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Scott Townsend

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Just like an incubator . . . but completely different.

There’s a big question that should be burning a hole in everyone’s head. Never before in history have so many people had so much knowledge and so much technology to make things happen. Yet never in history has the gap rich and poor been so vast and so vicious or the world so chaotic. What’s going on? With all we have, with all we know and with all we can do, why is the world in such a bad way?

I've been thinking that the answer is in how we harness, channel and direct creative energy. Think about this: the traditional structures for putting creativity to work - innovation centres, think tanks, creative agencies . . . are all built on structures designed primarily to generate revenue. Now that’s fine, we love money just as much as anyone else. But the problem is that you end up with a structure designed to do one thing (make money) and use it for something different (build creative change for good).

Now think back to the old artists collective or the studio model. A co-operative model where a group of highly passionate, highly skilled individuals would share a physical space and resources and feed off each others talents, abilities and “networks” to push the creative envelope to place nobody had ever thought of. These were the most creative places in the history of our species. They changed the world. For good.

A Tech Hatchery would use that model to bring creativity into the world of technology and business to change things for good. It’s different to an incubator. It's a way of tapping into an ocean of gifted, talented individuals who are out there beavering away in obscurity, waiting (or not) to be discovered. They’re passionate, they’re unique and they’re amazing. A T.H. would connect these people through an online framework, bringing them together in true communities, sharing physical work / learning / creating spaces, resources and infrastructures. Network? Perhaps. Playground? Absolutely. Think about it.

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    Gail . 50+

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    Nov 23 2012: I love how you thought the first part of your question through. "The problem is that you end up with a structure designed to do one thing (make money) ..."

    There have been business models built on on-line communities such as that which you suggest. Consider Mozilla, Linux, OpenOffice, Apache, etc. These were created by passionate people who gave freely of their time and talent to provide free products to those who simply can't afford to pay for something that often does not work as well. That system works.

    Why does it work? (see http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html ). Money is not an adequate motivator for creative problem solving. That is now scientific fact. It's the $$$ that is the problem. Pursuit of money stifles the creative process.

    The problem is one of transitioning from wealth as an indicator of success to one of a more hospitable nature. The problem is also our educational paradigms. They currently drum all creativity out of people because they exist as subsidies for global corporations. Their intent is to produce passive workers who do not think for themselves and who follow orders like good little sheeple. http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms.html

    I would like to see a hothouse of creativity as people work together to find free or affordable ways to get people's houses off the energy grid. That would go a long way toward pushing oil cartels and their lobbyists out of our governments. It would give us a degree of freedom that might open our minds to ways to accomplish the next step - towards ending the use of money (or barter) as a social glue.

    So I suggest, first fix the educations that teach children how to live in mental prisons from which only a few are able to escape. Meanwhile, how to start the on-line community that works to find & FREELY share energy solutions without thought of recompense? Who will forgo a billion $ patent?
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      Nov 25 2012: Thanks for your comment and good points raised all around.

      I'd just like to throw Wikipedia into the mix of your great examples. ;)

      I'd agree people contribute to these things for all sorts of reasons, from the sense of belonging and giving back, to personal mastery. I quite like this talk from RSA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc about the surprising truth about what motivates us.

      I'd agree that there needs to be a paradigm shift in what people value and also in education. I think these shifts are slowly starting to take place, and like anything happen slowly, one step at a time.

      Thanks for your contribution to the conversation!

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