We are in a momentous time. Welcome to a contribution to the commons, an interlocking series of ideas intended to help us transition from where we are at to where we need to be.
Mostly, we need hope. This is a contribution in aid of that.
We the movie: Action personified
We need bold examples of what it looks like to stand up for what we believe in. We are changemakers, thought leaders and passionate community members. Our voices are powerful, and even more powerful together.
I’m dreaming into a new kind of ‘documentary’. Not a finite documentary that has a beginning and an end, but an ongoing podcast exploration that builds on themes, invites collaboration, participation, where participants chart their own path — and develop an emergent realtime story together.
We are writing the script of our future through the actions that we take every day. Let’s capture those actions, and take action together, so we can inspire others to take positive steps into a future we collectively envision, articulate and activate.
Our voices are important. We have stories to tell, and there is incredible value in us telling it ourselves. From a multiplicity of perspectives, using many platforms, with participants framing the debate. What are our narratives? What are we talking about?
We are having a global conversation about the change we need to see in the world. Let’s ask questions together, and follow an inquiry into what is possible, what is being done, and what we need to do to help move the story along in a good way.
Owning our own voice
Copyright looks very different now in the digital realm than it did in 1710 when England enacted the Statute of Anne. And the truth is, it is of benefit for us to be copied (aka ‘shared’), as that shows the uptake of our ideas in the commons. Going viral is a good thing.
In this weird world where ‘user generated content’ is propping up big media giants, I think we need to ask the question: What if we all owned the content that we had a part of creating? Instead of being grateful that a media company is giving us airtime, what if we presented our ideas in collaboration with each other? One key to empowering the voice is for the individual to have agency — both economic and actual — over how our voice is presented and distributed.
We need to voice the issues we face, collectively. We need to speak our truth, and follow the story as it unfolds, in real time, as it happens. We need to collect and connect wisdom, so we can uncover and make visible a sense of purpose. We need to see ourselves.
The dream: that we stand up together and tell the truth about what is going on in our world, in a way that honours and respects our own and others contributions. And that we work together in real time to build the solutions that we need to solve the problems that we face. To do this authentically, and with our true power, we need to learn how to tell our own stories ourselves.
In the room, for the record
Some of the most profound social change has come about through bringing unlikely allies together for a common goal. The action of being ‘in the room, for the record’ invites social change activists and community members to have conversations that unpack specific challenges and present solutions by talking it through together, and testing ideas.
Many people are working in isolation on solutions which are incredibly important for the common good. It’s useful to encourage thought leaders and visionaries to come together to identify, design and develop tools and processes that can help us to think together.
No one person has ‘The Answer’. The hope is that through an invitation to collaborate in a way that is transparent, accountable and openly engaging, we can host a tapestry of voices in an ongoing conversation about the change we need to be in the world.
Copywrite vs copyright
We stand on the shoulders of greats. Our collection of global knowledge and wisdom is mind boggling, and yet we find ourselves in an overwhelmingly challenging time. We need to find ways to share knowledge and apply wisdom to the problems at hand.
How we evolve copyright is an important field of thought as we face our future together. How it is used now is to protect works from being copied in an effort to be sure that the maker and distributor of the work are compensated. That’s important — and it is also important to design copyright frameworks that respond to our changing media landscape, and that serve us as old systems break down, and new systems emerge.
Copywrite vs copyright is code for the notion that we write our reality by interacting with it; that the stuff of the cultural commons is fair game, relevant to our experience and our understanding of ourselves; and we are not separate from any of it. And it is of value.
In a world where each is for themselves, copyright as it is makes sense. However, with the challenges we currently face, we need cooperative approaches to the development, sharing, and distribution of ideas. The wealth that we have is astounding — and we need ways to give value to the ‘intellectual capital’ we share. If you share this interest, please see these draft intellectual and social value agreements, and feel free to add your comments.
It’s time for us to take the bull by the horns, and open our airwaves to the citizen’s voice. The future belongs to those who can tell the most courageous and authentic story.
Intellectual property and the wisdom economy
Our ideas shape our world. There is an explosion of creativity and inspiration all over the planet, and we need to find ways to harness this talent and energy. There is a great and grand story happening in communities everywhere, and that story needs to be heard. Or perhaps it is a story that is remembered, and told, through all the histories and stories that have brought us to this moment — as a live and generative creation.
We are rich with human knowledge and vision, and the passion to take action. There is a demonstrated need for change — and this need for change is amping up. It’s our collective task to explore the needs, resources and the underlying story that is driving change.
The quest: that together we can open pandora’s box of challenges, and give rise to the spirit of hope that underpins our collective purpose. We all have a role in the transition that is upon us. This great work needs all of us — our wisdom, our ideas, our thoughts, our actions, and our shared vision.
Here’s where I go off about the economy
For many people, participating meaningfully with the economy is simply out of reach. It is a struggle, all over the world, for a multitude of reasons. Let’s boil that down a little bit.
The economy is a human-created construct, and yet it is ‘governed’ by non-human entities. Yet of course it is not governed, really — there is a mishmash of drivers: international agreements and treaties, governments weakened by political and economic realities, and industry-led lobbying for corporate economic benefit.
The bottom line is the bottom line — and while the rule of law can limit some egregious challenges, the resources are there to find ways around the law. Change is happening quicker than legislative scheduling can keep up with — and even beyond that, corruption happens.
The way the corporation has evolved is one of the most dangerous developments of our time — and we need to speak frankly about the challenges that the corporate model poses for our future. We need to open a dialogue that holds no sacred cows unassailable, speaks truth to power, and unpacks the key constructs in our society that cause the most harm.
An economy designed for people
Okay, here’s the what if: What if we designed an economy that worked for people? That was easy to engage with and met the needs of all citizens everywhere?
Let’s turn our attention towards what would need to be designed to empower all citizens economically. We have created our economic system, and we can evolve it. People all over the world have been designing things to support this. We need to link these things together.
Trade barriers, banking systems, and national boundaries prohibit the free flow of capital, especially for the little guy. New systems are evolving, and we have an incredible opportunity to design financial mechanisms that are cooperatively owned, and benefit the user. It’s time to Be the Bank.
There are many, many initiatives that have been designed and developed in isolation to meet the challenges that we face environmentally, socially, and economically. The hope is that through an exploration and strategic engagement with these projects, we can encourage collaboration between them.
We are at a choice point. Those of us who can, must take the initiative to figure it out — together, as an open process of engagement.
I know what I want to do: create meaningful media of people sharing what they do and why. Also group conversations where we put our heads together, and see what emerges between us, and how we can help each other progress collectively. It’s a magical mystery tour, really; people are beautiful, and interesting, and the passions that drive us are inspiring. It’s a good story.
Here’s my offer: I will invest my time and attention in you and whatever you may want to advocate for, and co-create a podcast with you that explores your work and your passions. I’ll write a blog about it, including links to your work. If it is useful to you, you can share it. If it is of value to you, and you want to support me in this work, you can make a contribution that feels good for you; whether that be a work trade, sharing and connecting this work with others whom you know would be interested, or old fashioned currency to tammyleameyer(at)gmail.com or through my crowdfunding campaign.
Want to see some examples? Sweet. Here’s a podcast on Collaborology with Sam Hahn; a blog and podcast on the Credit Commons with Matthew Slater and Ross Gentleman; a podcast on Mutual Aid Networks and Indigenous Food Sovereignty with Stephanie Rearick and Dawn Morrison; and you can check out Daniel Harris’s work with Kendra.io and Collab Camp in Paris, 2016.
Let’s play! Together, we are stronger. And, more interesting.
Thanks for being awesome.