The Sharing Economy
Due to digitization, the industrial hardware driven world: focused on growth and the creation of cheap physical products, is moving to a world of collaborative consumed goods and foods. Networking technologies have made the so called sharing economy possible, in which companies like house renting platform AirBnB and shared transportation company Uber flourish. This new economy is, together with access to free products like 3D designs and open source software, disrupting existing markets for example due to greatly reduced transaction costs. Knowledge has become freely available for everyone through learning platforms creating expectations for the achievement of a redistribution of wealth. Online networks create possibilities for new ways of working, in which  individuals can pursue a multitude of interests. And resources previously mainly available to large-scale organizations like access to multidisciplinary knowledge capital and talent, has now become accessible to almost every organization or company through online platforms like Upwork, a global freelancing platform. 

Working in Networks
That the 'traditional' workplace has become less attractive is shown by the growing amount of freelancers. Social networking online influences our possibilities to move beyond organizations. New ways of working are introduces that are about much more than flexible work places at the office and co-working spaces. New ways of working give the prospect of being able to become a digital nomad for example: being able to work from wherever, whenever online. And makes it possible to search out work that creates a positive impact on the world, which is important for many Millennials (people that are under 35 years of age). These opportunities have amongst others led to the initiative of Bee Collective Swarm Solutions. Bee Collective takes advantage of the opportunities networking technologies provide to crowdsource multidisciplinary knowledge capital that is accessible through networking technologies. We do this through a distributed network that wants to solve complex problems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’ s) together.  

Co-creating solutions
Bee Collective is an internationally-oriented organization that  understands that we are only at the beginning of understanding how we can effectively use networking technologies and the power of the crowd for complex problem solving. At Bee Collective we want to drive the Future of Business and make it possible for example for people to work on diverse projects in Pop Up companies that, while contributing to the SDGs, are also making a living out of it. To help people do this, as a learning organization we are testing and experimenting with crowdsourcing platforms, like PartUp and Glassfrog, and strategies like Holocracy. The idea is that people can use their can use their variety of (-complementary) skills to contribute to, or as we call it swarm around parts of the SDG’ s. We will share our trials and tribulations on the use of these networking technologies and are also very curious to hear:

  • What tools and platforms YOU are using to facilitate the switch from the 'traditional' workplace to new ways of working? And,
  • What has worked for you so far and what hasn’t?

By Sara Stevenson