Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cromads: emerging engine of economic growth or just coffee house campers?

Swapping notes/thoughts with Betsey Merkel of I-Open today got me thinking more about the intersection of pocket web browsing and open source economic development as seen in the emergence of Creative Nomads. I'm not sure if it's a legitimate subset yet. I often feel like the only thing holding us back from full-on explosion of a Cromadic economy is affordable-portable health insurance. Thinking more about what opportunities might exists to serve this market in the future.

Thinking about my own behavior, we roam in social tribes. Trade in the currency of creativity using the tools of wifi enabled laptops, iPhones and iPod Touches; following the rules of open source engagement. Content is generated and shared while gathered around the barista-manned watering holes, or while grazing on the plains of the Panera. We are not on the way to or from the office. We create, upload, distribute on the fly. Creative/artistic expression is primary driver, with many making annual pilgrimages to Meccas like SXSW.

One major question might be, how do you enable the growth of local tribes? Or do you? Is any outsider attempt to help the tribe doomed to kill or run it off? Will BootB take off and perhaps even expand? Will other, matchmaker-style services spring up connecting collaborators?


susan said...

I am a colleague of Betsey Merkel's at I-Open. I read your blog with great interest - especially the first paragraph.

I agree that affordable health care is critical for the future - but let's look at the bigger picture. The meaning of health care is more than affordable health insurance - it is a part of achieving the well-being of a community/region/state/nation. What does a healthy community mean. In my view: centers of excellence in traditional and alternative education (trade schools, certification, etc.,) taking care of yourself - preventative health care, eating right and exercising, realizing your self-worth, encouraging people to develop an entrepreneurial culture in the community, building a sense of place where people want to live, work and play and building the networks for innovation and entpreneurship to flouish to build prosperity in communities and regions across the country.

Susan Altshuler

Scott Crawford said...

Thanks Susan, I appreciate the input. I agree all you've laid out in looking at and considering the bigger picture.

Sometimes, though, you've got to drill down to a single issue to get it done. This is one of those for me, and I only speak for me from my experience.

How many artists, writers, creative problem solvers, stay tethered to a 40-50 hour job that does not untap or advance their real potential for society because they believe they can't afford to walk away from the sponsored health insurance?

No argument. Just my personal soapbox. And pain.