The objective of this article is to discuss the Great Convergence of computer enabled society. Social media must not be allowed to converge to a single apex – rather, it must converge to 3 distinct and tangible dimensions.
The factors of production for the industrial economy are land, labor, and capital. If you lose one, you can’t use the other two to build an SUV, for example. The factors of production for an innovation economy are social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital. All production in the new economic paradigm will result from the allocation of a “secret sauce” of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital. Again, if you lose one, you can’t use the other two to build anything meaningful.
The congregation of congregations:
In order to find The Great Convergence, we simply need to examine Social Media to discover where social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital tend to congregate.
One of the more obvious illustrations appears to be playing out between LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace. Many people use Linkedin for professional contacts (intellectual Capital), other people use Facebook for friends, family and more diverse associations (Social Capital), while many others use MySpace to post videos of their rock band, Artwork, or to discover the latest Mash up (Creative Capital). Of course there are many more social networks, lots of cross talk, different demographics, rants and raves, etc. I intentionally leave this analysis sparse as these conditions simply reflect the nature of The Great Convergence.
The Next Economic Paradigm:
We need to watch The Great Convergence with laser focus and deep personal interest because it will be extremely important for the development of what comes after the knowledge economy. Whatever form this next economic paradigm takes, globally and locally, will depend upon The Great Convergence. The Innovation Economy is the only wrench left in the toolbox for resolving the vast global problems that we face today.
The Innovation Economy must end global warming, restore financial accountability, enact sustainable enterprise, and institute renewable energy – or not. This is a huge burden to ask of the next “greatest generation”. It is clearly in everyone’s best interest to identify, encourage, and support The Great Convergence to form in 3D, before the old single-apex game “resets” and starts all over again, perhaps for the last time.
[The Ingenesist Project discusses this concept at length and identified various predictions, methods, and scenarios, including specifications for an Innovation Economy.]