Well...new year, new start...
The coming era of the NEH is likely to be about testing ideas in practice, to go beyond my theories. I was offered invaluable help with putting a local team together to work on this project, however, I feel I must unload my feelings about this new approach so that help can be channeled accordingly.
The previous stage of the NEH concluded when I reached a point where I envisioned what sort of business I wanted to create and wrote down my version of an "elevator pitch": an online platform that provides the business model generation structure and process to [learn to] collaboratively transform socially just, spiritually fulfilling and environmentally sustainable ideas into value creating entities (businesses), by matching pools of entrepreneurs, work investors and financial investors.
Then, again, all the questions about the how and the imperative to put a team together came to the table...should that team be local and/or global, how can I select "the right people"?? what kind of people do I need?? Isn't there a self organizing path to do this?? How do cells choose who does what and when, what influences their decisions, how would they define value?? Is there anything at all that they wouldn't consider of value?? I felt that there was something missing in the project. Yes, the "elevator pitch" may sound interesting to me, but for a team to agree to work under the same foundations, to agree on some basic/ground "rules" and use them in practice...that's where I felt there was a gap, and that's when I started to think about making some changes about the blog and the project.
I kept thinking about how what I envision would work and there are so many things in our cultural story that I believe require a fresh new start and that are essential to bring that vision to reality, that I thought the project would be better of if it focuses on the refined version of the question that gets me going: How would humans create, capture and exchange tangible and intangible value if we were to the earth, what cells are to our bodies?
For instance, one of the things that I would like to see in this business project, is making high quality products and services the cheapest so that they are accessible to everybody, they become everybody's right to have, rather than a luxury for those who can afford it. Why is clean water, quality institutional education, high quality health services, organic food, energy and water efficient products, the most expensive things to get?? Yes, mainstream economics have an answer for this, but to me it is non-sense. If cheap means labor abuse, environmental degradation, social injustice, work/wage slavery...shouldn't these things be actually very expensive so that people don't get them and then we reduce stimuli for their production and increase pressure for their improvement?? Prices and costs should reflect quality in the opposite way we've been using that equation where cheapest means excellence and quality in every sense, expensive reflects negative customer satisfaction and low value. Would a cell work very hard and drive itself to exhaustion for something that creates cancer in its host body?? I think a cell does look for minimum pay for maximum return, what the value of the return is very different to that of human societies...so the question of what it is that we should value comes in handy.
Those are the sort of questions I would like to explore. I feel I need academic support, I would love to maybe accompany this project with a Ph.D because I sense that a mix with that side of cultural knowledge and science would give us more understanding of the possibilities. The bit that excites me the most so far, is that this exploration forces me to look at what we consider of value, define it and redefine it in different ways, which is in fact, what I anybody who might come to the team will have to explore as well, and we'd all have the freedom to create our own believes and set our own theories and run experiments to test them accordingly but all based on the same question, all to generate a pool of possibilities from which our societies would choose those more adept to their conditions and evolve. The problem is, is there such a thing as value for a cell, is there anything that a cell does that is not of value for it or for its host body?? So that makes me think...should I change the question to: If business where to behave like cells, what would they do?? how would they go about it? ...are they actually different questions?? businesses are value creating entities so...a cycle...this is where I am, and this is part of what I think needs to be clear if I'm to put a "research/practice team".
There are other two reasons for me to enroll in a Ph.D. One is that I like the Uni environment, the access to information, the smell of the library...I enjoy it a lot, I like studying which is a relatively new liking in my life. The second might come out of some fear. It is very hard for me to actually talk about this idea to people because I don't think I have "evidence". For so many years I've been talking about things based on this question, but it is so different, I can't really talk about it to everybody, they sort of need to fall in some kind of greenie-hold-hands-and-sing category, which I love, but I don't really know many of them. When I'm asked for what I do other than looking after my child and if I'm planning to get a job, my answer is limited to say that the mainstream jobs, specially now that I'm set in a mining town, are absolutely frustrating for me, only to know that there will be a comment or some advice about how "oh...but this company is doing this or that, or you could do this or that there".
Imagine I could say "I am part of a group of bioentrepreneurs, we research and build start ups and businesses based on cellular behaviour. We've run some tests and our findings suggests that if we choose to behave like cells in our bodies do, a lot of the world's issues would disappear. For example we ran this experiment and blabalbalblablaba and the blabla happened! and actually, we've got this start up in our platform that is doing X thing, it completely reflects the choice of what we call "cellular action"...." It just feels different just to think about me having some possibilities to show people...specially since we are so much of a "show me and I'll believe" kind of culture.
I'd like to see a group of people who are interested in exploring the question as well and who are keen to run experiments to learn from them, test ideas, iterate and move forward our discoveries.
I dream of many groups in different parts of the world undertaking the same quest to explore this question...I'd call those groups diasporas: for them, the exploration of the question in their local areas may imply differences, just as heart cells and liver cells are different and perform different functions within the same body...they are all cells, we are all humans.
I'd like to make the 'put a team together" process as public and visible as possible. And I'd like the group(s) that form to be able to build the business based on the findings.
I hope the team building process goal starts soon, I'm very excited...keep checking.