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The next 2 or 3 years for Worknets, Minciu Sodas, Andrius

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    I share my thoughts on the way ahead that I am working towards for WorkNets, Minciu Sodas and myself as an independent thinker. Thank you to all who came to
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2009
      I share my thoughts on the way ahead that I am working towards for
      WorkNets, Minciu Sodas and myself as an independent thinker.

      Thank you to all who came to our London meetings: Rachel Wambui Kungu,
      Samwel Kongere (Kenya), Zdenka Mrkailo, Ana Ilic Lagundzin (Serbia),
      Franz Nahrada (Austria), Irena Buinickaite, Zenonas Anusauskas
      (Lithuania) and all who helped, especially Pamela McLean, Claudia,
      Graham Knight (DIY Solar), Andrius Kasparavicius, Prodromos Tsiavos
      (COMMUNIA), Steve Smithson (London School of Economics), Jonathan Gray
      (Open Knowledge Foundation), Leon Benjamin (The Law Firm and Swarm
      Teams), John Caswell (Group Partners), George Auckland (BBC), the World
      Entrepreneurship Summit,the Islington Hub and finally, the European
      network COMMUNIA for the Public Domain, which sponsored most of our travel.

      I am an independent thinker, which is to say, I work on my own ideas and
      projects even without encouragement or stimulation from others. As a
      child I resolved to know everything and apply that knowledge usefully.
      For more than 25 years I have looked for our conceptual limits and
      wondered how they come together. My ideas are coming together:

      In 1998, being Lithuanian, I moved to Lithuania, and started Minciu
      Sodas ("Orchard of Thoughts") http://www.ms.lt as a business by which I
      might make a living. My business's mission is to serve and organize
      independent thinkers around the world. We provide free services to
      those who work for free, in the Public Domain, on their own projects, so
      that we might all encourage each other. We then have a thriving network
      through which we might find paid work, but especially for organizing
      global teams of self-directed workers. The result is that we've come
      together as an amazing group (about 150 active and 1,500 supportive
      participants) with a wonderfully responsive culture that encourages us
      to openly grow as individuals. Minciu Sodas has overcome all of the
      challenges, except for generating steady income, and even that I'm
      rather hopeful for.

      We have the potential to remake not just our lives, but our world as
      well. Worknets http://www.worknets.org is my attempt to organize a
      culture of independent thinkers, perhaps 100,000 active and 1,000,000
      supportive, which might embrace all aspects of life. I think this is
      more important than simply my own lab, Minciu Sodas.

      I am taking the lead, but I believe that this is a culture for all who
      take the lead, and we will find again and again how we recognize each
      other as leaders, both those we know and those we are yet to know. I
      encourage us all to take the initiative. I give my own example that
      "what I believe is what happens".

      My first concern is to co-opt God. I imagine that God is interested in
      this culture. That values that we're encountering, such as "love your
      enemy", "give everything away" are those that Jesus spoke of as he
      declared the "kingdom of heaven", which I think is that world, that
      culture in which "what you believe is what happens". I think it is a
      culture that makes truth tangible as many small leaps of faith rather
      than large mysterious ones. It is a net (a worknet) that catches both
      the big fish and the little fish.

      This is a culture of investigation. What might God investigate? What
      might God want to know? I think that God is interested, How to reach
      every person? I am supporting this investigation by noting how we
      understand each other's values:
      This will lead to a conceptual geometry that relates our many values,
      notably, our deepest values, and helps us understand each other (and
      God), and support each other's growth. I hope this reveals a language
      of argumentation by which things come to matter to us. Such a language
      would be key for fostering self-learning.

      I think that more and more we'll discover the relevance of such
      investigations and the philosophy that I have been working on. In
      London, we met with John Caswell http://johncaswell.com/blog/ of Group
      Partners http://www.grouppartners.net/ , who works with executives at
      the highest levels in corporations and governments to think through and
      literally map out what to do.
      John and I believe that we share values but are on different sides of
      the corporate wall. He is on the very-private inside and we are on the
      very public-outside. Years ago, I had hoped that we might work for
      John, but at the meeting it became apparent that his consultancy's
      principle of "solution impartiality"
      which means that they mustn't jeopardize their impartiality by
      recommending further services. This time, I simply asked (and John
      agreed!) if I might develop a Public Domain version of their 4D method,
      using our own language, and working in my own philosophical framework.
      Here is my understanding from a few years ago:
      At John's suggestion, I will draft a one page agreement that would
      simply explain our research partnership. The result is that we will
      have a public version of a profound methodology that all might use to
      think through their big picture, including villages, NGOs, social
      entrepreneurs and working groups. I think this is a great endeavor to
      invest in, over time, and we can also help John make a bigger impact.
      An "open source" version of business consulting is valuable both working
      for free and for pay.

      Thank you to Edward Cherlin of Earth Treasury
      for his initiative that is the priority for my efforts this year to make
      a living. Edward is organizing the creation of open source textbooks.
      I'm writing proposals to write Public Domain learning materials and a
      popular book on "classic math problems".
      I believe there is a profound link between practical exercises and deep
      ideas which together make for self-standing lessons in a "pattern
      language" for self-paced self-learning, which includes rapid learning
      for emergency response.

      Another highlight in London was a meeting that Pamela McLean (of
      Dadamac, who leads our Learning From Each Other working group at Minciu
      Sodas) organized with Franz Nahrada (Global Villages), Samwel Kongere
      (Mendenyo) and me (Living By Truth). Indeed, I think I benefited most
      from many conversations with Pamela, with whom I stayed for several
      days, where like real independent thinkers we agonized over the many
      assumptions that I make (including whether it's correct to present
      Pamela as an independent thinker).

      What I took home from London is that, in fostering this culture of
      independent thinkers, which is a culture of subcultures, I might think
      in terms of a "fast-track" and a "slow-track". (Although, fast or slow,
      this is a matter of two or three years and more.)

      Pamela explained that Minciu Sodas is part of her life, but she also
      wears other "hats". She appreciates "the Minciu Sodas way" but it can
      clash with the other cultures she participates in. I suppose the
      majority of Minciu Sodas participants might agree. So this makes for a
      slow and thoughtful inquiry, assumption by assumption, as to whether we
      truly must agree on a culture.

      Another approach, which I live, is to think of a "worknets" culture of
      independent thinkers as the central culture of my life. I participate
      in many cultures and engage in many more, but in all of them I want to
      be true to myself as an independent thinker.

      I hope to include everybody, but I want to focus my own energies and
      Minciu Sodas's resources on those who dedicate themselves to foster such
      a culture of independent thinkers. Those of us who assume that we share
      the same culture can quickly work out many details. We are also able to
      engage each other in terms of our personal integrity.

      Samwel Kongere and Franz Nahrada both are interested to lead independent
      laboratories that along with Minciu Sodas might start a network of
      laboratories that are the foundation for the Worknets culture. They
      both also encourage me as a leader. I also invite Edward Cherlin, Janet
      Feldman, Benoit Couture, Kennedy Owino, Tomas Cepaitis and others, in
      time, to consider leading a laboratory, although it is a profound
      commitment, and we might best help get Samwel's and Franz's working.

      I will look first to laboratory leaders to define the Worknets culture
      overall; and then to working group leaders to understand how this
      culture might embrace their particular subcultures. Laboratory leaders
      have the challenge of fostering several subcultures whereas working
      group leaders are generally fostering a particular subculture. I should
      also separate out my own personal, maximal subculture (at Living By
      Truth) from the minimal assumptions relevant for the Worknets charter.

      Samwel and I agreed on next steps together. He will organize around his
      home in Rusinga Island. First, he will set up a blog for people to
      write about their locale in English and in their local language, I think
      Luo. Similarly, I will start a blog for Zenonas and Audrone
      Anusauskas's home near Eiciunai where I will be basing myself. I will
      create a way to blog that's based on our ProWiki software for Worknets.

      Then, we'll start to think of questions to ask ourselves and others as
      "global villagers", much as we have learned to ask as "independent
      thinkers" (What is your deepest value? What question do you wish to
      answer? What would you like to achieve?) These questions will reflect
      the Global Villages Principles which Franz is thinking through:
      and they will lead to a "Global Village Index" by which we can self-rate
      our locales and motivate ourselves:

      Samwel is investigating How can my community have a sustained economy?
      and his question is central to the conference in Kisumu, July 1-3, that
      he's organizing with Tom Ochuka and Kenneth Chelimo of the Lake Victoria
      Regional Consortium.
      I ask our help as investigators to make these annual conferences a great

      I also want to encourage a system of virtual assistants for our
      laboratory leaders and our most active working group leaders, such as
      Franz and Janet. I want to set up a 24 hour "help room" for responding
      to anybody who comes by, helping for free with any matter they may have,
      including tutoring and support for self-learning and researching, as
      well as work for pay, but also emergency response services and support
      for peacemakers. I look forward to thinking through how we can support
      different approaches for peacemaking, including holistic approaches, but
      also nonholistic approaches like the voluntary command structure which I
      developed during the Pyramid of Peace. I hope to make clear who are the
      individuals who are offering their leadership by whatever approach, as
      the Worknets culture and my Minciu Sodas laboratory look for leadership
      to individuals rather than groups, and hold them accountable. I also
      look forward to supporting Irena Buinickaite, who works for a member of
      parliament, as she encourages Lithuania's citizens to be active in
      making better laws.

      I will look for help from web programmers to develop interfaces such as
      our Hyperwiki to work as a response system to help and include all who
      engage us. We will practice new technologies such as the Procom
      Strasser video bridges and the Swarm Teams SMS messages. We can also
      practice reaching out to independent thinkers in BBC, Yahoo! and other
      corporations or governments that we might like to work with or for.
      Congratulations to Gleb Turin and Franz Nahrada who recently inspired
      six Russian governors to endorse the idea of global villages!

      Thank you to Ana Ilic Lagundzin, Zdenka Mrkailo and Sasha Mrkailo for
      making real the idea of Public Domain Fashion. I look forward to
      developing a website that would allow us to track clothes and all manner
      of art and other items that we could add stories to. We might revisit
      Amanda Koh's Prodigal Art and perhaps do a more flexible variant of her
      idea. Also, from April 17 to May 7, I will have my very first art
      exhibit (at the Republic of Uzhupis!) and I would like to try out some
      kind of sharing of my artwork into the Public Domain.

      Finally, I look forward to help as I create an Open Learning Index, a
      matrix for an Open University, for COMMUNIA.

      A culture is the hardest thing to create and the easiest thing to build
      on. I have shared above a variety of projects that can easily take two
      or three years to complete. Together we have many more endeavors, and I
      hope that we may indeed discover a culture that we might share as we
      work side-by-side.

      I encourage us to share our visions.

      Peace and Love,


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 699 30003
      Vilnius, Lithuania
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