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Wednesday, May 16 • 8:45am - 10:00am
The Penguin and the Leviathan: Cooperative Human Systems Design

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A decade ago, Wikipedia burst into a world not ready to comprehend it. Thousands of people cooperating effectively, without price signals to offer “incentives” or managerial hierarchy to direct efforts was simply impossible. And yet, it moves. And as it moved it combined with a deep shift across many disciplines, from biology and neuroscience to organizational sociology, experimental economics, and social psychology to paint a very different view of who we are as human beings. Slowly pushing back against decades of ever-refined analyses based on self-interested rationality, we begin to see that we are diverse beings; that a majority of us responds cooperatively to cooperative settings—we tend to treat well those who have treated us well, rather than take advantage of them; we tend to do what we think is right and fair, when it is clear in the setting what that is; we experience empathy, and it makes us more generous and trustworthy; we experience solidarity with others, and that makes us contributed more willingly to the group's goals. Moreover, explicit payments, the touchstone of mechanism design under universal self-interested rationality, turns out to have a much more complex relationship with motivation than simple addition. All this work in basic behavioral sciences combines with observations from organizational sociology, political science, management studies, and social software design to provide a basis on which to build a field of cooperative human systems design.


Speakers
avatar for Yochai Benkler

Yochai Benkler

Yochai Benkler is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Since the 1990s he has played a part in characterizing the role of information commons and decentralized collaboration to innovation, information production, and freedom in the networked economy and society. His books include The Wealth of Networks: How social production transforms markets... Read More →


Wednesday May 16, 2012 8:45am - 10:00am
Amphitheater

Attendees (60)