30% eco-time

Google has 20% Google time, where employees are encouraged to work on their own projects for 20% of their paid time. This fosters an incubation process within the company itself, generating a sense of genuine co-working and has given rise to several in-house developments.

Looking at social business hubs, whose business plans are usually based on renting out of desks or space or membership, there is a tendency for such spaces to become like hot-desking, no matter the social engineering techniques employed. Hence the need to introduce 30% eco-time, where participants are invited to give 30% of their time to others.

If people are working at 70% capacity as a norm, then there is always an openness to conditions, to opportunity. It means the collective is capable of dealing with extenuating social conditions, can respond more quickly to surprise events, and suitably structured with social ligaments can co-ordinate themselves to achieve objectives that are collectively more pressing.

The economics for this depends on the conditions. At the Hub Westminster, for example, members are charged £95 for 30 hours of use over a month. Hub Westminster could ask for 10 of those hours to be given to other members, or to add an additional 10 hours for this purpose. In fact, if eco^2 is healthy enough, these additional 10 hours could be paid for at £10-hour, which means members could make back their membership fee by being paid to offer their services for free. Members could then evaluate both economic models: the traditional model where they pay for space and services to further their own objectives, or they are paid to create value for others. The second may appear to be like a company, and indeed it offers the security and working conditions for productive output, but the combination of mttp and dmp have already established that eco^2 is not a company.

In terms of eco^2, 30% is a round figure. Participants may scale themselves on how much “free time” they are working on, from 0 to 10: simply square this number to determine the percentage of their time is eco^2. David Pinto, aka happyseaurchin, is currently 10 as all his time is devoted to eco-time.

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