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 12 2013: Idealism and utopia will always be constrained by reality. That is not to say, that all hope is to be abandoned, however planning and design constructs need to incorporate real world application. Many major Superbrands have revenues in excess of Gross Domestic product of plenty of countries in the world. These corporations are accountable to their shareholders who like the company need to make a return on their investment. I am grappling with aspects of what is trying to be put forward here. I can understand people wanting to do the things they like to do as their Co opernation job, however what of all the menial tasks or those that no one, or enough want to do? Who wants to scrub the toilets or work the night shift, who wants to drive the taxi's at 3am for overly intoxicated passengers etc etc. What sort of Co opernation jobs would be available and how does this then translate into being viably sustainable in so far as materials can be sourced and paid for advertised, marketed, distributed and provide sustenance for all involved and if so at what level, eg hand to mouth or everyone lives in a mansion and drives a Ferrari. What sort of people are attracted to either spectrum... will the proposed demographic therefore mean that diversity is thereby lacking which ultimately is detrimental to any long term system as it is not reflective of an inclusive society, or society. Is this a model for the whole world of 6 billion and growing? One in 4 people on the planet are Chinese, another one of those is Indian and the remaining 2 is made up of all the other countries on the planet. To get somewhere, you need a roadmap. You can't get to somewhere if you don't know how you are going to get there. You need to know what are your obstacles and if there are any shortcuts. In a Capitalist society, there are three options for (in my opinion) for a Co opernation. 1) Private Company. 2) Public Company 3) Government Department. Use this forum wisely to glean what you need to grow! :D
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      May 12 2013: Ahh, this is more up my alley, It's so much easier to respond to concerns than just babble a bunch of things out, especially with something this interconnected.

      First, 1) Private Company. I've got little doubt that's the only viable option in our current society as it is. But not non-profit, because that's the weaker legal framework. Figure it's good to get that out of the way. Every time we connect another dot, or make another leap, the Private Corporation concept becomes more and more obvious.

      Next, with respect to 'doing things that people don't want to do'. . . let's just say there's a spectrum there, and we're currently on the wrong end of it, is that a good way to say it? We're just looking to be more forward thinking, eliminate manufactured scarcities, and the massive amount of make-work we have currently (seriously, how many man hours in this world are dedicated to things people want done?). Of course, we can also put a lot of work into things that require less maintenance, I'm not sure people properly appreciate how poor the quality of all of our products are thanks to the system that creates them.

      There are some other things you mention (marketing for example) that just don't . . . make sense in the context, so I'm not sure how to address them without a few thousand more characters.

      The hardest part to communicate is definitely the 'how would people live happily without wasting resources and so on', which is sad because I think that's the most obvious, we're SO easily distracted and the idea is to harness who we really are as effectively as possible, and focus on actual outcomes (something that happens embarrassingly rarely in our current Corporate and Government worlds). I think I need to figure out how to expose some deconstruction here, because I'm not sure how we can do much worse.

      More later!
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      May 12 2013: Okay, let's shoot for a bit more.

      First, one thing I didn't mention, but there's another reason the corporation seems to us to be a key (even if accidental), and this idea certainly doesn't work if people can't choose to be (or not be) part of it. That's of course also important because we do have a democracy, and this time we actually get to have an educated electorate with similar ambitions, that's got potential, doesn't it?

      As for the people, I've been avoiding going into too much detail, partly because I personally feel a bit weird about defining everything, so please keep in mind some of these bits are designed to be in flux so this idea when finalized can have more people as part of it. We wanted to plant a seed, and while we're constraining how it grows somewhat and doing a bit of pruning, we're trying to leave options diverse, because there are so many different types of people who can fit, we're not clones or anything.

      However, the principles incorporate such things as respecting all other humans as fundamentally equal, not begrudging the happiness of others, respect for humanity and nature, not ruining things others may want to play with, leaving the world a little shinier than you left it, be reasonable, seek awesome^3 solutions, that sort of thing. So we're taking things like empathic limits and how we've historically acted in groups into account.

      We're looking to create gift economies and moneyless economies inside (maybe some experiments with small numbers of gold pieces or something), which will reduce resource waste, especially if we stop designing things to break and not interconnect properly (I could go on for MONTHS just on design flaws).

      And. . getting low on characters again! Another wave later, perhaps. Carpal break. ;)

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