Why Mentangle?

200 years ago, a transformation had just surged the European society. The transformation was that abrupt that it is today referred to as a revolution: the Industrial Revolution. Two centuries later, you can in international economy magazines every week read articles, describing and predicting how our present time probably constitutes the most radical socio-economic change since the Industrial Revolution.

“Sharing economy”, “collaborative consumption”, “peer economy”, “access economy”, or distributed economy, defined by the openness of its outputs and by decentralized, participant-driven working models, is permeating the world. New examples are continuously popping up here and there all around the world, not spreading like a fire starting at one point, but growing like seeds spread over a field, just as distributed and decentralized as its basic characteristics.

What is actually going on?

The transformational socio-economic process from industrial to distributional society is characterized by many trends:

From limited to accessible:

  • Information, music, videos, and software are since long time ago shared on the Internet, accessible to almost anyone.
    People can easily connect and stay connected with other people around the world through social media.
  • It is possible to shop anything in web shops anywhere at any time and within a couple of days get it delivered to your home by world-wide transportation services.
  • Yourself can travel to most places on the Earth by global transportation networks.
  • More authorities, companies, and organizations becomes more transparent, in that way increasing the access and trust of the public, of shareholders and customers, and of members and clients.

From private territoriality to collective sharing:

  • Through car poles car owners share seats in their car with other travellers, in order to make the transportation more energy efficient and sharing the travel costs.
  • Couch surfing is a well-established phenomenon where residents provide their couches to night accommodation for travellers, through a couch network, and in return get access to other couches in the network.
  • Soon autonomous vehicles will traffic our roads, providing cheap collective taxis, while bringing in some money to the car owner.

From centralized to decentralized:

  • Distributed currencies, such as Bitcoin, function in very distinct ways, as compared to the bank created money of the 20:th century.
  • Anyone has the possibility to become a global pop star by means of free media distribution, without the need of a big record label.
  • Anyone also has the possibility to finance their dream project by crowd funding, without the need of a financially strong investor.
  • Surgeon robots are performing surgery operated and monitored by one or several surgeons at one or several different remote locations, and drones are carrying out military missions operated and monitored by one or several pilots and mission leaders at one or several different remote sites.
  • Power generation is going from large-scale power plants to small-scale distributed energy production by solar panels, wind power generators, micro-hydro power systems, and small biofuel facilities.

From competition to cooperation:

  • The number of social networks and business cluster organizations have exploded during the last decades.
  • Open innovation is the trend where cooperation to meet innovative challenges speeds up the progress for the joint partners.

From hierarchical bureaucracy to distributed adhocracy:

  • The distributional structure of adhocracy is capable of being more efficient, faster in problem solving and response to new ideas than hierarchical bureaucratic structures, and consequently there is a trend of changing towards adhocratic organizations.

From unsustainable to sustainable:

  • As the natural resources are being depleted sustainable solutions are being forced forward, such as recycling, sustainable energy, and a shift from consumption to service society, paving the way for more circular economies.

From dependent asynchronous interactions to interdependent synchronous interactions:

  • The distinct differences between producers and consumers during the industrial era, is an example of dependent asynchronous economic interaction, where producers paid workers for their time and the workers bought and consumed the products. In the sharing economy, the borders between producers and consumers are getting diffuse, as production becomes more distributed when everyone can become a producer or service provider of many things, that is, interacting more synchronously and interdependent.

The examples with social media and with social networks and business cluster organizations are excellent illustrations of mentanglement, but most of the examples are in fact promoters of this interweavement.

When is the change going to happen?

The Industrial Revolution was not as sudden as the name may indicate. In fact, the revolution was a process of about 50 years – and this is a typical time scale of non-forced self-development of a society: two generations. First an entrepreneurial generation, where early adaptors are building up a wave of change. Some manage to surf the wave, while some fall off. After the wave has been built up it takes off, pulling with it the new adapted generation, and washing away the old generation that has not accommodated.

The rising of the entrepreneurial wave of the distributed economy has been observed since the first years after the millennium shift (indeed, there are earlier examples too). That is more than 15 years ago, anticipating that about one third of the transformational process time has already passed, further implicating that there is about 10 years left until the (r)evolution wave will roll away. That is the time to get on the wave and become one of the two first generations of the future, or not get on the wave and become the last generation of a passed era.

This is happening right now, with a fast pace, and just as the Industrial Revolution transformed the feudal society into the industrial society, the Distributional Evolution is transforming the industrial society into the distributional society.

Mentanglement is about much more than socio-economical interaction, but represents the interactional and distributional mindset adapted to the next step in the evolution of society – that is why to mentangle!

Let’s mentangle!

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