NGI Salon: On April 28 we talk with Primavera De Filippi

8/03/2021 - 07:55

On April 28 we talk with Primavera De Filippi

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She recently published with Jessy Kate Schingler: An Introduction to Extitutional Theory

Extitutional theory is an emerging field of scholarship that provides a set of conceptual tools to describe and analyse the underlying social dynamics of a variety of social arrangements, such as communities, companies, organisations, or any other types of institutions.

Extitutional theory is interested not only in the ways that individuals interact and engage with one another through relationships and rhythms, but also in how different practices of institutionalization can create conditions that stabilize and amplify, or erode and suppress, certain extitutional dynamics — and vice versa. Central to the process of institutionalisation is the concept of enclosure: the mechanism through which an institution implements increased control (or coding) relative to a particular domain. Conversely, extitutional theory contrasts enclosure with the concept of exclosure, which recognizes that certain types of enclosures appear to play a different role — that of protecting the activity within it from control and coding. Providing tools to better understand the interplay between these two mechanisms is one of the key contributions of Extitutional theory.

Networked technologies in particular have created dramatic new exclosures giving rise to extitutional dynamics which can’t be understood through the institutional lens alone. Hence, extitutional theory is important not because it is better than institutional theory, but because extitutions are an under-studied phenomena. Understanding extitutional dynamics, and their interplay with the more familiar tools and logics of institutions, can help us respond to the specific, unprecedented demands of human coordination in our era.


We look forward to discussing this important step after Guattari's notion of assemblage as we need fluid mechanisms that contain , 'are' and 'disperse' trust in a way the group, the party, the committee, the GitHub, the 'council' is no longer capable of. Up until now the mental model to detain any attempt at formalizing the 'informal', capturing the emergent flows without encapsulating them in failing scaling methods did not have the actionability needed to take the terminology to the boardroom whether the Commission or Fortune 500. We need it.