For MLK & Internet Freedom Day: Do the right thing!

We stand on the edge of a new economy, looking out on potentially vast riches for all humankind.  These are not riches dug from the Earth — they are riches of personal wellbeing and shared creativity.  For that reason, the only limits lie in our ability to create together — and in the legal impediments we place upon ourselves.

The idea of copyright, of intellectual property, is a new one.  In the thousands of years of legal tradition upon which our global civilization relies, copyright is only a few hundred years old.  It was created in patent law and copyright law with the explicit purpose of providing wealth to creators, artists, authors & investors, encouraging them to create and share their creations, and thus to enrich their national communities.  Intellectual property is the plainest of social contracts: we agree to refrain from producing our own copies and derivative works, or to pay a fee to create them, because we believe that this will produce two results: creators will create more, and the populace will receive more value.

This bargain has not been fulfilled; we should call it null and void, and put another bargain in its place. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 20th, 2013 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

The good kind of avalanche

We’ve seen an avalanche of collapse as financial systems drag each other down. Now some Occupy folks are experimenting with a different kind — a really big “debt snowball”. What is the next step? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 10th, 2012 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Co-operative Principles and Sociocracy

I am passionate about economic democracy — not so much in the sense of majority rule voting, but in the sense of the people involved in something controlling it together.  Some people have argued that, for this purpose, organising as a sociocratic business is better than organising as a co-operative business.  Sociocratic businesses allow their members to participate in decision-making regardless of the size of their contribution to the business’s capital; sociocratic businesses do not get torn apart by the Scylla of majority-rule politics or sucked down by the Charybdis of interminable and impotent meetings.  However, many co-ops do not suffer from these problems either — and a co-op can remain a co-op while becoming a sociocratic business.  The opposition between co-op and Sociocracy is a false one.  Let me show you why. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 13th, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Stop Button

London was burning.  The world saw an Arab Spring, and in London and San Francisco — across Europe and North America — we celebrated other people’s civil discontent as a sign of positive transformation.  Why did we not celebrate our own civil unrest? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: August 30th, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Growing Edge of Organisational Democracy

The WorldBlu conference on organisational democracy was organised around Traci Fenton’s 10 principles for what makes an organisation “democratic”.  While many people think “majority-rule voting” when they hear the word democracy, Traci thinks of freedom.  It is this broader definition that makes her vision worth hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 9th, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Integrity in Organisations

We often talk about — or hear about — companies and leaders and integrity.  Integrity is frequently defined as “acting in accord with high moral values” or the like.  I prefer a completely different definition which often has the same effect.  I prefer to speak of integrity as wholeness. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 3rd, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Gamification Bubble

People are talking a lot about using games to drive business. Do people really feel overwhelmingly attracted to badges and leaderboards?

Well, no. We want many things, and little digital badges perhaps least.  We want the things the badges represent, if we want the badges at all.  Business-people that don’t understand the difference will put badges and leaderboards on their websites, call it gamification, get capital to grow (from internal or external investors) and then lose it all.  Because yet again, people will have mistaken badges (derivatives, dot.com stocks, tulips) for value.  Want to skip the bubble? Read on.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: May 25th, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Agile, Lean, and Cooperative: the Key Innovation

One practice allow some organizations to learn and respond creatively when others do not.  In turbulent times, this is the difference between prosperity and dissolution.  This practice is a feature of the current wave of lean, agile and cooperative business; I believe it is the future if we have one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 1st, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Peer Mentoring and Body-Centered Transformation

Peer Mentoring is easy.  Not only can anyone do it, but everyone already does.  The issue, of course, is whether we do it well.

Somebody asked me whether it is ethical to coach people when you have only a few hours of training under your belt.  I don’t think it’s ethical to lie about how much training you have, but I think the question misses the point.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 26th, 2011 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Happy New Year’s Eve!

What do you want for yourself in 2011?  I give all my new life coaching clients a worksheet to help them begin creating the life they want…  and every year since I completed my apprenticeship with Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks I have used the same worksheet for myself on New Year’s Eve.  I can’t blame all the good things in my life on this annual activity, but research shows that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them… and more likely to be happy even where they have not achieved their goals!  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 31st, 2010 | Author: nate | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off