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**The following is a guest post by Duncan Wardle as part of our ongoing Industry Influencer series**

One of the trends that I anticipate will only continue to accelerate in 2017 is the furthering desire for individuals, communities, companies and now governments to both co-collaborate and co-create.

The Democratization of Community

Recent successes such as AirBnB, now the largest hotel chain in the world, and Uber, the largest taxi fleet, are only just the tip of the iceberg. People now crowdfund honeymoons and personal start-ups and launch new businesses by leveraging online global communities such as Kickstarter.

This trend is further enhanced by the growing community of Makers, who are empowered by emerging new technology like 3D printing. A really great example of the growth of the co-collaboration world is the Market Street project in San Francisco. Local residents partnered with architects, designers, and local government to transform one of San Fransisco’s least desirable streets into one of the most engaging, immersive environments in the city. The rapid prototyping festival gave people the opportunity to come together to design spaces that enhance their urban environment. A community panel then selected the winners, thus allowing citizens to have a direct say in the world in which they live.

Companies that embrace this global community of creative thought partners and Makers who are willing to participate in solving big challenges will be the most successful. But, it will require giving up some level of control and that is still an issue for many. The most successful projects will be those that embrace rapid prototyping, learning, and iteration. Those who continue to want to get it 100 percent right before the launch of a new product or service are going to be left behind. We will see many storied brands, one’s that we once considered unassailable, fall by the wayside in this new global community of collaborative Makers.

About the Duncan Wardle

Duncan Wardle HeadshotHaving worked for the Walt Disney Company for nearly 30 years, Duncan Wardle now serves as an independent innovation & creativity consultant. Duncan recently led an immersive, engaging forum on how to think differently at IZEAFest, a conference that brings together brands, agencies, and influencers to provide education, inspiration, and connections with a focus on Content and Influencer Marketing.