Worknets labs: Andrius, Samwel, Franz
- I share my thoughts on the future of our Worknets culture after phone
conversations with Franz Nahrada, Samwel Kongere, Leon Benjamin and
Ricardo. I also hope to talk with Edward Cherlin, Janet Feldman, Pamela
McLean, Benoit Couture, Josephat Ndibalema and others who have and will
participate actively. I also encourage us to write.
In 1998, I founded the Minciu Sodas laboratory for independent thinkers
http://www.ms.lt More recently, I have started work to foster Worknets,
an entire culture of independent thinkers http://www.worknets.org
Samwel and Franz reaffirmed commitments that we made in London that each
of us lead a Worknets laboratory. Each of us will develop our local
presence along with our global network for a culture of investigation.
Samwel lives in Rusinga Island, Kenya in Lake Victoria. He's the first
person in Africa with whom I did $100 projects and he lead a team for
our largest work, My Food Story. He's catalyzed the strong network
that we have in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. His deepest value is
"motivation through sacrifice" and he leads our working group Mendenyo
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mendenyo/ which means "men without food"
as in "let's not eat everything today, but invest in a better
tomorrow". Samwel would walk 5 km to the Internet and inspired our
making best use of marginal Internet access. He worked with Ricardo and
others to expand Internet access in his region and try out Wifi
solutions. Samwel works with a group of women to foster a good life in
the countryside and avert migration to the urban slums. He champions a
knowledge-based approach to keep learning while solving problems. His
current focus is sustainable agriculture and tourism.
Franz lives and works at his family's Hotel Karolinenhof in Vienna,
Austria. Franz is the first independent thinker that I organized us
around. He leads our first such working group, Global Villages
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ His deepest value is
"recognizing efficacies", which is to say, how things fit together
well. Franz has a long history as a visionary thinker and social
networker for rediscovering villages as the natural places for nurturing
the human spirit, soul, mind and body. He leads the lab GIVE, Globally
Integrated Village Environment http://www.give.at He champions a
knowledge society based on futuristic libraries, coworking centers,
video bridges, online communities, regional information coaches,
do-it-yourself technologies and open source economics. Franz has links
to many parts of Austria and Germany and dreams of living in a monastery
of the future.
I live in the village of Dukiskes, Lithuania with the family of Zenonas
and Audrone Anusauskas. My deepest value is "living by truth" and since
childhood I'm on a quest to know everything and apply that usefully.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/ Next week I'll upload a 10
minute video summary of my philosophical work which I hope will make my
work more approachable. This year I've developed my creative talents in
drawing, painting, sculpture, video and earlier in song, music, poetry
and drama. I would like to apply my philosophical skills to foster
Worknets as a creative culture. I was born to a Lithuanian family in
California. I moved to Lithuania in 1997 and soon established Minciu
Sodas as my business to serve and organize independent thinkers like
myself and all of us. I look forward to putting down more roots in the
Lithuanian countryside, most likely fostering a network of bases and
then settle down amongst them, hopefully some day with a family.
Our three laboratories will be exercises in bringing our dreams to
life. They are centers for an economy of dreams which I am organizing.
I invite us to keep writing about them. We have inspiring dreams and we
can all support and embolden each other. We will find ways to share
resources, open opportunities and build relationships. Please share
your dreams, make them real along with our labs, and consider starting
your own lab, so that Worknets is a network of labs.
Each lab represents a commitment to share our life's dream. This
includes a focus on developing a local base from which we live and work
and enjoy life. It includes local friendships and a thriving creative
culture. It means being open and supportive to all locally who might
grow by pursuing questions they don't know the answer to, but wish to
answer. It also means likewise being active globally in the area of our
focus, which might be sustainability (Samwel), global villages (Franz),
conceptual frameworks, especially for our culture (Andrius).
We will be recognizing and defining our culture's expectations as we go
along. This should free us to act as leaders wherever we dedicate
ourselves. Our labs are natural hubs for global networks that we might
all try to leverage. For example, Samwel's lab means that I will look
to him for leadership how to support our African participants. Franz's
lab means that I will look to him for leadership in organizing Global
villages network, vision and strategy. I have done that, more or less,
in the past, but now we will have a basis for making explicit who to
look to for strategic leadership, and the reason why, which is the
integrity they foster through their commitment of sharing their life's
dream in the form of an open laboratory that all might participate in.
I believe that a network of labs will make clear to us all our own
commitments (which are often shaped by our life's circumstances, as in
Janet's case) and open up roles, not only as lab leaders, but also as
investigators, networkers and many more (please design your own!) In
defining our labs, we are defining the integrity that makes real our
Worknets culture, and that can radiate out to touch the many networks
that we participate in, so that we may truly thrive in a sharing culture.
I ask us to give a special boost to Samwel's work because we have the
possibility for a real success that will shape our understanding of what
our labs can be. Tom Ochuka wrote to us about his business idea for
hand carts to draw water. Samwel and I now ask Tom to write about the
investigatory questions that this project might answer for him. Tom's
project is relevant for us if it reflects what he wants to learn. Tom
agreed that we provide a loan. I would like us to organize around
Samwel a group of such investigators like Dennis Kimambo, Peter Ongele
and others who might also agree on how to share resources, typically in
the form of loans or small bits of work. I will write more about this
I spoke also with Leon Benjamin for whom we worked on behalf of
Mornflake cereal http://www.mornflake.com He's happy with our work and
I'll write a case study. Leon is the rare person who broke the
corporate wall for us. Stuart Oliver of Clean Tech Scotland is another
such person who values our team's potential. We should consult and
think how to find more such people and treasure them, including John
Caswell who we met in London, and whose consulting methodology I want to
work out a Public Domain version of, as we discussed. I also need to
train our team so that we're skilled at helping as online assistants and
engaging online communities. We can practice further on behalf of
Mornflake. I also will be improving our websites and we should involve
or train more developers.
I also ask us to think about the future of learning for adults, young
and old. What will the university of the future be like, especially for
self-motivated learners? I want to contribute to Edward Cherlin's
initiative Earth Treasury to create open source textbooks. These
questions are very relevant for COMMUNIA, especially the June 28-30,
2010 meeting in Torino, Italy. I ask us to be active in these matters
so that we might have much to contribute when we come together.
I am excited for our culture. I ask you to share likewise what it might
be. What are your dreams? and how might we be a part of them?
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