The collaborative economy in the era of the society fluid (BE)


In this time of global crisis but also this moment of deep questioning of our values, initiatives are emerging to cope. In this image, the movement of the collaborative economy is taking place. This is a new form of resource and goods management, but also of knowledge based on sharing and exchange. It finds its values and its power at the time of a "fluid society", in the words taken from Joel de Rosnay. Who are the actors of this movement? How do they organize? Some ideas in this article resonating with the words of the book of Joel de Rosnay "Surfing life: survive in a society fluid."


At the turn of the century, the situation is obvious. Our societies undergoing a period of crisis. This crisis is global by its environmental side: our planet is fatigue, raw materials are depleted, and the climate is changing with unequaled intensity. But it has also doubled in recent years that "Mr and Mrs everybody" call "crisis." Few people have a clear idea of what it really this financial and economic crisis, only the impacts are visible lower wages, lower purchasing power, bankrupt the state level...


Short this is the "crisis" that most media remind us all the time, creating a general atmosphere of fear and pessimism, often amplified by the passivity or inability of governments to agree. By the various reactions of the population, we realize that what we are experiencing is not just a financial crisis, political, environmental, but also a profound crisis of values and questioning the future of the industrial era and consumption we know.


However, in this situation, initiatives emerge, these actions often take root, through individuals wishing to respond to this situation and find solutions. A new society built to adapt to these difficult times, a society that dares to ride the wave rather than be drowned. She decides not to survive but to sur-vive in today's world. This image taken from Joël de Rosnay in his book "Surfing life: how to live in society-fluid" illustrates perfectly the metaphor of the wave, current initiatives of resistance or support instead our world in transition.


"Now a different approach is needed to survive the complexity of the modern world, its acceleration, and more, to build our future together. So we need to promote what I call "fluid society." A society that is based on flow reports and reports not only on strength. "Joël de Rosnay


But who is this community of surfers? They are people like you and me who began to be indignant and react, refusing this black. These are not utopians, at most utopian concrete. Like the festival of concrete utopias that took place in early September 2012 in Paris, they are convinced of the efficiency of a direct action at their level, often without waiting for government assistance. These people organize themselves and act on their scale, locally, to meet global disorder as already announced in 2010 so Coline Serreau in his film "Local Solution for a global disorder. "These communities are worn mostly by young people (25-35 years) whose main lever is the ecosystem of Web 2.0 networks in which they grew up.


"Net Gen": the emergence of fluid society

These younger generation called "Generation Y", "digital natives" or "Net Gen" by Joël de Rosnay grew up in an environment where the sharing, exchange, cooperation are the watchwords. It is in this Web 2.0 virtual ecosystem they evolved. In fact, the web 2.0 that characterizes this new era of information technology or relationship "calls into question the established powers, crafts, social and economic theories," according to Veronique Kleck. This period was also that of an explosion of computing power exponentially always accompanied also the genesis of billions information. We are in the era of "big data" created by a population connected everywhere and all the time especially through mobile Internet. Faced with these changes, this fluid society must learn to manage this increasing complexity. She invents "new forms of power to authority, new forms of collective creation of shared pleasure, participatory democracy and empowering. '

In this image, recently emerged a new form of resource management, but also goods based knowledge sharing and exchange. Called collaborative economy, it covers all areas of society.


Surf life-how to live in a society fluid Joël de Rosnay

The collaborative economy implements a range of initiatives from are added in parallel with other actions, including the social and solidarity economy (SSE). These initiatives are based on an organization can be defined as "bottom up" (piloting participatory), that is to say, they emerge from civil society, not governments or institutions like ESS. According to Joël de Rosnay, we can compare this governance structure to a "mesh network" or mesh: parallel system based on a few main nodes but no central hierarchy.

These are the characteristics of the mesh network that give strength and define its values. This mesh of communities allows speedy action without creating a major problem in the case where one of the nodes would disappear, unlike the usual centralized and hierarchical. Indeed, with a hierarchical model, when a node runs out, it is the whole system integrity is jeopardized. It is thus adaptive capacity and redundancy of the mesh network that is its strength: "One of the advantages of mesh networks is their redundancy which makes them durable and reliable. The network as the ability to repair itself as self-organize." Collaboration and sharing are the keystones of this network. The strong competition is not more the strong value. A soft power is taking place and involves more collaborative work between teams closely associated." These communities also rely on a culture of "open" born on the Internet via the first initiatives of Open Source software. Sharing, empathy, fraternity, transversality of approaches and solutions, showcased by Joël de Rosnay to surf life are suitable to define the core values of these new actors.



OuiShare: the collective of the economy collaborative

Initiatives made by these actors are numerous and increasing at a high speed. ". They also have an ability to quickly export including through web 2.0. These projects are supported by the France Ouishare working group for the development of Collaborative Economics. In a few months, Ouishare was powered by a small group of volunteers to organize a movement that is growing and internationally. It represents more than 300 members in 15 countries in Europe, North America and Latin America contributing in English, French and Spanish in the dissemination of the values ​​of collaborative economy.

It is a large diverse community made up of social entrepreneurs, journalists, researchers, hackers, designers, activists, etc.., which takes possession of all socio-economic areas for rethink in terms of relationships based on sharing, exchange, and a culture of "open."


These projects are numerous and based on a key concept: the "Peer to Peer" or P2P, ie the direct exchange between two people where everyone is both a consumer and producer. These reports were originally developed in the field of consumption so as merchantability or non- merchantability. For example, you can include carpooling platforms for mobility, Airbnb or Couchsurfing for housing, the Hive who says yes to food. This movement of "peer to peer" is rooted more in all areas. From energy sector, with the development of "smart grids" as recalled by Joël de Rosnay in his book, the field of finance (kisskissbankbank), education (Unishared) and the production of goods (wikispeed) . This is all sectors of the economy are affected. As concluded elsewhere Joël de Rosnay: "The peer will reach key sectors of the economy and prepare the ground fluid society and its economy adapted."

So these communities know to ride the wave knowing adapt, overcome, "hacker" current issues or use collective intelligence to try to solve them. This mesh network is enriched with increasingly rising as the level of complexity of trade and relations.


The collaborative economy: and tomorrow?

This leads to theoretical questions about the future of this movement: How will organize this cooperation in the long term? Can it be applied to very large scale? The science of complexity demanded by Edgar Morin then appear crucial. They are necessary to analyze the parameters underlying these communities and solutions for their management of local a scale on a global scale today.

Perhaps we are entering an era of collaborative revolution similar to the industrial revolution as envisaged Rachel Botsman or maybe these changes will shape the society smoothly? We cannot know today, but it is important I believe it to be attentive to these developments in the era of this fluid society.

For on-life means first of all believe in knowledge and knowledge open to all and where all shared (Yes Share) is the key word.


Références :

Article based on « l’économie collaborative à l’ère de la société fluide » validation du cours de sociologie économique au CNAM

Surfer la vie-Comment sur-vivre dans la société fluide - Joël de Rosnay-Edition : LLL Les liens qui libèrent

Numérique & cie société en réseaux en gouvernance-Véronique Kleck- édition Charles Léopold Mayer

OuiShare : la communauté de l’économie collaborative -

Scoopit : Vivre dans une société fluide-


Célya Gruson-Daniel

Former student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Celya graduated with a Master of Cognitive Neuroscience and Behavioural University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC). She followed the course of the Magisterium Science and Technology in Society and soon will validate the certificate of specialization Science, democracy and social innovation at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM). His interest focuses on Web 2.0 and its impact on the relationship between science and society. It also opens to the issue of new socio-economic organizations that are established especially with the collaborative economy. She now works as a community manager for MyScienceWork, multidisciplinary scientific social network dedicated to open access and MyScienceWork blog.