Living together session: Living together with trust, balance and developing from the bottom-up

When I was thinking how to summarize the results from the 'Living together' session, three words appeared clearly in my mind: trust, bottom-up and balance.
Clearly we live in a society that has damaged their social capital, and the basis of that damage is the lack of trust. The sad truth is that as society in general we don't trust in our neighbor, let alone a complete outsider. One could argue that the social networks that are permeating our social life help us to trust more and be more trustful, but connection doesn't mean trust, the reality is that trust means something deeper. Trust begins with myself, knowing that myself is able to remain attached to its values, and also knowing that myself is able to set and achieve its objectives no matter the difficulties on the way. Thus, trust begins in myself with values, discipline, temperance, perseverance and courage. Once I know that I can trust in myself,  just at this moment I'm ready to begin to trust the others. And the trust with the others is built in the same way that the trust with myself: through values, discipline, temperance, perseverance and courage. I know this might sound old, extreme, hard, obvious or whatever, but still, it is something we must practice conscientiously to build trust.  
A change to be permanent should start from the bottom up. It should start small from the intimate conviction, and from there it must be flourishing and expanding around by example. If we really want a change, we must be an example of this change in order to show it to others. The change should be like a viral infection that starts with a small mutation somewhere and it spreads by contagion in its vicinity. But if that “mutation” is not alive and active, but only existing as ideals, it never spreads around. So in order to change something we need to act, not big actions, but small actions. And we need trust, so that these all small actions will be chaining together in big actions to achieve the permanent change that we want.
For change to be sustainable it must be based on the balance, without balance there is no sustainability. When we are in a bad situation we tend to run to the extremes. As for example, too much technology and we are dreaming of a life without it, forgetting the undoubted advantages that technology is also offering to our life and society. Too much oppression and we began to yearn for a life of total anarchy, forgetting that to live in society we need a minimum set of rules and holarchies to organize them. But we also tend to go to extremes with the novelties. As for example, there is Internet and we are connected to it all the day, forgetting that as human beings we need a physical, emotional and mental balance for a true development. And again, we need to be balanced from the bottom-up, starting with ourselves, cause if we are unbalanced is not possible to develop balanced relationships with the others. 
These three words are applying in the all areas of our social life, the personal, familial and societal. And it is also applying in the different contexts in these areas; they are as valid for the politicians in their relationships with the society that they are representing, as for our interpersonal relationships which are the ones that ultimately determine the society in which we live. It is true that they do not sound too exciting and involve a slow process at its beginning. But if we want to change our current society with one that is social and ecologically sustainable, we first need to develop trust and start to act small from the bottom-up searching by balanced solutions. 

Trust, values, sense of responsibilities, balanced world, etc.

Whoa, keep speaking this way, I love it! No, I don’t think it’s a question of being ‘old’. As a matter of fact, I think that you have the finger on exactly what is the problem with our society. We eliminated all the values and principles. And this has led us to decay. Look around, everything is falling apart. TheJamo highlighted in this mission reportSpyros Pengas - the Deputy Mayor of the city of thessaloniki - quote: “Europe is going to explode”

Hey, that is serious. A continent about to explode! What about the rest of the world? We’re all connected to each other…

Many of the values and principles that are associated to the ‘old’ used to come from religion. The problem with religions is that there has been a lot of abuse of power. Opression and crazy control. Too much rigidity where there should have been instead love and solidarity. But the message that most of these religions tried to share was not all bad. We definitely should reconsider the possibility of reintroducing values ​​and principles in our lives.

You said that ‘trust begins with yourself’. I think that people need to know themselves in order to trust themselves. There is not much introspection encouraged nowadays. Children are put in daycare centers and every single minute is used for some activity or another. When do we have silence? I know so many individuals who go nuts when they have to sit down for 5, 10 minutes on a chair. They climb the walls when it happens. They cannot remain alone for more than a few minutes.

Values and principles, that’s just fine, but how are we to FILL people with something, when they are: 1) first, completely unaware that there exists in their being an inner dimension; 2) second, when they are bombarded with superficiality. When I see Deepak Chopra trying to put an emphasis on wellness, I cannot but approve that he does, nod, and think about the impact this will have. (see his new video, CRITICAL MASS can change the world 'There cannot be societal transformation in the absence of personal transformation", said Chopra.

I used the word ‘balanced’ many times, on this Edgeryders platform. A more balanced world. 30, 50 times?

You speak about interpersonal relationships. I might be wrong, of course, but I have a feeling that thousands of people are already trying to work on themselves. What about the politicians? By the time they get to ease out on their fear, it might be too late? I was reading about the Rio+20 multilateral conference today. ‘Une fuite en avant qui n’annonce rien de bon pour la suite des choses.Could it be added to the list, on top of trust and courage, a sense of responsibility? I don’t know about you, but the ostrich approch is getting on my nerves. Who’s going to pay for this behavior? Who will have to deal with all the consequences?

Hi Jorge, hope you arrived home safely and again, it was even more wonderful to meet you in person!

thank’s for taking the time to write this, it is a bit more abstract than other reports, which is why  I’m curious what examples or specific illustrations of trust building and bottom-up changes your team talked about during the session…? I know most of their stories are here on the platform, but as we are designing the next phase  we stop at: where are the dead ends of our stories?  where do institutions (should) come in, how can they be trust-enablers ?

also, what other key questions Edgeryders are left with after the session, that we could focus on to further the conversation on living together?

Arriving some “Living together” session 's results :slight_smile:

Hi Noemi! Well I arrived well but with a lot of pending things waiting right here!!! … yes the conference environment was a big experience, meeting f2f with all of us for the first time was wonderful … a super great moment!!! :slight_smile:

Going to the “Living together” session’s results:

The session topic:

How to develop healthy relationships with other people and themselves:

The session dynamics:

The session topic was studied through a practical case (Goal2us) in order to fulfill the following goals:

  • A partial answering to the topic
  • As the starting point to the implementation of a social project that is helping to develop healthy relationships with other people and themselves
Relevance of the practical case (Goal2us) to the session topic:
  • Goal2us is seeking to empower people through self-confidence development helping them to achieve their goals (healthy relationship with themselves)
  • The way that Goal2us is providing help is by peer-to-peer support (healthy relationship with others)
  • It is also interesting that Goal2us is seeking that the relationships are being developed in a healthy balance between the virtual and physical spaces where the people is immersed
The session area was split in four areas each one with a different question. The questions for each area were the following:
  • How are you improving the social idea (goal2us) to make it more collaborative?
  • Which one are the main values that you want to facilitate through the project and how?
  • How are you making sustainable the social idea?
  • How are you structuring the interrelation between the virtual and the physical?
The people in the session was split in four sub-groups and each one was assigned to one area. In each area was selected one representative from the sub-group associated to the area. Each sub-group was in the area around 20 minutes answering the question associated to the area, after which the people was moving to another area with the exception of the representative, who should remain in the area explaining the previous results to the newcomers. This change of areas was performed three times at the end of which there was a final gathering of all the ideas with the whole group.

Session results:

The first result was the direct answers collected through the session dynamics:

  • (a) How are you improving the idea to make it more collaborative?
  • (a.1) The basic collaboration unit:
    • The peer-to-peer support
      • The support is mainly psychological :
        • “I'm with you in your journey, you aren't alone”
  • (a.2) Open to groups:
    • Accessible to groups not only individuals
    • Groups should be flexible
    • Don't impose the group identity
      • But need to put attention to the group identity, how?
        • Using spaces that already exist
  • (a.3) How to get to motivate people to participate into goal2us:
    • Become the motivator
      • It doesn't have to become and end, keep it going and share:
        • Communicate goals:
          • Be clear on your goal
          • Labeling / tagging goals
        • Give back ideas
    • Space for creativity
    • Use technology to improve the access to others in similar situations
    • Share your experience → learn from others experiences
    • Space for discuss problems reaching the goals
      • Identify common issues and get experts involved
  • (a.4) Open to all:
    • No restrictions
    • Decentralized → loose hierarchies:
      • But important to create a system for selection:
        • Goal related
        • Share common guidelines
        • Based in human values -> trust
  • (b) Which one are the main values that you want to facilitate through the project and how?
  • (b.1) Values:
    • Building trust:
      • Mutual respect
      • Developing civic spirit → citizenship
    • Sharing:
      • Experiences, knowledge, advice
      • Solidarity/sympathy
  • (b.2) How:
    • Support to overcome obstacles:
      • Counseling
        • "Being an ear”
    • Pleasure to get realized together
    • Sharing roles
    • Communication
    • “Meet physically before to start the virtual relationship”
    • Trying to match people by common goals
    • Large-scale activities based on common interests
    • Provide background information
      • Reputation built on service
    • See the mission: “Critical city”:
  • (c) How are you making sustainable the idea?
  • (c.1) Process:
    • Involvement + presence
    • Create intimacy → relationship → commitment
    • Not big projects → it becomes too complicated
  • (c2) Infrastructure:
    • Main costs:
      • Management
      • IT Development & support
      • IT Hosting
    • Sources:
      • Volunteering:
        • Management & IT Development/support
          • At least for the first months
      • Crowd-funding:
        • IT Hosting:
          • At least for the first months
      • Long term:
        • The “warranty” model:
          • A little warranty for goals
            • If I'm failing, I'm losing the warranty
        • Pay for more sophisticated services:
          • As for example coaching
        • Live event at the physical spaces
        • Public fund-raising
  • (d) How are you structuring the interrelation between the virtual and the physical?
  • Structure at two levels: local and global
    • (d.1) Local:
      • Objective:
        • Build relationships using as a base the daily small interactions at the platform:
          • Meeting between people who are working to reach their goals
          • Periodically throw a party with all the people in a nearby geographically area
      • Coverage:
        • People geographically close
          • The city, a zone in the city, a neighborhood, etc.:
            • It depends on the density of people and the facilities present in the area
      • Facilities:
        • Get local support from authorities
          • “Taking ownership of our (public) spaces”
      • Format:
        • Semi-structured meetings:
        • A funny and informal part
          • A scheduled “working” part
    • (d.2) Global:
      • Partnership with NGOs from different countries
        • Build a social international network which can help with accommodation expenses
      • Couchsurfing for local support and hosting (local ambassadors)
      • Co-working spaces
      • Local chapters
      • Using embassies and councils (“ also are our public spaces”)
The second result was the rather abstract report about trust, bottom-up and balance. Because it was strongly felt that the key asset to develop healthy relationships is trust, and that the development of trust is a bottom-up process in a balanced environment. Regarding this result and answering your questions:
  • How can the politicians/government be trust-enablers?:
  • Also starting from the bottom-up, in particular giving an open approach to the management of the local public infrastructure as the municipalities, libraries, etc.
  • Dead ends?:
  • There is no balance in the time available to develop the different kinds of relationships (work, interpersonal, ourselves and family):
  • It appears that in our current society some kind of relationships have more status than others, and thus the highest status relationships consume most of the available time:
    • For example, it appears that the relationships developed in the workplace have higher status than the relationships developed in the familiar space. Why? A partial answer is the monetary value assigned explicitly or implicitly to the different kind of relationships
  • Key questions for further conversations?:
  • How is it possible to develop a more healthy balance between the different kinds of relationships (work, interpersonal, ourselves and family)?
  • The key factors for trust (and how we were losing trust)?
The third result, it is a bit more practical (or actionable), so I'm publishing it as a separate post: “Launching our first eCoService: Goal2us”.

Just a tiny question

I say, if all processes defined by your session begin at the individual level, and then have to spread virally, how do you get enough people at the start to make the changes in themselves?

By definition I’m quite opposed to changing a person, but as far as I remember the only ones that have consistenly succeeded in creating such a change in individuals are brainwashing sects. That is not the kind of society I’d like to live in, so I’d appreciate if more information on the procedure applied was forthcoming…

I would say “just thinking out loud”, but since I’m writing… well

Brainwashing is what we have right now …

We are agreeing on something, we don’t want to live in a society governed by brainwashing, definitely I don’t want to live under such conditions! But unfortunately we live in a society that practices brainwashing on a massive scale and with genocidal intent. We should extend the anthropocentric concept of genocide to include the entire planet as a subject liable for genocide, because our current society with its practices not only commits extreme violence against the human race in general, but also against the entire planet. The genocide practiced against the human race could be characterized as primarily mental, as it seeks to destroy any semblance of critical thinking in order to convert us in docile “productive-consumers”; but it doesn’t rule out physical genocide, which often precedes the mental violence and paves its way, but also insidiously infiltrates our daily lives through pollution, consumer products harmful to health, stimulating lifestyles incompatible with health, etc… And against the planet, I suppose that by now should be pretty clear to us the kind of violence with which we treating the planet, because otherwise we would not be talking about ecological crisis.

In short, today we live in a social and ecological crisis, because since birth, our education system, and the propaganda that continually bombards us taking advantage of any advance in technology, and the examples we receive daily, etc…, they all are conditioning us to act disrespectful with ourselves, with others, and with the planet.

For example, it is disrespectful to yourself wasting most of your free time eating chips and watching the empty? Here, I guess people will start to speak about personal freedom and that everyone has the right to choose what to do with her/his free time. That is partially true, and this partiality -playing with half-truths- is the greatest hoax of our current society: to make us believe that we have a system where we are free to choose, and that whatever we do against it, is going against our freedom. So, it is partially true, cause it is true that we must have freedom about what to do in our time – as long as we are not damaging the freedom of others -. So, if I want to eat chips and watch the empty all my time, it must be OK. But it is also false, cause to choose freely you must have the adequate knowledge to see and evaluate the various possible alternatives, and must have the appropriate context to implement the best alternative. And in our society can not choose freely, because from birth we are brainwashed by telling us that eating chips and watching the empty is the good, and also we don’t have the proper context, because when I’m arriving from work after an exhausting day, that is the easiest course of action - kindly offered by a system designed for that -. So, what happens in the end, most of us are ending up eating chips and watching the empty in our free time because we were trained to do that, and because we do not have the necessary context to make something better. And so, finally we are ending up being disrespectful to ourselves, because we do not use our time – the only thing that we really have - consciously.

For example, it is disrespectful to ask others to use the best part of their days to do a certain job, neglecting the cultivation of their personal, family and interpersonal sides? To put it simply, here I’m not questioning the meaning of their jobs, because we could fill many pages talking about the countless people forced to do meaningless work (I was questioning that a bit here). No, let’s talk about something “simpler”, again about time. And here, I have one question, who was the person who decided that the workday must be 8 hours (at least), and also must be at the best part of the day? As far I know, as people living in a society, we have to do some productive contribution to it, this seems to be logical, ultimately we cannot hope to do nothing and live from miracles. But as human beings, supposedly owners of our own time, we also have the right to cultivate our personal interests, our families and our interpersonal relationships (the social part outside family). Today it is fashionable to talk about work-life balance, but its departing from a false premise (), since beforehand is not questioning the right of the work to occupy a third -at least () - of our day. Why the work is more important than all the rest and has such prominence? Why not work should not occupy at most a fifth of our time? 8 hours for resting, 4 for personal (sports, hobbies, etc.), 4 for family (romantic relationship, growing children, etc.), 4 for the interpersonal (community service, talking with friends, etc…), and 4 for work. You could say that I am free to organize my time as I want. That if I really want (or a similar discourse of self-help) I would be able to find a lifestyle where I can get for example the previous balance. Really I have that freedom? I’m conditioned to believe that 8 hours working is the normal and the whole system is structured for that - that means that most jobs are offering that and not another option -. Therefore, I’m rarely discussing the right to work less than 8 hours and still living with dignity, and if I do that, I will hardly find a job where I can work less than 8 hours and live with dignity. And if I’m lucky and I’m getting it, then it is a certainty that this situation is beyond the reach of most of us, simply because the system is not structured for that. Now suppose that not only I want to work less than 8 hours, but also I want to have a family with children. Probably, again you will tell me that this is a personal decision, and that it is my problem if I’m deciding getting myself into such a mess. And yes, you’re right, it’s my personal decision, but that decision is of crucial importance for all the society. We are needing new people to assure the future of the society, thus for example, at the medium term, we are needing new people to take care of us when we are getting old. So, these people who are taking this personal decision in fact is also working for all of us, because we definitely are needing the new generations. That is, having a family it I not only a personal decision that is consistent with the interests of a particular person, it is also a decision that affects the future of our society. But what do we do as a society about that decision? It is your individual decision, it is your particular problem, so I have nothing to do regard such decision; therefore, you must work eight (or more) hours and you will earn the same as any other, and after working at your spare time, you must resolve your “problem” you alone. And actually, I have a reasonable probability of contradicting that? That is, I’m free to choose? Well, I am free to work more or not having family, cause in fact that is the way that our society is showing me. But I am not free for example to work less and spend more time with my family, because despite the importance of this task, we are conditioned to think that the most important thing is work - no matter that the speech perhaps says no, what matters is the amount of time we must spend at work -. And if for some reason I am free of this mental conditioning, the system simply is not structured so you are able to work less and spend more time with your family. Maybe some of us are able to do that, but definitely not all of us. And so, finally we are ending up being disrespectful with the others, because not only we are not recognizing the activity they are doing for us (), but we also are denying them the possibility to do this activity in the best way.

So if the real question is how to avoid the brainwashing, the answer is that it is too late, because we are being brainwashed in one way or another from cradle to grave. Because we are in a society that tells us that we are free to choose whatever we want, and we can have everything we want, and that we can be even rich. When the truth is that we are being brainwashed through the word “freedom” and half-truths. Because the truth is that we cannot choose whatever we want, we can not have everything we want, and we cannot be all rich. To begin, there is insufficient material resources so we all can have everything we want, and even less we all can be rich, that is just a mirage - or just the carrot that motivates the donkey -. , and for this reason we need temperance. We also cannot choose whatever we want, because when we are deciding to live in society, we are accepting to play with the rules of that society – where those rules are also called values -. And those rules (values) are ultimately determining the kind of society we all have. Therefore, if we want a more fairer society, we must have fairer rules. For example, it is not the same a society where my word is enough to make safe a deal, that another where we are needing a legion of lawyers and controls – and not event that is enough as is shown in the current financial crisis -. So what we are needing are fairer rules (values), as for example the the “simple” rule of keeping one’s word. But that can not be imposed from outside, that has to grow from the intimate conviction of the individual person (and call to this development, personal change or whatever else). And it cannot be imposed from outside, first, because it does not respect individual freedom, cause if a whole group voluntarily decides to follow a set of rules, I can not come and force them to follow my rules because I’m considering that my rules are better. At most I can teach them, and I can show by example that my rules are working better. Second, because for such a change to a more fairer society really works, you must feel it, cause in the opposite we will be always looking for ways to avoid our responsibility. And for that is why I was saying that the first thing is to develop trust in ourselves, cause that means I’m feeling the need to follow those fairer rules. So do not be afraid and think about sects when I’m talking about values. I’m just talking about fairer rules. And to start to follow those fairer rules in our current society for sure we are needing discipline, perseverance and courage, cause they are not coming for free.

So if we want to change our society to a fairer society, we must change its rules to fairer rules, and to change its rules we must individually develop the conviction that fairer rules are needed and develop the commitment to find those rules and follow those rules (and again, call this development, personal change or whatever else). And imposing that from above is not a successful recipe for that, not at least to establish a fairer society. And for that is why I was talking of a change initiated from the bottom-up. People with the same ideals coming together to collaborate and implement projects that are giving life to these ideals. Projects that are a way to find better rules, and that through their implementation these projects are serving as teaching tools by example (a proof that this rules are better), and themselves also changing the society through their actions. This is the procedure, only a way of looking for better rules and propagate them from the bottom-up, because we must be careful with the messiahs that are coming with the perfect solution ready to implement from the top-down, cause they are knowing better than anybody how the world is working.

And at the weekend I’m answering to Noemi and writing about one of these projects designed to look for better rules and at the same time improve the society through its own working. Cause was through the discussion of this project that we arrive at the “Living together” session to this three words: trust, bottom-up and balance.

So, yes, we definitely are not needing more brainwashing, cause we are having enough right now. But for sure we are needing a lot of braincleaning, to clean ourselves of all this conditioning that we all have inside us.

(*) We could also discuss the purpose of this talk, because usually what it seeks is to improve productivity, not the worker’s life. You can say it does not matter much, because at the end the worker’s life is improved. But I can argue that matters a lot, cause if the center of the talk is not the worker’s life, in the case that tomorrow we are finding a way to improve productivity at the expense of worker’s life, this new way will be implemented and we’ll be forgetting the talk about work-life balance. We could also discuss about the name “work-life”, cause isn’t work part of the life? Interestingly, work is seen as out of life, and probably that partly has to do with the nonsense of many jobs.

(**) If you deduct up 8 hours from rest, then work is accounting by half the conscious day. Even worse, the stress conditions of many jobs, it is translating that stress to the rest of the day.

(***) It should be considered as a work, or if not work (to avoid trivializing something so important), at least as important as the work.

I agree, sort of

My question was more in the lines of how do you propose to produce this change in a large enough scale to change society in a meaningful way, which was answered on the second-to-last paragraph (groups of like-minded people getting together).

I will not even begin to enter the “educational brainwash” polemic, as it has been there since the introduction of universal education. There is a reason why so many anarchist theories begin by saying “education, education, education”, that being that in order to create a fair society of free individuals one must teach them to be critical and to want to be free. But for me, education is not brainwashing. Every society uses education to introduce the values it considers valid in children, and every society will do that forever. Thus, we are all “brainwashed from birth”, here in Europe, in North Korea, in Japan and everywhere else. And in a sense we will always be brainwashed in this sense, as it is utterly impossible to live in a society and not be permeated by its values to a certain extent.

Since I consider work an important part of my life, defining work as the old Marxist definition of your time dedicated to doing something productive, but employment utterly unimportant (employment being the exploitation of your work potential to create surplus for someone else), and I don’t follow set timed structures (I have no idea if I would relate to the 8-4-4-4 schema you present, 4 hours of family life is a downright scary prospecrt for me), I think I’ll go for freedom here. You, and everyone else, should be allowed to do whatever the damn they please with their lives. That is, in a society with some critical thinking, real freedom. The social covenant we live in does give us choices and yes, they are mostly cosmetic (please choose the right or the left path to reach exactly the same place), but here the main problem is still education. Most of us have not been educated to question the status quo and to think it unmovable (the current crisis scare climate would be a laughable example of “society destroyed by its economy, nothing we can do” if it wasn’t so clearly becoming an actuality).

So, to wrap things up, yes, I do think change is possible, but it will be at best generational. Any intent of change within ourselves will be biased by the society we grew in, and thus ultimately insufficient. In order to carry out the change you propose, we’d need these -so to say- “deprogrammed” people to become in their majority school teachers, and with a bit of luck in a couple generations we could achieve a fairer society. That, of course, will seem insufficient to all those that want the revolution overnight, but hey, nobody said life was fair.

Again, that’s how I think that works, maybe collapsonomists have already developed a protocol to change the human being overnight.

Bottom-up social hacking process through eCoServices

Well, a bit more elaborated explanation about the change process is detailed at: Bottom-up social hacking process through eCoServices …

Great post …thank you !

Thank you for the courage to speak out loud on such an important topic ! I 100% agree with you as these are actually thoughts that I also have and I would even phrase it the same !!! Great work !!!

Today it is fashionable to talk about work-life balance, but its departing from a false premise (*), since beforehand is not questioning the right of the work to occupy a third -at least (**) - of our day. Why the work is more important than all the rest and has such prominence?

These are the very questions we should all ask ourselves.

Why not work should not occupy at most a fifth of our time? 8 hours for resting, 4 for personal (sports, hobbies, etc.), 4 for family (romantic relationship, growing children, etc.), 4 for the interpersonal (community service, talking with friends, etc…), and 4 for work.

Agree, this would be ideal balance. Those 4 hours of work should imply meaningful work , understanding by “meaningful”, enjoyable for the individual, and beneficial for the society as a whole.

I’m conditioned to believe that 8 hours working is the normal and the whole system is structured for that -exactly, that’s what most people believe and don’t even dare to question it.

.…that means that most jobs are offering that and not another option - true, the system is designed that way and there’s no possible way to escape it without agreing to live on the edge of misery or madness. That’s not “decent living”, as you put it.

Well, I am free to work more or not having family, cause in fact that is the way that our society is showing me. But I am not free for example to work less and spend more time with my family, because despite the importance of this task, we are conditioned to think that the most important thing is work .- exactly, that’s the main idea I also wanted to express through my post…

And if for some reason I am free of this mental conditioning, the system simply is not structured so you are able to work less and spend more time with your family.-true, some people might be able to find a way, but  most of the times, this is pure luck, not a result of careful planning, as it is impossible to achieve it by either planning or hard work (!).

So if the real question is how to avoid the brainwashing, the answer is that it is too late, because we are being brainwashed in one way or another from cradle to grave. Not too late, since we are all here talking about it and looking for solutions.

Because we are in a society that tells us that we are free to choose whatever we want, and we can have everything we want, and that we can be even rich. When the truth is that we are being brainwashed through the word “freedom” and half-truths. Because the truth is that we cannot choose whatever we want, we can not have everything we want, and we cannot be all rich. That’s crystal-clear by now .

To begin, there is insufficient material resources so we all can have everything we want… Insufficient material resources OR unequal distribution of the existing rich resources ?

Limited material resources and inequality.

Thanks you for your words!! :slight_smile:

Regard your question “Insufficient material resources OR unequal distribution of the existing rich resources ?”:

I suppose it is both of them, let me explain:  the developed nations (USA, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia and some others) are around 700 millions people (more or less). Currently there are around 700 millions people with a really high consumption rate, as for example imagine the oil, electricity and materials all those people is consuming right now …   and now try to imagine that the 6 billion people around the World is accessing to the same rate of consumption … or in other words that the actual consumption rate of the developed countries is multiplied by 8.5. That is totally unsustainable for the planet Earth, there are not enough resources to maintain this rate of consumption. For that reason I was saying that there are not enough resources … there are not  enough resources so every person on earth is having the same level of consumption that an inhabitant of a developed country. So our current consumtion rate is unequal ‘per se’, both with with the current inhabitants of the planet because there are not enough so everyone is having the same, and with the future inhabitants of the planet cause we are depleting those resources …

Manifesto for 4 hours /day + meaningful social participation

Could we here at Edgeryders write together and sign a Manifesto for “Less work, more meaningful time” ? This document could be the first step towards change and we could try to have it signed by a lot of people outhere…

Actionable idea.

Indeed it is a very actionable idea!! I’m supporting the idea … the first step to change is to know that we need to change.

Do you have a initial draft? Are we using Google docs? …

Poster …

And here you have a poster for the manifesto … life2short!!!


“Most of us is working against-heart and ends up living a life that is not ours because the material needs, and that is what makes some people do not realize that died many years ago, the last time you were able to say no” (by Eduardo Galeano )


No draft yet, I intended to draft it together with you and other EDGE members. Would you like to be involved ?

I love the poster ! Can we really use it ?

The resources judgement is scarry for me. Sounds like the future means going backward in terms of technology, right ?

I want to be involved with the manifesto writing.

Yes! I would love to participate with the draft writing!

Mmmh … I don’t know if we are free to use this image, it is coming from: … we can ask them or we can design a new one using a similar concept.

Going backward in terms of technology? Not necessarily, but on the contrary we are needing to improve our technology to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly, while at the same time reducing our rate of consumption. Reducing the consumption rate means that for example is not the same as everyone is having a car, that using a car sharing service -to control and synchronize an efficient car sharing you are needing better technology -, and this service could be a kind of eCoService.

Launching our first eCoService: Goal2us

And now it is time to make actionable the results of the ‘Living together’ session, so the idea is to launch the first eCoService, a process which is described below:


Without so much words (for a better explanation you can read here) an eCoService intend to be an alternative way to provide services to the society in a social and ecologically sustainable way.

An eCoService is initially supported by crowd-funding and volunteering, but it must have a sustainability schema to support its operation. This sustainability schema is not producing rent, but it is returning back the resources initially contributed by crowd-funding and volunteering. If the sustainability schema is producing a surplus, part to the surplus is used to improve the service itself and the other part returns to the society through social projects.

An eCoService does not have owners in the traditional sense of the word, but an eCoService defines the ownership with base in the ‘voting power’, i.e. the right to participate in decision-making process that involves the operation of the eCoService. This ownership is achieved in two ways, either by providing the initial resources to create the eCoService (‘founding peer’), or becoming an eCoService 's user (‘collaborative peer’). An eCoService guarantees in the long run the equality of that ownership, i.e. if we compare two people where one begins providing some of the initial resources to create the eCoService, and the other begins some time later as a user; it can be seen that initially the ‘voting power’ is determined by the degree of contribution and involvement with the eCoService, but as time goes on, the ‘voting power’ of this two people begin to be similar until both are equal, and that is true for all.

The eCoService 's users are also receiving an acknowledgment of the experience gained by using the service provided by the eCoService through what is called ‘expertise power’. As an example, if the eCoService is Facebook, then each time an user is uploading a photo, the user is accumulating ‘expertise power’. This is because as a person is using the eCoService and is gaining experience in it, this user is adding value to the eCoService. A service without its users and without its users 's networking mechanisms would have absolutely no value. This ‘expertise power’ could be used later with different purposes in the eCoService 's operation.

Finally an eCoService is a model (a tool) to explore and develop new forms of governance and resource management, and ultimately to look for better social structures, those that allow the development of healthy relationships with ourselves and with others. You can see an eCoService as a Seed Bomb, you throw it at a certain space in society with the hope of improving this space.

Bottom-up social hacking process through eCoServices

As is explained better here , the idea is to use the eCoServices in a bottom-up process that pretends to make a shift in the way that society behaves regard social and ecological sustainability. With other words, what is intended here is to start a process that is creating more and more eCoServices, each one offering different services and being complementary between them. So that these eCoServices are creating in the society an space for alternative relationships schemes (alternative social structures), and this space is getting bigger and bigger until it becomes the society itself.

Every story has a beginning

The stated previously is the abstract idea, but to make change happening, we are needing ideas plus action, i.e. we are needing to take the very first step to create the first eCoService, and then experiment with it and see how far we can go with this idea.

So, what is needed to create this first eCoService?

Basically three things:

  • (1) To define the service to be provided by the eCoService
  • (2) To define the type of legal entity that will adopt the eCoService (the general template)
  • (3) The resources to implement the eCoService
(1) To define the service to be provided by the eCoService:

The service to be provided is the Goal2us idea:

Develop a community where each one is empowered to reach their goals through peer-to-peer support (mutual companion). For this reason the community is called Goal2us, cause it is a community in which to achieve personal goals is within reach of all its members because each one is at the same time giving and receiving support.

Then Goal2us is a community where we are not alone anymore on the path to achieve our personal goals, but we have a peer who gives us her/his company (support) along the path while we give her/him our company through daily small interactions in a virtual space. And we also have the support of the entire community of Goal2us, with which we can meet on a regular basis in special physical spaces to strengthen the relationships through conversations that matter.

To achieve the objective stated above, Goal2us is configured as a new kind of social network that interconnects the physical and virtual spaces through the following components:

  • (i) A web application with the aim of providing support to the people in order to reach small personal goals that can be achieved in a period of one to three months (short goals). This support is provided facilitating the access to a peer in a similar situation of wanting to reach a goal, and using specific tools in order to help people define their goals, design a plan to achieve them and finally executing the plan with the companion of this peer from of the Goal2us community:
  • Thus, it is used the capacity of technology to overcome barriers of time and distance in order to be able to develop a companion relationship with the peer through daily small interactions guided by the tools provided by the web application
  • The image is showing the interface of the web application that is facilitating the small daily interactions between both peers
  • (ii) A network of physical collaboratives spaces with the aim of bringing people together to strengthen the relationships developed through the small daily interactions in the web application by means of real conversations about things that really matters:
  • In those conversations happening in a physical space, the people from the Goal2us community is talking about their experiences, encouraging others, sharing their problems and even working face to face on their goals
Following the Seed Bomb metaphor, what Goal2us is looking for is to develop a space where trust can flourish at the personal and interpersonal level, by creating the conditions so that flowering occurs precisely because the people is using the space itself. Using that space under the right conditions makes people to germinate, cause in using the space the people is giving peer-to-peer support to others - thus creating trust at the interpersonal level-, at the same time that is also receiving support to realize a personal change - thus creating trust at the personal level. But Goal2us not only builds trust through the development of healthy relationships, it is also exploring new ways of governance and economics which also are shaping these relationships. And thus finally, Goal2us works as a new model that is demonstrating the obsolescence of the current models and providing a new alternatives from which people could observe, test, learn and and finally adopt.

(2) To define the type of legal entity that will adopt the eCoService:

Here first is needed more brainstorming in order to define the desired characteristics of an eCoService (ownership by ‘voting power’, no rent and so on), and then to define the legal structure to achieve these characteristics.

(3) The resources to implement the eCoService:

The needed resources are the following:

  • Service technological implementation:
    • A graphical designer
    • A programmer
    • Hosting at the cloud for six months
  • Physical spaces:
    • A physical space manager
  • Legal entity:
    • A lawyer
  • Dissemination:
    • A community manager
    • A viral audiovisual (to use in YouTube)

The next post, titled “Plan for the first eCoService launching” … it will have a draft for the plan to launch Goal2us as an eCoService.

Interesting, but I got lost in the math formula…

I need easier explanations about how will the voting power work !

Is this project already applied or is it a new initiative ? Goal2us is the first example of an eCoService?

What is social hacking ?

Yes ownership is the key

What have in common a hammer, the atom model and the business? All three are tools, i.e. they are an object, a concept or a pattern that organizes and/or extends our natural abilities and allows us to achieve something that would be difficult or impossible using only our natural abilities without the tool. A business is a tool that allows us to organize our activities in a more or less decentralized way to make use of scarce resources in competition with others who want to use those resources with the same or different purpose. That does not mean it is always the best product that wins getting the needed resources, but generally we can say that this way of organizing our activities make the products improve and that they are offered more efficiently as time is going on. All this while at the same time this way of organizing our activities is made without an excessive centralized control and creating the highly complex and rich contexts that our society is showing (contexts as for example are allowing the current dialogue).

In short we can say that the real tool is the pattern that the business are representing, and this pattern is basically the having to compete for scarce resources based on who generates more value for the use of these resources, while this value exceeds the value of resources used to generate it. And we can say that compared to others, this tool has proven an effective way of innovation and is offering a kind of decentralized organization (almost self-organization) capable of creating rich and complex contexts.The problem is not the tool itself, which has shown to be effective. The source of the problem lies in who owns the tool and how is using it. And using the tool involves defining what is value, because it is what is guiding the tool use, and later is this concept of value which is permeating the contexts created with the tool. Then, speaking from the perspective of balance, we cannot go to the extreme and say that everything in business is bad, cause the pattern being represented by the business is a good tool, what is wrong in business is their current form of ownership (who owns the tool) and their definition of value (how is using the tool).
Being the owner  means having the control and the responsibility by the use of this control, with the value definition guiding this use. Our current lack of social and ecological sustainability comes from a mix of a pathological form of ownership with a pathological value definition. Pathological ownership cause our current forms of ownership doesn't take in account the interest of all those involved in making the business works (workers, providers, customers and the society as a whole), but only the owners interests. And our current forms of ownership ensures that the owners have limited liability. So business are motivated to go against the interest of the whole society if their pursuit of value maximization is leading to that, even if it hurts society and its environment, because their liability is limited. And in fact our current value definition is guiding business against the interest of the whole society, cause we have a pathological value definition, one in which the value is defined by the short-term financial benefit and that is basically all that matters, period! A vision of value completely dehumanized and indifferent to the balance with the Earth system (despite some recent cosmetic changes). 
And now the situation can get even worse, cause more and more value is being based on the expropriation of the “social intelligence”, i.e. the short-term financial benefit is generated through all of our social interactions, that is our life. And, if the goal is to maximize value, then the traditional procedure for that is to take control of what is producing value with the goal of maximizing that value. Therefore the next logical step is to take control of our life (as is the main input of the current value production), starting with the control of the means for generating the knowledge (education), and our networking mechanisms.Then as the the process of creating value is becoming less and less limited to the single “working sphere” (in the traditional sense), but extends to more and more to encompass all the entire human existence, we have two paths; or permanently lose control of our lives giving them to businesses that will make use of every moment of our 24 hours. Or take for us such control, i.e. redefining the ownership concept and we all becoming the owners of those businesses. But businesses that are not more business in the traditional sense of the word, but which are becoming services through a value redefinition that puts the welfare of the people and their environment as its maximization goal. Services that continue using the pattern being represented by the businesses for innovation and self-organization, but where the owners are all the involved with the service operation, and where that operation is guided by the welfare of the people and their environment, not by short-term financial benefit. To these kind of services is to what I'm calling eCoServices, which are defining a new form of ownership and are following the guidelines from the obediential framework to define value.
So Noemi, after this long introduction, I can say yes, that the eCoService breakthrough comes from the ownership redefinition, cause as I was explaining above, on the ownership issue lies one of the sources of our current lack of social and ecological sustainability. And yes, you are basically right about the 'voting power' concept, but I want to make clear that the "points" you are receiving as a user are coming essentially by the use of the service, because in using it, you make the service not only possible but more valuable, and that service does not necessarily have to be an online platform (*). Then the eCoService proposal is that both founders and users are owners of the service and this ownership implies that both are allowed to participate in the decision making process involved with the service operations (**). The ownership is defined by the 'voting power', that is meaning real ownership with real control over the business, and also as in the society where the power to vote is equal for all regardless of the resources a person is having, the 'voting power' is also equal for all. The difference is how the founders and users are acquiring the 'voting power'. The founders as are those who initially created the service and launched it, at the beginning have a lot of 'voting power', basically in relation to their level  of contributions made ​​(although the use of logarithms make the difference becomes smaller), but as time passes, their 'voting power' is decreasing until to be constant at 1, one person, one vote. For the users is the opposite, they are starting with a zero 'voting power', and as time passes and they are using the service, their 'voting power' is growing in relation to their  service 's use level until to be constant at 1, one person, one vote.
Then an online community as Couchsurfing -of which I'm myself a member - does not work in this way, just Couchsurfing is an example of how badly things can go with the current forms of ownership, and in fact it was Couchsurfing which inspired me to the definition of ownership stated above. In Couchsurfing, although mostly of the full value of this service at this time is created by users, who are the people who receive the guests (the surfers) in their town and that are giving them company and housing, those users have no power to decide on the operations of Couchsurfing (you can read some more here).
(*) For example, in a medicare service, every time a person is using the service, the person is making the service more valuable, because the person is improving in health and the service aims to maximize the welfare of the people and their environment, so the service by improving the health of a person is maximizing its value definition. But there are different types of use for  the same service (I'm calling to each type of use: service contribution). As for example, it isn't the same type of use the fact of using the service for a surgery to correct something acquired through bad habits, that using the service for a preventive purpose, such a routine medical checkup or requesting to the nutritionist a diet in order to have a healthier diet. Then each service must intelligently define the types of service contribution and the value of each one, where for example such assistance for the surgery to correct something acquired through bad habits may be worth 0.01, and the assistance to a routine medical checkup worth 1. 
So, where is really the crisis? Where we are placing the value, i.e. in our minds. So now we are saying that we are in crisis because there are not enough short-term financial benefits, but changing our definition of value it is changing our definition of crisis, and the measures to attack it, for example, not cutting the health expenses, but rather by increasing the resources allocated to health. That is, the crisis is a state of mind, because in both situations really there are not shortage of resources (the real resources aren't money), and the amount of resources are the same.
(**)  We cannot forget that next we must define - based on this definition of ownership - the governance process that is responsible for defining the decision making process. But trying to avoid the current problem of our society where the way to institutionalize the power makes it far from its true source and prone to become fetishized. And to avoid that in addition to designing balanced governance structures according to the obediential framework, we must experiment with the technology in order to take advantage of its undoubted capability to increase communication, direct participation, transparency and decreasing bureaucracy.

The ownership concept without math formulas …

Regarding social hacking: hacking might be characterized as an appropriate application of ingenuity where you are using your knowledge about a system to improve it. So, social hacking is about improving the social system through changes in the very social fabric of society and/or making technological advances that enable these changes.

Is it a new initiative? Yes, indeed it is a new initiative. The idea is to launch Goal2us under very specific conditions (as an eCoService) in order to test new ownership and value definitions. Is there already an implementation of the pattern outlined by an eCoService? I do not know if there are legal entities that are implementing a similar ownership definition as is suggested with the eCoServices. If the answer is yes, it would be good to know them in order to use and adapt them. If the answer is no, then my answer is yes, Goal2us is the first eCoService.

Yes, I understand, mathematics are a bit dry. But I have outlined these formulas to show that the ownership model proposed in a eCoService is simple enough to be implemented through a computer program and it is highly scalable. But the concept of ownership that is defined by an eCoService is saying in common words that both founders and users of a particular eCoService are owners of it. The ownership is defined by the ‘voting power’ and the ‘voting power’ is meaning real ownership with real control over the eCoService. The eCoService 's ownership concept also states that there are no differences in the degree of ownership among all the owners (whether they are founders or users). The tricky part and perhaps which is a little more difficult to explain is that this equality in the degree of ownership -amount of ‘voting power’ - is in the medium term. At the beginning, when a new eCoService is being created based on the idea and the work of a few (the founders), these founders have a voting power that varies in relation to the amount of resources contributed. Who is contributing more, is having more ‘voting power’. Which would seem logical, because at this critical time of the eCoService creation, the more involved with the creation process are having a better knowledge of the eCoService situation, context and implementation details, and therefore should have greater decision weight to ensure the eCoService successful implementation. But once the period of creation of the eCoService ends, the difference in the amount of ‘voting power’ starts to gradually decrease until finally all the founders are left with equal ‘voting power’ - which has the value of 1: one person, one vote. For the eCoService users the process is the opposite, they are starting with zero ‘voting power’, and as time passes and they are using the service, their ‘voting power’ is growing in relation to their levels of service usage. But that growth ends when their ‘voting power’ reaches the value of 1, which means one person, one vote, and then they have equal ‘voting power’ that the founders.