Last week's TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh
, the festival which is more commonly referred to as "Davos for optimists" highlighted the social media challenge faced by every company and individual today. After a decade in which digital technologies have disrupted industries from music to the media, it's capitalism itself that is now under attack.
The conference focused on the rise of the DIY movement amongst the digerati, known as the maker movement
. Powering it are two things: a dissatisfaction with current institutions and the top-down status quo of doing things and the decreasing cost of technology which puts manufacturing power in the hands of the individual.
Powerful computers, 3-D printers and exotic materials make for a potent mix. Fanned by spreading unrest in social media networks, this has led to questions regarding “fit for purpose” of our current capitalistic models which were asked at the real Davos Economic Summit
at the beginning of the year.
We live in a time where information is easily available, radical transparency is demanded and no sacred cow is safe. The TEDGlobal conference with its focus on individual capability has served to highlight the fact that the age of mass manufacturing, just like the age of mass media, may be coming to an end.