How to organize a planet? Dispatch from the Kolba Café

Aug 26, 2015

How do seven billion men, women, and children organize themselves?

As the world becomes more globalized and interconnected, do we increasingly resemble an ant colony, acting on instructions from our ant queen? Or are we are becoming more leaderless, acting horizontally by harnessing the power of crowds?

According to Vahagn Poghoysan, decentralization is a choice being considered more and more in all domains of life.

Poghoysan, the founder of the Yerevan-based engineering and robotics company, dropped by late last month for our latest Kolba Café.

Vahagn led an eclectic, stimulating discussion talk on everything from art to new technologies to politics.

Here are a few takeaways:

On digital communications:

The era of mass surveillance has thrown up a number of ethical questions. On the one hand, we are told that our private messages, on Facebook or WhatsApp, can now be accessed from external interests - is this right? On the other hand, if having access to our messages is in the interests of security, do we have a right to deny that access? Some have responded to this debate by creating or using communications services that bypass a centralized authority, thereby rendering our messages, and those of criminals, undetectable. Does our desire for privacy trump our country's need for safety? 

On economics:

The global financial crisis of 2008 has seen an unprecedented crisis of confidence in the world’s banks. Perhaps what is needed is a move towards a decentralized system in which no single interest or authority maintains a position of a control, and therefore power cannot be abused. Economic systems, like the e-currency system BitCoin, are doing just that. Will this trend continue or are centralized banking systems here to stay?

On politics:

From Greece, to Armenia, to the Arab world, citizens are having the same conversations: should we follow the example of the European Union and others, and continue to invest out strength in a central authority? Or does bigger not always mean better? Should we resist this temptation and settle for more localized decision-making authorities? 

What do you think?

Should we focus more on decentralization? We’d love to hear you thoughts.

Found this interesting? Come to our next talk! Don’t forget Kolba Cafes are open to the public every month…Join our Facebook page to stay tuned.

* This blog post originally appeared on Kolba’s website


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