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 18 2013: Things are the way they are because a sufficient number of individuals are convinced that they represent the best solution to a perceived problem. The fact that you or I see things differently is of primary interest to ourselves and of little interest to those who have invested large chunks of their identifies in the status quo. Most of what we have to offer in exchange is a theoretical improvement which remains theoretical no matter how much passion we invest in that theory. What's necessary is practical evidence of a better way. While the "hundredth monkey" story may not be factual, I think it works well as a metaphor. You cannot change anyone else. You can only change yourself and others will respond or not based on their perception of whether or not your way is "better". When enough monkeys switch to your way of thinking, a new status quo will come into being. A status quo which will almost certainly need to be challenged almost immediately.
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      May 18 2013: "What's necessary is practical evidence of a better way."

      I agree that for many people a marketing pitch sounds like a marketing pitch, and when it comes to a big new investment, many people will want something concrete. Telling someone something will be delicious is not as compelling as showing them what it is or even letting them taste it.
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        May 18 2013: Very agreed.

        Thanks to some new blood, we've got a few better ideas there. Better explanations and stories of possible sorts of lives that can be lived within this at various points throughout its' evolution, use of other media, etc. We just needed the full scope to click with a few people, and this forum has certainly helped serve that purpose!

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      May 18 2013: Oh, no doubt there are those who won't be ecstatic at what we're up to.

      You must admit, however, there is a certain appeal to using the much-maligned corporation as a vehicle for this, as it allows us to move forward without everyone in a region agreeing with us. The potential is pretty tremendous, and it's the closest thing to an engine for bloodless revolution that I myself can imagine.

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