The following are a few updates that I compiled over the six days of the confluence…
Oct. 21, 2013
Living the New Economy, 2013 came to a close with a series of information driven workshops. We started the day with a workshop on Financing the New Economy where Michelle Collusi and Suresh Fernando from the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal, Ross Gentleman from the CCEC Credit Union – The Official Facebook Group and Kevin Harding harding from the BC Cooperative Association provided a brief intro to various tools and models that people and local communities can use to finance their projects. Suresh higlighted the Ecosystem approach to resource allocation that he is working on that aims to shift the paradigm from allocating resources one project at a time to financing groups of projects collectively!
This was followed by an engaging discussion between a group of social entrepreneurs all working on collaboration platforms. This included Ben Scott Joy Case Van Hove from An Idea Nation – Global Think Tank, Vida Mas from Cyrka, Scott Israel from CoCreatrix and Caroline Smalley of Citizens Media. All of these platforms aim to do similar things and the question we were exploring was: why are those building collaboration platforms collaborating? Many things were revealed including the importance of the specific roles and skill sets of the entrepreneurs, the challenges of financing larger projects (if they decide to collaborate, for example) and the importance of reducing complex visions to easily digestible stories that people can actually engage in.
The late afternoon session focused on Shared Spaces. A recurring theme at LNE was the need for Shared Physical spaces in order to maintain our conversations; to bridge the gap between the projects; to get to know each other better; to build culture. The New Economy will bridge the gap between ‘economic’ issues and ‘life’ issues, revealing the dichotomy to be false. Life happens in physical space… To that end we had John Bromley from Benevoland Tara Mahony and Daniel J Pierce of the Junction and @Kim Cooper from Co-Lab and Jim Carrico from Redgate.
Oct 20, 2013
Another magical day at LNE… This whole experience is leaving many of us both exhilarated an exhausted as we now move into the final day of our program! Each day has been different and, as was pointed out to me yesterday, for those that have been there every day, a sense of family is starting to develop…
For this is what it is all about is it not? … the creation of a culture that values us as for who we are; not as functional entities in an economic paradigm that dehumanizes, commodifies and devalues our existence. This sort of culture, in some sense, is a large family; one where we really see and embrace each other for who we really are!
In terms of the day, it began with Tam Lundy doing a workshop in Generative Change; or, what might, more popularly be called, Systemic Change; the sort that requires that we broaden our perspective and see that whole; that we look beyond our own personal interests; that we realize that our personal interests are served by serving the collective interest.
This was followed by a session on Recliaming the Commons where Tiberius Brastaviceanu presented the Sensorica project which is working on developing the tools and methodologies for those working in distributed environments, to develop their own value exchange methodologies while they collaborate on projects together. Dallas Luther provided some local context by describing the MakerLABS project, the object of which is to create a space and associated community to empower those that want to creative make things! Michel Bauwens, of the P2P Foundation concluded by giving us a very brief description of a very exciting and seminal project that he is working on with the government of Ecuador; a project the focus of which is to develop an Open, Commons Based, Knowledge Society,
Joy Case Van Hove of An Idea Nation – Global Think Tank followed this by presenting a Live Crowdfunding workshop where provided us with an overview of what crowdfunding is, highlighted several projects, engaged the projects with those in the room and initiated crowdfunding campaigns on their behalf on the AnIdeaNation platform.
We closed with a shared feast!
Looking forward to today which promises to be equally spectacular!
Yesterday was a mix of theory and magic! In the morning Randy Galowan facilitated a really powerful storytelling workshop where he introduced us to the work of Marshall Ganz, who has done a lot of work on the importance of storytelling in the context of movement building. The basic idea is that there are three stories that we need to be able to tell… The Story of Me, the Story of We and the Story of Now… and if you can make these stories fit together into coherent picture, then you have a persuasive and powerful story that can serve as the basis of a call to action!
The stories need to be as personal as possible, calling on specific life instances that resulted in major transitions… shifts in consciousness etc. Those moments need to be described in rich detail… This is what will connect you with others… build trust and form the basis for the communities that you want to build.
Randy emphsized, specifically, that People connect with People… not ideas and that there seems to be something fundamental about Stories and Human nature…