Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Commentary largely focused on my E-Learning 2.0 paper, but raising the question of the nature of changes to be expected by academic institutions. If other writers are any guide, then these institutions can expect to be governed by an increasingly corporate ethos. But while some corporations have embraced the potential of collective wisdom, most remain entrenched in a command and control model of governance. Academia's reaction to web 2.0, in other words, might be to move itself away from the governance model suggested by web 2.0. I thing this is a good argument and sounds a needed cautionary note. I have long been critical of the command and control mode of governance just because the concentration of management in a few hands means that the corporation is unable to respond appropriately to a complex environment. This corporate model, if applied to academia, would be equally dysfunctional. Does that mean academia should not change, then? No, that doesn't follow either. We need a distributed model of corporate governance, and this model should govern both academia and the next generation corporation.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 12:06 a.m.