|We are looking for organizations that share some or all aspects of a broadly inclusive "well-being" agenda, and exploring ways that their partial agreement and overlap can be bridged and interconnected through a kind of interdimensional network weaving. Let's find the points of common ground among thousands of organizations, and create ways to gracefully negotiate their differences in an enlightened spirit of co-creation.|
In the opinion of thousands or millions of talented individuals and organizations, the world is passing through a period of unprecedented transition, involving both danger and opportunity. Millions of people know we must work together to solve our collective problems, but in actual practice this is proving very difficult to do. People and organizations, though well-intended in broad terms, are often divided, even bitterly so, on specifics. And too commonly, people are simply overwhelmed by the complexity and interdependence of the situation we are confronting. Disfunction and paralysis are too often the consequence.
Can this situation be addressed? Is there something we can do, or should do? Are conditions too overwhelming or confusing, too riddled with "wicked problems" we are not equipped to solve? This Charter project is exploring a simple and modest solution to this conundrum, by suggesting that there does exist a body of principles that can guide the interaction of well-intended collaborating groups. The internet provides tools for physically interconnecting as many groups as we can find, and there are established methods for mediating their interaction. We're suggesting a huge collaborative project in "community weaving" that starts at any point where some hopeful or idealistic person wants to connect with a constructive group they admire.
Contact one person, one group, who you believe belongs in a framework like this, and "weave" them into an expanding field of constructive relationships. Can we build a spirit of trust and cooperation with that person or group? Can they, will they commit to something even close to the co-creative ideals and principles we are beginning to gather? In some ways, this agenda is comparable to the way that Gandhi and Martin Luther King inspired their followers to follow principles of non-violence. Non-violence was a critical need of their era. Perhaps it is fair to say that the guiding principles of co-creation are equally essential to our era.
If we can encourage and help grow this spirit in a contagious ("viral") way, we might have a chance to ignite the kind of broad social movement that could significantly change the world for the better -- in hundreds or thousands of interconnected ways.
This Charter project proposes a new basis for national or global agreement on the fundamentals of human well-being, and offers an activist strategy for collecitvely "weaving" together thousands or millions of individual strands of agreement across every sector of human experience.
The objective this emerging Charter for Cocreation framework is the development of methods that can help overcome these problems of fragmentation and overload -- and the bickering that emerges in that context -- by building bridges and connections between literally thousands of groups and individuals who share overlapping and related intentions, but may express important specifics in different terms, working on some slightly different facet of a related problem, or concentrating on a different issue.
There is no doubt that "face to face" personal relationships are essential to the development of friendly human understanding across philosophical and cultural differences. Dialogue and negotiation in person are an essential aspect of developing a widely shared understanding capable of nurturing a sense of unity across a broad range of cultural differences. A sense of trust is essential to collaboration and cooperation at their best. This Charter project is intended to help support and articulate this kind of trust-building, and everything we are doing here is consistent with it.
But this project is intended to fill a gap -- a large gap -- that face-to-face relationships and conferences and friendly in-person negotiations and discussion generally cannot adequately address. We want to significantly expand the capacity of the human community to think collabroatively about complex and highly interdependent problems. Well-designed internet systems, we believe, can fill the looming gap that overwhelms single-issue initiatives that depend on the mental capacity of single individuals or small groups.
In the usual conference process, taking place over just a few days, ofen involving extensive travel, important people have just a short while to socialize, get to know one another, build trust, and get into the specific details of whatever brought them together. And in-person conversations -- important though they are -- in most cases cannot address in specific detail the full complexities of large issues. There can be hundreds of small factors in any major discussion that simply "won't fit on the table" -- because the participants don't have the time (at a four-hour morning session they traveled 10,000 miles to experience), and the presentation simply cannot get into sufficient particulars to resolve really challenging questions -- which we all accept will have to be addressed "later".
We are stuck today with a huge traditional problem: the devil is in the details, and we don't have time for the details. We are overwhelmed, and too often we devolve into frustration and shouting. Even when out intentions are good and our skills polished, we can still easily overload in the face of huge high-pressue issues that do not have simple or obvious solutions. We absolutely need high-level highly-detailed computer network support.
Indeed, in the context of many of our most challenging problems (taxes, infrastructure, immigration, climate) there are usually so many details and specifics we simply can't list them all or keep track of them. Instead, in a common cocreative/collaborative conference session, our talented graphic facilitators stand up in front of us taking notes on whatever is coming up, and while this work is often impressive and very helpful, it's generally only a start, and is usually a basic intuitive promise that "we'll do the real work later" -- somehow. And usually -- though these sketches and soft intuitive agreements are helpful and do help build trust and get the structure of major issues and concerns articulated into a form the group can share, the pressures of time and complexity ("bandwidth" -- how much information can we really process?) make it difficult or impossible for a broad and diverse group to actually proceed to work through complex details in any systematic or "whole systems" way. We are generally forced to simply accept our limitations, and settle for frustration.
A primary objective of this Charter project is to help provide ways to organize a vast division of labor (https://goo.gl/QfNyD) on the huge shared process of bringing together a "whole system" composed of thousands or millions of "separate parts". We can organize a volunteer-based outreach program intended to "find the pieces", and build a converging process that pulls them all together, or towards one another, through co-creativity, patient negotiation, and good engineering.
What we can do together over the internet that is not possible any other way:
Network weaving -- every volunteer a weaver
Vision: 1,000 volunteers offering 1-4 hours a week helping to find and interconnect individuals and groups around an agendea that gently converges towards common values based on gentle negotiation and enlightened co-creation
Interdependence of issues, concerns and sectors
Weaving agreement between sectors and issues
Bringing us together by identifying hundreds of specific things we agree on or have in common
Psychological bandwidth limitations of individual human beings
This is a leadership network: start with groups and individuals who already know and practice most of these things, and find ways to draw them together. Don't take these ideas directly to enraged citizens who lack the preparation to understand them. Instead, develop strategies to gradually broaden and inform their perspective -- perhaps by working through their own local leadership networks, such as churches or any other agency that is generally aligned with the principles of co-creation.
If we are talking about the political power of the internet, we might discuss the important and illuminating experience of the famous "Arab Spring".
If we all have a simple common enemy, we can all come together around deposing this enemy. But once that "one dimensional" problem is solved, now what do we do? We are left with thousands of ways we are divided (and perhaps at each other's throats), because we didn't even begin to unify ourselves in the detailed and informed ways that we must.
We are talking about a huge process of collective cultural negotiation, that gets into specifics, and finds ways to resolve critical tensions.
The first step is finding groups and indivduals who are even approximately into this kind of visionary agenda, who are sensing something like the same thing, and are prepared to join a broad flexible alliance for the common good and well-being.
Those people and groups are out there today, and they are awaiting well-organized leadership that can express and contain this emerging vision in a practical yet uncompromised way.
We should be finding these people and groups and making it simple and easy for them to participate in a broadly inclusive process they can totally believe in.
This project vastly expands the bandwidth for human cooperation and consideration/dialogue/deliberation -- by orders of magnitude -- phrase this right, this is a powerful claim you can back up if you say it right
Nobody can do it all -- we are forced to specialize. But specialization can become fragmenting and the left hand may not understand the right hand. And the blue state might hate the red state.