“Data Nudist” Gabriel Shalom on Open Video, Trust, and the Future of Money

Meet Gabriel Shalom, a young filmmaker who just completed a film called The Future of Money, about a group of entrepreneurs who believe social currency can replace the paper kind.


Gabriel Shalom is a young filmmaker who just completed a film called The Future of Money. It features interviews with young social entrepreneurs who are attempting to create networks like Flattr and Giftflow
where social currency can replace the paper kind. Many participants
were interviewed over Skype, sitting in their bedrooms, and the whole
thing was thrown together with $6,000 raised from a large group of

“There’s this whole parallel economy based on trust, transparency, and
open data”–phenomena like couchsurfing,
coworking, community gardens, and hackerspaces, says Shalom. He’s one in a horde of innovators and hackers in Barcelona for the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival on the Future of Learning, Freedom and the Web–from David Wiley, one of the godfathers of open educational content, to Joi Ito of Creative Commons, and Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s chief lizard wrangler. I’m here documenting it this week as a follow-up to my book DIY U.


For Shalom, openness about who you are is linked to getting what you
want. “What we’re looking at creating are data nudist colonies: whole
groups of people being transparent and attaining a new level of
happiness and comfort,” he says. “If you are open about what you have,
what you need, what you can do, who you know, you start to generate a
kind of digital profile that is very rich in potential value.”

Rather than allow a company like Facebook to make billions by monetizing our identity and our social graph, citizens of the networked utopia should be able to benefit from these assets directly. It’s a heady idea and likely to appeal to a lot of Millennials who are richer in friends, time, and passion than in cash.


About the author

Anya Kamenetz is the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her 2011 ebook The Edupunks’ Guide was funded by the Gates Foundation