Let’s start off the first BookPairing post of 2013 with some inspiration, shall we? It’s always an amazing thing when ideas that you had been batting around over late-night dinners or general musings actually appear in the form of a book, already all thought out and much smarter than your’s will ever be.
Steven Johnson’s latest book, Future Perfect, champions the idea that movement occurs from smaller groups of people rather than organized central entities. He challenges all of us to look at the examples from peer-to-peer networks on the Internet and see how they can apply and solve the problems of some of our older systems. He calls his approach peer progressivism.
In that spirit, I wanted to showcase some of the most inspiring peer network models I’ve run across lately and hope that you’ll find some nuggets for thought as you browse through each of these as well.
Kickstarter: A funding platform for creative projects that is now sending more money to artists than the National Endowment for the Arts. Very cool project(s): Mine Kafon, a low-cost wind-powered landmine detonator, and a Choose Your Own Adventure version of Hamlet.
Coursera: An online platform that partners with top universities to offer free online courses for anyone to take. Very cool course(s): Game Theory from Stanford and UBC professors (starting today) and Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World from a University of Michigan professor.
Crowdtilt: A funding platform specifically for groups. Want to get a group of friends together to rent a summer beach house or rally a neighborhood to pay for pothole repairs? Crowdtilt’s your place. Very cool project: A campaign to create an urban garden in the Deep Ellum community in Dallas.
MyPhxAZ App: Mobile phone app from the city that allows citizens to send in images of graffiti, abandoned shopping carts, or other blight concerns for the city to address.
Causes: A charitable-based giving platform that allows you to start a petition, create fundraising goals, or gather recruits for your project. Very cool project: A pledge drive asking people to spay and neuter their pets received more than 11,000 pledges.
indiegogo: A platform, similar to Kickstarter, that allows anyone to create a project and ask for funding. Very cool project: Alter Ego, a personal water filtration device, with purchases tied to donations to water charities committed to bringing clean water to people all over the world.
Like what you see? Learn more about Johnson’s ideas on peer progressives in this video:
What other peer to peer networks do you use? If you watched that video, you were just involved in one, or if you use Wikipedia, you’ve benefited from them as well.