An artist is someone who gives themselves permission to do whatever they want. I was walking on College Street in Toronto, coughing on car exhaust fumes, feeling very alienated from what was going on around me, when I thought, "I don't like the way this society runs. I'll invent another one."
What it does
A Social Life Form allows for us to be enterprising while having a life. It's a form of social organizing that quickly adapts it's course of action and rapidly moves to fulfill our values. By facilitating our personal fulfillment, a Social Life Form is an enterprise that develops the workings of a soul, what's called the animating principle.
Ossington North is a start-up local enterprise spread over several neighbourhoods, designed to operate much like a person. It closes in on what we need or wish for. In addition, it delivers services on a local scale so that businesses are renewed becoming more responsive as changes in their operating environments continue to accelerate.
How I built it
Business schools that I've attended basically prepared us for borrowing money from banks. The business plans I produced were very, very boring. My friends refused to read them.
Because I had a life, there was no way I was ever going plan my week around what was in those documents. I'm extremely practical so when business schools failed to deliver, I took a creative writing course and wrote the lyrics to a musical called the Toronto Epic. This clarified my ideas in ways that kept me coming back again and again. It completely disrupted all plan writing. People were happily reading my song lyrics that were crammed full new business methods. People wanted to write music for the musical.
Challenges I ran into
There has never been a theory of Life - just mostly theories of how DNA works. To figure out how to have an enterprise that doesn't interfere with our lives - unlike the Borg - I had to study Process Philosophy, the basis of project management - what business, government and our civilization are based on. In business we refer to order seeking structures as 'organizations' - which they are not. Actual organizations, found in nature, require a balance of flows and order. Working inside something that's order-seeking can be soul destroying.
My plans for life in an internet age were to marry technology with people and the land. Others didn't get that, establishing a gynoid or networked community - compare with an android - wouldn't result in just another 'organization'. As well as the usual process or nadi, there's the bodily life form, or prakriti. Ideas from Eastern Spirituality - including flow, or Shakti, and self-organization, or Shiva - meant that a gynoid, would develop self-awareness.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees originated when North America was becoming industrialized. Companies looked for scientific forms of management, and they based this on scientific determinism - which applies to inanimate objects like bricks. Management schools teach how to become a project manager without knowing which theories this is based on. Theories of process, or nadi, are never studied so as to improve on them. So civilization is based on dogma.
Understanding the Self as the real organizing principle within everything throughout the universe, I studied chemistry and Carl Jung's writings on alchemy. Solving the quantum wave equation and therefore understanding consciousness meant contemplating yantras and finding parallels within the periodic table in chemistry, and playing cards.
To understand embedded systems required studying the movement of planets against the galactic background. After looking into the Tao, Buddhism taught me how a social system becomes healthy by maintaining a balanced approach to life. Developing an understanding of life as erotic, playful, and vital required studying tantra.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm honoured and relieved to report that, today I can apply an advanced theory of Life to demonstrate that it works beautifully. Day after day, the course of my life guided me to everything I needed to succeed. Although I didn't notice at first, its been that way since that day on College Street when I made the intention to come up with a kind of society that works really well, and where I'd feel like I belong.
The business style I'm using includes encouraging others to learn about, build on, and develop better models than what I'm using currently.
What I learned
When you borrow money from a bank, it's like putting yourself on dialysis - or worse - it's blood-letting. In an iternet era we don't need to go into debt, or use budgets, policy, processes, and time lines. With online access and community memory available almost everywhere, smaller enterprises can form among us that nurture us and become the source of grace in our lives and loving. Within a vital enterprise, Life will be about flow (the Shakti) towards becoming self-sustained (Shiva principle). To en-soul or animate the enterprise we must pursuing and fulfill our longings.
After 250-years of industrialization, we need education that encourages us to move towards mutual fulfillment of our individual values. You might wonder - what happens when participants in a social life form fulfill all their longings? They'll experience the end of alienation, which is belonging, wanting to stay with others that they've grown to fully appreciate within the enterprise.
What's next for 2020 - The Year of the Social Life Form
This year, Ossington North will be working with DAOstack, CryptoChicks, and perhaps CurveLabs.eu, Non-Zone, and others, to introduce a fully stacked platform for fulfilling our longings. We'll earn money while free to take self-directed action. We'll organize into departments that operate based on the virtual company model used for decades in the film industry. When one participant's project comes to an end, the same departments simply reform around another participant's project. We'll raise money to pay for education by doing bulk buying together in ways that change how crops are grown. There will be courses in joy, eros, and celebration which are essential for Life and getting in touch with our values. Then Ossington North participants will learn to give themselves permission to do whatever they want to become fulfilled.