This paper analyzes the nature of social performance, to explain how socio-technical systems (STSs) like chat, e-markets, social networks and wikis can succeed despite being free of charge. It defines the non-zero-sum synergy gains of cooperation and how self-interested acts can collapse the society that creates them. How physical human society dealt with this "social dilemma" then relates to the socio-technical advance. In this model society is a social environment within a world environment, so its citizens face the dual requirements of self-interest and social-interest, which can be satisfied by anchoring one demand then managing the other, e.g. competing within a social context, as in markets, or community service within an individual context of sufficiency. The latter, it is proposed, is the new social form that socio-technical systems illustrate and which could be the future of humanity.