TED Conversations

William Holz

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Could a few of us get some help with an overwhelmingly big idea? We call it the Co-opernation. We could also use help naming things.

My beloved and I would often get frustrated watching TED talks, seeing all these lovely, brilliant ideas that we were afraid would never happen in the real world, even though they made more sense than what we saw around us.

When she passed away, a few of us started working on an idea she inspired.

The idea was to stop fighting AGAINST anything and to simply use every single tool at our disposal to make a better place for the people we loved. We looked in a lot of right places and even more wrong ones, focused on seeing tools as what they were rather than what they were used for, and a strange question presented itself.

Would it be possible to take the framework of a corporation, like a Valve or Mondragon, insert a whole bunch of other people's amazing ideas and basically, turn corporate campuses into charter cities? Could we free people to simply help other people and remove most of the worries society has created? If we do this right could we hire anybody who wants to be a good person and contribute to the greater good and instantly free them from the current messes we're in?

So, we found our 'yes' answer pretty early (mostly standing on the shoulders of giants who hate each other), but it was a scary revolutionary confrontational thing and somehow that just felt WRONG. So we dedicated ourselves to making it gentle, harmless, hilarious, and non-threatening, and we're pretty much there.

And now we need help! We're shy, but since TED really is the biggest source we have, we want to start here. Our hope is to get some help organizing us, getting this idea out there and into some better hands so it can grow and get even better, then we can hopefully crowdsource a mellow revolution.

If anybody could point us in the right direction it'd be great!


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    May 8 2013: Here are some bits & pieces from various attempts to summarize --

    The Co-opernation

    I'm sure you've heard of Valve, and they do make a great starting point, so we'll start there, since they have a few bits already incorporated and make a good proof of concept (and Cory Doctorow wants to work somewhere like there, so that's pretty cool, right?). There are other examples, like Mondragon and others that use some similar approaches. And they're generally pretty successful. Let's hit on a couple of key factors that they use, and we need.

    1) Very flat salaries
    2) Self-organizing management structures (you pick your teams/squads, pick people to lead you if you need leaders, and fun people aren't taken away all the time against everyone's will)
    3) The employees as a whole democratically influence how resources are used in the company
    4) Projects are chosen based on what interests you and what you feel should be done

    How do you win at a game if you can avoid wasting resources on war and rarely have to worry about money?

    By getting so far ahead in the technology curve that you look like you came from the future and they look like monkeys with sticks.

    Everything else revolves around that. You expand your manufacturing base to build more universities and research ships. You expand your population to get more researchers or engineers. But all of that is secondary to getting more researchers.

    And science says that happier people are far more productive, and having fun makes people happy.

    So most people are spending their time discovering cool new things to share with everyone or implementing plans to make people happy and have fun.

    The only effective competition would require out-researching and producing us, which would require increasing the happiness of their own citizens.

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