Good stuff, folks. Let's keep it going.
One of the ideas here is that we're moving away from structured "organizations" and "heirarchies" and the inherent "politics," and moving more into the open fields of such things as networks, communities, collaborating.
A guy I used to go to high school with, Rod Beckstrom
, has done well for himself. He's focused on the areas of business and high tech. One of his projects was co-authoring the book, The Startfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
, which speaks directly to where we are in the discussion.
, was one of my mentors during the dotcom rise. He's been at the forefront of virtual communites
. In fact, he not only coined the term, but literally wrote the book
Through Howard, I met filmmaker Doug Block, who had made a documentary film on the rise of the internet and some of the early important players. Doug and I eventually started The D-Word Community
in 1999. I was involved in the initial stages of getting it off the ground and then handed it over to Doug after about two years. It's since gone on to include 11,000 members in 127 countries. And the community is not just comprised of online interaction, but real world relationships, networking, and cooperative projects.
I've also been involved in the same way to establish world-wide communities in the areas of audio recording, music production, and audio equipment manufacturing.
I'm throwing all this out there to give some background and put out the idea that people can work and share together, collaborate, and promote and cheers on each others works and undertakings. And people can teach and learn from each other. These kinds of networks are leaderless. There is no hierarchy. There is no "system."
Erick makes a good point:
Networks begin in places like this. Networks have no central authority. Recognition and network access is mutual and reciprocal. To access a network you have to be open to access by the other nodes in the network, and no node gets to dictate the processing done by any other nodes. What network participants agree on is universally useful standards of communication and common access protocols, and in some limited and usually temporary projects, common processing.
We could do that.
And communities and networks also give birth to other communities and networks. We've certainly seen the initial birthing of an "internals community" within Aikiweb and other places.There are also more and more aikidoka and other related martial artists practicing and exploring independently, and outside of any hierarchical organization. And there are some people who are really digging in and doing some serious and deep exploratory and innovative work within Aikido and other arts.
And it's not just enough to call these people and groups "independent" any more. Because it's important that they be able to find each other, join and share together. This has happened to a small degree. But we could do much much better. Even the idea of "third wave" aikido - or something similar - would be a start as a descriptor to establish the beginnings of a networked community around the world that could flourish, grow and prosper.
Like Erick said. "We could do that."
And to grab a quote and often-used tagline from Howard Rheingold, "What it is --- is up to us."