TED Conversations

Lope Gutiérrez-Ruiz

Founder / Co-Director, The Gopher Illustrated


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What do organized communities achieve more efficiently than government? What could they achieve?"

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This conversation will open at 11:00am CDT/ 1 pm EDT on Friday 07th, 2011.


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  • Oct 7 2011: In response to the thread's question, I believe one of the most important achievements organized communities achieve over government is an increase of the public space (ref. Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone). Or in short (as is explained below), organized communities make individuals feel recognized and included.

    When individuals of a community--community being defined as anything ranging from a town to a state or even a country--feel their actions can contribute to real change, those individuals are more likely to act and participate in community affairs; they feel part of an intangible public space. However, when individuals feel distanced from the public space they will be hesitant or indifferent towards taking the initiative for making political change *in any level of society*. This can possibly be because most of the known persons making political change are seen on TV and read in the news; individuals do not feel they can climb to such a "pedestal" in society. Organized communities are able to function because they have at least the same effect as making the individuals taking action in the community feel recognized in the public space and appreciated--as though those individuals were being advertised to the community for their contributions of time and energy. Organized communities are able to operate because they have a properly placed incentives that motivate individuals to participate. If government wishes to emit a feel of inclusion for every kind of community, I would suggest implementing higher payrolls for education and community organizers.

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