Is Wiki-Style Collaboration Among Nation States Doable?

“The World Economic Forum is quickly morphing from a once-a-year talkathon into a year-round network of leaders and leading thinkers tackling global problems – from think tank to do tank.”

So says Don Tapscott, co-author of Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World (Portfolio Hardcover, September 2010).

Tapscott attended last month’s 2011 World Economic Forum, also known as Davos for its locale in Davos, Switzerland, and blogged his top ten reflections.

In number 9, “Progress on New Models of Global Problem Solving,” Tapscott argues that initiatives such as The United Nations, The General Agreement of Trades and Tariffs (GATT), the World Trade Organization and the G8 and G20 “are failing in achieving world goals of economic growth, climate protection, poverty eradication, conflict avoidance, human security and promotion of shared values.”

“What’s needed is a Wikinomics approach,” he says, “embracing more agile, networked structures enabled by global networks for new kinds of collaboration. Nation states would continue to play a central role but can overcome their silo thinking and behavior by sharing information more effectively, cooperating on real-time networks, and basing their decisions more deeply in the processes of multi-stakeholder networks.”

He poses the hard questions: How would such a vast, multi-stakeholder network system work? How would it achieve legitimacy, and be held accountable?

Most importantly, what should governments and other institutions do — actually do — to move such an idea along?