Using Free Agents to Solve Our Problems
Austin Convention Center, Ballroom E (500 E Cesar Chavez St)
Speaker: Jake Brewer
About: Traditional organizations are like giant boulders in a river of ideas and information, disrupting flow and causing drag. By and large, organizations are static, inefficient, and structurally resist change, resulting in an inability to adapt. Perverse incentives arise, where solving the big problems organizations were created for contradicts the survival instinct of the organization, lest they become obsolete. Over time, organizations become invested in their structures for structures' sake - and even hold their commitment to obsolesence in high regard by touting their "sustainability" as a paramount priority. While this may be the best humanity has come up with so far to achieve the necessary scale required for global problems, they are far from an ideal structure to harness the best of what humanity can do together. With today's technology, people can come together and self-organize around specific goals, and dissipate those associations when the project is over - a project-based system, with more room for change and innovation, and more efficient composition of ideas and skill sets. Put simply, it's a world where everyone is a free agent citizen - capable of devoting primary, secondary, or even passive energy to a problem. What does this world look like? How does it scale? How does it affect productivity, the economy, and individual lifestyles? Where does this model break down, and what could be done to address those issues?