Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I submitted my PhD on 01.12.11: Now to family....

In the race to submit my PhD or become a father, the PhD won by six weeks. We are due to have our first child on 14.01.12.

My supervisor asked me to write journal articles now. The Academy of Management papers are due 10 Jan, and the 2012 theme is The Informal Economy. The Informal Economy is that part of the economy which is not taxed, not legal, not controlled by the Government, and not included in GDP.

I am thinking about how value might be relevant, and how my new job at the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) might be relevant. ANDS is a Dept of Innovation (Aust) project to encourage researchers to share, find and reuse each others' data. ANDS works with all the Australian Universities, and public sector agencies to encourage data management, data sharing and reuse. Current ANDS funding (about $70 million) is up to June 2013. Our database of shared data collections is at about 40,000.

I am thinking about a paper called: ANDS, Innovation and Value: an Informal analysis.
The idea being that value captures much that is not in GDP, and that ANDS is building value through knowledge and relationship creation, both of which are part of the Informal Economy. The Informal Economy is not just illegal, black market, and third world commerce. The Informal Economy is innovating without promise of revenue, volunteering for social rather than financial benefit, unpaid family work such as parenting, caring and other volunteering. The informal economy that I am interested in is not an illegal black economy but a virtuous black, white or rainbow value economy.

Thus I argue that:
1. we all (or nearly all) participate in the informal value-creating volunteering economy
2. $ are not the only goal of the informal economy, but also value creation.
3. Value drives activity where there are no $ drivers. For instance, artists, musicians, family work, non-profit associations, volunteers and other unpaid work.
4. The informal economy is not all about $, law and tax. It's about value.