Despite all our great advances in science, technology and financial innovations, many societies today are struggling with a financial, economic and public spending crisis, over-regulation, and mass unemployment, as well as lack of sustainability and innovation. Can we still rely on conventional economic thinking or do we need a new approach? Is our economic system undergoing a fundamental transformation? Are our theories still doing a good job with just a few exceptions, or do they work only for good weather but not for market storms? Can we fix existing theories by adapting them a bit, or do we need a fundamentally different approach? These are the kind of questions that will be addressed in this paper. I argue that, as the complexity of socio-economic systems increases, networked decision-making and bottom-up self-regulation will be more and more important features. It will be explained why, besides the homo economicus with strictly self-regarding preferences, natural selection has also created a homo socialis with other-regarding preferences. While the homo economicus optimizes the own prospects in separation, the decisions of the homo socialis are self-determined, but interconnected, a fact that may be characterized by the term networked minds. Notably, the homo socialis manages to earn higher payoffs than the homo economicus. I show that the homo economicus and the homo socialis imply a different kind of dynamics and distinct aggregate outcomes. Therefore, next to the traditional economics for the homo economicus (economics 1.0), a complementary theory must be developed for the homo socialis. This economic theory might be called economics 2.0 or socionomics. The names are justified, because the Web 2.0 is currently promoting a transition to a new market organization, which benefits from social media platforms and could be characterized as participatory market society. To thrive, the homo socialis requires suitable institutional settings such a particular kinds of reputation systems, which will be sketched in this paper. I also propose a new kind of money, so-called qualified money, which may overcome some of the problems of our current financial system. In summary, I discuss the economic literature from a new perspective and argue that this offers the basis for a different theoretical framework. This opens the door for a new economic thinking and a novel research field, which focuses on the effects, implications, and institutional requirements for global-scale network interactions and highly interdependent decisions.
Neighborhood Technologies expands upon sociologist Thomas Schelling’s wellknown study of segregation in major American cities, using this classic work as the basis for a new way of researching social networks across disciplines. Up to now, research has focused on macrolevel behaviors that, together, form rigid systems of neighborhood relations. But can neighborhoods, conversely, affect larger, global dynamics? This volume introduces the concept of “neighborhood technologies” as a model for intermediate, or meso-level, research into the links between local agents and neighborhood relations. Bridging the sciences and humanities, Tobias Harks and Sebastian Vehlken have assembled a group of contributors
who are either natural scientists with an interest in interdisciplinary research or tech-savvy humanists. With insights into computer science, mathematics, sociology, media and cultural studies, theater studies, and architecture, the book will inform new research.