This post was originally posted on waag.org 


To prevent a clash in the conversation, Humberto Schwab started this conversation by introducing the rules for a Socratic Conversation to all of us: no powerpoints, no referring to books, you can only have the floor when you ask for it, you have to be capable of summarizing the person who spoke before you and you have to speak in concrete, simple language. Knowing this, the participants introduced four central questions. Tim O’Reilly: Why do people do things for each other, especially when they don’t expect anything in return? Marleen Stikker: Do we own ourselves? Elizabeth Stark: Are we losing leadership in our current world? Farid Tabarki’s question got selected as main topic for the conversation: What am I willing to share?

Humberto stimulated the panel to bring up personal cases. Farid’s motivation for the question “What we are willing to share?” was that he hired an apartment with airbnb.com. This got him thinking about his own apartment. Does one’s hospitality or generosity expect somebody else’s in return? Reciprocity comes naturally, according to Tim. We have to recreate our culture in order to let sharing become something that’s valuable. Marleen sees sharing as something valuable. We cannot live without it. Our current society is based on value and reputation, and we use a lot of systems that we trust with our own identity. These systems produce our value, without us being able to intervene most of the time. Is it for better or for worse? According to Tim, we own nothing. It’s all about our ability to persuade other people.