Charles Leadbeater on mass creativity: We Think, the book

By Howard Rheingold, published at 10 May 2007 - 8:12pm, last updated 10 years 5 weeks ago.

(Via JOHO)

Charles Leadbeater's new book is beyond smartmobby: We Think. And he's put it on the web for download and reader comment.

Google is on the verge of bidding £1bn for Youtube, a business little more than a year old. Wikipedia continues to draw more traffic than much more established media brands, employing hundreds more people. Open source programmes such as Linux insistently chip away at corporate providers of proprietary software. Immersive multi user computer games, such as Second Life, which depend on high levels of user participation and creativity are booming. Craigslist a self help approach to searching for jobs and other useful stuff is eating into the ad revenues of newspapers. Youth magazines such as Smash Hit have been overwhelmed by the rise of social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo. What is going on?

We-Think: the power of mass creativity is about what the rise of the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporations. My argument is that these new forms of mass, creative collaboration announce the arrival of a society in which participation will be the key organising idea rather than consumption and work. People want to be players not just spectators, part of the action, not on the sidelines.

With the support of Profile, my publisher, I am releasing the book prior to formal publication next year so that people can comment upon the text, add to it, disagree with it. I hope this open approach to peer review is in itself an experiment in collaborative creativity and will help to create new ways for people to write books and share ideas.We