"Thus, the transformation of the ideosphere does not mean the propagation of any particular set of ideas. Rather, it is the transformation of the configuration of the ideosphere itself from concentricity to omnicentricity in which every individual will engage in authentic, independent thinking in synergy with others."
You may have noticed the terms “sharing economy,” “peer economy,” “collaborative economy,” and “collaborative consumption” being used synonymously. Ideas like “crowdsourcing,” the “maker movement,” and “co-creation” are being thrown into the mix. The space is getting muddy and the definitions are being bent out of shape to suit different purposes. So, do I think these terms have different meanings? Yes. Are their common core ideas that explain the overlap? Absolutely.
People have asked me why I have not publicly clarified this earlier. To be honest, it is hard to do so without being accused of trying to “defend” a term. The words used concern me less than how they are being defined, and the core meaning of the space being misunderstood. Definitions are hard, especially when they are trying to capture new ideas never expressed before. As Bertrand Russell famously once said: “Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize until you have tried to make it precise.” When I first began writing about this space nobody knew how big it might get. Its growth and expanding nature are, for the most part, a good thing but we need clear definitions that will enable us to move forward with a common understanding.
Increasing awareness is existing that 97% of money is created by private banks as they issue loans to us, and because almost all money is created through instruments which require repayment and interest, there is always more debt than money. Loans are issued to serve economic activity, and as such a growth imperative is created which purports the need to increasingly exploit (commodify) more of life, of resources, to pay back the interest on the debt.
Redesigning the role of Money and redesigning Currency as a commons
A second approach then wants to redesign the role of money, or to redesign money itself as a commons. The first would be happening by money not being issued by private banks, but by the state, and geared towards common goals and objectives set by the community of users, its citizens. The second angle then is concerned with redesigning currency itself as a commons, poses as a central question, how do we design currencies to foster human relationships?
Out of the experiences of the development process around Helsinki Timebank another angle was discussed in the workshop, namely that of the development of a currency as a pedagogical process, bringing people together to learn and engage in commoning (the co-governing and carrying of responsibility for our currency commons).
The “well-oiled machine” model of organizations with its hierarchical leadership, tightly defined functions, and centralized control, is going the way of the dinosaurs. Organizations that thrive in the 21st century will operate as conscious living social organisms committed to evolving in ways that maximize their generation of ‘true wealth’ — their lasting contributions to the wellbeing of both their immediate and extended stakeholder families.
Project 10X is an organic and elegantly simple (but not simplistic) approach to growing such leadership throughout today’s organizations. Rather than providing 'The Solution' in the form of a ready-mode new model and/or structure, Project 10X engages, develops and supports leaders and 'changemakers' inside the organization in evolving their own unique solutions – and leading the organization in navigating the transitions. Project 10X is low cost, can start small, and is designed to become self-managing and self-propagating early on — with benefits growing exponentially over time.
Charles Eisenstein shares his concerns about how pervasive the 'technology will fix it' mentality has become, and proposes an entirely different approach to healing our current ecological and social crises.
"In the United States, we respond to the failure of metal detectors, lockdowns, and other forms of control in our schools by calling for even more control. European countries unable to pay their debts are lent even more money, with the proviso that they try even harder to pay their debts. Imperialist powers apply military violence to fight the terrorism that is a response to previous imperialism and violence. Doctors prescribe drugs to address the side-effects caused by other drugs. Urban planners address traffic congestion by building more roads (which leads to more development and more traffic). And millions of people manage the emptiness of a life of material acquisition by buying more material possessions."
"Technology in service to Earth includes things like regenerative agriculture and permaculture to heal the soil, replenish the aquifers, and sequester carbon. It includes green energy technologies, conservation technologies, bioremediation, wetlands restoration, zero-waste manufacturing, anything that contributes to the health of the planet and its ecosystems."
Five ways to drive large-scale social change by working cooperatively.
Leaders and organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts can't stack up against today's complex and interconnected problems. They are putting aside self-interests and collaborating to build a new civic infrastructure to advance their shared objectives. It's called collective impact and it's a growing trend across the country. (...)
While collaboration is certainly not a foreign concept, what we're seeing around the country is the coming together of non-traditional partners, and a willingness to embrace new ways of working together. And, this movement is yielding promising results.
... five lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration:
Clearly define what you can do together: As Dana O'Donovan of the Monitor Institute has noted, many organizations find collaboration to be messy and time consuming. From the very beginning, you must develop clarity of purpose and articulate, "What can we do together that we could not do alone?" (...)
Transcend parochialism: Even the most well intended collaboration is often crippled by parochialism. Individual organizations earmark their participation and resources for activities that perfectly align with their own work or they use the collaboration platform as a way to get other participants to fund their own priorities. (...)
Adapt to data: The complex, multidisciplinary problems that many collaborative projects tackle do not have easy fixes. These challenges require continuous learning and innovation and the use of real-time data to help participants understand what is and isn't working. Adjustments must be made on the fly. (...)
Feed the field: You have an obligation to share what you learn — both the results and the methods for achieving them. Living Cities has long understood the value that our member institutions get by learning and working together. (...)
Support the backbone: In our experience, progress is best achieved when a "backbone organization," keeps the group's work moving forward. Staff at these organizations ensure that work is completed between meetings, track data, enable adaptation, disseminate knowledge, and build buy-in and ownership from all participants.(...)
Ben Hecht is President & CEO of Living Cities, an organization that harnesses the collective knowledge of its 22 member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low income people and the cities where they live.
Overview of the 400-page report World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability from the German Advisory Council on Climate Change (WGBU), the heavyweight scientific body that advises the German Federal Government on ‘Earth System Megatrends'.
"A key conclusion here is that ‘individual actors and change agents play a far larger role as drivers of transformation’ than they’ve been given credit for in the past.
The most effective change agents, states the report, ‘stimulate the latent willingness to act by questioning business as usual policies’. They also put open questions and challenges on the agenda, and embody alternative practices in the ways they work.
Change agents, the think tank finds, ‘tend to frequent the margins of society where unorthodox thinkers and outsiders are to be found’."
The idea of the misfit worker occurred to me when I considered the challenge of bringing together individuals whose unique identities and contributions had been critiqued for so long that they were 'burned' by the concept of collaboration. How might we start to welcome them into a less-critical innovation or creative team?
Good ideas arise when people are given space to truly explore, in-depth, a particular train of thought. Susan Cain's recently-released Quiet details the challenge of introspection in the modern work environment. As she describes it, the prevailing concepts of what's best in the workplace are premised on the often-incorrect theory that group discussion and constant collaboration are the best way to solve problems. Instead, she suggests that we consider the extensive research which shows that better-quality ideas—especially those related to complex problems involving a lot of variables—require time and nuance to develop.
Snippets from Christine Milne's speech at the National Press Club in Canberra.
26 Sep 2012
"The economy is a tool; a tool we humans invented - like democracy and politics - to help govern our relationships between each other, and between ourselves and the world we live in. If our economic tools are not getting the outcomes we want, making us happy, safe, healthy, better educated and fulfilled and protecting and preparing our country for an increasingly uncertain future in a world on track to be 4 degrees warming, then it is time our economic tools changed."
"Most of the battles of political philosophy over the last two centuries have been about competing views of how to run an economy. Where the old economic right, broadly speaking, has sought to create a 'strong' economy and the old left sought to create a 'fair' economy, neither has grappled with how an economy can be strong or fair when ecological limits are being reached: 'without environment there is no economy'."
"What is not excusable is that the old parties continue to do so. They have failed to keep up over recent decades when the huge ecological challenges of the 21st century - from accelerating global warming to food and water shortages, from air and water pollution to energy crises and resource depletion in a world headed to 9 billion people - have become overwhelming. How can we say we are working towards a strong or fair economy when we aren't addressing these challenges? Just as we hit the limits, the big old parties are moving closer to each other and further out of touch with what people and the real world need."
"To set us on our new path, a path to an economy which serves the needs of people and nature, both for today and for tomorrow:
We will need new economic tools;
We will need to learn to do more with less;
We will need to reprioritise our investments; and
We will need sensible management of taxation and revenue to fund these investments.
It is a case of rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle"
"What will be different is that we will have replaced the idea that Australia's wealth is dependent on digging-it-up, cutting-it-down and shipping-it-overseas with the knowledge that our prosperity depends at a personal and collective level on our brains, on our health, on our creativity and on a healthy environment."
"But are the Greens actually anti-growth? That depends on what you are growing and how it is measured. I am for growing natural, human, social, manufactured and financial capital and I am against growing global warming, species extinction, poverty, poor health, inequality, conflict and corruption."
"The Greens want to see everyone given the opportunity to "practise the Art of Living", we want to see people lifted out of poverty, and we know that unless this is done while protecting the environment which sustains us it can only last a very short time. That is what growth is supposed to achieve. The problem is, we measure it with the wrong tools; tools which tell us we're growing when in fact we're not.
If economic growth as it is currently measured isn't actually making us happier, healthier, cleverer or safer then it isn't real growth. If we are growing our economy in defiance of physical limits, that isn't real growth: it's a confidence trick."
As all the people and computers on our planet get more and more closely connected, it's becoming increasingly useful to think of all the people and computers on the planet as a kind of global brain.
Pretty much everything I'm doing now falls under the broad umbrella that I'd call collective intelligence. What does collective intelligence mean? It's important to realize that intelligence is not just something that happens inside individual brains. It also arises with groups of individuals. In fact, I'd define collective intelligence as groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent. By that definition, of course, collective intelligence has been around for a very long time. Families, companies, countries, and armies: those are all examples of groups of people working together in ways that at least sometimes seem intelligent.
Brainstorming, whether you believe in it or shun it, is a fantastic neologism. But as Frog Principal Designer David Sherwin has found, it’s also a very American word--one that doesn’t exist in every language.
Today, Frog will release the Collective Action Toolkit, a free, 72-page booklet that seeks to develop a universal framework for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds to tackle big problems in their communities. Developed over the past year, the CAT contains nary a mention of design (or brainstorming). Instead, it relies on a simple vocabulary to describe skills like building a team, carrying out research, and developing solutions. Want to figure out a way to help people in your community eat healthier? Have an idea for a small business? The CAT offers templates for activities to help get the idea off the ground.
"IMAGINE A SUSTAINABLE world, driven by clean and renewable energy. Now imagine large space sailboats driven by solar radiation, production of biofuels via nanotechnology, the advent of photosynthetic humans, and, as there is no perfect society, even terrorism against corrupt businesses and governments. Welcome to the bright green world of solarpunk."
Solarpunk offers "a more optimistic but also more realistic vision of humanity's near-future".
unMonastery is a new kind of social space, akin to co-living and co-working spaces, that serves the local communities of towns or small cities by enabling a process of co-creation and co-learning between the community and unMonasterians. By embedding committed, skilled individuals in places with a deficit of diverse skills and knowledge it can solve social and infrastructural problems by enabling native inhabitants to realise their own potential.
The unMonastery recreates the best of the social functions of the traditional monastery: by giving the unMonasterians a collective purpose, a chance to develop deep relationships with one another and a reduced need to generate personal income so time can be dedicated entirely to serving the local community.
If your boss is a jerk, there might be a scientific reason for it. A new study suggests feeling powerful dampens the part of the brain that helps us connect with others.
It turns out, feeling powerless boosted the mirror system — people empathized highly. But, Obhi says, "when people were feeling powerful, the signal wasn't very high at all." So when people felt power, they really did have more trouble getting inside another person's head.
"What we're finding is power diminishes all varieties of empathy," says Dacher Keltner, a social psychologist at University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the new study. He says these results fit a trend within psychological research.
It is increasingly clear that the institutions of yesterday are inadequate for the challenges of tomorrow. Multinational corporations bent toward the myopia of quarterly returns are ill-fit for extended periods of volatility and turbulence. Centralized governments, with an opacity built in to ensure secrecy, cannot keep pace with the speed-of-light communications of 21st Century internet-based and mobile technologies. They must be opened up and redesigned with agility and integrity as guiding principles.
What is needed now is nothing less than the wholesale redesign of civilization. Our banking institutions must be reconnected to the thriving of human communities. Our schools and universities must cultivate a creative resilience that enables massive-scale innovation. Our businesses must produce positive social impacts alongside healthy revenues. And our governments must successfully provide the supports through which well-being is sustained and spread across the entirety of nations, cities, and villages.
Mapping Transformation In international development we see it more and more the need for leaders to play a new game. It is ironic that our best whole systems thinkers are becoming ever more frustrated at the lack of visible ...
1) Embrace the Swarm. As power flows away from the center, the competitive advantage belongs to those who learn how to embrace decentralized points of control.
2) Increasing Returns. As the number of connections between people and things add up, the consequences of those connections multiply out even faster, so that initial successes aren't self-limiting, but self-feeding.
3) Plentitude, Not Scarcity. As manufacturing techniques perfect the art of making copies plentiful, value is carried by abundance, rather than scarcity, inverting traditional business propositions.
4) Follow the Free. As resource scarcity gives way to abundance, generosity begets wealth. Following the free rehearses the inevitable fall of prices, and takes advantage of the only true scarcity: human attention.
5) Feed the Web First. As networks entangle all commerce, a firm's primary focus shifts from maximizing the firm's value to maximizing the network's value. Unless the net survives, the firm perishes.
6) Let Go at the Top. As innovation accelerates, abandoning the highly successful in order to escape from its eventual obsolescence becomes the most difficult and yet most essential task.
7) From Places to Spaces. As physical proximity (place) is replaced by multiple interactions with anything, anytime, anywhere (space), the opportunities for intermediaries, middlemen, and mid-size niches expand greatly.
8) No Harmony, All Flux. As turbulence and instability become the norm in business, the most effective survival stance is a constant but highly selective disruption that we call innovation.
9) Relationship Tech. As the soft trumps the hard, the most powerful technologies are those that enhance, amplify, extend, augment, distill, recall, expand, and develop soft relationships of all types.
10) Opportunities Before Efficiencies. As fortunes are made by training machines to be ever more efficient, there is yet far greater wealth to be had by unleashing the inefficient discovery and creation of new opportunities.
Transitioning from a carbon-intensive economy to a low-carbon future presents challenges and opportunities for developing countries. The Sustainable Energy Roadmaps help countries successfully navigate the change to an infrastructure capable of meeting the energy challenges of the 21st century.
The approach examines a country’s potential for renewable energy production such as wind, solar, small hydropower and biomass. Existing energy infrastructure is analyzed to identify the potential for, and hurdles to, increased efficiency and energy storage. At the same time, current socio-economic and policy environments are factored into the analysis to identify barriers to low-carbon development and determine international best practices to suggest how they can be overcome. Equally important, funding options that might be available from private, public, and multilateral institutions to help bring renewable energy projects into being are assessed.
The project strengthens government and civil society capacity, enhances stakeholder engagement, and advances policies that combat climate change...
Learn more about the program and sustainable energy roadmaps at the article link.
Social Media is rooted in relationships, the dynamic interaction and collaboration between real people.
Individually, we’re realizing the power and potential of social media.
The rise of Social Media resembled a global celebration of freedom and empowerment.
The 2000's engendered a more social Web.
Essentially, attention dashboards are any one of the three screens (mobile device, PC, TV) within the Golden Triangle (mobile, social, real-time) and is usually experienced as an activity stream, TweetDeck, the Facebook Newsfeed, FriendFeed, any feed reader, etc.
To have any hope of connecting with discerning consumers in the social web, we have to gain visibility and momentum across individual attention dashboards, where, when, and how they’re tuned.
It is this practice that lays a promising foundation for implementing a social CRM (sCRM) or Social Relationship Management (SRM) infrastructure supported by established workflow, processes, and governance.
To help, the social Web is on the verge of realizing the potential and corresponding benefits of real-time filtering technology.
As we traverse the dynamic landscapes defining the social and attention economies, we realize that something much more powerful is required to earn ongoing attention in the social web.
With time, our contribution to the state of the social, attention, and trust economies is measured by reciprocity, recognition, value, and benefaction.
Leaders in the public and private sectors are facing unprecedented challenges as they operate and make decisions in a context of increasing complexity. Hyper-connectivity calls into question many traditional problem-solving approaches – regarding diverse matters, from urban population growth to global capital flows – and it limits our capacity to manage these problems. At the same time, opportunities for solutions – via which to deliver greater benefits for stakeholders, cutting across traditional silos and offering more sustainability – are growing.
The Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems examines how insights gleaned from complexity science and systems analysis can best be applied to improve the thoroughness and quality of decision-making and to deliver better results for larger numbers of beneficiaries worldwide.
As the world population continues its endless upward climb, cities will become even more important than they are today. And if you want to understand where cities are going, you have to be aware of the most important trends happening now.
... the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin has done us all a huge favor by rounding up 100 of what it calls "the most talked-about trends in urban thinking." This is by no means a definitive list, but it is a snapshot of what people were talking about in Berlin during the Summer of 2012 (when the traveling city-focused Guggenheim Lab was in the area).
Dan McAdams, a narrative psychologist at Northwestern University, studies the personal life stories of people. His research shows that our personal identities do not come from personality traits or the issues that concern us at any particular time in our lives. Our identities come from the stories we tell (often unconsciously) that bring the episodes of life together into a coherent unity. These stories incorporate our concerns and express our interpretations of inherited dispositions (e.g. outgoing and sociable), but do not become an identity until they are brought together into a narrative.
This is where we can begin to think about the cultivation of ‘green’ identity. It has to do with the stories we tell ourselves about how we relate to our communities, purchases, nature, and so on.
A major obstacle to the environmental movement has been the use of stories to discredit environmental concerns. A heavily funded series of campaigns have been waged to paint environmentalists with negative stereotypes.
Mr. Shirky took that message to a group of higher-education-technology leaders who have been buffeted by a rapidly evolving ed-tech landscape. Mr. Shirky, in a keynote speech kicking off this year’s Educause conference, explored how technology was changing everything, from research to publishing to studying.