to familiarize newcomers with these ideas, and while it might be economical to save some time and effort by reusing older material, I found my attention wandering during these parts, because I had heard it all before.
Tapscott and Williams are at their best when they are discussing the new and amazing opportunities for innovation that the Internet and mass collaboration offer.
They are, in a sense, charting the new techniques made possible by our new technology, both by interviewing the people who are setting trends and blazing trails and by making their own diagnoses and suggestions for how we can innovate using wikinomics. As with the previous books, they run into more trouble when they attempt to wax philosophical—their enthusiasm undermines their frequent reminders that wikinomics, the Internet, etc.
Similarly, their attempts to refute criticism of wikinomics and macrowikinomics are noble but unimpressive. Macrowikinomics is thorough, well-researched, and very much a manifesto.
Whether you consider this a good thing I will leave up to you. It made me angry, and it made me inspired.
Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World