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Episode 40
Featuring Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms
Recently, our world has borne witness to a dramatic shift in power. Control no longer rests in the hands of the wealthy and powerful. It rests in the hands of the crowd and in those who know how to inspire the viral masses. Here, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms explore crowdsourcing, new power, and how the dynamics of control are changing.

There is no question that our world is experiencing a dramatic shift in power. On the surface, this is to be expected. After all, to quote Friedrich Nietzsche, power is "a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing." Yet, for nearly all of human history, power was held and jealously guarded by a select minority of individuals. Although control could be seized by new parties through uprisings, such attempts have only been successful when made by nobles or military leaders. Real power has been out of the reach of the vast majority of people since time immemorial.


Today, this is no longer true.


Thanks to the rapid advancements being made in science and technology, the locus of power is shifting faster than ever before, and it is undergoing a fundamental transformation that has never before been witnessed. Power, in the modern age, is becoming open and distributed. Power is now being allocated to the crowd.


We see this fact nearly everywhere we look. Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding methods such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter are replacing traditional, centralized methods of sourcing materials and raising funds. But the best example of this crowdfunding can be seen in the growth of cryptocurrencies and the recent surge in ICOs (initial coin offerings). Likewise, political conversations and the various social changes that spring from them are increasingly being driven by the demands of the crowd. Campaigns such as the Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, and #Metoo have all found their roots in social media, where supporters spontaneously organized, act, and then dissolved back into the voluminous crowd. Of course, not all the examples are positive ones. Terrorist organizations now also use crowdsourcing methods to get new recruits from countries that they cannot otherwise travel to or access.


Yet, for good or ill, the tide of this new kind of power is sweeping over all of us.


So, how is this battle between old and new power shifting who governs us, altering how we work, and revising how we think and feel? And what can the distribution of power in the 21st century tell us about how the future is going to unfold? In their book, “New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World and How to Make It Work for You,” Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms explore these questions. Throughout the narrative, they investigate the nature of modern power and try to help readers understand this new world and our role in it. In this episode, Heimans and Timms join host Demetri Kofinas for a timely exploration of these topics.

 

Ultimately, this conversation is an attempt to better understand whether or not our newfound ability to mobilize the mass of humanity is a net positive development for the aims of egalitarianism and progress.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

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Episode 18
Featuring Samuel Bowles
Episode 18
Featuring Samuel Bowles

Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose, an organization specializing in building social movements around the world. In 2005, he co-founded GetUp!, an Australian political organization with more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined. He is a co-founder of the now 45-million strong global campaigning organization Avaaz and the LGBT rights platform All Out. He received the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionary Award for his work as a movement pioneer. He has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and chaired the World Economic Forum’s global council on civic participation.

 

@JeremyHeimans


Henry Timms is president and CEO of 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center that creates programs and movements that foster learning and civic engagement. Under his leadership, the 144-year-old institution was named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list. He is the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a global philanthropic movement that engages people in close to 100 countries that has generated hundreds of millions of dollars for good causes. He is a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

 

@HenryTimms

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