In this 2010 TED Talk, Clay Shirkey calls cognitive surplus “a trillion hours a year of participatory value up for grabs.” This could have enormous implications for the design of an equitable learning environment for the ‘3 billion at the bottom‘.
Shirkey concludes with this:
What’s going to make the difference here is what Dean Kamen, the inventor and entrepreneur, said, “Free cultures get what they celebrate.” We’ve got a choice before us. We’ve got this trillion hours a year. We can use it [simply for entertainment]. But we can also celebrate and support and reward the people trying to use cognitive surplus to create civic value. And to the degree we’re going to do that, to the degree we’re able to do that, we’ll be able to change society.
It would take only the tiniest fraction of the cognitive surplus available to make access to life-crucial information a reality for the 3 billion at the bottom. Will we choose to do it?