It is clear now that the Network will replace the Bureaucracy as the core social design for how humans get things done. So what are the rules for growing a network?
I know that all real networks do have rules. Solar systems and galaxies have rules. Human Social Networks surely have to have them too? In my book You Don't Need a Job - I go deeply into what these rules may be. Here is a glimpse of how I think they are - with much help from the brilliant Valdis Krebs.
"Rule #2 Structure and the Shaping Forces of Purpose and Trust
These networks will be natural. They are not like the telephone network that is based on engineering and on the plans of man. They will, instead, follow the laws of nature’s networks. This means that when we study nature, we will discover how best to set up the conditions to grow healthy human networks. This means that these networks will have laws and will have math to support these laws.
A good model to think of is the universe, which has a network structure of planets, solar systems and galaxies. These systems are shaped and held together by powerful forces of gravity and time. The new network model for humans has the same kind of structures and is also subject to powerful shaping forces. They have shaping forces just like gravity and time.
In the trust network, ‘gravity’ is purpose.
Human networks are brought into being by a purpose. This purpose can be a mundane purpose, such as with Visa, where all the banks joined together to do something that, pragmatically, they could not do alone. The purpose can be deeply spiritual, such as local foodies, including both producers and consumers, getting together to change how we grow and eat food. The purpose can be political, like Al Qaeda. The stronger the common purpose, the more powerful the gravitational pull.
The space-time field that governs the scale of the trust network is trust itself.
The stronger the trust, the larger and more coherent the system. We will explore this concept in greater depth later.
Rule#3 Trust Networks Have a Consistent Structure, Like Galaxies or Hurricanes
All hurricanes are different but share similar structure. All galaxies are different, but most share a similar spiral structure. In fact, most galaxies and hurricanes share a similar structure. They share the same mathematical underpinning and have predictable lives within a framework of probability. They all have set rules for development.
It is the same with real human social networks. They are not arbitrary. They are all unique, like a snowflake, but l share a consistent, overarching structure. Their behaviour can be predicted within a framework of probability. The rules for how they develop are certain.
This is what a real human network looks like. (The next 3 figures are all the work of the brilliant Valdis Krebs, the master navigator of the human networks.)
Human social networks are dense in the centre and can have offshoots. They look as if they have a point in each core, but we see as we zoom in that they don’t have a point.
Here we can see that the centre is not a point but a core.
It is indeed like a sun or a core set of galaxies in a cluster. We see that there is a hierarchy too. For the green ring is not the same as the core or the outer rings. What holds the whole thing into this shape is purpose. What enables the people on the outer rings to get value is trust.
Let’s go deeper still.
This is the core. We see that this too has a hierarchy. It is more dense at the centre.
We can see this structure very clearly in terrorist groups.
Source: Col David Kilcullen , advisor to General Petreaus
This is a diagram of a typical terrorist network. All real social networks look like this. They are not random. They have deep structure. There is a clear hierarchy.
Many hope for a non-hierarchical world, but in nature all is hierarchy. This is not like the hierarchy of a king, rather this is hierarchy is more like a sun that has mass that attracts and energy that gives out light and life.
All of these structures, like the universe, are based on natural laws. They need a special set of conditions to begin and a special set of conditions to evolve to their full potential. "
Tomorrow we will look at how they emerge and grow - or you can buy my book with it all here.