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‘Occupy’ as a business model: The emerging open-source civilisation beyond capitalism

‘Occupy’ as a business model: The emerging open-source civilisation...

The Occupy Wall Street movement is a model for a new economic paradigm, in which value is first created by communities.

In Zuccotti Park, protesters created an ‘ethical economy’ based on the group’s shared values [GALLO/GETTY]

Chiang Mai, Thailand Last week I discussed the value crisis of contemporary capitalism: the broken feedback loop between the productive publics who create exponentially increasing use value, and those who capture this value through social media – but do not return these income streams to the value “produsers”.

In other words, the current so-called “knowledge economy” is a sham and a pipe dream – because abundant goods do not fare well in a market economy. For the sake of the world’s workers, who live in an increasingly precarious situation, is there a way out of this conundrum? Can we restore the broken feedback loop?

Strangely enough, the answer may be found in the recent political movement that is Occupy, because along with “peer producing their political commons“, they also exemplified new business and value practices. These practices were, in fact, remarkably similar to the institutional ecology that is already practiced in producing free software and open hardware communities. This is not a coincidence. Continue reading 

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