TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Gather your 12 closest friends, pick an issue, and see what progress you can achieve.

Last night I realized that if I gathered the dozen closest friends of mine the things we could collaborate on and accomplish would be pretty baddass. With some collaboration one day a week, my friends and I may not re invent the wheel, but collectively we could recreate an 'Ocean 12' team to make a dent in a cause somewhere on the globe.

Think two degrees of separation instead of six and what you could accomplish? Just a thought.

Share:
  • Apr 25 2013: Thanks Joseph for taking the risk here and posting on such an inspirational topic. I believe it takes all kinds of people to make progress possible and regardless of what the perfect number of people is idea to accomplish anything it is the idea that matters not the details. I believe it is the focus on details that robs good ideas of their life and true potential. It goes both ways however because if you fail to pay enough attention to the details any idea becomes nothing more than a really good idea with not traction. The idea never takes flight. I would love to connect to others who believe that 3, 5, 7 or 12 of us can change the world through collaboration surrounding a shared goal and enough passion to bring that goal to life. It was just last evening I had such a conversation with a close friend. I believe your post has inspired my idea to grow. Thank you and best of luck in your quest to collaborate and change our world.
  • Avi Dey

    • +1
    Apr 23 2013: 12 is quite too many to do a entrepreneurial project on a community level. Large Technical societies such as ieee.org in the physical science and engineering and ASM.ORG are to examples of highly reputed societies that brings together people of common interest in technical fields for educational activities and technical knowledge.

    But solving real problems through innovation or entrepreneurship by an arts or science tehcnology development protocol typically can use the success model of a music band. That's typically 5 people of various instrument players and a singer.

    In doing a SBIR Proposal (a popular government funding for small business research), you need typically about 5 people also.
    2 of them are part timers, or consultants. One project leader, one admin, and one market research plus coordinator.

    So 5 people seems to be a "good fit" doing something new in music or technology development rather than 12 in the context of small groups such as a music band or a technology development small tech biz team.
  • thumb
    Apr 22 2013: Sorry, but it seems that the number (12 or whichever) has erased and seriously affected to a very interesting question. Team working (doesn't matter if workers are persons, neurons, ants or whatever) is, in my humble opinion, something very interesting.
    Greets.
  • thumb
    Apr 22 2013: Are you sure this idea is not inspired by the 'Ocean 12'? Yes, you are right. A lot can be achieved by a team of friends with a shared dream, determination, passion and dedication.

    But the problems would be the daily demand of deadlines, family responsibilities, bills and other demands of the social order.
    However, if yours is a team of multi-millionnaires.......hmmmm.......great. Just perfect.
  • thumb
    Apr 21 2013: So ... when does your experiment with your dozen closest friends begin?!
  • thumb
    May 1 2013: It's an okay idea. Remember, you can do things as an individual, or with one friend, two friends, etc. Not everybody has a dozen friends.
  • Apr 23 2013: Very plausible and insightful. Thanks for posting. A lot depends on scope and scale of project, along with time and resource restraints as to what can be accomplished. The WE Day event is inspiring, to watch kids network here and accomplish objectives overseas, mostly through small pods like you suggest and grow in support and momentum over time.
  • Apr 22 2013: Thank you for your insight and the fact that teamwork on a multitudes levels and species (EO Wilson lecture on ants) is required to accomplish most challenges we face today. I too am fascinated with the fact that we are now entering an age where we can function as an entire species to address issues. Not so capable in the past, due to our imagined differences as cultures and beliefs prevented us from collaborating to address planetary issues and challenges.

    the meek are getting ready to take this planet by storm. take part, take notes or take off...
  • Apr 22 2013: Do you really have 12 close friends? Sounds like a salesman trying to impress people. Maybe I am being extreme, but I am not sure. Jesus and Moses and so many others thought they had twelve people they could count on and were proven to be overly-optimistic. With Moses it even turned out to be a brother. Et tu Brute.
    • Apr 22 2013: Really, it also took twelve to drop the trade towers with little more than boxknives.Who cares if I have twelve friends and their relation to Jesus or Moses is irrelevant in my opinion. It is a figurative number, much the same as the figurative project or task to be addressed.

      Folks need to quit being so specific and broaden some parameters. I did not ask if you and your friends were caplable of curing cancer of ending famine in Africa. Or if you had unlimited funds and resources and could pay people to do your biding,

      Maybe I should have phrased more specifically is, should we approach problem solving the same way we throw potlucks? Just curious.
      • thumb
        Apr 22 2013: I think you are right that some people might be getting confused about your ambitions.

        People combine in groups to engage in social action projects all the time, and so can you. Religious congregations have such projects regularly. Communities get together to beautify streets, parks, and playgrounds. Housing groups like dorms and sororities do to, I believe.

        In the US, at least, there are Meetup groups specifically devoted to social service projects. The United Way's Volunteer Match has an enormous list of projects that need staffing and when you search you can put in your zip code, check the mile radius around it that you or your group are willing to travel, and then check whether you want a project appropriate for groups, since so many groups do this.
  • Apr 22 2013: I am not talking about building a pyramid folks. Simple resourceful projects starting at the community level beginning with friends whom usually have some common thread to begin with. For me the motion of beginning simple shoe drives to begin with. My vision was to fill a few of those USeAgain bins that sit in parking lots just asking to be used for its intention and not a dumpbin.

    Be cool to convince a dozen friends or a dozen friends to convince a handful each to gather any unused resource and find someone in need to benefit. Anyone ever see 'Iconoclasts' with Sir Richard Branson and Rev.Desmond Tutu, whom are part of the circle of 12 which consists of leaders in politics, industry, and humanitarian background to address global issues facing the species as a whole. Why not scale this approach down to a much less formal approach and basically start local, end up global?
    It took a consensus and a concerted effort to put humans on the moon and none involved would agree on much except that what they were doing had purpose. Much the same as any team tackling any project or challenge. Many efforts fail due to individuals demanding control or respect instead of commanding it. We instead of me mentality. Here in Seattle high schoolers and younger gathered for We Day and it is impressive just how and what issues the next generation will be capable of solving thanks to Steve Jobs and Co. and the technology available today. Surprised to see such a skeptical response from a TED member.
  • Apr 22 2013: That will not happen, but obviously you don't know why. You would be hard pressed to find 5 people that agreed on things in the same way, for similar reasons. It depends on what side of your bread is buttered and by whom. Only idiots follow blindly. Oops, sorry democrats and republicans.
  • Apr 22 2013: And the fact that I am fortunate to have twelve friends I could count for, or would lend a hand to a project in a moments notice, family, business, time permitting.
  • Apr 22 2013: Thank you for your insight. No the idea came more from watching coach Carroll of the Seahawks assemble a team and not nine guys and a couple of superstars. I think in terms of team, and what can be accomplished by one times twelve, approach to tackling certain challenges.

    Another source of inspiration came while reading how a particular band I am fond of disclosed where the name of the band originated, which upon reflection made sense. Each band member came from another social circle which coincidentally overlapped with the other, thus forming 'A Perfect Circle'. The band members all being on the same page of music literally, and have gone on to become a major influence to many artists and create phenomenal music in the process.
  • Apr 21 2013: Hmmm. Good question. Now I guess. I am giving myself six weeks to have the basic elements of a cause to champion and gathering the resources(friends) that can spare an evening a week on their own working on said issue, and then once a month conducting conference meetings either in person, if you are lucky to have a dozen friends near by, or video conference. Sound reasonable for an outline?
    • thumb
      Apr 21 2013: An alternative to consider is, rather than your deciding first on a cause to champion and then gathering your friends, you might gather your friends first and together decide on a cause on which to work together.
      • Apr 21 2013: Or pick your friends, 6, 8, 12, of them each pick a challenge, gather ideas on paper in a hat, have one person draw, and proceed, using whatever resources at your disposal without spending currency? or limited financial resources committed. Simply networking, word of mouth, asking friends to contribute, ie., a community shoe, food or blood drive and see what happens. Some may have resources and connections to improve a local park, others could gather used smartphones to send to a third world village, or another may find a way to network and provide heating and cooling services for elderly and underprivileged. Who, knows. We all travel in circles and through 2 degrees of separation we may be able to reach to six and beyond.
        A scratch can lead can make a mark, which can then become a dent, thus giving way to an impact, eventually lead to change, progression and or advancement for us all