The “networked information economy”- Benkler 

Chapter 1: Benkler 2006 The Wealth of Networks.

What do we mean by ‘knowlege economy’? Benkler’s central arguments concerns the implication of the emergence of what he calls the “networked information economy”, an economy that has placed the material means of information and cultural production in the hands of a signficant fraction of the world’s population – in the order of a billion people (and rising – get stats) [3].

In the past decade and a half, we have begun to see a radical change in the organization of information production. Enabled by technoglogical change, we are beginning to see a series of economic, social and cultural adaptations that make possible a radical transformation of how we make the information environment we occupy as autonomous individuals, citizens, and members of cultural and social groups. [1]

The changes are deep, structural and ‘revolutionary’ accoding to Benkler and create new opportunities for the creation and exchange of knowledge. They are post-industrial in the sense that the means of information production are now owned by increasingly large numbers of individuals in comparison with the situation of only a few decades ago.

The fact that every such effort [to reach, inform, and edify millions of people around the globe] is available to anyone connected to the network, from anywhere, has led to the emergence of coordinated effects, where the aggregate effect of individual action, even when it is not self-consciously cooperative, produces the coordinate effect of a new and rich information environment. [5].

Such a situation has obvious challenges. How we lever, filter, retrieve and interact with available information becomes critical to a knowledge economy.