fourth iteration — a viable hangout

Coming to the end of the book, and I am fairly certain it is not going to be a big page-turner. I have started to pull together ideas for generating a hangout game show which crosses crowd-sourcing with social impact. Like a social version of kickstarter.

the niche

Currently, someone comes up with an idea or a prototype and they find partners, form a company, seek funding from start-up capital or angel investors or crowd-funding. This fits the competitive model of development.

Many people who are into world change use various online services to gather and share information, from dedicated website, newsletter posts and social media sites. A rising phenomena are ‘conversations’, g+ communities or fb groups curated by a suitably enlightened instigator. Some contributors use the space to connect people, to learn, and then use this information in their offline work, such as consultants. They value these communities, most in the same way we had the ‘water-cooler’ effect in businesses. There is no moneyflow, and yet the space is considered very valuable.

How about producing a hangout show that does both? Here’s a mock-up. An engagement so rich that participants not only reach consensus but commitment to produce a social impact within a short period of time. Social impact is the means by which the hangout is evaluated, and money follows. It allows a network of strangers to make decisions as if they were in charge of a company. It is active use of trust.

the hangout game

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 18.23.53

Appropriate a crowd-funding WP site, like the one above. By investing say £10, participants are invited to a hangout game. There are a number of games run at different times and facilitated by different people with different flavours of activity.

The hangout game itself consists of a few facilitators and everyone else watching live. Imagine this is running successfully with 100 people. The name of the game is answering the following question (which is similar to the question in action cycles):

What is the greatest social impact that up to 100 of us do with up to £1000 in the following week?

Participants use to put in their submissions, and everyone votes up and down the best options. The facilitator’s job is draw attention to those suggestions that may be added late or simply deserve more attention; namely to avoid that phenomenon where the top few listings end up escalating simply because they are highlighted (you know, top videos or articles put at the front of a website like youtube, evident in comments in youtube for example). The trick of the game is to reach consensus and commitment within the hour.

For example, someone may have an idea that could be converted into a kickstarter with a few people’s help. Perhaps within that week a handful of people help turn an idea, or a prototype, into a kick-starter programme and everyone else of the 100 people are the seed funders and recommenders of the project. Perhaps at the end of the following week, the project is funded $80,000. Some of this money is redistributed back to the ‘marketing’ team, the 100 people who participated, say $100 each. That’s a conversion of £10 for entry to $100 return.

Not all projects will have a financial return, but it depends very much on the ‘flavour’ of the hangout game show. Some will be more oriented to getting a financial return, but what matters is how people respond to suggestions that catch their attention enough to add to it, offering their skills, and helping it become a more realistic venture. The point is, we are realising the power of the collective to overcome what halts most of our open source projects — the difficulty of finding followers and securing marketing. Collectively, we have the resources to produce incredible results socially on a regular basis, if we are freed from the usual constraints imposed by company boundaries. Networks working with money flow.

deepening hangouts and ecosquared protocols

Not all the hangouts are in the form of this game. There are others which have a flavour of deepening engagement, learning how to reach consensus faster, how to confront differences and arrive at consilience. These hangouts are run along similar principles, where people who are interested fund the hangout and watch and perhaps participate, from one-to-ones to one-to-many’s, and ideally we will work out protocols to have many-to-many. The objective of these deepening hangouts is to learn what are the protocols which we need to adopt to make best use of our time when we meet collectively on line. Think intense and meaningful. Think of the equivalent to global summits, when potentates meet and need to make decisions about the direction of their governments, or CEOs making decisions as to the direction of their company.

As the fourth iteration of ecosquared, this is an attempt to get real results in the real world. With all our virtuality, our obsession with information and opinion, we do tend to lose the substance. The intention of these hangouts is to bring to the fore what we really value. The ecosquared protocols set up a game where money becomes ‘well-behaved’ mathematically speaking (MTTP), while opening up an economy that is based on subjective enumeration (SEA).

The direction of money is interesting. It appears that participants are paying for a ticket to be able to play the game and the money is going towards the centre, collecting as a ‘capital’. It would be nice to have a gift-it-forward in action, where the money generated from one hangout-game actually is carried over to another. One option is to initiate the Invitation-Protocol where the direction of the moneyflow is outwards. People are invited to play. People are showing trust by inviting people they know to the game-show, and even when they suggest activities to perform over the week, the decision actually hangs on those they have invited. That is, the centre is financially powerless, and the periphery is the collective decision-maker. A good thing for communities.

This may constitute the minimal set-up for us to test the protocols, including SEA, once the system gets up and running. The money that is attracted to the value the network produce, $10k in the example, is distributed by the values that people give one another. Those who contribute more actively are recognised by their peers collectively, and thus end up with more moneyflow. In our example, the team of which produced the video and wrote up the copy for the prototype pitch will naturally end up with more money-flow.

invitation for partners

I am looking for partners to set up the technical system, which looks relatively easy since there are templates for crowd-funding already available, and more importantly seed the game-show with their communities. That is, I am looking for people who would like to host one of these shows.

As a team, our collective input will produce a comprehensively appealing design, as we cover for each other’s blindspots. A team effort will produce a better invitation than this.

Auditions are now open 🙂

  1. I like the general idea but I’ve learned to depend on no money for so long that I depend on having no money. I’ve had no appreciable income since 2001 – very close to the zero line for 12 years now. It’s the most reliable financial system in the world that I’ve found. Without the $0.00 the +$80,000 has no anchor. (Compare the Meso-American [had a zero] with the Roman [had no zero] numbering systems which both disappeared.)

    So many projects put the money as the first order of business thus never get off the ground. The ideas have to be highly developed before the first money gets “attracted” even for micro-contributions. Did you see the Tesla Museum project? It didn’t look at all like a “serious” project at first glance but it got the attention needed to start the critical first phase – purchasing Tesla’s old laboratory and grounds.

    We have to realize that we’ve been systematically conditioned to think that money, finance, currency and all these other man-made abstractions are somehow “real” as in “Real Estate” which is only as real as we believe it is – and no more. Look at the sky on a rainy day. That is real water that waters real plants that make real food grow out of the real ground where real seeds were somehow planted. Who puts the coins in the slot to make the Sun come up each morning?

    The problem with social media is its abstraction from the actual world we live in and moreso disconnected from the actual planet that sustains (or tries to sustain) our very souls. I think we’re moving from the “Information Age” to something more physical and engaging like say the “Instrumentation Age” through which we the humans become instrumental in providing services and transacting exchanges with the ecosystems themselves. This may be a bit radical but it’s where my thinking has been turning toward for some time.

    1. Nice observation about relative to zero. I agree, and I have lived very close to subsistence for two decades. But it is a little wearing. I’d like to have more flow-through — but only as MTTP, ie not to buy stuff.

      Not fare to talk about Tesla. He’s already somebody. And I agree that it is all about the idea, not the money. I only started to think about money seriously over the last year and a half — before this, people simply didn’t pay attention. World-changers still don’t, which is odd.

      Yes, I can see you haven’t examined ecological economics, which is ok. I just had a 5 hour FB engagement with someone at the p2p Foundation, and my basic point is to shift the coupling of money-to-thing (as you mention) to money-as-time. That is, MTTP departs from the standard use of money at root. Money is no longer a thing. So, believe me, I get what you are saying.

      And definitely agree with the virtual separation from the real embodied world! Though I am not so convinced we are becoming more real. I am afraid that the kids are getting sucked more and more into the virtual, and when we hit a certain level of virtuality in the next couple of decades, I think we’re buggered.

      Still, thanks for your observations. You sound like the right kind of guy to keep us grounded — if you are willing to play along 🙂

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