Many instances of socio-technical systems in the digital society and digital economy require some form of self-governance. Examples include community energy systems, peer production systems, participatory sensing applications, and shared management of communal living areas or workspace. Such systems have several features in common, of which three are that they are rule-oriented, self-organising, and value-sensitive, and in operation, this combination of features entails self-modification of the rules in order to satisfice a changeable set of values.
There are plenty of indicators of doom: Donald Trump riding roughshod over U.S. constitutional norms; the rise of high-handed strongmen across Europe supported by ethno-centric crowds; free press and free voting under attack by cyber manipulation. Add mass migration threatening borders and national identities; rising wealth inequality; politics gridlocked by strife about rights, benefits, and duties, amidst growing resentment of "global elites" and new would-be citizens; and evolving confusion about the nature of the "common good."
By offering out-of-sample observations, pre-modern case studies can provide unique insights into the process of economic development. We focus on the case of ancient Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. During that time, Athens moved beyond the logic of rent-seeking and rent-creation that grips natural states, displaying many features of development present in the modern world.
The Digital Transformation (DX) is a broad term describing the changes and innovations brought about by the introduction of information and communication technologies into all aspects of society. One such innovation is to empower bottom-up, self-governing socio-technical systems for a range of applications. Such systems can be based on Ostrom’s design principles for self-governing institutions for sustainable common-pool resource management.