A target audience of cocreators?
As part of my work with the Cocreation Foundation, I am writing a book about global cocreation. And I constantly get asked: “What is the target audience for this book?”
Honestly? I don’t know! At least not in a conventional sense. I am not writing a book for a specific market or a target audience whose needs and desires I claim to know and serve. I am writing a book I feel is necessary to write because it is my contribution to the process we are in as humanity at this particular time in history.
Having said that: of course, I want to add value to folks out there. Of course, I would like to reach and touch people. But who are these people?
I believe: they are the coming cocreators!
They are those who already are cocreators and want to deepen their knowledge and understanding of cocreation. And they are those who wish to become cocreators, because they are looking for a deeper understanding of the meaning of their own contribution in the global process of transformation we all share.
The difficulty here is the following: these future cocreators don’t yet exist. They only exist in parts in some of us, who are already experimenting with this new mode of being.
So in a way, in writing this book, I also design a future model or type — I am sketching out what it could mean to become a cocreator. I make the offer of an image for identification.
Of course, the question remains: who needs this?
Well, for a start, I need it myself, as a manifestation of what I could become in the future myself. But I hope that everyone who wants to make a meaningful global contribution, everyone who has recognized the need for profound transformation and everyone who is searching for more knowledge, encouragement, orientation and options for action will profit from it, too.
I picture people reading the book who don’t accept simple recipes, shortcuts and quick fixes but are willing to learn and co-develop a new craft. I see people who are not satisfied with simple explanations but want to get to the bottom of things. I expect people who know that outer and inner transformation are two sides of the same coin. I imagine people forwarding their own development in the course of shaping the world in positive ways.
The book’s readers will probably be academically educated, spiritually open, post-conventional, pragmatic doers and entrepreneurs who place their actions in the broad context of positive global development. I believe they will be politically interested but have no desire to engage in conventional politics. They are probably creatives and designers who develop their art in context with others, activists who need a larger intellectual frame of reference for their actions. Maybe those people would call themselves integral or metamodern. Perhaps they have already left the paradigms of classical modernity and its values, as well as the deep green paradigm and postmodernity. Still, they might not be interested in subscribing to the next big narrative on offer but want to create it themselves.
I hope that the book I am writing can offer orientation, a source of inspiration, a space for reflection and a valuable pathway towards a desired future. I hope it can open a process of cocreation. And I hope that readers will get support to locate themselves in our shared global process and their contribution towards our emergent future.
What does it mean to be a cocreator?
Here is what I believe constitutes a cocreator:
Being a cocreator is being a resonator: that is, you are experiencing yourselves as being in resonance with the world around you. If you can connect deeply with the world around you, with your environment, with other people, places, nature, things, technology, history, so that it almost feels that the world around you is you: you are a cocreator.
If you can feel the world resonating through you with its forces, emotions, energies and atmospheres, you are a cocreator. If you are empathic with the grieve of your neighbour, who lost a dear family member, if you feel the pain of the bird with the broken wing on your porch, if pulling on the string of your guitar causes you to shudder with inner tension, if you feel the power of the engine of the car deep in your stomach while you press down hard on the accelerator, if you feel the weather changing in the fine hairs of your neck while you watch the clouds pass over you, if you dissolve in the bliss of the soundwaves a choir sends sweeping over you, if you feel the rage of the demonstrating crowd in your pulsing of the blood, if your body shivers in joy with the growing arousal of your lovers’ passion, if you constantly cross the borders of what you believe to be yourself so that the world and you become a new entity altogether: then you are a cocreator.
I call it being in resonance, but you can call it empathy, compassion, getting connected, building relationships. You can call it dissolving, immersion or transcendence. You can call it high sensitivity, openness, mindfulness or respectfulness towards the world. Think of it as acknowledging the connection you already always have with the world by your specific mode of being.
Maybe it is your curiosity towards the world; perhaps it is the world calling you. Maybe your connection is by cognitive understanding, research, analysis and logical penetration of data. Or it is by mindfulness practice, compassionate feeling and deep listening. Maybe it is by spiritual immersion, prayer or ritual. Perhaps you connect with your body through physical exercise, work, dance or sex. Or you find that the conscious use of substances can help you to become aware of your connection to the world. Whatever your particular interface with the world is: if you reach deep into the feeling of resonance, flow and being with the world, rather than being apart from it: you are a cocreator.
By perceiving your connections with the world, you experience yourself not just as an individual but rather as a transpersonal force in a field of forces. By this, you unlock the “co” in cocreation. You realize that the entity which creates is not you, nor your team, or your organization. Instead, creation is always the result of whole fields of participateurs operating from a shared basis of resonance. Through this practice, we ensure that what is brought into the world will be part of the world. It will be relevant to the world and not some superficial idea of anyone’s ego.
If you, as a part of this new vibrating, resonant co-entity, are prepared and willing to face the most profound questions, the most severe problems and the most ambitious challenges of your time, place and communities: you are a cocreator. If you are willing to not just optimize the status quo but to put all in and everything into question, if you are willing to confront the most fundamental flaws of our societies, organizations, fields of expertise and environments, if you are genuinely willing to face fear and despair while diving deep into the basic traumata and corrupt codes of our past, if you are willing to transform the world and yourself by going through that crisis open-minded and open-eyed: you are a cocreator.
Part of being a cocreator is being a transformer. As a transformer, you know that for the new to emerge, the old will have to die. You will have to dismantle and unmask the fraud, lies and alternative facts. Drag them out and expose them to burn in the light of truth. Empty and leave the old comfort zones. You know that old patterns have to break and that you have to disillusion everyone. You have to mourn what time has overcome. As a transformer, you know the cave of the hermit and the journey of the hero. You are willing to let go of the old game and the rules it constituted. You are prepared to lose control and any sense of direction completely. As a transformer, you are willing to throw your old compass into the depth of your soul because you know: only out of the emptiness in the middle of chaos, the new will emerge. Only from burnt land and debris new ideas, visions, and creativity will grow. If you know all that and are willing to do all that: you are a cocreator.
I call it a crisis, but you can also call it catharsis, purification, initiation, change, the void, a singularity, a black hole, a revolution, the bottom of the U, or the unfreeze state. If you are prepared to change everything down to the core, if you are willing to decode and encode everything from scratch, if you don’t fear to throw away the drafts of your designs, models and theories and start all over again and if you, above all, trust, that this is the process needed to grow, mature and reach the next stage of development: you are a cocreator.
Through crisis and transformation, you enable the advent of the emerging new; you reach a higher order, a broader understanding and a new sense of purpose. You establish an intention and a new direction amid chaos while still rooted in the resonance of a shared process.
As you leave the transformative crisis with novel intention, direction, ideas of a fresh start, you will be confronted with a myriad of options, perspectives and pathways opening in front of you. You are now gifted with an abundance of new possibilities, pathways and trajectories. There it is: the creative futures presenting themselves to you, with all their promises, colours, temptations, offers and gifts. Propped by the crisis you just survived, filled with confidence, trust, joy and an immense sense of agency and creative power, you can let these energies free and explode in cascades of creative fireworks. You can seize the day, thrive in opportunities, walk new paths, explore possible futures and help to create whatever wants to manifest itself in the world. In doing that, you develop and grow towards your full potential while helping everyone and everything to do so, too. You become a conscious part of creation, of cocreation: you are a cocreator.
Part of being a cocreator is being a designer — an inventor, a maker. I call this emergent cocreation. You can also call it design, planning, art, expression, conceptualization, innovation, manifestation, birthing, generating. If you are engaged in bringing something relevant, beautiful, meaningful into the world which carries this fundamental quality of being alive, and if you do it out of the deep resonating connection to and with the world: you are a cocreator.
Through cocreation you birth something new while you are reborn yourself. It is a reciprocal process without a first cause. It is rather like this: you connected and resonated, you transformed, and now cocreation happens to you. It is cocreation which has summoned you, so don’t be fooled, don’t fall into the trap of omnipotence or hubris. After all, it was the world who cocreated itself, and you played a role in that process. You represented an aspect of the energies at work, maybe even a prominent one. But you have never been a single mind shaping an outside world, a subject altering objects. You have been a vital part in a process of unfolding and generativity. No more, no less. In the course of this unfolding, you have been reborn, and so has the world. By this, new concepts, ideas, products, services, organizations, policies, projects, cooperations and perspectives entered the world stage. Being part of this process makes you a cocreator.
Those products and designs of cocreation are born from resonance and transformation, but they are young, weak, fragile and small in number. They are open to attack, resentment and critique. They will also have to prove their worth, value, and ability to survive. They have to be nurtured, protected and stabilized. If you are willing to stand by them and accompany them through their growth and development: then you are a cocreator.
Part of being a cocreator is being a cultivator. If you prepare the soil, if you fence in what needs protection, if you provide water and shade, light and air, if you take responsibility and show perseverance, if you see through what you have started by being loyal, caring and supportive: you are a cocreator. If you practice new skills and tasks, if you apply your newly gained knowledge, if you embody the truth of your latest development and put it into practice, if you embrace new attitudes, if you go to your dojo, do your exercise, follow your practice: you are a cocreator.
I call this stabilizing cultivation. But feel free to see it as implementation, management, organizing or steering. If you are building and progressively developing the structures of societies, organizations, environments, products or concepts, if you establish routines and workflows, if you create new traditions and rituals, if you code the fabric of everyday chores and tasks, if you oil the engines, steer the boats, nurture communities, raise the young, care for the old, support those in need of protection, while staying in your blissful flow of connectedness to what you do in every moment: then you are a cocreator.
Through establishing new solid patterns in the world and by giving concrete and lasting form to the emergent innovations and ideas, you show that you genuinely are a cocreator.
As a cocreator you are always part of something, of an ecological “we”. This “we” is the “co” in cocreation. It is the collective, the cooperative, the field, the entity of the process itself. Thus we speak of cocreation. As a cocreator you have your character, your flavour, your angle and your perspective on this process.
You might not be perfect in all of the above qualities, and you don’t have to be. But you know about the importance of all those qualities and aspects to the overall process of cocreation. You know that resonance, transformation, emergence and cultivation interact together and form a cycle of cocreation. You can value how people embracing those different qualities complement each other in processes of cocreation. You strive for their integration while protecting each quality on its own. You walk the thin line between being in touch with the sky and being fully grounded. You acknowledge visionary utopias as well as the dirt of hard work. You know that inner work and outer work are just different perspectives on the same process. You are humble but bold, knowledgable and naive, committed and open to the outcome. You know how to master the art of being a cocreator.