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May 18, 2020

Dariusz Jemielniak and Aleksandra Przegalinska

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes DARIUSZ JEMIELNIAK and ALEKSANDRA PRZEGALINSKA—professors of Management Studies at Kozminski University in Poland—for a discussion of their co-authored book, Collaborative Society.


Humans are hard-wired for collaboration, and new technologies of communication act as a super-amplifier of our natural collaborative mindset. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series examines the emergence of a new kind of social collaboration enabled by networked technologies. This new collaborative society might be characterized as a series of services and startups that enable peer-to-peer exchanges and interactions though technology. Some believe that the economic aspects of the new collaboration have the potential to make society more equitable; others see collaborative communities based on sharing as a cover for social injustice and user exploitation.

The book covers the “sharing economy,” and the hijacking of the term by corporations; different models of peer production, and motivations to participate; collaborative media production and consumption, the definitions of “amateur” and “professional,” and the power of memes; hactivism and social movements, including Anonymous and anti-ACTA protest; collaborative knowledge creation, including citizen science; collaborative self-tracking; and internet-mediated social relations, as seen in the use of Instagram, Snapchat, and Tinder. Finally, the book considers the future of these collaborative tendencies and the disruptions caused by fake news, bots, and other challenges.

About Author(s)

Aleksandra Przegalinska is Assistant Professor in Management Studies at Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She will soon start research on work automation in the Labour and Worklife Program at Harvard. She is interested in the development of new technologies, natural language processing, the progress of humanoid artificial intelligence, social robots and wearable technologies.

Dariusz Jemielniak is Professor of Management at Kozminski University, Poland, where he heads the Management in Networked and Digital Societies Department, and the author of Common Knowledge?. He was a Fellow and Faculty Associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet Studies at Harvard University from 2015 to 2018.