Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Work Investors: How do they sustain themselves??

Let's start by talking about who is a work investor?? We can fall in to one of two categories or both of them.

1)    We’ve been or we are looking for a change in our careers.
2) We are looking for socially just, spiritually fulfilling and environmentally sustainable work opportunities. I call this type of work, meaningful work.

Meaningful work has not been easy to find for me, I assume there are quite a few people in my same situation. Here we have the chance to create those meaningful work opportunities.
Building a strong economy, to me, implies building strong and real human relationships. You may remember this image of what I think is required in a healthy economy: Conversations start the process of building trust, which creates and strengthens good relationships. These are essential in building community, which process engages the public and promotes good trade. Social cohesion is key to healthy and sustainable economic activity. I chose the fractal spiral to indicate that, to me, this is a never ending process, it is an iteration, it feeds itself and when you look at it closer, you find more of the same stuff..."to infinity and beyond"!!

The elements in there require time and real commitment from all parties for them (the elements) to actually emerge. The setting of the Cells of the Earth project promotes/suggests/propels/feeds the emergence and creation of those social connections and relationships before focusing on financial relationships. Our society has focused too much on “paying employees for what they do” and we seem to have forgotten that behind every good and service we purchase, there has been an amazing amount of social connections going on. But we, as purchasers and consumers, have been neglecting those relationships for far too long now, and marketing strategies are targeted at our unnecessary needs, rather than at our personal abilities to choose a product based on what we actually know about it and the company. Alain de Botton said something like, “you go to the cookies isle in the supermarket, and the cookies know much more about you than you do about them”.

I’d like to share my visualization about the interactions of work investors in an initial stage of the Cells of the Earth Project. There is a group of people interested in this project. The objective is to meet virtually via skype and/or Google+ hangouts in order to discuss how to proceed to create a core team for the project. Let’s assume we are passed that stage and a core team of 5 is already formed. We are all work investors.

As I see it, the 5 roles for this team are:

  • Public relationships: I call this the social connector
  • Platform development: all the programming, applications development, web development etc,.
  • Democratic finance development: in charge of developing and designing the financial module of the platform where the community would be able to see the flow of money, it is a like a banking software with accounts for all users but with absolute trading visibility to the community.
  • Culture design: In charge of designing and setting the organizational culture of the community, the leaders by example that expect to replicate their biobusiness genetic code, the how we work, to all cells/investors.
  • Legal organizing research group: They are in charge of finding out the ways for our idea investment to operate legally, privately and independent from the public bureaucratic processes that slow down processes.

My vision is that every member of the core team, will have to get a group of work investors themselves to develop all this, which means that each core member, will create a core group for the Cells of the Earth as an organization. Meanwhile and/or simultaneously, few idea investors will be appearing in the platform providing feedback to those core groups. With time, more idea investors and more feedback, there will be a financial redistribution to these 5 core groups, which I explain in this post, but also there will be demand for those core groups to become, let’s say intrabusinesses, which are businesses that one the one hand provide additional value to the organization by keeping its platform development and organizational functioning up to date for the community, and on the other hand, they can offer their service to idea investors.

In other words, the aim is that what starts as a core team of 5 people, becomes 5 core groups to the organization and evolve into 5 intrabusinesses that would add value to the organization, and also offer their services to all investors, which is particularly interesting for idea investors. Imagine that you have an idea that requires a complex website, as many ideas do today, and you have access to a group of platform developers… right there. Plus the Culture designer intrabusiness can help you to set a proactive and positive working environment to ensure happy workers with balanced lives, which is to say socially just, spiritually fulfilling, environmentally sustainable kind of lives. The Legal research intrabusiness will help you find out how you can operate and what you need to do, and the Democratic financial developers would set the trading accounts for your business. As a future idea investor in the platform, the prospect is very appealing.

As a worker investor what this means is a huge challenge full of new opportunities. The challenge is for the core team and core groups to build those strong social relationships and in the future come up with business models that would sustain both them when they become intrabusinesses, and their workers. Once a core group identifies a business idea, they can use the platform to develop it without contributing as idea investors, which price is AUD$200 per idea per month. This benefit is due to their value adding contribution to the Cells of the Earth organization. 

This however, requires a lot of previous committed work which is your social reputation and trust building strategy as a work investor. In the future, either you become an idea investor, or you keep working, whether that work is for an intrabusiness or for a business you helped to create, or both…those are the possibilities. When you help create socially just, spiritually fulfilling and environmentally sustainable business, they have to comply with these criteria for you too!! They have to be just, fulfilling and sustainable to you as a worker, so it is in your hands to ensure that this conditions will happen and will support you and sustain you financially too.

That is why work investors do not contribute financially to the platform, because they are contributing to the immediate return economy, which is an economy that benefits right here right now from the interactions that are happening. As a work investor we are not only working, we are learning to work in different ways, we are learning to create balanced lives for us, learning to ask for and create balanced and meaningful work. The platform then, at this stage of your involvement, is not to sustain you within the delayed economy of financial and money trade, but to sustain you socially by allowing you to reconnect with your purpose, whatever that is.

The Cells of the Earth as an organization cannot and should not, in my view, provide us with financial income from the start until it is clear how we’ll proceed. The organization does not intend to make you a slave of your work investment in exchange of money. It does intend to provide us with the skills and mindset to create new working cultures and environments, so that we can go and create new working environments by ourselves and replicate the learning experiences. It is a process of duplication and transcription of a new biobusiness genetic code. The organization does intend for you to be financially self sustained but not at the expense of making you a slave. Instead, it encourages you and gives you a community of support and practice to create your own way to sustain yourself without enslaving your soul.

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