richard bartlett

richard bartlett.png

intro’d to Richard via loomio.. (enspiral).. which he co founded with Ben Knight


bartlett (r) strategy law


via Michel share on fb

“Richard Dennis Bartlett is one of the co-developers and co-founders of Loomio, an online collaborative decision making tool. One of the things I didn’t know was that Loomio came out of the core group’s experience in Occupy in Wellington New Zealand. I had previously thought that Loomio was designed to solve decision making for the Enspiral group network.

In fact, according to Richard, Occupy was foundational as an experience in understanding non-hierarchical and inclusive decision making. As he explains, Loomio was an expression of the reflections and evaluations on Occupy … and as Occupy converged with Enspiral through the development of Loomio, Loomio’s design ecology included solving decisioning making challenges for the Enspiral enterprise, as well as for the next generation of creative activism worldwide.

This is an absolutely fascinating interview, as Richard brings deep insights into both the domain of horizontal and distributed decision making, next wave activism, and the design of a breakthrough innovation.”

april 2016

occupy – as pivotal moment for me.. i was one way.. and now i am another way

the experience was confusing, complex, chaotic… first day we had like 300 people milling around… one person stood up and said.. this is why i came.. all the stories were diff but w common thread.. 1\ climate 2\ gang violence..  all the things people were angry upset about… to… let’s do something about it… how.. collaboratively…  we found.. community emerge out of no where.. turned into village… 50-100 tents… general assembly every night… every day fed.. with no exchange of money…

functioning community emerged w/in a few days… w no shared articulated vision… also happening in 800 cities… bamboozaling…

the camps that weren’t crushed under boot of state… were under own weight…because in practice you can’t include everyone…

huge promise of working together. and on other hand.. crushing frustration of how to organize when don’t have boundaries.. don’t have definition for what behavior is appropriate and what’s not… disintegrated into zombie apocalypse….

during this time.. got intro’d to enspiral.. and we asked.. could we do general assembly thing on internet.. and could you do it for us..

the impossibility of hyper inclusions…. when some people’s behavior threatens others..

asking – what was the obstacle… and which ones could we change…

some conclusions: action is a really great filter for complexity… ie: what do you want to do rather than what do we want to be… so org around action…  values we learned: inclusion;  but it was returning to the action

the value of meaningful work.. the thing you feel called to do.. it was occupation at occupy… the thing that gets you up in the morning..

so yeah… if all of us doing that… less inappropriate behavior… : gershenfeld something else law

the idea of this decision making on line.. was just obvious.. people were seeing it all over the world..

others with same idea.. perhaps didn’t have a base like enspiral to ground/sustain…

almost immediately it became apparent this.. making decision w/o meeting.. was universal..

a universal problem

ensprial was first company we worked with…. loomio is one of 12 benches w/in enspiral… and each bench has its own loomio space….

you’ve got to get that pace right… out to big group (all 300)… back into small group

zooom dance ness… let’s do it globally…

more – what are you doing and how can we help… than what should we all do..

action first.. strategy later..

and from jose: seems your strategy flows out of your focus on relationship..

right kind of fuzziness… tag line… getting more people working on stuff that matters…

what matters to you… we really don’t have much more consensus than that…

hosting life bits.. via self-talk as data.. as the day

a nother way

for (blank)’s sake

relationships built from value exchanges…

you get these relationships going.. then trust just takes over

jose: you’re creating social commons

yeah… diff people frame it differently… my diagnosis is…broadest sense of commons… (intellect/environ),… then social (families… non market).. my analysis is that those areas are being shrunk by private capital… i’m just looking at how we look at old people or little kids… to financialize those transactions that used to be social… so to me enspiral is the opposite of that.. to take private capital and use it to expand the commons…

my analysis of the world… lots of overlapping strains… ie: patriarchy, colonialism,… and mine is capitalism… i’m talking about a small number of wealthy people are earning the means of production… i think that leads to all these outcomes that are super problematic.. i think that’s where inequality comes from…got govt in their hands… and not doing it because they are evil greedy people….. but because that s what happens when you own something and have full control…. solution to that for me… 1\ collective ownership… (diverse and local)  1 owner living distant only cares about profit… 2\ collaborative governance… if capitalism is one strain.. governance is the other…keep recollecting to marginalize smallest amount of people…

may 2014 – taipa..mainland china… taken over by half million people.. occupy legislature…mostly students.. sunflower movement… they used loomio… so we’ve maintained relationships with these activists… and are learning so much from them.. they’ve kept on… now working w/in govt… govt has admitted they had a crisis of legitimacy – so working with these activists.. to regain legit.. so we’ve got these huge restructuring going on… and almost no one outside of taiwan knows about it.. they’re just quietly going on about their work… it’s quiet because it’s constructive instead of being really angry…

outrage and anger part of a natural process… gets people energized…mobilized… but then it’s like.. what comes next…   mixed fires has to be constructive…

so loomio is the constructive phase… you use twitter to say no.. and you use loomio to say the yes that comes afterwards


wondering about decision making and consensus and dissensus.. et al..


here he is at #dcentmadrid:

CIUDADES DEMOCRÁTICAS – Entrevista a Richard Bartlett

loomio born during occupy… 1st experience of collective decision making.. was mind blowing.. but frustrating.. my friends and i thought.. surely we can have the promise of this democracy thing.. but not always have to be in meetings..

or even in consensus..

we thought it (loomio) would be good for occupy/activists.. but soon found so many other orgs interest..

culture change happens quite slowly.. tech can set conditions and maybe provoke a question.. but answer actually comes from people changing something in their identity.. something about the way they behave.. that process of globally shifting a culture is the *slow process that needs to happen in an iterative evolving way.. **at a depth locally.. then moves on and learns something else…

*yes.. slow process – called life – but perhaps we (today – because of tech ie: hosting life bits et al) can leap to all 7 billion plus of us.. getting to play in that space. good for humanity… good for the dance/dancefor (blank)’s sake

rev of everyday life ness

**at depth locally.. way/deep local.. ie: self talk as data. in the cityas the day.

we’re building direct social relationships where people learn to care about each other……like an ecosystem… the way evolution works.. a mill diff experiments happening at same time.. dna remixed/remixed.. keeps changing.. we need to have 1000 democracy platforms.. all trying diff version… recombining/sharing ideas.. and maybe in end.. only 10 will be successful.. but will be successful because of 1000 that went before them.. so these kinds of convergences i think are totally critical…


lots of great tweets from Richard at .. most i put in the person he was quoting’s Yochai…

this one was between us..


@commons = any resource accessible to everyone. There are many commons. Most don’t provide food/shelter. That’s the problem.

so perhaps commons = all the resources accessible to everyone. perhaps problem is we keep partially. and the dance won’t dance till it’s all of us.. all the things..

ie: sam altman and y combinator.. trying bi (only perhaps a partial solution/jump-start to deep systemic situation) w 100 random people (defn partial.. how do those 100 dance..?)… happens all over.. just now watching tweets from (same conf) where trebor is sharing stocksy… richard gave wikipedia:

contributing to Wikipedia doesn’t fill your tummy :)

i think it’s time to try a sync.. placebo/temporary ish.. so people can not think about money (any measuring of transactions and/or validating of people) for long enough ie: 1 yr to try commons


part 3 of 3 – making sense of emerging econ w yochai

Unless technologies are explicitly designed to reduce inequality, they wind up exacerbating it.

mech to facilitate equity: everyone getting a go everyday..



Just published this recording + transcript from a conversation I had with #nuit_debout 2 weeks ago #OWS #occupy

Original Tweet:

manu(?): Loomio is good for deciding but it seems that deciding is the last step. And we’re not even sure that deciding is good! Deciding for the whole movement will divide it.


You can see that bias in Loomio, it is designed for small groups. Our assumption is, if we can make it easy for small groups to hum, then we can connect them together at the next order of scale. What’s the consensus of these 50 people? Now let’s get 50 groups of 50 people and find the consensus between them. The first step hasn’t been solved yet. Loomio is probably the best tool for that job but it’s still not very good. It takes a cultural change. Not just a tool, but a change in how we discuss and interact and collaborate and make decisions together.


Whereas in most commissions, if you talk about a digital tool, they will point out that one person doesn’t have a phone or doesn’t have internet, so they won’t use it. It’s difficult to have any discussion about a digital tool because it leaves people out. That is the most complicated thing.


Even in groups of 5 people, you can never find consensus just by talking endlessly. You need a cultural change: I need to learn how to leave out my personal opinion which is frustrating everyone, so we can talk about what we have in common. That process is very hard. Here I see it every day. The more activist-oriented people are, the harder it is. The more conviction and deep feelings they have about something, the harder it is to discuss with them.

 disengage from consensus


Haily: In the theory of mass collaboration, ‘mass’ starts at 25 people. The amount of people who can’t talk together face to face anymore. I’m thinking about the role of the smaller group to set the conditions for the larger group.

tech allows for ginorm small ness


Manu: The proposal for the new media center is for it to have 6 separate groups working on the same project. I see effective small groups, and the larger it gets, the noisier it gets. One person, one troll, can fuck up everything. This happened for me on Loomio, one guy who is not even in Paris, all his time is dedicated to write 50,000 word answers to every topic. I thought should we ban people for a few days?

need for gershenfeld something else law.. other wise… doing partial ness


We have to think small. Interacting with a blank sheet of paper with a lot of people is impossible. If you interact with something that is already constructed, it is much easier to say ‘I’m okay with this, and I’m not okay with that.’

unless we design ginorm small.. 7 bill blank sheets every morning.. ie: what matters to you today (curiosity)


Hailey: Design your collaborative process for each situation, as opposed to thinking there’s one way of working that will be set forever.

unless you design deep enough..


Holacracy, when it is done right, reorganises the group every month. In bureaucracies, reorganising is traumatic, people lose jobs, they’re scared.Holacracy makes reorganising normal and safe, and I look forward to the transition because I’m going to get more safe, or I get to explore a new side of me.

so do that everyday.. for 7 bill..


Rich: I try to avoid, as much as possible, having a big decision. Instead to say, the 5 of us have found a system that is working really well, this is how we do it. If it works for you, it works for you. Instead of saying, “stop everyone, we have to decide on what the best decision-making method is.”

redefine decision makingdisengage from consensus


Rich: I can predict, from my 5 minutes here, that you have some elements of this community that are very stable. A library, medical centre, food. Specific things. Stable here and in all the other occupations. Why are they stable? Because they are simple, straightforward, requiring a small group of people to be committed to a specific action.

Manu: It’s easy to know what you have to do. You have to make food. You reproduce what you do at work. You don’t have to co-decide on a book-filing system.

Whereas if your commission is to rewrite the constitution or redesign democracy, it’s a mess. They don’t know where they’re going. Most people leave the commission because they spend so much time debating which is the process of deciding which process to use. That debate lasted a month, it wrecked the group. The


Rich: The question of commitment and identity. You have a conflict between 2 strong groups. Each group is committed to itself. They’re not committed between them. You can’t resolve the conflict because they don’t care enough, they don’t need each other enough. How do you get one group of people to need each other?

So Loomio lives within the Enspiral Network. 300 something people. Lots of different teams, ventures. All in the marketplace, earning a livelihood, sharing opportunities, sharing resources, collaboratively deciding how to allocate surplus. They all have ‘skin in the game’ — everyone is invested. I’m invested in Hailey’s success and she’s invested in mine. There is a commercial aspect to it, she and I share the Enspiral brand, so I need to trust her to not fuck it up! If Hailey is misrepresenting Enspiral, I have a strong motivation to talk with her and figure out what’s going on. It has grown from 1 person to 300 in 5 years. Not scaling super fast, but it is growing at a sustainable pace. We’re starting to see sorta sibling networks emerging too, like OuiShare.



It seems we need things that make us do things. My dream is that the assembly at the end would have a phase like, only people talk who want to propose collective actions. The most impressive thing here: when there were migrants about to be evicted a couple of subway stations from here. A guy said ‘the police is gathering around the migrants, should we go help them?’ 400 people rose, left the assembly, circled the police, and the police left.

The next day, some students were captured by police and the same guy came and said ‘students got captured, should we go?’ 200 people rose, surrounded the police station, and the students were released.

It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.

It seems like this is what we should be aiming for. The goal of the assembly is for it to be empty at the end, because everyone has left to do something.


Rich: …… We live in an economic environment with a material reality. The vast majority of people are exploited so they can pay their rent. That’s the problem. You have to trade your freedom for your ability to live as a human. It’s shit and unnecessary. We can do it differently. The free food and meetings and entertainment and hospitality and education… that shows you it can be done another way. That’s an economic question: how do we meet each other’s needs without exploiting each other? It can be done.

a nother way

So instead of a political party, instead of trying to get consensus from 1 million people, I’m more interested in: how do you get small groups of people to economically independent and oriented towards the common good? Then how do you connect them?

hosting life bits.. that io dance – mech simple enough

Manu:….The idea of these groups working on different subjects, they should talk to each other. How do we put them in contact with each other — do we do it algorithmically?

app chip ness .. via self talk.. as the day.


Rich:…. But just to have that visibility, you can see ‘oh in Barcelona they are discussing X, I want to discuss that’, either by joining their group or starting a parallel discussion with my local group. We didn’t put any effort into the AI sorting and merging stuff — maybe a good project for a Loomio hackathon project. Use the API to pull together separate groups into some coherent space.

true.. but per daily curiosity .. not per .. what people are already talking about. begs personal daily anechoic chamber ness


Manu: There was a guy who did this 72hr feverish programming project, using natural language processing on our Telegram chats. He found some interesting and some stupid things. One interesting things: one of the most common types of sentences was “I am against…” So introspectively that’s good to reflect on. The outcome was useful within 72 hours of programming.

When you allow people to talk about things. Is it interesting just to discuss, and then after talking to analyse what were the themes: this is mainly what people are in favour of? Or should we do like Loomio, I’m OK or not OK, I agree or not…

Nati: As I see it you start with the discussion. Once there’s a subject that feels like convergence, then you can start a proposal.

imagine starting w individual curiosities.. no convergence needed.. just connect people.. that already had same curiosity.. everyday a new. as the day. disengage from partial..


Manu: Exactly the same happens here. The media has been asking for 2 months, what are you trying to achieve? We don’t know, and we don’t care! We’re doing something together. What are you doing? Come here and do things! Stop writing about us from your glass tower, come here and sit.

like that.. but step beyond.. rev of everyday life..


Rich: I was chatting with the journalist Nathan Schneider, one of the best writers on the Occupy movement. We were talking about the experience of doing something together that is not outcome-oriented. You’re not exactly trying to deliver something. Somehow that is profoundly meaningful but it doesn’t translate well into the newspaper. So then over time the story gets rewritten to ‘Occupy was a waste of time that achieved nothing, a bunch of hopeless losers.’ How do you as a participant, looking back on it 3, 4, 5 years later, what do you hold on to while the historical narrative is constricting around you to say that you’re just a loser that a bunch of pointless conversations? Nathan’s answer was like, no one can remove the experience that you’ve had.

indeed.. there’s never nothing going on. productivity as we know it.. not boding us well..

That is a lived experience of what progressive ideals actually are. So you might not have an outcome, 6 months from now there might be nothing left. But you’ll have 1) social networks that are set in stone and 2) the lived experience that collaboration is better than competition.

There’s a growing mass of people around the world that are having this experience that results in an unshakable conviction that collaboration is better than competition, that we can live in abundance, we don’t have to coerce people to make them work together. This cultural shift is happening one person at a time, one experience at a time.


Manu: After a week of going to assemblies without working in any commissions, just listening to people, that was one the most changing experiences of my life: just a week of listening to others. It’s crazy what it does. The radicality of listening to someone who works in a market describe their life unfiltered by the media, it’s crazy. It’s so simple, and so changing.


Why is the media only talking about the car burning or whatever? Indeed they cannot transcript what you’re living inside yourself. It’s more a book that you have to read. A book about someone changing through this movement, might be a good way to convey what is the purpose and the outcome.

what hosting life bits would do. for 7 bill people. today. everyday. as the day


Rich: Totally. The #1 tool of capitalism to maintain its dominance is to tolerate this kind of expression. Oh look, another little harmless protest. As long as it dies.

There does have to be a point where you make a systemic critique and a power play. To say, this thing is wrong and we’re going to mobilise to stop it. It can’t happen in these local spontaneous things all the time. I don’t believe that the local spontaneous is going to emerge into revolution.

maybe not.. but perhaps we design for that.. from all directions


I was thinking, when you talk about the media. This is a generalisation but pretty much the media only knows how to tell a story about conflict. So if you want to be in the media, stage a conflict that you win: you prevent the eviction, you get the kids out of jail. That takes a strategic mind to go ‘where is a battle where we have a struggle, but we can guarantee at least 51% of the power in the situation’ and win that one. Then you gather supporters so the next one is slightly bigger.


If I only heard that one conversation, think about all the conversations I never overheard!

or design where media is irrelevant


this response to @n_srnck + @lemonbloodycola’s ‘Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work’

Original Tweet:

Sent via TweetDeck

The speech I wrote about #patriarchy but didn’t have the courage to deliver on stage today


find/follow Richard:

link twitter

Loomio cofounder (). Enspiral member (). I write about working together ().


6 circles of harmless organizing

A rough cut of a talk that Loomio co-founder Rich Bartlett is developing to explain some of the cultural forms we use to organise without bosses.

if going to ditch the pyramid.. have to choose what your shape is.. i’m quite a fan of circles.. my life changed when i started sitting in circles.. can see/hear everyone else..

1\ concentric circles.. use in enspiral and loomio.. outside circle: contributors.. low degree of steak holding.. inside circle: members.. high degree of steak holding.. at enspiral outside: 200 inside 50.. wider – where do as much as possible.. contributor – someone that some members trust… member.. someone that all member set budget.. contributors set plan… most important factor of concentric and why it’s #1.. naming level of commitment

2\ magical circles..  magic is placeholder word.. where something shifts deep inside your core.. ie: w/therapist/lover/campfire.. an environment where something very deep can shift.. if we are not going to use force to align people.. someone in charge.. doesn’t leave a lot of options for aligning… other than people have to change selves..  ie: retreat.. gathering every 6 months.. in loomio.. that’s 11 of us.. go away for weekend.. primarily about connecting w each other and shared vision.. let relationships go really really deep.. rational.. trying to invent new/old culture.. in opposition to mainstream culture.. ie: emphasis on money.. requires retreating occasionally to invest in that.. in those spaces that we get a lot of the cultural norms..

3\ p2p accountability.. accountability as support.. we call it stewards in loomio/enspiral.. your equal peers.. but looking after you.. ie: loomio.. 11 of us.. i get to steward al.. goes around circle.. distributing load of support/care..  a buddy that has extra context about me.. everyone having a go.. instead of just hr person

4\ rhythm.. how do you navigate thru emergent space.. changes every 5 min.. but still have some kind of shared understanding of where we’re going.. not change so fast that nobody is on same page anymore.. navigate coherently thru emergence.. ie: daily rhythm.. everyday at 10 – 10-15 min of sharing/micro-adjustments.. another at 2 weekly scale.. larger adjustments.. then quarterly rhythm.. every 3 months go away and sit.. with agreed objectives.. somehow all you’re working on add up to these 3 *miserable (?) specifics..  we name our working groups.. and people self select into them.. much more significant shifts.. beyond that.. 3 yr horizon strategy.. we have a strategy meeting every month.. ie: about software.. what will it look like in three yrs… plausible futures.. so operating with relatively similar view about options.. so have shared language..

if *miserable.. then why..?

5\ decisions .. where the software comes in.. the basic thing of making decisions..  if if making decisions together.. then are sharing power.. all about collective intelligence..  turns it into .. we should do this rather than i should do this

6\ boundaries.. how accommodate for people w/diff set of values.. or something going on .. prevent from participating in healthy way.. so .. what is appropriate way to communicate/participate.. we almost never have to use it.. just knowing that together we have decided we are up for.. has helped to shape behavior w/o being coercive.. community is defined by its boundaries.. ie: at occupy.. we wanted to be 100% inclusive.. but we died by being too inclusive.. you start including people who’s behavior excludes others…


via Jon fb share:

“”Don’t waste time growing a nationwide bureaucracy, just stick to what’s working, and publish everything so folks can copy you.””


This is a snapshot of my current thinking — my intention is to come back in a few months and learn how wrong I was, rather than to convince you that I’m right.


5 reasons to focus on the small groups.

Reason 1: A Place to Learn New Habits


I slowly started to notice a whole class of work that I didn’t even know existed: emotional labour. In the same way I was trained to not look for toys in the pink section of the toy store, I was trained to not see the work of caring, supporting, soothing, adapting, preparing, inviting, gathering, and cleaning up after.

interpretive labor

Reason 2: A Place to Practice Tolerance


If we’re not bound to each other in some way, why should I care if we disagree? There’s no incentive to learn from difference when you can always go out and make another choice.

Reason 3: A Place for Amateur Therapy


’ve observed that when people find a small group of people to commit too, they can grow enough trust and intimacy to become amateur co-therapists.

roots of healing.. when body says no

Reason 4: A Place to Produce Living Proof


We’ve spent the last 5 years at Loomio proving that it is possible to manage a small software company without a hierarchy. I know our context is unique: we are an ultra-privileged little tiny bubble in the South Pacific. But by sharing our methods, we are adding credibility to the claim that it is possible to coordinate people without using coercion. I’m proud to say that more than 50,000 people have read our co-op handbook in the past 6 months — that’s maybe not “proof” on its own, but a good contribution to a growing body of work that demonstrates that the commons doesn’t always have to be tragic.


And many of us have an appetite for much bigger scale, like the Scuttlebutt crew, who are quite seriously building a social network for the Galactic Council.

a nother way

Reason 5: A Place to Prepare for the Worst


From time to time I ask myself, if we’re approaching Apocalypse, what it is the best use of my time? I keep coming back to the same answer: learn how to work together, and learn how to grow commons.


why i’m heading to usa


I’ll be blogging on the road. Here’s my first story: American Grief — Activism, Trauma, Relationship and Healing.

I’ve learned that healing happens in relationship. It’s much easier to metabolise bad feelings when someone is with you reminding you that vulnerability is okay, that injustices done to you were unjust, that errors you made are forgiven. You’re enough. We got this.

So the last question I’m sitting with as we clack-clack-clack down the East Coast on the train to Rhode Island: can we bring groups into relationship with each other, therapeutically?

yes.. a nother way.. based on 2 convos.. perhaps via hlb that io dance


Surely municipalism is a modern claim for a new indigineity? #fearlesscities #wearefearless

Original Tweet:

holmgren indigenous law.. eagle and condor time



Team Human: Richard D. Bartlett “There is no enemy team”.…

thurman interconnectedness law: when you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – robert thurman



Friends, please help me decide: Do I need a Paywall? or can I trust the Gift Economy?…

@zeynep this my very roundabout way of reviewing your new book ^

Warning — ideological detour ahead…

I blame “private property” for a lot of the injustice in the world.

When colonists arrived in Aotearoa and turned it into New Zealand, private property was one of their main weapons. By carving a continuous landscape into discrete blocks, they didn’t just exclude people from their ancestral homes, they spread a toxic mental virus too. They demolished the pre-European governance practices that respect all inhabitants of an ecosystem: past, present and future. They replaced the complexity of interdependence with the suicidal simplicity of private property: the absurd myth that we can survive without neighbours.

10 day care ness

That’s a clumsy way for my brain to try to articulate something my heart feels with perfect clarity. Ideas are social creatures. Information wants to be free. You can’t steal a gift. We create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible by living there today. Life is self-organised abundance. Economics is controlled scarcity.

My brain says “publish for free.”
My heart says “publish for free!”
My wallet says “dude, what are you doing?”

Nearly everyone we met agreed that progressive action should be organised in a participatory way. But almost nobody had sustained experience with a thriving, decentralised, dynamic, non-hierarchical team.

She (Zeynep) warned that US progressive movements will not shift the balance of power without a major upgrade in their decision-making infrastructure. This is urgent.

while our workshops helped people overcome some of their collaboration challenges, the need is far bigger than two people can ever satisfy.

begs 7 bn

So now we’re building an online training course: a scalable way to share what we’ve learned about decentralised organising.

if you have to train people.. i’m thinking it’s a sign it’s not gonna work



This is really good… a smart NZ activist comes to America, and leaves reeling from the harshness of American society.

So here goes, 4 things that struck me as a Kiwi on his first visit to the US:

1. The welfare state makes a much bigger difference than I imagined.

Let me give you an example: my collarbone was broken in a traffic accident recently. I was evaluated in the field by an emergency first responder, shuttled to hospital by an ambulance, X-rayed and diagnosed by a specialist, and prescribed painkillers, a sling, and rest. I was back home within about 3 hours start-to-finish, and I think I had to pay a total of $3, for the drugs. We have a “no fault” socialised accident insurance scheme, which means the cost of accidents is covered by taxes, and nobody gets punished for honest mistakes. So that night, the driver of the car who hit me visited my house with a hot meal and a genuine apology. Everything about this story is ludicrously fantastical to my friends in the States.

Organised citizens have more power than the oligarch. But you can’t organise hungry people: first they need to be fed. This is why it is so important for organisers to work in the economic plane

or perhaps.. work to disengage from it

Silicon Valley could be a massive leverage point here, if you can drag entrepreneurs’ attention to solving real material problems (which means dragging investors away from their obsession with 100X returns).

2. The “race awareness” I have from growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand does not translate into the US context at all.

3. Activist spaces are weakened by self-censorship.

4. I’m no help to anyone when I’m in shock.

The place is so fucking terrifying! We met folks in Arizona who are working against border militias, people who are openly hunting for humans the way other folks hunt for deer. The day after we left Portland two people were murdered on a train in broad daylight after confronting a racist loudmouth. In California (a state with a multi trillion dollar economy), we saw thousands of people living in tents and makeshift shelter. The situation is fucking drastic, with many indicators that things are going to get worse.

if you keep lashing people with urgent concerns, they’ll never get to the important work of building counter-hegemonic alternatives.

So if I were organising in the US right now I’d be looking for spaces to grieveand to heal. I’ve heard phenomenal things from people who have engaged with The Work That Reconnects so I’d start there.

The major question I’m left with is how on earth can folks in the US find the peace to make sense of the present and dream of a future worth fighting for?

let’s try this.. short bp

self-talk as data

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


fb share by Michel

what comes before consent

If I could reduce the complexity of violence down to a linear continuum, it might look something like: assault → murder → genocide → ecocide.

I’ve been wondering about what the spectrum of violence looks like further to the left, before assault, before harassment, before intimidation..t

roots of healing ..  maté basic needsmissing pieces

voluntary compliance..? manufactured consent ..? man-made obligation ness..? ie: school work et al

If consent governs physical interactions, what mechanisms can regulate other less intense interactions? When I speak: how can I express myself in a way that respects your subjectivity? What is my posture saying? How can I listen? What can I read from your body language?

How can I own my subjectivity and celebrate yours?

bishop freedom law

What gets me so excited about collective decision-making is when the process shifts the participants from a purely objective/analytic mode into an affective/relational mode.

krishnamurti free will law

My understanding has grown, without you having had to persuade me of anything


Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 10:32 AM on Fri, Jun 15, 2018:
New blog post/video exploring the gap between small scale deliberation and large scale democratic transformation.
cc: @Loomio @sanfudai @UsePolis @audreyt @iacocoba @MattCropp @ntnsndr

If you’ve read any of my writing, you will have guessed I have some opinions about how we could do large scale governance differently. But the tool we’re building is designed only for small scale: If you’ve ever used Loomio, you’ll see that it’s designed for groups of up to a few hundred people, max. There’s a big gap between the decision-making context of a grocery co-op and an entire country.

i really hadn’t connected w activism before occupy.. the premise i saw.. it’s up to us to change (the system)

The amazing thing about this village was that nobody was in charge.. we had all this negotiation but we all refused to be in charge

Now nothing in my education had prepared me for this. I’m trained as an engineer. As an engineer I was taught an approach to problem-solving that was all about being right.

I learned the most important thing I could do was to listen. Not just listening to rebut — listening to understand, where are you coming from? what do you believe? what do you value? why do you think like that?

 listening well > being smart..t

begs a mech that listens to all 7bn voices (of curiosity rather than decision/choice).. everyday ie: as it could be

because what we need most.. is the energy from 7bn alive people

Some camps were destroyed by the state. Violent, brutal, armed thugs paid by the government to vandalise and dismantle these flourishing communities. (n zealand police were nice to consensus got us) The other camps collapsed under the weight of consensus.

Being the kind of people we are, we decided to make some software about it. . loomio.. the idea was.. how to make a decision w/o being in the room.. we talk about coop rather than anarchism so much..

My favourite example right now is it’s a social network very similar to Twitter. But instead of selling advertising, the platform is funded by users paying a small subscription fee. In return, users are invited to participate in governance, in a Loomio groupwhat kind of censorship should we have on the platform? where should we host the data? what code of conduct should users adhere to? It’s wonderful to see a digital platform being governed like a public utility.

we’ve used the digital space to break the tyranny of time

1. asynchronous deliberation.. (can participate at any time)

2. visualise positions ..(gets you out of stuck state and into negotiation state)

i’m personally motivated by big change.. large scale social is very complex and non deterministic..  my intuition is there needs to be integrity/alignment between diff scales.. ie: one equity.. one patriarchy

image of his brain.. to see if we can get to the same problem.. until we have majority.. not going to have solution at large scale..

showing that we have to get a problem deep enough.. for all of us

The vTaiwan project uses a tool called to involve thousands of people in opinion gathering, which like Loomio, creates a visualisation of people’s position on an issue… but unlike loomio.. works at great scale..

take a snap shot.. what are the opinion groups.. then.. rather than what do you think.. make a statement you think everyone can agree with.. found consensus points.. 85% agreement

85% not good enough today..  sounds like chasing the puck ie: public consensus always oppresses someone(s)

I’m not sure if the government of the future is going to use, or Loomio, or LiquidFeedback, or whatever technology. But I hope as more people have access to a kind of everyday democracy, we’ll be much more able to work together creatively, efficiently making great decisions that work for everyone.

perhaps less about decision making.. and more about cure ios city


read while reading assembly

Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 8:42 AM on Sun, Jul 08, 2018:
Wow I got the best reader feedback I can imagine: this story helped someone find their way out of a coercive ‘spiritual’ community.
Go humans go!

The Beautiful Trap of Belonging

Looking into the shadow of community

there is a crisis of belonging in modern capitalist societies, so we’re busy building new structures for belonging. I believe it’s the most important work I can be doing right now.

But whenever I see belonging, I’m aware of the deep shadow around the edges. Beneath the lovely sense of interconnectedness, personal growth, and shared purpose, there’s a dark current: coercion, abuse and exclusion.

my individual identity became fused into a collective identity. I became an “Occupier”. Then something extraordinary happened. As millions of other people around the world adopted this Occupier identity, I felt myself bonded just as strongly with strangers on the other side of the planet.

Because it’s not my community of belonging, it was a great opportunity to contemplate the dark side of belonging, observing from a more objective perspective than I can usually reach

When you go looking, you can find many dark sides of belonging.

marsh label law

 Leaders live inside a “reality distortion field”, which is extremely difficult to puncture. They have more ability to influence the group and less ability to see what is actually happening.

People with more status are always changing the behaviour of people with less. When this is performed consciously, we call it “manipulation”. For most of us, this is utterly abhorrent, it’s precisely what we’re organising against.

We cling so strongly to “us”, that everyone outside becomes “less than.” At the extreme end of this spectrum, the “out group” loses its humanity. Holy war, genocide, and fascism are the extreme examples


Richard D. Bartlett  (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 4:17 AM on Fri, Mar 15, 2019:
Just published one of those stories that might cost me a few friends
Hierarchy Is Not the Problem…
It’s the Power Dynamics
#futureofwork #feminism #agile #teal #goinghorizontal #betterworktogether #coops

More than just an abstract semantic debate for word nerds, I believe that this fascination with “hierarchy” and “non-hierarchy” is a major problem. Focussing on “hierarchy” doesn’t just miss the point, it creates cover for extremely toxic behaviour.

thinking graeber & wengrow back and forth law and art/ists vs bot/ists ness

jo freeman: ‘Contrary to what we would like to believe, there is no such thing as a structureless group. Any group of people of whatever nature that comes together for any length of time for any purpose will inevitably structure itself in some fashion. The structure may be flexible; it may vary over time; it may evenly or unevenly distribute tasks, power and resources over the members of the group. But it will be formed regardless of the abilities, personalities, or intentions of the people involved..“This means that to strive for a structureless group is as useful, and as deceptive, as to aim at an “objective” news story, “value-free” social science, or a “free” economy. ..Thus structurelessness becomes a way of masking power, (…) usually most strongly advocated by those who are the most powerful (whether they are conscious of their power or not). As long as the structure of the group is informal, the rules of how decisions are made are known only to a few and awareness of power is limited to those who know the rules. Those who do not know the rules and are not chosen for initiation must remain in confusion, or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is happening of which they are not quite aware.’

freeman structure law et al

Freeman uses the word “structureless”, which is specific to the context of her 1960’s feminism. Today, you could swap “structureless” for “non-hierarchical” and get a very accurate diagnosis of a sickness that afflicts nearly every group that rejects hierarchical structures.

I think words like “non-hierarchical”, “self-managing” and “horizontal” are kind of vague codes, pointing to our intention to create healthy power relations. In the past, when I said “Enspiral is a non-hierarchical organisation”, what I really meant was “Enspiral is a non-coercive organisation”. That’s the important piece, we’re trying to work without coercion.

Here are the power dynamics I’m striving for in a “decentralised organisation”:

  1. Maximise power-from-within: everyone feels empowered; they are confident to speak up, knowing their voice matters; good ideas can come from anywhere; people play to their strengths; creativity is celebrated; growth is encouraged; anyone can lead some of the time.
  2. Make power-with transparent: we’re honest about who has influence; pathways to social power are clearly signposted; influential roles are distributed and rotated; the formal org chart maps closely to the informal influence network.
  3. Minimise power-over: one person cannot force another to do something; we are sensitive to coercion; any restrictions on behaviour are developed with a collective mandate

perhaps what we need most is a mech to facil a non hierarchical listening to every voice everyday..  ie: tech as it could be (we’ve still got that hierarchical form of listening to each human.. everyday)

second part of this essay: 11 Practical Steps Towards Healthy Power Dynamics at Work.

11 Steps Towards Healthy Power Dynamics at Work

  1. Encourage your peers
  2. Discourage permission-seeking
  3. Create practice spaces
  4. Find your mentors
  5. Rotate roles
  6. Break the power taboo
  7. Name the levels of engagement
  8. Limited decision mandates
  9. Consent-based decision-making
  10. Celebrate dissent
  11. Share the ownership!

in july 2019

@RichDecibels @EmmaBurnell_ @SimonFParker @beingMicahWhite more like a complete misunderstanding of the same text every would-be leader always mis-quotes. Did you actually READ Jo Freeman’s argument? All the way to the end? She is about how

using structure to ensure leadership DOESN’T emerge.

She says it very explicitly.

Original Tweet:

freeman structure law

@RichDecibles Replying to @davidgraeber @EmmaBurnell_ and 2 others If you want to read my article and critique it, I’m down for that.

see the above


Richard D. Bartlett ⌛️ (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 1:00 AM on Fri, Apr 26, 2019:
“We need you for the long haul. We need you soft and open. If you do need to go to the battle lines, please make sure you’ve got someone back home to run the bath and pat your head.” #ExtinctionRebellion


Nuggets of Knowledge — a profile on Loomio co-founder Richard Bartlett (@RichDecibels) lifting up the wisdom of “Asking for what you need”
Original Tweet:

7 min video: []

i thought.. if get rid of hierarchy.. get to equality.. now.. less focus on structure and more on small scale person to person relationships.. are people treating each other well.. focus: relationships/care/trust.. rather than structures/processes/rules/decisions

curiosity and decision making

2 min – 1st – what is most meaningful to me.. 2nd – what do i need to do that work.. 3rd – ask for what you need..t

2 convers as infra.. and self-talk as data via tech as it could be.. everyday

many people like me have a giant hole that i call belonging..t

almaas holes law.. maté basic needs

i didn’t know that i wanted a place where i could embrace my full scope of my ambition

most of us.. if not all.. need detox..  begs a mech w detox embed

which is not about me being the biggest thing but that i’m reaching for the biggest thing

eudaimoniative surplus

that combo .. enormous idealism and concrete pragmatism.. a potent combo

yeah.. let’s do that .. everyday

people are looking for something new.. new language.. t

ie: idio-jargon

4 min – it’s just aha.. i don’t need to understand that.. it’s just people that are supporting each other to do meaningful work..t

a story about people grokking what matters.. back/to an undisturbed ecosystem

i’m not so interested in people joining/growing/copying this thing.. but in creating a space for people to discover for themselves.. what brings me alive..t

invited vs invented.. begs a mech that listens to all the voices/curiosities .. everyday.. ie: tech as it could be..

what world needs most: the energy of 7bn alive people

right now i’m interested in .. how can i meet my needs in a way that it’s easy for you to meet your needs..t

facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

6 min – how to be whole and self and same time.. what is the cord that they’re all singing at the same time as they’re all keeping their own..t

focus on maté basic needs.. deep enough to get us to eudaimoniative surplus


Richard D. Bartlett  (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 5:40 AM – 26 Jul 2019 :
Can you help me find a mentor?
I want to be in relationship with someone who is maybe in their 50’s+, who has written a few accessible non fiction books to nudge the evolution of culture.
Who should I ask? (

1/ why written ‘books’ as prereq
2/ how do you define ‘books’
imagine all the (indigenous) wisdom we are missing out on

perhaps the cultural shift/nudge/leap we need is away from that

how to get that insight from people immersed in it.. not letting go of it
added later in that thread:

@ldvcrgrs @davidgraeber @Loomio @TheHum_Team haha I appreciate the sentiment Vica but David has already evaluated my work as “extremely stupid”

Original Tweet:


@SolarpunkA: QUESTION for market anarchists: Are there any circumstances in which you’d be willing to accept a marketless and moneyless economy of the commons without competition? Or are markets, money, and competition non-negotiable aspects of your postcapitalist vision?

@RichDecibels: Math is one of my non negotiables. How do you solve the computation problem without markets or massively centralised authority?

what computation problem?

@RichDecibels: The computation problem of getting enough but not too much stuff to people, incentives, matching supply and demand, biasing towards efficiency

maybe that’s not a computation problem.. maybe it’s a listening problem ie: we can’t hear us because of all the computation/math/incentives

begs tech as it could be.. listening to every voice everyday.. augmenting interconnectedness rather than computing/math-ing it


@RichDecibels: @jornbettin do you know if there is an over representation of neurodivergent ppl in the world of org design? I took some online aspergers tests recently, scored moderately high and went ‘ohhhhhh that explains it!’ eg my need for clarity, rejection of implicit norms, etc

hidashida autism law: i think that people w autism are born outside the regime of civilization. i think that as a result of all the killings in the world and the selfish planet wrecking .. a deep sense of crisis exists.. autism has somehow arisen out of this..  we are like travelers from the distant past.. and if , by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the earth that would give us a quiet pleasure..  – from Naoki‘s the reason i jump

Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 5:02 AM – 4 Dec 2019 :
Been learning lately how I’m #ActuallyAutistic. Mostly has been an excellent journey of self acceptance. But I’m real sad for all my broken friendships that mighta worked better if I’d been clearer upfront, and all the times I beat myself up for not coping with basic life tasks. (


@RichDecibels: I’m curious: to me it seems the lessons of Jo Freeman’s Tyranny of Structurelessness are extremely slow in propagating out into the world. Orgs keep tryna ditch structure and are shocked when it doesn’t produce equity. Do you agree that it is slow? How do you explain this?

depends who’s crafting the ongoing structure

if it’s consensus.. too restrictive to exponentiate propagating/revolution

Richard D. Bartlett  (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 7:24 AM on Mon, Aug 19, 2019:
Next question: has anyone articulated the ‘tyranny of structurelessness’ argument outside of feminist or anarchist tradition?

hier archy ness et al


Richard D. Bartlett  (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 6:40 AM on Mon, Aug 26, 2019:
here is a thread with some exploratory thoughts about #patternlanguage…
I believe the best org structure is a local bespoke design
global abstractions are intoxicating and sense-killing
e.g. see how badly people implement #agile princples and miss the point by miles

we have the means to go ultimate local bespoke.. ie: idio-jargon

let’s do that

Richard D. Bartlett  (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 6:50 AM – 26 Aug 2019 :
what’s the name for that thing where you learn an abstraction and it makes you intoxicated/ distracted/ overconfident coz you think you understood something but actually you have totally missed the essence of it? (


Richard D. Bartlett  (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 5:35 AM – 10 Dec 2019 :
I never quite said out loud before, but: I have had a *major* change in my understanding of how to enable a massive movement of nonhierarchical orgs working in service of life-giving values. /thread (

thread including this:

How to kickstart developmental culture?

This is the question for 2020. Exploring with @TheHum_Team and @alteregonetwork


1. peak experience at transformative gatherings +

2. integration and support thru peer coaching circles +

3. org dev thru rapid prototyping

Original Tweet:

2 convers as infra.. via tech as it could be..

to facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city


Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 2:47 AM on Fri, Dec 27, 2019:
Burners think they can escape commodification by replacing $ transactions with gift economy.
Rude awakening when you learn how social capitalism neatly replaces financial capitalism.
Wonder if any crypto projects are highlighting this dynamic? CoolKidCoin?

let’s try/code money/reputation (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

ie: ubi as temp placebo..


Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 5:09 AM – 9 Jan 2020 :
In my view: you can never figure out for yourself what you are best at. You work it out by other people’s reflections. When you work in a collaborative group, what do you naturally pay most attention to? What problems do people come to you with? What triggers you when it’s wrong? (

oh my..

who’s deciding what best is? and how?

Michael Ashcroft (@m_ashcroft) tweeted at 5:12 AM – 9 Jan 2020 :
@RichDecibels Thanks, I needed to hear this.
How do you suggest asking others what we’re best at? Is it a direct question or would you suggest and indirect, observation approach? (

not about what you do best.. it’s about the thing(s) you can’t not do

listen deeper.. to your heart



To me the most obvious “missing” is not a transformation of consciousness, decentralised tech tools, or political revolution, but a reliable methodology that supports small groups in many different contexts to reliably settle into a pattern of deep collaboration.

Original Tweet:

ie: cure ios city

with 2 convers as infra


Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 0:02 AM on Sat, Feb 29, 2020:
My life’s research question is something like: how do you become part of a whole?
My hypothesis is it should be easy but we were raised to think you could be whole on your own.

@RichDecibels: This is why I am into collective decision making, for ex. Not because it it always works better, but bc it trains me into part-consciousness. There is something which is best for the whole and it differs from what feels best for me.

i’m thinking decision making ness has trained us to be like whales in sea world.. i think the issue is that we never let go enough.. to trust that what my soul truly craves will end up being best for all .. ie: in an ‘undisturbed ecosystem ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows..

what world needs most the energy of 8b alive people

and i think one major reason we never let go enough to get to that energy.. to get back/to that undisturbed ecosystem.. is that we were trained to believe that we have to be trained/tweaked to fit..

brown belonging law.. et al

i believe a way for us to let go enough .. has to do with letting go of decision making ness.. ie: let’s try curiosity over decision making


Original Tweet:

@RichDecibels: I used to feel closely affiliated to people with shared political views & subcultural norms. I’m rapidly losing that. Now I feel connected with people who share a commitment to mutual respect, compassion, curiosity & epistemic humility. The change is unsettling.

response to comments:

@RichDecibels: ya I have felt connection to others humanity for a long time. I’m moving away from my convictions though, towards a bigger kind of peace.

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

fittingness rather than fitting in

from tweets the first one (on unsettling ness) was embedded in:

@RichDecibels: Sometimes your self development undermines your relational commitments, especially in moments of rapid growth and transformation. Do you have a heuristic for choosing where to keep your loyalty? IE loyal to your own evolution or your prior commitments?

@RichDecibels: For example, you have something like a spiritual awakening and then your partner doesn’t recognise you anymore. Or you intuit that could happen so you avoid the awakening.

@RichDecibels: In retrospect this maybe a perfect question for @vervaeke_john

response to comments

@RichDecibels: My mental model of romantic partnership is like, everyone is walking in different directions thru life, sometimes you get lucky and find someone walking alongside you who wants to hold hands. Over time your arms get longer so the connection can withstand increasing distance.

@RichDecibels: Yah I’m not letting go of affiliation, just changing the center of gravity, which allows in more of some kinds of difference, and excludes other kinds!

@RichDecibels: ya I have felt connection to others humanity for a long time. I’m moving away from my convictions though, towards a bigger kind of peace.


Here’s my interview with @jim_rutt. We talked about collaboration, activism, #gameB, @enspiral, and how to invoke a modular open source self organising movement for systemic social change hooray!

Original Tweet:

april 2020 – 78 min podcast – EP51 Richard Bartlett on Self-Organizing Collaboration

2 min – we haven’t implied what meaningful work is.. if it matters to you it matters to us..t

gershenfeld something else law

3 min – so it’s (enspiral) kind of a community of friends who trust each other a lot and experiment a lot with diff ways of organizing.. how to prototype org of future.. and to get paid for doing it

2 convers as infra

thinking restate/update 7.18.. and 2\ short findings restate in 2019

enspiral et al

4 min – how do we recruit a group of productive people that are working on systems change

(on how money ness works)

16 min – how do we practice a kind of relationship that is built on different premises than the one i was raised with.. the top down hierarchic/control/et-al.. a way of being i was raised in that i no longer want to be a part of .. no longer one person in charge et al..t

let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

18 min – most people i talk to .. think: ‘if we only had right tech/infra.. then we’d have a new way of being’.. i i think there’s a layer under tech: culture/psychology.. pre req .. so starts with the self..t

so make sure tech/infra has detox embed

curiosity as detox and as daily reawakening..

internal family systems – treat individuals as a group with parts: happy, silly, anxious, et al.. and always work to do to bring parts in greater harmony

20 min – had to treat part that is fearful w tenderness et al.. i think that’s a lot of what sovereignty is about.. developing relationships in parts of selves

21 min – 2nd step up.. just about 2 people .. partners or domination..?

22 min – w/enspiral.. how can we get a few 100 people together and have them relate to each other in partnership..t

bring them together first via daily curiosity .. .so that we quit losing ourselves.. our fittingness in trying to belong to something/one

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

24 min – step up from there.. the crew.. 6-8 people.. if margaret meads.. small groups of people chaning world.. then where is your small group

missing piece #2

not so much about changing the world.. or any kind of productivity/goal.. once we get back to an undisturbed ecosystem

26 min – 5-6 people can meet w/o org structure.. so i’m really interested in .. how do we produce a world full of well developed crews.. so need a lot of practice w that

35 min – next step.. in enspiral.. congregations – about 150-200 people.. once a year.. functions like a dating pool for all the crews.. large groups feel good for a while.. (like 1000s at burning man).. feel like found your people.. but larger than 150 .. can’t count on people to know/care about you.. so this is a smaller scale than most people think about organizing

40 min – my focus is .. how do we develop relationships of excellence that are dunbar or lower

47 min – first thing.. have a really great gathering.. have fund for a few days.. then go off and do things.. now .. after pandemic.. can we re hypothesize.. w/o f to f et al..

ie: who is going to be in the role of calling people together.. i’ve found it really useful to put that in frame of hospitality.. on how to address leadership.. and inviting into community

host ing ness and leader ness.. et al

let go

50 min – start w a sense of shared baseline.. in smaller groups first..t

facil daily curiosity .. let that be our only label.. w/opp to change everyday

people w repeated connection.. finding opps for f to f..

54 min – concern that people just keep listening to other people.. ie: podcasts.. oh they’re smart.. underpracticing et al.. my agenda is to detour that

(on funding ness)

1:05 – main obstacle i see.. self org group thing is kind of new.. experimental.. no blue print.. but don’t have to start from blank slate.. can take some practices.. my book: patterns for decentralized organising.. ie: decision making

we need to let go and try curiosity over decision making

need to have a shared language if going to do consensus making

we need to let go of consensus ness and try idio-jargon et al

1:07 – if don’t have pre existing structure for dealing w conflict.. then trouble

rather than spending our days learning how to deal w conflict.. let’s set up an infra that makes us not so interested in conflict.. ie: cure ios city

1:15 – intention to start afresh is not enough.. we need to have the competency as well.. another thing i’m doing is working out loud.. documenting everything et al

1:16 – beyond open source.. thinking in modularity


Though a lotta social tech is constrained by experiences in childhood, so alas that is a slow part of the iterative cycle.
Great innovation here too tho eg and and many others
Original Tweet:

ie: cure ios city – hastening the iterating ourselves out of sea world

un ooda ing our militarily compliant selves

from first link

We cannot keep using tools of oppression and expect to raise free people. . t

tech as it could be..


I reckon: Silicon Valley ate the world by having a faster and more accurate OODA loop than any other industry, sector, govt, etc

But I’m optimistic bc I believe we can iterate social tech faster than digital tech, with less capital required, if we set our minds to it.

Original Tweet:

iterate faster by focusing on something 8b souls already crave

no train/prep to time-suck/cancer-morph us

@RichDecibels: Social tech: how we communicate, relate, share, cooperate, gather, learn, connect etc. Surprisingly few people are intentionally iterating fast on this stuff. Many are distracted by the slower and specialised ooda loop of digital tech.

perhaps digital tech doesn’t have to be ooda ish

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanityLuma Mufleh

@RichDecibels: Though a lotta social tech is constrained by experiences in childhood, so alas that is a slow part of the iterative cycle. Great innovation here too tho eg and… and many others

repeat from above.. just putting it in context of thread here

@RichDecibels: Ppl hate putting OODA loops on social process though. Requires you to reflect on a relationship and name what protocols are operating, and how they could be improved. Autistics are great at this but it is very rude in allistic (not autistic) cultures. Eg…

not sure autistic/any people would refer/prefer/default to ooda looping (whales in sea world yes.. but not alive people)

ie: higashida autism law et al

@RichDecibels: Who are your favourite social tech innovators? I’m looking at @imhaileycoop@RiaBaeck@peternlimberg@whimful@bonnittaroy@NoraBateson@LombardoNati@spiral_virus@solarpunk_girl@alannairving@edelwax (Hmmm mostly not men) Who else?

@RichDecibels: Here’s an example of a couple with an OODA loop on their marriage. If you read this and don’t have any squicky feelings you may be autistic “Running Agile Scrum on our Relationship” by Alanna Irving

imagine if once a month reflect meeting happens everyday.. w self first.. just like we talk about business meetings.. perhaps much of the assumed necessary topics would become irrelevant (if individuals were more alive/free first)..

curiosity over decision making

ie: daily curiosity/detox (diff from ooda loop is no specified decision making.. based more on offense than defense/finite set of choices et al) via 2 convers as infra

@RichDecibels: I haven’t been but I guess Burning Man is where this transfer from Silicon Valley digital tech innovation is most literally being repurposed to social tech innovation.


I’m wondering when is it time to throw some of these #GameB thinkers into some more difficult conversations instead of the endless series of soft ball interviews they get from @WisdomRebel @FutureThinkers_ @peternlimberg @jim_rutt @dthorson et al.

Original Tweet:

@RichDecibels: It’s not my job. I don’t have the brain for constructing these towering abstractions, but I have enough of a nose for in-group conformity to raise the flag for some more fundamental dissent please. Where is the arena? Who are the hosts?

maybe it’s time to let go of the arena-hosting ness.. and use our means/mechs instead to listen to every voice.. everyday.. as it could be..


RT @AcornOakTribe: New podcast episode! What is the Real Power of a #Community? A timely discussion lead by @canayatalay with mbauwens  @RichDecibels @rhappe and hosted by @VirginieG #Disrupt and #Learn
Original Tweet:

35 min – r: how can all these diff voices get a turn

2 convers as infra.. to undo our hierarchical listening

36 min – r: want to be motivating people by the watering hole not by the fence.. not by the dog that’s barking at them.. but by the thing that they want

so let’s just listen to and facil 8b daily curiosities  ie: cure ios city

39 min – m: we can’t be completely against hierarchy.. there are skill diff’s wisdom diff’s.. rather than leader less ness.. leader full ness.. allow some to take lead .. for the moment.. (then ie is in war).. net allows us to be flexible with that

art ist bot ist ness agree.. just ugh to ie’s


Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 9:47 AM on Mon, Jun 08, 2020:
Philip, here is how I think about values:
IE this is my way of saying what Nora is saying, let the nouns emerge from the verbs.

@RichDecibels: Today I maybe noticed a major distinction in how people “do groups”: (moon image): start with land + people + practices (behaviour, experiments, verbs) OR (sun image): start with ideas + vision + principles (values, mission, nouns)


(moon) is more like what I’ve seen of Indigenous cultures

(sun) is more like how colonisers work (constitutions, contracts, deeds, ledgers)

in thread he links to article he wrote about this []

I think it is important for a community to be aligned at the abstract level: having shared values, principles and purposes. However, I don’t think it is very interesting to create that alignment by talking about it. Instead, the focus is on finding alignment by doing stuff together. So the essence of this proposal is to organise primarily around three concrete elements: a small group of People, doing periodic Practices in a defined Place

imagine a small group of people connecting locally .. everyday to do something in regard to some itch (curiosity) they woke up with that day

ie: 2 convers as infra

something where we wouldn’t need to spend/waste time on things like: membership categories/criteria; invitations/joinings; policy; financial contributions; meetings; ..


Simone Cicero (@meedabyte) tweeted at 4:50 AM on Wed, Jun 10, 2020:
Always failed to do that, probably is the little control freak inside you (me) that wants a compass. I refused so far

@RichDecibels: Question: if you understand the metaphor of an ‘inner compass’ that helps you to make choices… If you extend that metaphor, what are the magnetic fields that are making the compass move? I’m curious how people understand this.

lots of things making it move today.. and making us like whales in sea world (aka: not us)

thinking if we trust daily curiosity (inner itch) as ‘inner compass’ (one that let’s us wander/wonder/listen/change).. decision making over a finite set of choices.. would become irrelevant

curiosity over decision making.. beyond finite set of choices


thread from richard on voice ness

1. Everyone with progressive values agrees that justice + equity cannot be attained until marginalised voices are amplified.
2. But there’s a starkly polarised battle about whether or not that requires priveleged voices to be suppressed.
Do you see it this way? Am I way off?
Original Tweet:

@RichDecibels: “Voice” here is a stand in for rights and access to power.

i think focusing on rights and power is unhealthy .. so i wouldn’t use voice as a stand in for those

regardless.. suppression never works

what i think we need to do: listen & connect to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra

perhaps we really can have tech w/o judgment ie: tech as it could be

also.. i think we’re missing a huge factor of ‘voice‘.. in that most/all of us are not currently ourselves.. [ie: when we speak we’re either parroting what we think we’re supposed to say.. what we’ve been trained/habitted/manufacturally-consented to say.. or we’re saying things in defense/response mode.. rather than what our gut is wanting to say].. so whatever means/mech we get/create to listen to voices.. needs to have a detox embed

i’d suggest listening to 8b daily curiosities .. first thing every day.. as the detox embed


@RichDecibels: I want a word that is as popular as “sensemaking” but it means ‘practicing how to not know’

usefully ignorant: knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do – Erica McWilliam

aka: curiosity

a means to our becoming antifragile/aware/alive/us….


Richard D. Bartlett (@RichDecibels) tweeted at 7:55 AM on Thu, Jul 23, 2020:
Social physics challenge:
I have a group of 24 people who meet 4 times. At each meeting we break out 2 or 3 times into various small groups of 2 to 6 ppl.
I want to maximise new encounters between participants, with minimum admin overhead for me.
How do you solve?

so.. want to max encounters.. rather than deepen them

@LindseyHonari Thanks Lindsey I’m seeking mathematical answers
What’s the algorithm for maximum mixing!?
Original Tweet:

so yeah.. max mixing.. rather than meaningful mixing

let go of the math man.. the math you’re doing is overhead.. once you get/set the algo.. it’s oppression/violence.. let go

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people


I think this mood weather is why I couldn’t stand the USA but places like NZ and Korea and Finland unkink some emotional knots in me.
Original Tweet:


on strategy

bartlett (r) strategy law

@SimonFParker @WelshEcon @GrahamBrownlow @futuregencymru @solarpunk_girl I haven’t written about this because I think the whole world of strategy is basically a coping mechanism for people’s anxiety about uncertainty and their unmet need for control.

spot on

red flag we’re doing it/life wrong

Usually when people are looking for a strategy framework I think they’d be better served by therapy.

Original Tweet:

@SimonFParker @WelshEcon @GrahamBrownlow @futuregencymru @solarpunk_girl @NoraBateson Maybe there are a few rare visionaries who have exquisite foresight but for the rest of us I think the best strategic choices emerge from being okay with not knowing. IE the future is less surprising when you stop filtering the present thru your prior commitments and assumptions.

and less exhausting

Original Tweet:

embracing uncertainty

carhart-harris entropy law


why not yet


maybe a good feature for any social platform: a button on every profile where I can indicate “I would like a 1:1 call with you sometime” and it will let you know if you match with someone, Tinder style
Original Tweet:

match needs to come first.. via self talk.. otherwise.. spending our days as not us.. as people telling people what to do – who to like – et al..

but this is cool extension of c app – not just listen to itch and tell two matches to meet up.. but tell each person 5 or so people that potentially match.. they could then decided and 1 on 1 message any/all.. so wouldn’t just get one match up a day (and your match just got you as only match that day) but now.. have several.. if each person has 5 and who knows how many invites.. but all based of itch (aka: self-talk as data)


@RichDecibels: Oh this might be important for community building: there maybe distinct thresholds, predictable stages people go through in sequence from first encountering the community, to joining, to exploring the tensions, to becoming fully engaged co-owners.

If this hypothesis is true, then it would probably be very helpful to name these stages and design distinct kinds of interactions within each.
Original Tweet:

oh my.. let go richard