The name the “Guild of S&K” is a play on both the past and the future of work.

Guilds and piecemeal work were the predominant way of organising work prior to the Industrial Revolution. Today we are arguably in a similar transformational period as a 21st Century post-industrial knowledge or creative economy emerges.

The industrial and information ages were characterised by automation and production line processes. The initial stages of the information technology revolution has also been predominantly focused on efficiency and the automation of existing processes and ways of doing things.

Not for much longer – as this continues and as many core activities are simplified, automated and outsourced to the lowest cost point of production what will remain? What will remain will be high value activities that will be reconfigured within highly connected workplaces, communities of practice and professional networks. This is currently seen at the edges of existing organisations and work – but the current edge is going to increasingly move to the centre.

Hence this future will potentially contain many elements of a previous time.

The many networks of freelancers around hubs and incubators are the early emergence of this recasting – a potential back to the future.  A time of the guilds.  If you know your history you will know the role and importance of guilds and coffee houses as the antecedents to industrial age establishments and corporations.

Hence the Guild in the Guild of S&K.

Networks are relationship based (rather than process based as industrial age corporations and bureaucracies are) – they operate on value, reputation, trust, openness and transparency – and hence serendipity, reciprocity and karma are key lubricants of value generation.

Just observe your community kitchen table at your local coffee shop – it’s full of serendipity and karma – hence the S&K in the Guild of S&K.