For me, the simple message of this chapter is that prosperity, innovation, and progress depend on elevating or increasing the common storehouse of knowledge. The more we all know, then the more we will innovate, progress, create, and prosper. As our authors say, "The emergence of open-access publishing and new Web services will place infinite reams of knowledge in the hands of individuals and help weave globally distributed communities of peers" (152).
The second simple lesson is that no one, no company or organization, can do it alone. It takes all of us, or at least most of us, working together in collaborative communities. It takes a village. Tapscott & Williams say, "In the past, firms have relied heavily on closed, hierarchical approaches to producing and harnessing knowledge. Increasingly, though, knowledge is the product of networked people and organizations looking for new solutions to specific problems (153) … Knowledge can build more quickly within networks of firms and institutions that cross seamlessly over disciplinary boundaries" (154).
The final simple lesson is that the tension between public and private needs to end. We need both the public and private sectors to create a vital, innovative, and prosperous society. Tapscott and Williams say it well: "We can't rely on competition and short-term self-interest alone to promote innovation and economic well-being. Vibrant markets rest on robust common foundations: a shared infrastructure of rules, institutions, knowledge, standards, and technologies provided by a mix of public and private sector initiative. … Finding the right balance between the public foundation and private enterprise is key to the long-term competitiveness of firms and economies" (178, 180).
- What specific, concrete examples can you note of people or programs at GCSU who are "elevating or increasing the common storehouse of knowledge?"
- What has this class done to elevate or increase the knowledge commons?
- What have you done to increase the knowledge commons?
- What has GCSU done to connect you to a collaborative community that raised yours and the community's knowledge and expertise? Don't overlook the expertise of soccer, for instance.
- How has this class functioned, or not functioned, as a collaborative community?
- How can both bright people and not so bright people be brighter as members of a resourceful and knowledgeable collaborative community?
- How does the school economy of an individual grade for each individual student work against collaboration?
- Should we change that school economy?
- How do we create a collaborative ecosystem in school that raises the knowledge of most all students rather than a competition of individual students that guarantees success only to the top 10 percent?