Epochs tend not to merit a name until they are over. The industrial age, the Renaissance, were named retrospectively.
But surely it’s worth trying to understand the present as an epoch – the epoch of openness. Open borders after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Open trade due to globalization. But above all, the opening of unimagined possibilities with the internet.
The network as we understand it today was an open source affair right from the beginning – not the work of a single company or a single inventor, but of a global community.
Now, not only billions of people are networked, but billions of things too. That will give a boost to data-driven solutions in industry, in the smart home and the connected car. And that in turn will not just be the work of an individual, it presupposes openness between participating firms – between big and small, new and old and on both sides of the Atlantic. It is of course a question how long this epoch of openness will last.