The whole trend to move to cities, at the behest of corporations at that, begs the question of what living on a human scale is. Is draining the countryside of people and packing them into cities best for them? Surely with all the research being carried out we must have identified a human scale for most things, like the size of community we can live in, the optimum time to work and commute, the kind of living space we need? And not just physical space, but mental space. Can we design and construct environments, including physical spaces, organizations, relationships, that are on a human scale? These are questions that are driving the dialogue around re-inspiring community.
The theme of the following work is the horizontalisation of productive human relationships that has been enabled through communication networks and in particular the Internet. These productive publics can generate their own practices and institutions through bottom-up dynamics, or they can be mobilized by existing institutions. Hence the emergence of the collaborative economy, which comes with many names and with different expressions, such as commons-based peer production (Yochai Benkler), wikinomics (Don Tapscott), crowdsourcing (Jeff Howe), open innovation (Henry Chesbrough), collaborative consumption (Rachel Botsman), and quite a few others. Different authors have mapped the outlines of those particular expressions of the collaborative economy, but we believe that an overall synthesis was still lacking. While a full account would be a tremendous undertaking, we do believe that the following work captures the essence of developments in this field, which represent a deep transformation of economic practices.
Corporations are perhaps the most influential organizations in society and have long been recognized as important contributors to the common good. Society grants corporations unique privileges in order to harness their great capacities to serve its needs. Yet the current narrative of the corporation tells a different story; corporations have the sole purpose of maximizing profits for shareholders.
It is becoming more obvious that we need to transform our ways of living and operating. The biggest inhibitor to our transformation is our dis-connection with life/nature. Nature is transformation
Transformation requires a re-connection; a re-connection with our true human nature and nature. It is that simple and yet we often grasp at ‘activity’ before undertaking this re-connection (at ‘doing’ before ‘being’). Perhaps this is because the re-connection flies in the face of what we have been taught, what has become so ingrained in our mental make-up; hence re-connecting challenges our sense of self-importance, our individuality (our ego) which we believe is so important for our ‘success’ in the world.
It is literally all in our heads. There are no literal structures in an organizational structure. The organizational structure only becomes real when people take actions and speak or write words that are consistent with our imagined structure. In Humanize, we refer to that as the “walk” and “talk” of culture. It’s how you do it and how you describe it and talk about it. That’s where structure becomes real.
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