Proposal | reboot11
Bootstrapping a new transparent financial infrastructure
The talk would cover the surprising social origins of the current financial system and how a group of smart and brave entrepreneurs, activists and programmers could duplicate and improve the innovation that went on 400 years ago using the internet, social networks and open source software.
The existing financial infrastructure pulled us out of poverty and built the industrial and technological revolution. It has had a great run until recently.
Unfortunately it is not well suited to a world of rapid change, global communication. We need smaller, more transparent and agile institutions to create a whole new financial infrastructure.
Banks were originally benches in Venice where people came interacted socially and sought and offered finance. Lloyds of London the insurance company as well as the London Stock Exchange both started up as coffee shops.
The whole original financial world was based on social networks, gatherings and face to face meetings with people. These 16th century Starbuck's formed the basis for the financing of exploration, colonization, industrialization and basically yanked Europe out of the miserable poverty of the middle ages.
Social networks are now used for sharing holiday pics, finding a job and a finding a future spouse. What if we actually use them to bootstrap a whole new infrastructure to take the world forward the way the benches of Venice and coffee shops of Amsterdam and London did.
Many people are trying just that and many experiments have been done in the last 20 years, but have faced an uphill battle from the existing financial infrastructure, unsympathetic government regulators and lack of usability.
To overcome this we do need to be brave. Build it from the grass root level and push our governments to allow risky small scale experimentation in the field.