Reimagining collaboration with Web3
Talking about decentralized collaboration with Kerem Alper
“What is the problem with current models of collaboration?” Kerem Alper asks. He is the co-founder of ATÖLYE, a community-powered creative services organization, and Neol, a decentralized collaboration platform targeting design and creative professionals, as well as corporate innovation managers.
The problem seems to be: people doing things internally, behind closed doors and thick walls. The team behind ATÖLYE strives to build a community system around a wide group of innovators, designers, technologists, and thinkers with whom they can collaborate openly, and at scale. At Neol, a more recent platform, Kerem and his team want to push the boundaries farther and think: What would be a truly decentralized version of creating a platform where companies could find teams to collaborate with, where individuals could engage in powerful learning journeys?
“Learning is an incredibly tool for collaboration and community building,” he says, “Through such experiences and networks companies work on some of their toughest challenges, and by having access to inspiring organizations they become better versions of themselves.”
Neol is a decentralized, soon-to-be-tokenized platform which aims to think about collaboration among individuals and companies through a timely lens that aims to take current paradigm shifts into account. Overall, the world is becoming more complex, and the challenges companies and working individuals face today are redefined, so new approaches need to constantly be discovered.
“We need to tap into different pockets of wisdom from people of different backgrounds, parts of the world, cultures and experiences”
Today’s trends such as the Great Resignation and the gig economy are also shifting a global vision of talent. Individuals identify as multi-dimensional, and don’t want to be categorized strictly under one role, like “strategists”, “graphic designers”, or “business developers.” But organizations are often surrounded by thick walls, and that often makes them not suitable enough for the challenge presented. “Creators and innovators need to look for new ways of coming together, breaking away from the same old echo chambers,” Kerem concludes. His goals is to find new ways of empowering the individual in alternative work settings, and create support mechanisms, structures, and so on.
“Imagine all the know-how that exists within a structure! The question is, how do we create models where it’s shared more extensively from within? How do you tie that to internal incentive mechanisms?”
Empowerment of the individual through Web3
For Kerem, Web3 is very collaborative in and of itself, with users constantly sharing white papers on their experience — and that creates an openness that hasn’t really existed before. At ATÖLYE and Neol Web3 is primarily practiced as a mode of thinking and a way of discovering desired behaviours that need to happen in a system. It allows to pose such questions: How can value be created and can it be tracked? What are intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of individuals? Can we create a transparent and equitable system? “Web3 can shift mindsets, and the world of consultancies and education is ripe for this transformation,” Kerem says. “The dangerous thing is to be obsessed by the token mechanism, and hope that that mechanism will solve all the problems. Tokens are simply a method, a tool that can only be used as long as there’s value.”
At Neol, Kerem and his team are creating the suitable environment for collaboration to happen, then tuning into epicenters of value creation, and shifting the mindset of traditional investment towards a true participation and new ways of investing into the system. Web3, with the use of tokens and tools, gives individuals a chance to invest in content creation, and be the first supporters of lecturers, artists, innovators. And Kerem’s goal is to bring that model to the world of education.
Many legacy organizations will need to transform themselves to be able to better engage with these new systems by changing their procurement, legal, and operational processes. But Kerem believes: we are looking at a shift from a consumer-client user mindset to an initiator-believer-investor one. And at both companies, Kerem and his teams combine aspects of Web2 and Web3, “starting Web2” in the way value is created and distributed, and look for ways to apply the Web3 innovation.
To hear more about the new systems and models of collaboration, DAOs, mechanisms of incentivization from within, and so on, watch Kerem Alper in conversation with Till Grusche, the co-founder of the House of Beautiful Business.
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Katia Zoritch, writer at the House of Beautiful Business