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 23 2013: Ruminating over pieces of the puzzle here, I would like to offer my thoughts, which I will put together via a linear thought process in a question answer style. Some may hit & I expect others will miss their mark, as I don't know the whole big picture!

    Q:What is a Co-opernation?
    A:It fundamentally is a business system, it has to be to sustain itself and it's inhabitants.
    Q:What does it do, how does it create its money?
    A: It provides ecologically sustainable goods and services.
    Q:Other companies are doing that already, what's the difference?
    A: The Co-opernation is soley focused across the spectrum of its offerings to being ecologically sustainable and sharing profits after costs to its inhabitants (read shareholders).
    Q: So what is The Vision/Mission of the Co-Opernation?
    A: To create an ecologically sustainable planet that balances the needs of people, other life on Earth and the environment.
    Q:How do you plan on growing this concept?
    A:Initially direct to first world occupants, as the infrastructure for aquisition and distribution of required goods, services and people are well established.
    Q:Can you be more specific and say what you do to grow/start?
    A:If it is ecologically sustainable, then the Co-opernation can source and provide it. Eg: Hybrid cars, solar panels, green cleaning, led lighting, most efficient washing machines, televisions, refrigerators, lead free/organic paint, organic/chemical free fabrics/bed linen,towels,manchester, all not tested on animals products, lpg gas car conversions and supply, aquaculture products, permeculture products, educational services, plantation timber products, recycling centre and manufacturer of recycled materials, Fair trade sourced supplier for imports.........and soooo much more!
    Q:Some of those things aren't that ecologically friendly, explain that?
    A:This is a starting point that sets the bar higher, as things progress improvements can be made, ideally we would create them & sell to the world.
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      May 23 2013: Still curious................and you will be contributing what or not?

      Just asking!
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        May 23 2013: Blade Runner, I am not too sure about your motives. I have in fact taken the time to read your other posts after your response to one of my other posts. From my readings, I could easily see that your posts, (suprise, suprise) were rather confontational and antagonistic. Your response now is with respect to my input, rather infantile. To be honest, I wasn't even bothered to warrent your earlier response with a reply as you missed the whole point of my response. Oh yes I can just see you jumping up on your high horse now to combat me with this or that. The truth is, what you got amounts to diddly squat. You told me that I was a talker and doers do stuff while talkers are talking but when I directly asked you to tell exactly what you would do you had NOTHING. Now when I post something that is practical and realistic with well thought out and planned from my own knowledge and personal experience gleaned from 48 years on this planet with 12 words that are, well, words fail me. Essentially , though it comes down to 7 words, "You will be contributing what or not".
        I think I have in essence, covered the entire spectrum of the posts here and will in fact be the guiding way forward for this whole concept. Denigrators like you are miffed that it wasn't them & so try to bring themselves up by denigrating others. I think people like you highlight what we are trying to distance ourselves from. You are quick to denigrate but provide NO ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION. You try to bring yourself up by trying tp bring others down. You know what, the numbers will play out what is the way forward. My advice is to reign yourself in a little, because believe it or not your opinions and thoughts are valid. You are in the minority with respect to people who put up posts and as such are hugely reflective of minorities... yes I have met plenty of people like you, though if you are more diplomatic you will not PISS OFF so many people! I do get you but just give credit where credit is due! :D
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          May 24 2013: LOL
          Ah Time Traveller ..........I have traveled through time on this planet for some time longer than yourself and have done a bit of gleaning and experiencing myself.............but I digress so let me refocus............

          Motives you speak of..............I'm a creature of curiosity and endless questions and have found from experience that people dislike questions and believe their opinions, statements are beyond questioning. Alas for them I beg to differ.

          And I further suggest many an insecure and person of self importance has deemed my questions as being confrontational and antagonistic, some have even deemed them as arrogant and bleated ala 'how dare you question what I say.' or even fawn outrage ala 'well words fail me.'

          Suggest what you see as confrontational is me confronting the situation and taking the bull by the horns and cutting through the shmaltz and getting to the crux of the matter.

          Suggest actions speak louder than reams of words or talk fests.

          Oh and btw I don't recall you ' directly asking me to tell exactly what I would do' about anything in this conversation so kindly point me to where you uttered such so I can rectify my remiss.

          As for the rest of your post which in my opinion is a sad piece of self noting, self serving dribble full of cheap attempts at denigration and you have the cheek to accuse me of denigration for asking short direct to the point questions.

          Give us a break!


          ps. Ever considered that some times there may not be an alternative solution to every problem..................can you perchance raise the dead?
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        May 23 2013: Yeah, maybe you're looking for something that we've specifically said we're not trying to do over the next month or so, Mr. Runner. Time Traveller was part of the discussion and we've been walking through pieces, his evaluation process has already helped us come up with a few better angles. I'm not sure of the purpose of this specific content, but it doesn't look like you're trying to be helpful

        I did ask you a couple of specific questions in another part of the thread, if you'd like to contribute that'd be a good place to answer!
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          May 26 2013: Well William I'm the Guy that continually keeps reminding folk that the camel was designed by a committee and the Porsche was designed by one person.

          Sure Time Traveler was part of the discussion and so could anyone else be, as you put your question out to the world.

          As for 'helpful'.........suggest that when (correct me if I have misread your plan/hopes) you come on here looking for suggestions/help to launch a business concept/idea and somebody starts waffling/rambling on about the history/concepts of Socialism/Communism akin to a academia lecture its time for Elvis to leave the building.

          Suggest you should be getting feed back/advice from folk that have started or are running businesses.

          Suggest well wishers and ego massagers are worth dime a dozen and sometimes cloud the hard reality of what is required ................. but hey many an idea has been launched on a wing and a prayer. :)

          Hope you Guys can sort the straw from the chaff!

          Oh and btw yes you Guys did ask the world a couple of specific questions but I still await Time Traveler to show me, my remiss with him.

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        May 27 2013: I'm not sure which you think is the better product when comparing the Camel to the Porsche. The camel has vastly superior design and spectacular self-repair and self-maintenance abilities, and a built in factory as a bonus. They are however poorly designed for city and freeway use, where the Porsche has a significant edge, a Porsche is much easier to store for long periods and can instantly hibernate, and while it has no self-repair capabilities it has a tiny fraction the number of moving parts... and so on.

        We're focused on actual design, not ideology. If you use the scientific method to drive decisions in a corporation of the scale we're discussing then socialism and communism both have both historical comparisons of success and failure (and are different enough you shouldn't merge them like that). Science is supposed to be focused on enhancing our understanding, what parts work well, what parts do not? What lateral examples are often missed?

        The focus on starting/running a business reflects a mis-communication on my part, because that's not a line of reasoning we should be getting hung up on, we have plenty of examples of existing businesses that overlap in plenty of ways. This wasn't a start-up attempt, this was an attempt to figure out how to communicate should become obvious if I do so properly.

        Time Traveller, meanwhile, has gone further with the core concept, despite me starting from the wrong direction in this thread.
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          May 27 2013: Hope you end up with a 'Porsche' and not a 'camel'! :)

          btw:Have you ever pondered perchance whether Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, (just to mention a few) ever thought 2 hoots as to whether their ideas/plans might be socialistic,communistic,capitalistic or squat ever?

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        May 27 2013: In my reply 5 days ago, in the 6 lines I wrote, I asked four times,starting with: "Ok...what you got?....doing what exactly?....back it up with substance.....walk the talk" !!!!!!!!!! Questions relate to the relevance of their context and as such are moot when misaligned ( re Ford, Gates comparison). As I didn't start this post and I didn't know exactly what the parameters where, I was feeling/teasing out the knowledge I needed to post the suggested Q & A post as a way forward. Thankyou BTW Jacqeline for your post commenting on it, I very much appreciated what you had to say. Mr Runner's initial response to it, asking if I was contributing or not, was not what I'd expected and even though he has said he isn't confrontational etc, to me was not a very constructive response and detracted from it's message and sidetracked us. In the history of man, there have always been the naysayers, most people once thought the world flat and vehemently would denounce anyone who thought otherwise! Oh and just to be clear in case I hadn't, Mr Runner.... What are you going to do? Exactly? BTW miming it in this context clearly won't work, you will have to TALK about it!
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          May 28 2013: Well Time Traveller................in summary and as I'm shortly leaving the building (as opposed to taking my bat and going off for a sulk :] )...................

          Suggest you imagine me as the Guy sitting at the board table listening to all the hype put forward by the enthusiastic grasshoppers vying their ideas for accolades.........

          I'm the 'pain in the butt' Guy who then asks for the specifics thereto that then brings the concept back to the realms of reality/capability/functionality.

          Some would deem that as naysaying or pissing on peoples parades!

          I call it a reality check!

          And if hey if you interpret confronting things as being confrontational, it I suggest begs the question of what if anything is wrong with confronting a situation/issue/problem.

          Suggest you look around you and see the results of the masses not confronting the reality of the situations facing them.

          Q.What am I going to do?

          A. Keep asking questions/questioning any points other folk raise in this discussion forum that I believe need to be questioned.

          Suggest not being able to put a 'magical bullet/solution' on the table does not disallow anyone questioning what others have put on the table and trying to stigmatize/denigrate people/peoples opinions with labels like 'naysayer or Silly Blade Runner man' is counterproductive to any discussion/debate.

          Further, suggest asking short direct questions to long rambling dialogue is TALKING about the topic/concept!

          "You can argue interpretations......................
          But you cant argue the facts......................."

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        May 27 2013: Silly Blade Runner man!

        Why would we want a Porsche, when a camel is a vastly superior feat of engineering? I mean, we haven't defined a problem but the Camel's statistically a more likely solution.

        We're not following in Steve Jobs' footsteps here, though that's one of many giants who's shoulders we plan on standing on. This is a response to a problem that's pretty obvious in retrospect, you just have to think a little laterally and remove any petty ideology or blinding context you have to get there, but those are far from impossible to do with a minor application of intellect.

        While I admitted that I realized partway through that I was hitting this from the wrong direction (and stated in the post you replied to!) we have had some luck here, I would not have come up with the franchise parallel (which makes many parts easy to understand as a starting point) without Mr. Traveller's help for example, and he helped give me another useful angle in another way., Meanwhile It took Fritzie and Jacqueline to get it to click with me that pretty much everybody is going to need a couple of angles on this (self more than anyone!) and I neglected the most important one.

        And the very process of conversation made me aware that I not only was missing a personality type that we very much needed for this but that I forgot an important element of psychology and tuned my message away from that sort of person to boot!

        So yes, very useful, and who knows, if it clicks that in your Porsche and camel analogy, we're going several steps further, taking proven useful elements in each and a number of other things that are actually pretty obvious in retrospect (the advantage of lateral hops and breaking context, lots of 'duh' moments), realizing we might not have it JUST right and so we're putting the proven scientific method on top of THAT just in case. . . then we've both learned another good thing!
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          May 27 2013: Well William now that you have taken the discussion to this concept of rationale

          'Silly Blade Runner man!'

          its time for me to leave the building.

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        May 27 2013: THAT'S where you stop?

        You weren't even trying, were you?

        That's okay, I got a good idea out of you too ;)
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      May 23 2013: Okay, so yeah, that's definitely a tighter view of that part of the seed there. Thanks!

      So, does the problem that we've just created kind of make itself really apparent? There's a serious tipping point there, isn't there? Once you can offer sustainability, and can remove any barrier to grow and spread you've kind of got a moral obligation to at least try to give everybody in the world the option right?

      And with the world being what it is, even though we're talking about America's legal framework, we can pull a good bit of it off without actually impacting the rest of America at all, we just need enough for a real voting block, Citizen's United, and a purpose. When we can offer up a better-than-most-Americans lifestyle to the entire second and third world populations what happens?

      I think a LOT of people know this, which is why there's so many utopian type projects that are focused on ecological and economic sustainability. I also think from a technology/capability standpoint Mondragon and some of the other big worker cooperatives may already be there, and many existing large corporations have the capacity to do the same and just aren't.

      We're really just using some massive inefficiencies in the existing framework to support the same sort of thing. It's kind of like using cheat codes. Everybody else has already figured out how to get there the HARD way, we're trying to show everyone that the easy way is already there waiting to be exploited.
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      May 26 2013: Well done, Time Traveller. This is superb. You have done a wonderful job of distilling key points from a sea of information.

      Will & Amanda: with Time Traveller's permission, I think that this paragraph (or something very similar that follows its format) should be used to introduce and recruit others to your cause. It is the most concise, comprehensible, and effective post that I've seen on this thread that describes the essence of Co-operNation. This is a perfect example of a clear and brief introduction that we've been discussing. It is easy to understand, to the point, self-contained in its description, and provides the appropriate information without overwhelming the reader or losing the audience's attention due to being too lengthy or chaotic.

      P.S. I'm sorry it's taken me a few days to get back to you (still drafting an email). I think Time Traveller has given you a GREAT starting point to organize and communicate your ideas around, so if you choose to do so, I'm sure you will be able to follow this example and start building outward from there. :)
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        May 27 2013: Oh, this has been very, very useful! I ended up having to bring a lot of the psychology back to the forefront and in doing so realized that I'd come at this whole thing from completely the wrong direction.

        I started with the tool without a good explanation of what it's long term purpose was, which not only was less helpful when it came to getting the right parts of the brain firing but also is overspecific to the point of nearing the sort of top-down management design decisions that we know works poorly in the long run.

        So yeah, it was totally the wrong place to even start this conversation, though we still got a lot of other good things out of it (including the franchise parallel! That one's a lock!). I had to stumble a bit to figure out the best starting point.
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          May 27 2013: That is good to hear. TED Conversations has different uses to different people, but the one I personally find most interesting is cases like yours in which someone comes for help thinking about an idea and others ask questions and give feedback that help the person develop his project further.

          Even if people do not understand your project or idea well, for whatever reason, if you got some help, that is what you came for, so it has served your purpose.

          Originally it seemed you were looking for actual collaborators in your idea, which is, I think, why people may have been pushing you to show your hand a little more than you have wanted to or been able to.
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        May 27 2013: (to Fritzie)

        Oh no, don't let me imply that I was more clever than I was. We really weren't sure where to go next because there was some uncharted territory there. I was really focused on a solid framework but there may have been some pride in there and that's always to be avoided. What we asked for and what we needed were different things, and learning is awesome.

        Definitely led to a good rethink when it comes to targeting a message!
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        May 27 2013: Thankyou Jacqueline for supporting and commenting on my well thought thru post. I was so glad to hear that someone got what I was saying and trying to do. :D
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      May 27 2013: Aren't they already building a zero-carbon-footprint, ecologically sustainable, 100% green, non-polluting, renewable energy City in either Dubai or Qatar? One of those Persian Gulf states is already doing this.

      They have more money than God & the Devil & the Catholic Church combined! So I salute whichever Arab Persian Gulf state is doing this!! Is this conversation part of that same project?
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        May 27 2013: If you have more knowledge on how it works,suggest posting the good bits here. :D

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