An idea on what it could be and the role of commons.
Transcription of Manuelas' talk at the 2nd Collaboration Incubator Event on October 5, 2018 in Berlin
What global distributed democracy?
An idea on what it could be and the role of commons.
Transcription of my talk at the 2nd Collaboration Incubator Event on October 5, 2018 in Berlin
So – why are we here?
Some months ago I was listening to a radio interview, in fact a real radio interview, not internet radio or a pod-cast; no – I still have a classic radio in my home in Berlin. I listend to an interview with Professor Doctor Rademacher, mathematician and future scientist at the university of Ulm, and member of the renowned think-tank, Club of Rome.
He was interviewed about outlooks into the future. He shared about four scenarios, and one of them was darker than the others. He was asked what he thinks is needed in order – I say it in other words – steering spaceship earth into a direction that serves humanity and life on this planet best. And what he said was something like: We need a sort of global government. But it’s quite unrealistic that such a government would be able to come to common decisions, since the almost 200 states are so different.
I thought – wait! Even if this would work, even if all those states would elect representatives and form a global government, I don’t think that it’s really a good idea, since I see that governments even on a state level have limited power and capacity to really handle effectively the super complex issues that are burning right now. And time is running. In order to move this space-ship into a more healthy direction we need to organize this differently.
I believe in group-intelligence and self-organizing systems. And I believe, yes, we need a global agenda, we need a global vision, we need some strategy and a plan and ways to communicate and decide around global questions. But in addition to the unrewarding but needed jobs that state governments and global governing institutions carry, we as global citizens can take on immediate responsibility in this too.
So many of the diverse people I meet every day are interested in doing things differently and I see them holding keys to the solutions already in their hands, no matter what background they have and from which sector the come: business, education, activism or healing or politics.
We as representatives of different progressive movements are holding the ecological, social, spiritual and technological „solutions“ already in our hands. So what holds us back? So what do we need to scale? …. Knowledge, Connections, Leadership Capacities, Money? The invitation we are making here is to come together …. and cultivate a ….. garden, nurtured through our common vision, a vision we still need to create, and that changes with time and new members who arrive.
Our Garden is a Commons. It’s open to visit and for everyone to enjoy. We come together on this land because we love gardening, sitting in trees and meeting our friends there. And those who commit to certain behaviors can also intervene on this land, grow their own vegetables, plant some trees.
Some of us will be even able to sell some of the veggies we grow in this commons, that helps people making a living. And from the money we make we invest into a watering system, we share with other commoners, as they shared their gardening tools before.
Since it’s part of my personal, everyday reality already, I trust in serendipity, in strokes of luck for all of us. In my dream, our commons will provide the knowledge, feedback, and links to connections and resources needed to start growing our favorite fruits. Ask around and you’ll see everything is there to get your project off the ground.
We’ve experienced this sort of luck happening already after the first Incubator in Berlin this May. Prodii and Vanilla Way incubated a win-win-win Collaboration. Prodii is the tech start-up represented here by Marianne, offering a tool for collaborative mapping of professional resources in networks. They are interested in a use case that is also reflecting their own values around data ethics, regenerative business models and so on.
Vanilla Way, as facilitator and activist network, is seeking ways to go out into the world and present its strength. We are now working together. Our output will serve the commons. Great things can happen. But to be honest, I believe cultivating a commons of that kind is no easy task. It requires two things from us.
Inspired by the meta-framework Dragon Dreaming I say: It requires Dreaming and it requires Commitment to dance with our dragons. Dreaming here is the capacity to speak out our deepest wishes. That requires first of all deep listening to learn about our deepest wishes, and deep listening to hear the deepest wishes of others.
Commitment – here means to take on the roles and tasks and growth challenges needed in order to bring them into reality with support of others. This is a lot to ask from a group of people that meets for the first time. It’s even a lot to ask for a group that knows each other for decades. So I invite all of you to take our 3 days of the Collaboration Incubator as a field to experiment with this. To stay with the metaphor: Consider these 3 days as the garden party you are visiting and co-organizing. If you stay connected to this garden after is another story. But you are most welcome to feel at home and take full ownership during these 3 days.
Maybe then, you’ll find out it’s not the right time in your life to join this project. Maybe you’ll find it’s not the right people. That’s all fine too. Please be honest with yourself. And maybe you are dreaming and dragon-dancing already somewhere else; another garden is your home and you just stoped by to cross-pollinate our flowers with your presence and wisdom. Thank you for being here!
To be honest, I don’t know if human kind is ready to do „Dragon Dreaming“ – to integrate and accept our traumas, to practice being an „enlightened society“ – the paradigm we play with in Social Presencing Theater. I don’t know if I can be good a role-model in this myself. I certainly need help in this.
But if not we, who then? And if not now, when?
And as we commoners say:
„Together we know everything, together we have everything.“
Thank you for the collaboration.