“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” Henri L. Bergson
For true change to occur, we need to come together as human beings. To discover that life’s not about ourselves and our loved ones but about investing in everyone. That if we don’t move others forward as we move forward, we haven’t quite done our job as human beings. That no matter how different we are, all of us have something meaningful to contribute to society. When we can do that, we will be able to truly cherish diversity in one another.
Hence, the social experiment to see if strangers ANYWHERE can build trust with one another.
But because money is integral to the “Age of Me” era, we view our world as a series of simple (clock) issues. We see protests, spiraling debt and other crises, growing inequality, money’s influence on politics, resource and food constraints, oil prices and renewal energies, layoffs. We see broken people. But we also see each of these challenges remotely and in isolation.
Like it doesn’t concern us.
Based on debt-fueled economic growth for the sake of growth, gross wealth inequality and ineffective democracy, our system may already be eating itself alive but:
“The difficulty is this fragmentation. All thought is broken up into bits … Therefore, people cannot see that they are creating a problem and then apparently trying to solve it … Wholeness is a kind of attitude or approach to the whole of life. If we can have a coherent approach to reality then reality will respond coherently to us.” David Bohm
“Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.” … And systems thinking is a sensibility — for the subtle interconnectedness that gives living systems their unique character.” Peter Senge
During my corporate career, I used to share the three bricklayers story with my colleagues — now adapted for this social experiment:
Once upon a time, there were three bricklayers. When asked what each was doing:
The unhappiest grumbled, “I’m stuck here laying bricks to feed myself.”
The second enthused, “I’m building a house with these bricks.”
The last shared, “I’m doing this to show how we may all build a better world.”
What a difference one’s attitude/mindset makes
For the social experiment, strangers from Australia, Austria, Canada, India, Japan, South Korea and the US have come forward. While I appreciate their interest, I am mindful that the two cultures are just extremely different.
Being aware that what I am attempting will only resonate with very few people initially, I deliberately and openly shared direction/parameters for the social experiment online and emphasized it is about co creating a book through unlearning old ways of thinking and doing to relearn these “Age of We” ideals/mindset:
“For us” maximization: A new way of thinking, doing and sharing (right column)
Interestingly, most did not even appear to understand that this social experiment is about a new way of thinking, doing and sharing.
Because people are diverse and we live in bubbles of limited human understanding, I asked potential collaborators for a write-up of their understanding. Mostly, I received an edit of what I’ve written or summaries based on their mental models. Or nothing at all.
Since the early 2000’s, I have developed 7 mini Facebooks and I know there are too many online resources available. Because the social experiment is truly about whether strangers ANYWHERE can build trust with one another, my focus is on relationship building by doing. Not discounting technology but it is secondary.
So, when strangers proposed online platforms to use, alarm bells began to sound.
Truly, how to proceed if first time collaborators have no idea how strangers are going to build trust with one another?
While most seemed agreeable to giving the social experiment a shot, they also provided suggestions that totally deviated from my guidelines. It’s possible some only saw a book and/or they just wanted to work on their respective chapters. A few also wanted quick fixes. Or perhaps, sharing the net revenue was the attraction. The invisible “Age of Me” influence?
“Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.” Oscar Wilde
Since most people only see the present when they imagine the future, it will be naïve to think strangers ANYWHERE can immediately start writing about rather complex topics I had originally envisaged for a book to explain root causes of some of the greatest challenges we face today.
Even though the topics have since been scaled down, it still won’t be easy if collaborators do not understand my mindset: “Each of us has the perfect gift to give the world. It’s what we were born with … if we are able to each give what’s so uniquely ours — won’t we be able to create magic for and with each other?”
In case I was not clear before, my intention is for this social experiment to scale towards a bigger social experiment to openly pilot a less risky way to GLOBALLY startup a “For us” maximization branding agency. Where the best of the crowd get to share net profits and equity.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler
Aware that such matters cannot be rushed, I have decided to further scale down the social experiment. To show by doing (giving) and to see if what I do next can be a way to invest in some people so they may also participate at their best.
Since my original “World in search of” article surfaced, I notice more people are communicating about Me/We, paradigm shifts, strangers building trust, being, trust, culture, systemic, mindsets, etc. As ripple effects are important, I will continue to share my systemic observations via social media platforms.
I will also write a book about social experiments and movements in the shift to the Age of We. Hopefully, for release this Christmas. Details will be in my next article, hopefully with the final cut of our Future of Work video.
I have not decided whether to gift the ebook and/or have proceeds from the book fund the next phase of this social experiment so likeminded people who maybe struggling financially are not left out.
If you are in the shift to the Age of We or know someone who is, please get in touch at crowdpowers <@> gmail.com by June 4, 2016.
Everything will continue to evolve but if you believe strangers ANYWHERE can experientially building trust for and with each other around “For us” maximization, I hope you will get in touch and tell me what you think I am attempting and what we may do together.
Many many thanks, Betty