1. Intro, some key elements
Name of the Distrikt: Libro Werde
Demonym: Libro Werdeoid, Werdoid (& others)
The language of the Distrikt is of Germanic-Latin origin. It has loan words from many languages, borrowed because of their usefulness.
The modern name of the distrikt Libro Werde literally means ”free world”.
But the meaning of it’s original old name is unclear: il Orb Werte. The different possible interpretations include ”the valuable orb”, ”the green globe” and ”circular values”.
Linguists have also noted a linguistic coincidence. In Spanish ”libro verde” means green paper. Green papers are ”published to stimulate discussion on given topics. They invite the relevant parties (bodies or individuals) to participate in a consultation process and debate on the basis of the proposals they put forward."
Libro Werde is an identity and a community. It consists of overlapping communities, rather than only a unitary Distrikt. It has its own land, but it also has a diaspora. Many Libro Werdeans are living in the other Distrikts.
Libro Werde contains overlapping communities of action, communities of practice, communities of interest, communities of purpose, and communities of inquiry. In general, most Libro Werdeoids have in common a wish to experience rather than just exist .
Movement, curiosity and progress are defining characteristics of the culture of Libro Werde. A community of place also emerges, and it enriches the life of the people. There is pride in being a Libro Werdeoid. Or a ”Weirdo” as the name is sometimes twisted by opponents.
Libro Werde is inclusive. If you feel that you are a member, then you are a member. There is no scrutiny or gatekeeping, except in some cases of civil law, commercial law and criminal law. You are also free to leave at any time. Both mentally and physically. No declaration of exit is necessary.
Libro Werde is a high-trust, low-hierarchy, low power-distance society. This increases information flow and exchange of ideas. This in turn increases innovation and thereby competitiveness. People are not afraid to speak up about anything, because they are rarely ridiculed. New attempts in business, technology and society are encouraged. Failure is seen as a badge of honour. It is added to one’s list of accomplishments. A valuable learning experience, and a sign of courage. Failure does not usually result in shame.
Many schools of thought thrive in Libro Werde. Science-based thinking is dominant. The scientific outlook is not dogmatic. Instead of rigidly anchoring thoughts to unchanging paradigms, a metaphor of a sea-anchor is used. The sea-anchor represents the common sense thinking of the Libro Werdoids. The sea-anchor’s long chain allows for quick movement within its reach. It slows down movement beyond the chain’s reach, but doesn’t prohibit it. Common sense prevails, but it is considered scientific to be open to the unknown.
Libro Werde is affluent, in the sense that few inhabitants are hungry or poor. For those unable to do conventional work, and for those who wish to channel their energies otherwise, a safety network (welfare system) guarantees basic necessities and medical care. Education at all levels from kindergarten to PhD is paid by the state. The content of the education is guided but not censored, nor heavily controlled by the state. This system enables any individual to devote their energies to creative and mental activity, without having to worry about survival.
Identity as a Libro Werdeoid is not mutually exclusive with membership in other groups and Distrikts.
One key aspect in Libro Werde is a shift which has happened in awareness. This means that most societal, economic and technological initiatives in Libro Werde are driven by a segment of the population, which has become “unstuck”. This means unstuck in their ways and in their thinking. These are crucial changes, on a mental and intangible level.
“Unstuck” means this: the “old ways of thinking”, “old conventions”, “old social contracts” from past decades and centuries are seen as artifacts that have served a purpose in the past. Some of the old things are still useful today. Some will continue to be useful in the future. But there is not much feeling of nostalgia. The “old ways” are not automatically taken as norms to be aspired to.
Libro Werde is a society and a population in transition. It is relatively similar to a small, early 21st century northern hemisphere nation-state on Earth. The basis of the political economy is liberal democratic, social democratic, or techno-democratic. Depending on the perspective.
There is a psychological price to pay for innovating, and for discarding old things. Creating new things inevitably also means destruction of the old system. Or parts of the old system. Belief in rigid systems and values can bring a sense of safety and stability. But the price of this is freedom. The easy safety of rigidity and solidity is not unlike an infant craving for the attention and care of a parent figure (physical or metaphorical). But while getting stability and care, the infant is then also at the mercy of the the parent’s whims. One has to endure the pain of giving up easy, simplistic psychological safety if one wants to be free. Free to exlore the potentials of the world. This is the psychological leap, which many Libro Werdeoids have accomplished. It is what enables the existence of the Distrikt in its current form.
Most Libro Werdeoids have gone through such a process of relinquishing the wish for rigid, restrictive type of stability. They have arrived at a new equilibrium. In this new balance they don’t rely on external support (the state, the traditions of society, parent figure, or something similar). Instead, they see themselves as free conscious actors. They are no longer landlocked in restrictive mental valleys. They have become sailors and divers, in a vast ocean of possibilities.
Some of them have arrived at their new equilibrium via philosophy. Others via zen-like meditation. Others simply see the rationality of it. Others were born to intellectually inquisitive families. Some have been persecuted or discriminated against. Some have experienced danger or trauma, which in the end enabled them to look at things from new perspectives. Some have gone through a personal crisis, and from the crisis they have obtained the insights, which they needed to become unbound to the old.
Libro Werde has evolved into a society which actively eliminates inertia and is vigilant about not relying on unnecessary legacy systems. On the other hand, those legacy systems which function well are kept and maintained. There is a rational process of decision making. This decision making system takes into account numbers, feelings and empathy. The process of decision making and eliminating societal and mental inertia takes a lot of effort. But Libro Werdeoids think it is crucial. So that they are not sleepwalking into the future.
The potential of human development is manifold. The languages of conventional economy and social science cannot adequately describe the possible future paths. Not without restricting human creativity. But having progressive views on human development, and rejecting traditions, are not prerequisites to live in Libro Werde. Most kinds of views are tolerated. Variety is seen as a key to innovativeness. Many political and social conservatives also live in Libro Werde. Some of them are local, and some are immigrants from other Distrikts. But the driving force of Libro Werde’s success is an intellectually curious, discontented, partly even nerdy population. They prefer experimentation to safety. Some Libro Werdeoids are even transhumanists, but the majority are not. They can be described simply as lovers of innovation.
3. Models of cooperation
Group work (or swarm work) towards shared interests is a basic mode of operation. Fabric of the Libro Werdeian society. People’s roles in work, groups and social settings are relatively fluid and transient. If needed, one can have several overlapping identities simultaneously, and one can switch between roles.
Inclusiveness is the norm in Libro Werde. In many other societies gatekeeping and exclusion is often the default mode. In those societies you must prove or qualify yourself in order to belong to a group. In Libro Werde you are a member if you FEEL that you are a member. It is also cool to be a member. But you are also free to do your own thing, be indepedent, and stay away. Your choice is respected.
The starting point for this policy is not an ethos of group-hugging. It is the logical fact that the more is included, the richer ideas and resources become. Plurality and variety increases the propability for the creation of new, fruitful combinations of methods, initiatives, activities, technologies and businesses. This works especially well in an environment of high level education, growing level of automation, and when technology and skills are abundant.
Competition can be good as a booster, and a catalyst of energy and efficiency. But competition is not dogma which has to always be followed. Close mutual cooperation, instead of competition, can be more effective. Depending on the situation.
- A concrete example: Libro Werde organises many hackathons to boost ideas and combinations. There are incentives for top performers, and prizes for winners. But the “losers” are not excluded either. Their interest and passionate energy is harnessed by including everybody who wishes to contribute to the winning projects. Or to continue their own projects after the competition. Most contributions are collected and recombined, to create even better results later. Ideas and knowledge are not wasted. Instead the knowledge which has been generated is recorded, cultivated and recombined. Information is nurtured. All the while care is taken, in order not to censor or manipulate information.
Whatever works well, is usually freely and actively shared. Best practices are not kept as secrets for small circles of people. Instead, results and knowhow are generally shared. This is because in general, the “cake” will become bigger for everybody if information is shared instead of hoarding it. (A concrete example to be added here)
Different interest groups are helped to organise their activities with tools of group work, and other organisational tools. (A concrete example to be added here)
Different interest groups are helped to federate their actions too. Those who see benefit in overall coordination, can join larger entities (groups). (A concrete example to be added here)
Methods of service design are used on many levels of society, to make cooperation smoother. Larger aim and large projects can be broken down into smaller tasks. Even microtasks. There are several practical tools, methods and services, which are routinely used and developed further. The tools enable a workflow, where knowledge intensive work is divided into smaller tasks effectively.
Contributions and the economy
People can volunteer their time and efforts for free, in which case their reward can be simply the involvement in creating something useful or great. Their names or nicknames can be mentioned as contributors. Or they can elect to also receive credit, in the form of tokens. The tokens can be used to buy things or services. The tokens can also be lent and borrowed. A general ledger of tokens and contributions is kept. Several backup copies exist to safeguard the system. In the economy, the token system exists alongside and complements a more traditional money system. (There is more text on this in Part 2.)
Methods of delegating work and responsibility are used. And the methods are continuously developed. These methods take into account personal psychology and motivations, as well as group dynamics. One keyword is empowerment. People are mostly delegated with responsibility, trust and autonomy. Not controlled with commands and coercion. Giving trust elicits trust and spontaneous contribution. And keeps the high-trust society moving.
Loops and timekeeping
In Libro Werde, time is also designed. Design methods are used to create cyclical activity calendars and cyclical workflows. These enable a responsive work mode. For an outsider it looks as if the Werdoids were loosely organised, and imprecise in organising their work. But it is a conscious choice. Options are kept open and things are kept loose. This is done in order for the most suitable, and the most efficient solutions to emerge organically.
One of Libro Werde’s overarching paradigms is the Loop. Instead of straightforward, straight line extension into the future, feedback loops and reiterations are often designed and used in all kinds of activities. This is reflected in the Werdoid word for ”project”.
The word project comes from the Latin verb proicere , “before an action” which in turn comes from pro -, which denotes precedence. Something that comes before something else in time. And iacere , “to do”. The word “project” thus originally meant “before an action”.(Wikipedia)
In Libro Werde vocabulary, the word used instead of project is dumject. It comes from the Latin dum for ”during, whilst in the process of, until”, and iacere , ”to do”. Therefore: ”during an action”.
Circularity or loops do not mean stagnation and slow progress. It’s the Werdoid way of getting things mostly right, the first time around. And where problems and mistakes arise, the dumject self-correction system is there. Already available and in action.
This way of progressing is manifested in concrete things such as the calendar. The Werdoid calendar is a spiral. It progresses in the third dimension. It is not a two dimensional circle which would return to its starting point.
Combining of interests and some history
The Werdoids have created a system of swarms, and communities of interest and purpose. And various forums where their energies and activities are channeled well. Discussion forums and databases of knowledge are woven together, into a user-friendly framework (or a flexible cluster) of content and interfaces. This supports research, business and societal activity in real time. This is the backbone (or exoskeleton) of their efficient innovation system.
An early version of this system were the radically open (for the era) discussion platforms loosely based on the Discourse system. These platforms were set up on ”the Internet”. (The Internet was the networked system of global communication, which is traditionally considered to have started at around 410227200 Old Werdoid Time).
These “Internet” discussion platforms flourished around the planet Earth, with varying levels of success. Some were created by startup entrepreneurs, and by corporate businesses. Others were coral-like amalgamations of different topics, projects and communities. They came together in various ways and at various occasions, and then dispersed again. Sometimes there was hectic action and heavy debate on the forums, and sometimes there were long quiet periods.
The keys to success were the ability to eliminate geographical distance, and especially the choice of openness and transparency. The best amalgamations of communities became generators of meaning, for their participants. The participants and contributors could satisfy theirs needs for curiosity, empowerment and of community.
At the same time, the communities could achieve meaningful results in transforming society for the better. In several ways which traditional governance could not. The openness and radical transparency of the forums ensured visibility over the Internet. More people kept getting actively involved, even though the topics demanded heavy intellectual involvement. Many of the more closed online communities on sooner or later faltered.
The participants and contributors of these communities realised, that they could bring the openness to a higher level. They created a new service package. This service package consisted of setting up a similar forum for any useful or interesting group of people, who wished to have such a forum. They also taught how to build a community on the platform, and how to run it. A turnkey service. Even elements of entertainment, gamification and audiovisually pleasing content were integrated. This combination made the service a major success.
The various forums which were created in this way, began to cooperate more closely with each other. This was made easier by using similar technical solutions and platforms in each of the forums. User accounts could be shared across the platforms: one could register into one system, and with that registration get access to most of the other platforms and forums also.
Information flow became more effective and timely, as people became more invested and involved in the system. Conflicts also inevitably arose, and there were some groups with opposing interests and beliefs. But overall the system became a flourishing network of innovation and creativity. It had hundreds of large and small nodes over the world. Interests and activities were syndicated in an efficient distributed way. In some cases they were even federated under a central decision making system, when the need arose.
The descendants of these freely associated communities founded Libro Werde.
(To be continued)