#7: A Collective of Collectives

Updates from the microsolidarity network, plus an unbelievably fascinating trove of hot links about community healing, democracy, cultural evolution & other juicy tidbits

Greetings humans! I’m really jazzed today because I have some exciting updates from the microsolidarity network. In this issue I’ll give you a quick summary of the news, and also drop a curated selection of the hot links, videos, stories, podcasts, and etcetera that have been stimulating my grey matter lately. At the end you’ll find opportunities to join some excellent communities. It’s a juicy issue! 😍

Microsolidarity updates

The headline is: in the past few months many communities have started using the language and practices of microsolidarity. What these communities have in common is a desire to support each other emotionally and economically. They’re all trying to steer the good ship Humanity towards a healthier future, starting with themselves. It feels like the network is starting to become self-aware: people from different communities are meeting each other, without me having to introduce them.

  • Last week, Michal Korzonek (cofounder of a new community in Pico Island) met Brandon Dubé (cofounder of a community in the US), and they published the recording of their conversation. It’s so gratifying for me to watch them exchange lessons and accelerate our collective learning process. They published part 2 of the conversation yesterday, this time including Stephanie Soussloff.

  • If you’re new to microsolidarity and you want an introduction, check this new interview with me on the Rebel Wisdom channel (video, podcast). (Nati & I are running a training program within their community.)

  • I was also recently interviewed by the Future Thinkers. We had an in-depth conversation about the governance of their ambitious new “smart village” project prototyping the settlements of the future.

  • I had a first conversation with one of the cofounders of Emerging Leaders, yet another new microsolidarity-ish community. They describe their project as “an experiential inquiry into the intersection of personal transformation, collaborative leadership, and social innovation.”

  • Nandini Nair is a designer doing a Masters thesis on mutual aid communities. She interviewed me about some of the philosophical and political dimensions of the microsolidarity project.

  • As much as possible I’m trying to record and publish these conversations in case it is useful for other community weaves. I’ve created a Youtube channel so you can subscribe for ongoing updates from the Microsolidarity network.


In the neighbourhood

My friend Hugi Ásgeirsson is another microsolidarity practitioner: he shared this excellent short video about Blivande, an incredible creative community centre they’ve built in Stockholm.

Squad Wealth is an epic artistic manifesto celebrating the emergence of informal peer-to-peer institutions amongst digital natives. I had an excellent time meeting the authors recently, though I unfortunately messed up the recording so I can’t share our conversation. 😢

Life Itself (formerly Art / Earth / Tech) is another cousin in the extended family of community projects trying to create social change by intentionally evolving culture. They’re currently creating a kind of “family tree” of these initiatives, so if you are working at the intersection of inner and outer transformation, please participate in their research project.


Hot links about interesting etceteras

  • I loved this 5-minute video demonstrating what “expanded awareness” looks like in practice. I’ve been using this approach to loosen up when I’m recording videos and playing guitar.

  • Speaking of guitar, my old creative obsession has woken up from a long slumber. I made this interactive website to explain the fundamentals of music theory in the simplest way I can. Also let me recommend JustinGuitar.com: it’s an astonishingly good online course for learning guitar, totally free.

  • Build A Community: a new open source database of community-building resources.

  • Jen Brick Murtazashvili flips the “tribalism is bad” narrative on its head in this brilliant article: The Problem Today Is Not Tribalism But Its Absence.

  • I’ve been impressed to discover there are multiple networks within the UN, functioning like an internal social movement for young people bringing new ways of working to that big sluggish bureaucracy. One of them, UN Youth, published this excellent report connecting the organisational objectives to their demands for more self-management and decentralised authority. *chef kiss*

  • Me and my homie Ronan Harrington hosted a rad gathering for the Alter Ego network in September. Here’s a sweet short video to show you the vibe, and here’s an article I wrote to explain WTF we were thinking hosting a gathering in the middle of a pandemic.

  • I also wrote this piece explaining how we do profit-sharing within our freelancers collective.

  • I’m happy to be advisor to World Citizens’ Assembly: a newly launched project growing a bottom-up global democracy. They’re currently looking for collaborators so get in touch with them if you’re curious.


Podcasts

  • Probably the most striking podcast I’ve listened to in the past few months is this conversation between Tim Ferris & Debbie Millman. They’re both survivors of childhood abuse who took very different healing journeys, one through traditional Western psychotherapy and medication, and the other through more experimental approach of psychedelics and transformational practices. It’s incredibly raw so I only recommend listening if you’re in the mood to cry a lot.

  • I have enjoyed every episode of this new podcast: The Lightfoot Podcast is a series of interviews with people in intentional communities and other kinds of mutual-aid collectives.

  • I also enjoyed The Ritual as Justice podcast with Tada Hozumi and Dare Sohei: it’s an esoteric wandering exploration of “cultural somatics”, a way of looking at a group as a physical body. This is a fascinating lens for seeking parallels between personal and collective healing from trauma. Recommended listening for anyone who is into adrienne marie brown et al.

  • This interview with media theorist Douglas Rushkoff on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour is a scintillating distillation of his brilliant way of seeing the evolution of culture and technology, plus it is hilarious.


Offers and requests

My friends Silvia and Michal have just launched the Year of Practice. I love these two! They have deep integrity, very fun playful facilitation on top of serious understanding of the science of good habits. Take a look if you want to join a small community who will support you to develop the consistent practices that will bring out the best in you in 2021.

The Cultural Catalyst Network is about to invite their next cohort of participants for the Transformational Leadership Path. This is “an intensive community of practice dedicated to personal and planetary well-being and transformation”. Subscribe to their newsletter to be notified when the cohort opens. I can’t recommend these folks highly enough.

Nati & I are nearly ready to announce two upcoming courses we’re hosting in 2021: Patterns for Decentralised Organising (in March) and Microsolidarity (in May). Roughly speaking: Patterns is for working teams and Microsolidarity is for communities. These are small cohorts with a combo of homework + facilitated online workshops to integrate the lessons through practice. Update: tickets are available now.

If you’re feeling generous, you can support my Patreon. I think of this small income stream as a way to pay me for doing my open source work as steward of the microsolidarity network.

Wow this is long! Sorry, I’ve just been fascinated by a lot of stuff lately. Wishing you all the ease and delight that December can muster 😍

Ciao!
Rich