Design for a New Humanism

In the last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how the Collaborative Economy. The collaborative shift is often depicted as a “revolution” based on communities and collaboration. In reality, I think that the long list of growing technology and communication enablers is giving individuals totally new possibilities and potential and therefore the collaborative shift should be more seen and inspected from this, alternative, point of view: that of leveraging the potential of one(s), multiplied by platforms and collaborative processes.

In this process, modern capitalism is encompassing the whole of the self in a natural evolution that was predicted by Karl Marx already in his grundrisse: it’s just the evolution towards cognitive capitalism and it’s just starting.

The big question to me is: will this post-industrial capitalism evolve into… post-capitalism?

I’ve been able to dig more into the topic in this article on Medium (I’m playing out with Medium for shorter reads, I’ll keep posting on meedabyte for longer reads).


Later on, I also had the chance to complement those early reflections on cognitive capitalism with a presentation, while preparing a talk I gave at a banking and insurance event earlier on this week, that helped me elaborate on the act of design in this age.

I really think that things such as the Bitcoin-Blockchain ecosystem (or the Ethereum one) are, in a way, new landmarks of design: they represent a new way of approaching design as inspired by the potential of emergence, mobilisation.

We learnt how to play with incentive design thanks to the first generation of platforms – that of the AirBnbs and Ubers – but the disruptors that are coming to “disrupt the disruptors” will work differently and will be able to generate even stronger network effects. These disruptors will be born from small things that can set big things in motionin the same way as the Bitcoin-Blockchain ecosystem was born out of a protocol written on an open scientific paper; the seed that will likely transform the whole financial industry and more.

With smart contracts and smart locks coming into the game, reality really becomes programmable, and the potential for “systemic design” grows even further: our possibility to leverage on reality itself grows almost indefinitely.

The next institution might be a code snippet.



“Design has evolved from product to experience to service and system”

From: “Brand-building in on-demand economy”Ana Andjelic.


About meedabyte

Strategist, Consultant and Collaborative Pathfinder


  1. That was really good.
    Great work, Simone, thanks for posting this!

  2. Pingback: Design for a New Humanism | Meedabyte | DSummit | Techfluencing & Disruptology

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