We need to move from competitive ideation, trying to push our individual ideas, to collective ideation, collaborative ideation. It isn't about having the number one best idea, but having ideas come from, and work for, more people.
Even as Nelson Mandela always insisted that his accomplishments were collective, always also achieved by the men and women who were his comrades, the media attempted to sanctify him as a heroic individual. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the vast numbers of women and men who constituted the very heart o the mid-twentieth-century US freedom movement.
It is essential to resist the depiction of history as the work of heroic individuals in order for people today to recognize their potential agency as a part of an ever-expanding community of struggle.
Janine Benyus, a student of biomimicry, says "Nature/Lufe would always create condition conducive to life." She tells of a radical fringe of scientists who are realizing that natural selection isn't individual but mutual - that species only survive if they learn to be in community.
Together we must move like waves. Have you observed the ocean? The waves are not the same over and over - each one is unique and responsive. The goal is not to repeat each other's morion, but to respond in whatever way feels right in your body. The waves we create are both continuous and a one-time occurrence. We must notice what it takes to respond well. How it feels to be in a body, in a whole - separate, aligned, cohesive. Critically connected.
If we’re in this in order to make an impact, what better way to leave a lasting impact than to do something with people that can outlive you or your tenure on that project.
You invite people to that Zoom call, that small group circle to check in, and you enable them to participate. You aren’t just talking at them. You aren’t just presenting something to them. You aren’t just marketing something for them. You really do something with them.
What’s more helpful, instead of categorizing the community itself, is categorizing the activities as primarily online or offline. That’s what makes sense for me.
We believe the three most important foundational questions for any community are:
Who are you trying to bring together?
Why are they going to come together?
What are they going to do together?
What makes a successful shared activity is three things: it’s purposeful, it’s participatory, and it’s repeatable.