Organised Networks: Transdisciplinarity and New Institutional Forms by Ned Rossiter

The social-technical dynamics of ICT-based networks constitute organisation in ways substantively different from networked organisations (unions, state, firms, universities). My interest in this paper is to say a few things about the process of scalar transformation and transdisciplinarity as they relate to the invention of new institutional forms. Having established these background conditions, processes and practices, I will then move on to the topic of autonomous education.

Institutions function to organise social relations. It follows, then, that the social-technical dynamics peculiar to a range of digital media technologies (mailing lists, collaborative blogs, wikis, content management systems) institute new modes of networked sociality. It is easy to dismiss this process of emergent institutionalisation. Many would assert that it simply results in a bureaucratisation and rigidity of social-technical communication systems whose default setting is one of flows, decentralisation, horizontality, etc. I would suggest such knee-jerk, technically incorrect responses risk a disengagement from the political and thus from politics. Continue reading