prepared by George Pór, Alia Aurami, and Chris Clark, the energizers of the Vision Holders role in the General Circle of Enlivening Edge
This article invites you to give advice, to shape the ongoing evolution of Enlivening Edge.
The purpose of this text is to set the overall strategy for reinventing Enlivening Edge, but does not propose how to engage and energize each branch of its evolution. In order for each of the innovations below to manifest, we need players who are willing to join us, to initiate advice and energize roles in every functional area. That is the next phase of this process. This text is intended as the foundation: an advice process regarding the overall vision.
As organizers of the 2nd Integral European Conference’s “Teal Organisations” track, Enlivening Edge is in a privileged position to see into the depth and breadth of organisational innovation inspired by Frederic Laloux’s work, and by next-stage thinking even among those who haven’t read his book. The variety and quality of the proposals submitted thus far speak of effervescent developments in the Teal ecosystem. And the “reinventing organizations” movement is only one of the growing number of collective efforts to make work and workplaces more joyful and self-managed, worth investing our talents and dedication.
The evolutionary purpose of Enlivening Edge is “to amplify the collective wisdom and effectiveness of initiatives for reinventing organizations and social systems.” It’s a purpose more propitious than ever, and calls for a re-thinking of the infrastructure that will enable us to express it at a scale wider than when George conceived this publication, a year ago.
To better serve the growing “next-stage-org” movements, EE needs to evolve into the next version of itself. To do that with our currently limited resources requires making innovation central to everything we do.
We see the essence of these innovations as EE’s identity morphing from a website with a newsletter into an online magazine, sustaining and sustained by a network of communities of practice, a knowledge commons, and a “social benefit” company.
Those aspects of our evolving identity are expressed via the following proposed areas of innovation and development of EE:
- Social Innovation: EE is an experiment in bolstering the emergence of radically new organizational structures and practices. EE as a social medium does that by catalyzing connectedness among the organizations, communities, and initiatives in the forefront of that emergence.
- Knowledge Innovation: EE collects, organizes and makes widely-accessible, knowledge relevant to the fields of organizational and societal transformation into the next stage. We are developing a new ecology of knowledge production, dissemination, and use.
- Business Innovation: Looking at the essence of business through holistic lenses, we see it as nourishment for life. (Btw, that’s the literal meaning of the Swedish word for business “näringsliv.”) For life to carry itself forward with the least obstacles possible, the energy flowing through organizations must find the most suitable economic form/vessel. Enlivening Edge is searching for that form.
- Technology Innovation: Technology innovation is not only what comes from the laboratories of inventors or peer-to-peer networks of geeks, but also from groups on the edge of social, knowledge, and business innovations making novel uses of combinations of emergent and proven technologies.
EE is not only an online publication but an organic part of a living, breathing ecosystem of organisations going Teal and the “ecosystem services” (RO wiki, workshops, Teal meetups, etc.) supporting them. Our impact depends—to a large extent—on the strength of our relationships with those organizations and services.
A centerpiece of our “social innovation” work, this year, is to galvanize the “reinventing organizations” movement by bringing together representatives of innovative projects in the TealOrg track of the 2nd Integral European Conference. We are curating the track for reaching new breakthroughs by making those projects more visible to each other and to the hundreds of conference attendees.
We want to develop and embody new standards of excellence in movement journalism. That requires continuous improvement of the quality of writing and of all aspects of our work, in a community of “Teal writing” practice. It will also be supported by a professional writing coach who has just joined our circle to energize the Writing Mentor role. We will also encourage the formation of communities/networks of our country correspondents, social reporters, videographers, copy editors, and other contributors.
While our primary focus remains serving the journey of organizations going Teal, we also want to strengthen our coverage of the sectors of society at large, where there are initiatives pointing to Teal. Our Health Sector coverage is already becoming a go-to place for healthcare radicals working on reinventing the health system.
The coordination of select projects is another example of “sense-making” and catalyzing forward momentum between members of the Teal constellation. We directly manifest our evolutionary purpose by lending support to the promotion and coordination of these projects, such as “Teal for Startups” or “City as Commons.”
Social innovation also includes the development of different kinds of partnering relationships, for example, to help EE content reach new audiences, by syndicating it for non-English editions. Another example can be working with Teal-oriented organizations to develop with them in-house editions of EE.
We are curating content from the knowledge sphere of transformational movements. We do it as a knowledge commons, with all our content offered for free to present and future generations participating in the transition to a more beautiful world.
We equip individuals and organizations with knowledge of cutting-edge transformational practices as they emerge, by curating original and cross-posted content. Swimming in the rich flow of information, insights, and inspirations, we want to steward innovative processes for making sense out of them, together with their originators. We draw upon the breadth and depth of developments in the Teal world to connect the dots in a bigger picture, and make that information available to all who can benefit from it.
To that end, our critical challenge is to multiply feedback loops and let valuable insights flow through them at greater speed. Hence our intent to introduce new and more effective channels of interaction with our readers, contributors, and other stakeholders. We want to engage in discovering and cultivating new relationships with the “reinventing” ecosystem, building bridges between communities, and exploring fresh distribution channels. Here are a few examples:
- In 2016, we will expand the organic synergy potential between the Reinventing Organizations wiki that the wiki team is in the process of redesigning, the Enlivening Edge online magazine (EE webzine), and the “The Best of Enlivening Edge” digest that we publish on Medium.
- As the organizers of the Teal Organisations track of the 2nd Integral European Conference, we are going to experiment with wrapping the conference in a blanket of “collective intelligence” tools and practices, and with documenting the learning from that experiment.
- One of the “knowledge innovation” possibilities that we hold lightly is to grow a Community Knowledge Garden, comprised of patterned descriptions of effective Teal practices worth replicating. This could be developed in collaboration with the Reinventing Organizations wiki if there’s mutual interest and capacity to support it. If you’re familiar with pattern language, inspired by envisioning what it could do for the Teal movement, and feel like supporting this possibility coming alive, let us know.
- Another possibility is to experiment with what a Teal-inspired webinar series might look like, if thought leaders and trailblazing practitioners show up to energize it. Already, our expression of this possibility in the January Editorial of EE has brought forth an invitation from a group, to collaborate on production of webinars.
Once realized, the outcome of all these innovations will become part of the knowledge commons that we are stewarding.
The social and knowledge innovations presented above call for an adequate economic vehicle to sustain them.
Enlivening Edge is not only a community of practice, and a knowledge commons. To thrive and continually delight the movements that it serves, it needs also to become a Teal media enterprise, a new kind of a cooperative company.
We anticipate that to keep manifesting our evolutionary purpose and delighting our stakeholders, those three aspects of our identity will need to co-evolve in mutually supportive relationship with each other.
Can we become a network of communities generating the commons content, on top of which the cooperative, “social benefit” company provides fee-based, value-adding research and educational services, such as other open source companies do? If yes, then the surplus from the Teal media enterprise can flow back to feed the communities of practice and the knowledge commons.
“Holding lightly” these possibilities also means that we provide the platform and the invitation, but realizing some of it will depend on the inspiration and energy of those of you who feel called to turn this or that possibility into action.
To expand our capacity to exercise our evolutionary purpose, we continually upgrade our tech platform to make it available to recent breakthroughs in technology. For example, having just added Medium.com to the channels throug which we distribute our content, we can expand our impact via a variety of media, e.g., Enlivening Edge TV on YouTube, where we publish videos. What will make that possible is video, film-maker and film-animator supporters having offered to express EE in that medium too. We anticipate that the we will also publish e-books and develop games and mobile apps, when enlivener with the respective competence will step forward to join us.
We are in the process of making our re-published video content more prominent and better organised, by configuring a Video Gallery plugin to its full power, so that all of the videos related to specific sections of EE can be found more easily.
We also want to explore and experiment with the tools and practices of transmedia storytelling. If you are or want to be involved in transmedia, this is a good opportunity to put your interest in service of moving its edge for the sake of reinventing organizations.
We’d like to add to our web platform, plug-ins which would enhance its functionality. We’d also like to do mashups with emerging technologies that can power up innovative uses of EE (if capacity permits). Our Technology Steward Role has this accountability.
- It is critical that we mobilize together in an advice process, to further refine the vision laid out here. What’s popping up for you? Where did you feel a tug of energy? Where did you feel a “catch” inside?
It’s important to note that this text sets the overall strategy for Enlivening Edge’s next stage of evolution, but does not propose how to engage and energize each branch of that evolution. In order for these things to manifest, we need players who are willing to join us to initiate advice and energize roles in every functional area. That is the next phase of this process; this text is intended as the foundation.
- IEC 2016 will be a watershed event for the Teal movement and we want to be ready to serve it with enhanced capacity to carry and amplify the energy that we are enlivening and enlivened by.
We look forward to your advice, and the birthing of new possibilities: our conscious evolution together.