I was finally able to slow down enough from catching up on things and do a little exploring of the P2P site. And so, had the chance to watch Mr. Bauwens TEDx “Open Everything” presentation .
I was most taken by the observations about the shifts between periods of acceptable norms in society, and their reflected effects on the structure of governance. Especially as it relates to the current transition.
A more concise analogy might be that small independent bubbles form at the bottom of the pan before water boils
These bubbles then precede the phenomenon of a general state existing where the phase change is distributed throughout the interface from pan to water (i.e. boiling).
The bubbles reflect the independent conclusions that separate thinkers arrived at in a given historic period as a phase change approached.
The example above is cast in the framework of rising temperature brought about by an increasing input of energy.
But the social phenomenon is triggered by spreading awareness of the deficiencies of historic approaches, and the energy source in this case is the rapid exchange of rational opinion brought about by the Internet.
An interesting model of a non centralized future society is given treatment in the science fiction novel "Voyage from Yesteryear" By James P. Hogan.
Here is a Wikipedia synopsis
Although I would recommend the book, (over the synopsis) as it proposes several interesting arguments and contrasts between traditional institutions and new ones that may arise.