I’ve been loving reading “New Power”, launched just last week.
New Power is the power of the 21st century. New power is neither good nor bad. It’s what we do with it that makes the difference.
New power is the power to engage the crowd through peer to peer networks. Old power is top down whereas new power is shared by everyone.
In old power models, products are handed down to people who are considered only as consumers. With new power models people are creators and producers as well. This is the case with You Tube and the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Old power focuses on campaigns. New power builds movements, supporting people to take ownership of an idea, shape it so it has meaning for them and spread it. Examples include #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter.
The book talks about new power business models and new power values. Facebook is a good example for us to consider both. It’s business model is a new power model. But it operates from old power values. It has engaged and monetised the crowd, who create the content. However it has retained centralised ownership, control and does not share the wealth.
New Power supports us to be conscious of power, who has it and how we are all using it. It gives us tools to work with power thoughtfully, creatively and more effectively.
For me New Power is more than a book. While it gives plenty of examples of movements, I am experiencing New Power itself to also be a movement.
I read the forerunner article on New Power some time ago and I kept using the hashtag #newpower in my tweets. Yes, there was something about that article that spoke to me and I wanted the world to know about the ideas!
As I read New Power it makes more and more sense why they contacted me. I’ve been a early adopter. They made a reasonable assumption that I would get on board now. Engaging people like me is part of their strategy for movement building. People like me will take hold of the idea, add additional meaning to it and spread it to further progress consciousness of power in our societies.
As I read the book I can more and more see myself in it. I invite you to also consider what role you and/or others around you play or can play with new power in mind. I’m a “connected connector” and potentially a “super-participant”. I’m smiling as I read about my characteristics in the book. I’m still building up my social media presence (this is my first social media article!) but nevertheless I’m great at engaging others into new ideas, projects and movements. And it seems that people like me are crucial to the success of movements and collaborative strategies.
We will all read New Power with different eyes and with different purposes in mind. Some people will read it to grow their business primarily to make money, others with a focus on social good, others to strengthen movements. I am reading it with whole systems change in mind for societies based on co-operation above competition and more co-ownership. I am working with others for social justice and for an ecologically healthy society, economy and planet.
The organisation I have co-founded is called InCollaboration. We are about systems change and strategic connecting and relationship-building to achieve this. We join with others to achieve large-scale change.
I’m currently involved in and promoting several movements and the list keeps growing. I’m connected into coop, not-for-profit and social enterprise networks. As part of this I’ve got to know and been inspired by amazing people and their organisations. Organisations and movements include the New Economy Network Australia, the Commons movement and P2P Foundation, Anthropocene Transition Project, the Co-operative movement, Platform Co-operativism, the Food Systems movement, Food Connect, Sustain, Oricoop, , the Community Energy movement, Starfish Initiatives, Presence in Nature, Mercury Coop, BCCM, AUDACITIES, Sydney LETS, the Brisbane Tool Library and the Sharing Map.
I’m honoured to be connecting and/or collaborating with Michelle Maloney, Michel Bauwens, Ken McLeod, Darren Sharp, Jose Ramos, Trebor Scholz, Penny Elsley, Annette Loudon, Sharon Ede, Anthony McMullen, Peter Tregiglas, Alan Greig, Russ Grayson, Nick Rose, Carolyn Suggate, Robert Pekin, Emma-Kate Rose, David Pointon, Mike Dowson, Adam Blakester, Richard and Maria MaGuire, Tom Nockolds, Amanda Cahill, Elsie L”Hullier, Sabrina Chakori, , Patricia Morgan, Nilmini De Silva and Lyndsey Jackson.
And the list goes on. But all these people I’ve named are leaders and supporters who have shared their knowledge and created or co-created opportunities for others to engage with ideas and shape them.
I think this book gives all of us an opportunity to learn, reflect and progress the way we can mobilise the crowd. For me, without a doubt, learnings from this book and from the New Power people with whom I am already connecting, will take my work to a new level.
Understanding new power can assist us in our efforts to redress the unsustainable power imbalances and wealth inequality in our societies and our world. It can help us to achieve regeneration of our environments. It can add to and accelerate the many wonderful initiatives and movements that are already bringing many of us together to live as if we really do care about each other and our planet
Jeremy and Henry say ”The future will be won by those who can spread their ideas better, faster and more durably.”
We are in truly challenging times. Let’s use this opportunity for understanding new power to collectively make new power a force for good.
You can order New Power here