Here’s an outline of something to build on later:
It’s clear there are classes of problems which markets are ill-suited to tackle.
We need to shift the emphasis for these types of problems from elements to proximities.
A sustainable proximities approach can assist with these types of problems. It includes the ProxThink growth model, as well as networks, technology and participation/coordination practices embodied in things like Web 2.o and Wikipedia.
Many hands make light work.
With many hands and a sustainable proximities approach, many tough, intractable problems that markets are failing to solve, may become almost trivial.
In the process, I believe we could have some fun solving these kinds of problems.
Not only that, variety and vitality could be increased, making life more interesting and enjoyable.
This approach shares some aspects of a barn-raising. Yet it scales because it leverages new concepts, networks, technologies and web participation.
It also leverages probability and large numbers. Although people will participate to varying degrees, some will participate if only because it is enjoyable and interesting. Others will participate because people they know are participating. And for many, just a little effort might be needed. It’s likely this level of participation can accomplish quite a lot.
Although this approach is new, it may not be that complicated. In fact, it may be simpler than using markets for these kinds of problems. And, it may be more broadly applicable, to a variety of problems and proximities, than we imagine at first. It could be a new way to approach shared challenges.
I believe this approach will work. You are welcome to explain to me why it won’t. But a better test would be trying it for some proximities.
In the meantime, see this link for more on the sustainable proximities approach.