Re: We need researchers for this proposal!
- (Apologies for writing in English.)
Guillermo, Bipin, John,
WELCOME! and THANK YOU!
for your creative, encouraging letters.
>>Here is the thought that InDiA has wide varity ofBipin, that's a truly great idea. I think it makes a lot of sense to
>>langauge, traditions, customs, and various life styles
>>even within one state itself so how about that which
>>will allow to share knowledge.
consider all kinds of "small cultures", both those that have independent
states, and those that don't. This will become increasingly important
in the European Union where the lines of sovereignty will blur.
On the way to India I was seated next to Mihkel Pilv of Estonia. He
impressed me greatly as a creative entrepreneur with his success at
organizing online educational materials http://www.miksike.com I know
what a great challenge it is to set up such a progressive business and
make it profitable in such a small country. He gave me a lot of hope,
and opened my eyes to the enormous business problem that the European
Union faces in integrating Eastern Europe, and that our lab might help.
Mihkel is a perfect example of somebody who has created a "knowledge
system" that serves a small country and builds on it as a base from
which to reach beyond. I wrote to him, and he responded with interest,
adding an idea of his own:
> Just one point where small countries can benefit is that smallcountries are somewhat more innovative on the whole state level. So new
ideas are quicker to implement, because of the smaller sizes. So here is
the point where we can sell the idea of being a "pilot" in different
innovative projects. So bigger countries may learn afterwards.
The research topic that I would like us to pursue is to show how to set
up knowledge systems so that we can nourish the local culture, clarify
the local challenges, turn them into resources that stimulate
innovation, perfect the solutions, and learn how to export them, apply
them elsewhere. I would like us to do that in several different
cultures (and at the same time build up Minciu Sodas as a multilingual
- Lithuania (a small, newly independent country) because that's where
I'm writing from!
- Estonia (likewise, many similarities and interesting differences)
because of Mihkel.
- Tamil people (in Sri Lanka, India and around the world) because of
George Christian Jeyaraj, http://www.ryze.com/view.php?who=George1 , who
got involved in Minciu Sodas while in and out of refugee camps these
last five years (he now has a visa). He created Tamil pages for us
http://www.ms.lt/ta/ and we have a small group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_ta/ The Tamil people have
been working/fighting for independence/autonomy in Northwest Sri Lanka
(I think there's now an outbreak of peace). Through George I got to
know Bala Pillai http://www.ryze.com/view.php?who=bala , a creative
leader of "Mind Colonies" and organizer of http://www.tamil.net He
completed our questionnaire "Do you think out loud?" so I'm hoping that
he could join us soon.
- India has many other minority peoples, and many Indians impressed upon
me how meaningful they feel when the different regions of India help
each other in times of trouble. I accept that as true, and I think
Bipin, your idea is great, so I ask for more clarification from you and
I would also like to include:
- Spanish-speaking community because I think we will soon gain critical
mass at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_es/ What is the
relevance here, I'm not sure! (Please help!)
- Belarus, because it is a challenging place, it is very convenient for
me to go there, I've already been there twice, and we have assembled a
small group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_by/
Perhaps these can serve as a "control group" in the sense that the
Spanish-speaking and Russian-speaking worlds are not small, but not
English either. Also, in what sense can we speak of local cultures, such
as the Canary Islands or Argentina or Belarus, and in what sense is that
relevant to the question of knowledge systems?
My intent is to conduct research by "doing", as the Wright brothers did.
They proved that they could fly by doing it.
My business goal is that we be able to use this research money to build
our own knowledge system so that it might serve our projects, both
commercial and noncommercial.
Therefore, the goal of our investigation could be to set up a
multilingual, distributed knowledge system that helped us connect
individual innovators in "small countries" with creative thinkers in
large corporations. The point of the system would be that we would set
up an international network that would make the individual innovators
very attractive. Imagine having contacts with software teams in India,
web designers in Belarus, leads in Venezuela, grant writers in Eastern
Europe. More importantly, imagine if they are all thinking people! We
can demonstrate our ideas by making them real.
For our lab to function well, we need to involve a lot of people in
large and small ways. Therefore, our money will get divided up and look
quite modest. But we will be forming a network that will stay with us
for the next project.
I'm including below a letter that I wrote about how I think our lab
should look economically, at least as far as how we spend money. The
idea is to work in a "fractal" way. I imagine this project as roughly
100,000 dollars distributed as follows:
- $20,000 for which I would lead the project
- 5 x ($4,000) for investigators. These are people who would write
parts of the investigation. They would be responsible as organizers for
some aspect of the project, probably leading a community (such as
Lithuanian, Estonian, Tamil...) to accomplish some task (like making
corporate contacts, or coding an interactive website, or designing a
knowledge management system). They would try to do less work
themselves, and delegate it to:
- 25 x ($800) for all manner of work, but primarily for serving
corporate thinkers, either directly or indirectly. They will get
- 125 x ($160) this is to involve in the work people of the local
culture, both to support their activity within the local culture, and to
apply the things they build to our global system.
(And the remaining $20,000 I assume will get eaten up somewhere by all
manner of administrative overhead).
This is not optimal for making profits, but I think it is optimal for
building assets. We should be able to build a team of more than 100
people, supported by an even larger group of participating members.
Also, we can be developing services that will let us all earn money, as
individuals and as groups.
Officially, at this point, my idea is that I and Mihkel would be the
official investigators (that we way have investigators from 2 countries,
and qualify for more money). I'm trying to get in touch with Bala, and
if anybody would like to join us, please speak up and contribute your
ideas! I'll think through how we might all fit in. I need to turn in
our CVs by this Friday, along with the initial application. If we pass
the first round, then we turn in our full proposal for June 6th, and we
find out the results in July.
I will adjust the amounts above, and it does need to be minimally
profitable for me, and for Mihkel and all of us. My thought is that we
should try to set this up so that the expectations on us are very
convenient, and the work that we do benefits us directly. $4,000 is for
many people a very small amount of money, but if we add the ability to
delegate work to others, and the work benefits us directly, and we can
use it to generate additional business, and we are building a team for
the future, then I think it can be very worthwhile. Especially if we
set it up so that there aren't any taxing demands on us.
Thank you to us all for making this happen!
I include below more of my thinking on this kind of "fractal" work.
Fractal hand is Vision transistor
I've been getting ready to write bigger, bolder proposals for Minciu
Sodas. So I've been thinking what to wish for. What size should the
The business problem that the European Union faces in trying to
integrate Eastern Europe is mind boggling. Lithuania alone is set to
receive $1 billion per year, about 3% of its Gross National Product,
from 2004 to 2006. Across Europe, the European Union's funding mechanism
is huge, and will keep growing bigger in the near future.
Our ideas for an economy for working openly are very relevant here. We
can set up such an economy with the purpose of organizing an "open
conspiracy" to win all manner of funding for all manner of partners. We
can do this with the blessing of the European Union, and even win some
funding from them. I think such a conspiracy could generate large
profits for the entrepreneurs who fund it, and yield great social value.
It is the kind of thing best done openly, and makes use of our many
The real question is, how large do we want our lab to be? What would be
At least for now, I would like to be able to devote 100% of the energy
that I put out to make a living. Optimally, I would need for myself
$125,000 per year, of which 20% would go to the inevitable
administrative overhead, leaving $100,000 for my taxes, expenses and
wages. This amount is mostly dictated by my need to make payments on my
loans and repay them, but also travel and office expenses.
Optimally, I shouldn't work alone. But here are some constraints:
* I would like to be the sole ultimate leader, so that I could be
responsible for the lab's overall vision.
* I would like every participant to be equal in the sense that they
are ultimately responsible for the vision in their scope of our work.
* I would like every participant to be completely free (just as I
want to be) for the overall vision of their own work.
* I would like our investments, through our work, to be voluntary
and transferable, so that all or part of our work may be easily moved
and reformed elsewhere.
In short, I would like to work with equals.
In practice, this means that I would prefer not to hire anybody full
time. I would prefer not to have any administrative personnel, except
perhaps on a temporary, apprenticeship basis.
I would, however, find it very helpful to be able to farm out
substantial projects. I imagine that I would have my hands full if I had
five helpers, each in charge of their own project, roughly one-fifth the
size of mine, say for $25,000 each (of which 20% would disappear into
some kind of administrative overhead, leaving $20,000). Any more
projects, and I think a group dynamics would take over, which would then
require its own vision. And if the projects get any bigger, then we lose
our equality. Nobody should be subject to me! and I shouldn't have to be
completely responsible for anybody.
In theory, I think this suggests a "fractal" approach. It should be
recursive, in that each of the helpers would also benefit from five
helpers (not necessarily assigned, but at least to know they are there).
* A) 1 project at $125,000 (=$100,000). This is leading our lab.
* B) 5 projects at $25,000 (=$20,000). This is a size that I would
feel comfortable proposing to our members like Shannon Clark, Flemming
Funch, Matt Mower, Denham Grey, Jeffry Archambeault, Natalie d'Arbeloff,
Peter Kaminski, even Jerry Michalski . It might be designing a Knowledge
Management system for us, coding it, getting leads, organizing groups,
writing proposals, making international contacts.
* C) 25 projects at $5,000 (=$4,000). This is for small
initiatives, or a decent sum for somebody working in Lithuania. A nice
sum for thinking through and writing up a set of proposals.
* D) 125 projects at $1,000 (=$800). This is what I'm proposing for
our coaching service, or for being editor for an ideafeed for an endeavor.
* E) 625 projects at $200 (=$160). This is actually the optimal
project size (500 Lt) that we proposed to Lithuania's Open Society Fund
for a "market for working openly".
* F) 3125 projects at $40 (=$32). This can take the form of a free
book, software, domain hosting, etc. Or we could put out a quarterly.
This might be for answering a questionnaire, or a reward for generating
activity, helping it move forward, a reward for helping individual members.
* G) 15625 projects at $8 (=$6.40). This might take the form of a
CD with our materials, a newsletter, paperback, T-shirt or small prize.
It might be a "thank you" for helping us find independent thinkers, or
for encouraging them, or for spreading the word about our various
Here I think it's important that, at each level, funds be controlled
mostly by the level directly above, allowing for a dispersion of
control. So A controls funding for B, but B for C, C for D, and so on.
This is important so that the relationships develop at every level. You
can always break off, you can work independently or start your own lab.
It can continue onward, to infinity. I like how it feels. It's at the
limit of order, at the edge of chaos, organized just enough to transmit
a vision, but allowing for self-organization to take over further out.
Each individual is responsible for their own vision, and connecting it
with everybody else's, there is no faceless group vision to fall back
upon. There is a gradation of commitments.
It's structured a lot like a pyramid scheme, or a fascist party, except
that it's in the reverse direction. It's capped at the top, and it just
keeps expanding outwards, I imagine, to smaller projects involving
larger groups, as far as it can manage to reach, becoming invisible,
just a good feeling.
It is a way for projecting a vision by stirring a movement. The activity
goes far beyond what we're paid for because there is a lot of synergy
with what people want to do for themselves. This is a contraption for
taking the vision of a funder and filtering it through a pyramid of
people so that it they can all advance it in their own way.
Practically, it suggests that an optimal budget for our lab would be
$125,000 per year for each of levels A through G, which is a total of
$875,000. It would make sense to fund for two or three years, which is
$2.2 million. This is what I would aim for. We would have a lab roughly
like Ecademy or Ryze, with about 3,000 official members. Assuming that
our funder wanted us to create an open conspiracy to exploit the
European Union's funding system, we might aim to win 50 projects at an
average of 500,000 euros each, for a total of 25,000,000 euros, all
somehow benefiting our funder and our members. I think that would be a
good result because also a lot of work for the projects would actually
be done, I think, along the way. It's not unreasonable because for each
project we would have one project writer receiving $4,000 to write a set
of proposals, and having the support of a team of 5 at $800 and 25 at
$160 and 125 at $32 etc. Plus a creative environment, a knowledge
management system to support it all, and reasons to be together, both
self-interest to win the projects, and shared relationships through the
lab, and a space for individual projects.
This is what I'll aim for. It's quite ambitious, so I'll also propose
smaller versions. The smallest, an experimental pilot, would be an "open
market" with about 25 projects of size E = $200, so that's $5,000 each
for levels C), D), E). That's almost exactly what I proposed to
Lithuania's Open Society Fund, I'll hear from them soon. It's also
similar to what I proposed to the Chaordic Commons.
Now I'm writing a larger proposal, the smallest that would be
economically viable for me. If I could earn $20,000 over 8 months then I
think I could hang in there for better days. Or I could maybe fit it in
with other projects. So it could be levels B + C + D + E which is
$100,000 or so. So that's the size project I'll be writing up now. Also,
I will make a short write-up for the bigger one that I can propose for
private entrepreneurs, and within it propose starting with this smaller
setup to try it out.
I've written up what I think a "mature" lab would be like, sizewise. We
could all start our own labs, there could be lots of them, with lots of
These ideas are helpful for me. I appreciate your response. Is this
attractive or not? Can it work? Can it be improved, and how? What would
you like the lab to be?
+370 (5) 2645950
Guillermo Cerceau wrote:
> s bipin,
> I think that India, with all these different areas and levels of culture /
> development / use of technology / would make a very interesting case for the
> study proposed, also for helping understand / solve / act upon "digital divide".
> --- In email@example.com, s bipin agravat <ruehue15@y...>
>>Here is the thought that InDiA has wide varity of
>>langauge, traditions, customs, and various life styles
>>even within one state itself so how about that which
>>will allow to share knowledge.
>>well i M from Gujarat and a villger with background
>>of the Technology with one hand and traditional
>>knowldge on the other hand . now this itself make it
>>interesting to know the digital divide.
>>how to bridge the Gap for this knowldge divide or