The views expressed are his own.
What will happen in 2012? In the spirit of the aphorism “The future is not something to be predicted, it’s something to be achieved,” let me suggest 20 transformations (which Reuters will publish in four groups of five; the first can be found here). We need to make progress on these issues now to prevent next year from being a complete disaster.
These ideas are based on the research I did with Anthony D. Williams to write our recent book which comes out in January 2012 as a new edition entitled Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet.
All 20 are based on the idea that the industrial age has finally run out of gas and we need to rebuild most of our institutions for a new age of networked intelligence and a new set of principles – collaboration, openness, sharing, interdependence and integrity. These big ideas will be the focus of much of my writing next year.
6. The Arab seasons: Getting beyond wiki revolutions to democratic, secular governments
In Egypt and Tunisia we saw a revolution in how to foment revolutions. Now we need to reinvent how to build democracies. Enabled by social media, anti-government leadership in these two countries came from the people themselves rather than a traditional vanguard. Tools such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter radically lowered the cost and effort of collaboration and undermined state censorship. Now leaders are beginning to use the same tools to help build functional democracies. "Social networks, Twitter and texting were critical to the revolution," said Yassine Brahim, Tunisia's new minister of infrastructure and transport, last year at Davos. "We are going to leverage social media to build a horizontal democracy rather than a vertical democracy." We must ensure that the wiki revolutions result in just societies, and not be taken over by the old regime or other regressive forces.