I had the pleasure of participating in the Future of Work virtual conference today, since it was not in Portland as originally planned. Open Space... I'm not going to explain it today, but it's a lot of fun and exploration; you should try one if you have the opportunity. This worked great - qiqochat.com provided a "conference hall" enclosing the various Zoom rooms, and all of the same Open Space Technology elements just flowed pretty much like they normally do.

As usual, the primary feeling of the experience was one of resonance with like minds, exploring in the same direction and facing some of the same challenges with the same values. On the technical side, I'm coming away with a little vertigo about how weird the ownership structure of the vast majority of our companies are. Now that the workers in any given company are the means of production, it's pretty strange how they work for an owner that isn't the collective them.

I think 2020 will do more than average to speed up cultural evolution, and I do believe that better structures and systems will start to become more prevalent... but big systems move slowly. There are so many big zombie companies that may take decades to fall apart. Heck, Oracle still has inertia.

Doing better on the legal/contractual ownership side will take some clever innovation that I can't see the ins-and-outs of myself. Co-ops, recognizing value creation, time-value of effort/money, putting the definition of "value" into people's own hands. I'm sure some smart people have already started working on this and I haven't even looked yet. But I do think that most of today's progressive organizations still exist despite an archaic ownership structure, and are reliant on the benevolence of a high-minded owner to create the space for their future-cultural practices to thrive - at least until a crisis of some kind hits.

Random thoughts, not well organized... definitely tagging this one "journal" level