It´s a few months ago already that i was in Rio, participating at Colaboramerica. Time passes fast! I was invited to talk about the Economy of the Common Good. A great experience.
It was a 3-day event, full of speeches, workshops and activities, all in the theme of: Regeneration. How can we regenerate our world, economy, work, daily life, activities and relationships based on our inner values? Get back to these important values that many times have been lost during last decennia…
It was very interesting and motivating to exchange with people from all over the world, with all different initiatives, motivations and organizations which, one way or the other, share the same goal: Regenerate and build a world based on values as cooperation, human dignity, gender equality, environmental protection, democracy and transparency.
What struck me, was the big focus on new technologies, blockchain, bitcoin ofcourse, but also new ways to use blockchain in order to promote horizontal government in organizations or international cooperation. Or initiatives to make expensive new technologies available for everyone, help collaboration and use them to solve old problems like malnutrition. Fablabs and Makerspaces are everywhere. Also workshops that teach how to repair things in order to not throw them away and make things out of waste.
The last day during breakfast, a guy came up to me congratulating my talk of two days before: Benito Juarez, the director of the Latin American Fablab movement, and over a scrambled egg he told me about their work with the objective to democratize the new technologies of digital fabrication and biotechnologies. For example, they build a Fablab in the Amazonian jungle where people and children can print their own food with all the nutritions they need! Sounds futuristic but this is already possible today. At the same time it also sounds ironic that children who live in one of the most fertile areas suffer from malnutrition and need to get their nutrition from a bioprinter… We went so far down the last decennia that good nutrition is not available anymore for children living in jungle…
Ofcourse there was also a lot of attention to the New Economies, like the Share economy and B corporations (both part of the organization), the Give Economy, the Circular Economy, the Blue and Green Economy and also myself of the Economy of the Common Good. I won´t expand too much about them, as I assume we know them, but some interesting points of view:
Jean Francois Noubel of the Give Economy instead of sharing, proposes to give everything you can away to people who need it and don´t ask anything in return. He also believes money will become obsolete soon. He proposes as alternative the HoloChain, a kind of digital network much lighter than blockchain, with way more control and privacy than internet and able to do transactions and create social networks and platform cooperatives.
There were several exhibitors of the Circular Economy, who propose a circular business model which integrates the ¨waste¨ of the final product into the production process so there won´t be any waste anymore. It will simply not exist. That´s the direction we need to go! Interesting claim of Douwe Jan Jouwstra, a leader of this movement in the fashion industry: “All new start-ups focusing on making things from trash and recycling will need to search for another goal or meaning as the main goal is to reach a world where waste won´t exist anymore”. He didn´t got much resistance although there were a lot of recycling organizations present.
What I especially liked wat the attention and time for wellbeing and personal care. I think all of us who are part of social organizations or movements face a lot of challenges. We all would like to do a lot and don´t always find the time or resources to be able to. So, it´s really important to take care of ourselves and our organizations as well, make sure we won´t burn down, and keep motivated.
I also liked a lot talking to Evan Henshaw-Plath and Richard Bartlett who both work in their own way on facilitating group collaboration and organization. Richard helping in organizing the inner structures based on horizontality and democracy and Evan helping International organizations to collaborate and organize themselves by a digital platform: Affinity network. I think both can help us a lot in the organization of the Economy of the Common Good and NESI. We all know, it´s not easy working together in a horizontal way when physically apart.
The best thing of Colaboramerica is just this, meet many like minded people. Get to know each other, change ideas and hopefully join forces and Collaborate!