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 19 2013: It's a great purpose William. Nowadays the reality of a co-operating society taking care of its components is gradually disappearing. In my country, Italy, and especially in my region (Emilia-Romagna), we had a co-operating tradition in the majority of the businesses there, but not reaching the standard offered from a man 150 years ago. His name was Camillo Olivetti, founder of the namesake computer industry (but at the time they produced typewriters). He was able to transform the idea of a co-operative business into a co-operating society with offering services to his employees, such as libraries,kindergartens for their children, cultural events and workshops, primary healthcare and accomodations for the less lucky people not able to buy an house, ALL between the walls of his factory (which soon became a sort of a village). To realize this dream (or we should call it utopy?) he included some sociologists and humanists between the key roles of his industry (for example the CEO was a writer and an historian) to never forget the importance of people behind the numbers of the budget. You should read a book about it, it will open your mind and give a lot of ideas for your project! Good luck!
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      May 19 2013: I'd love to find out more, Mondragon over in Spain was very influential in our design, and I had seen references to the Emilia-Romagna region having something similar when doing research, but I couldn't find nearly as much information online. I hadn't connected it with Olvetti, I bet that'll help quite a bit, thanks!

      And yes, we're most definitely talking about something very similar, that's kind of our starting point. We're only a tiny bit more ambitious here, but to be fair to us, we're in America, where things are really wacky. So we had to pile a lot more on before we felt like it'd be solid enough.

      Thanks to our political system and media we've had to be fairly clever to come up with a solution that would work here without us wasting more resources, being environmentally unfriendly and making more of a mess of the world. I do like to think that now that we've got a way to do that we can turn a few things around. :)
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      May 21 2013: And thanks!!!

      Now that I've managed to get some better info about the Emilia-Romagna cooperative I'm wondering if that would have been a better example from the worker cooperative standpoint that Mondragon is (though it IS a lot easier to find things about Mondragon online).

      You've also inspired me to find a good biography of the Olivettis! They must have had some wonderful minds to have started down that road, especially so long ago! If you have any you'd particularly recommend it'd be greatly appreciated.

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