as we are learning to walk the network society walk, it might make sense to learn from cultures that have been organized along similar lines. Venice of the late 13th Century immediately comes to mind, but also Vienna [full disclosure:Â I am enjoying a cup of Viennese melange right across from the interior ministry, where yesterday, we discussed the opportunities and political threats of social media]. If governments will wake up to the challenge of creating the platforms of collective action for the 21st Century, as they have been able to do in the last centuries through militarization/bureaucratization/statistics, they will somehow look like Vienna: Coffee houses, ministers walking between ministries, random meetings on the street, sophisticated cultures mixing, a sensitivity for the other, and a sense of purpose. The Austrian empire is alive as a focal point to be evoked, when necessary.
Vienna is the only place, where I heard a senior policy maker make the argument that if governments want to stay relevant, they need to think about bandwidth and cloud storage, because in an open source world that is where identity is constructed.