The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky

4. March 2014

How we collaborate has profound implications for how we live and work. The author and New York University professor explains how social media has upended traditional norms.

March 2014, McKinsey & Co.


From the invention of the printing press to the telephone, the radio, and the Internet, the ways people collaborate change frequently, and the effects of those changes often reverberate through generations. In this video interview, Clay Shirky, author, New York University professor, and leading thinker on the impact of social media, explains the disruptive impact of technology on how people live and work—and on the economics of what we make and consume. This interview was conducted by McKinsey Global Institute partner Michael Chui, and an edited transcript of Shirky’s remarks follows.

Interview transcript

Sharing changes everything

The thing I’ve always looked at, because it is long-term disruptive, is changes in the way people collaborate. Because in the history of particularly the Western world, when communications tools come along and they change how people can contact each other, how they can share information, how they can find each other—we’re talking about the printing press, or the telephone, or the radio, or what have you—the changes that are left in the wake of those new technologies often span generations.

The printing press was a sustaining technology for the scientific revolution, the spread of newspapers, the spread of democracy, just on down the list. So the thing I always watch out for, when any source of disruption comes along, when anything that’s going to upset the old order comes along, is I look for what the collaborative penumbra is. Read the rest of this entry »

Media Revolution

18. August 2009

Clay Shirky

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations 

Shirky, Clay



Allen Lane UK


20.00 £





beschreibt in einem faszinierenden Vortrag den derzeit stattfindenden Umbruch in der Medienlandschaft, basierend auf den technologischen Möglichkeiten, die das Internet bietet. Technische Tools werden erst dann gesellschaftlich relevant, wenn sie für TechnikerInnen langweilig geworden sind. Damit meint Shirky, dass der einfache und zur Normalität gewordene Gebrauch solcher Tools deren gesellschaftlichen Durchbruch bedeuten.

Siehe den Video und Ähnliches auf dem Donau-Uni Blog DIGITALGOVERNMENT