When BHAG Thrill, The Deed Is Done

Capitalism flag

What can possibly be more challenging, thrilling and engaging than creating a whole new future?  I think that’s one reason why when I tell fellow entrepreneurs what I’m doing, they are rapt in attention.

It’s not often you hear someone is making headway towards making capitalism, communism and socialism obsolete.

A fellow entrepreneur, after telling him what I’m doing, said, “Boy, I’ve heard people tell me what they’re doing is ‘a game changer’,” he said. “But what you’re doing really is a game changer!”

Another entrepreneur friend of mine, after studying Copiosis said “Well you’re certainly having an extraordinary life!”

It’s true, Copiosis is a game changer. My life is filled with engaging things calling me nearly every moment that bring me joy .

There are times when I feel overwhelm. But more and more, I’m finding peace with the increasing calls for my attention, from people, content I need to create and shows I’m producing.

There are dozens of people around the world contributing mightily to Copiosis through the principle of Stigmergy. Some come and go. Some that go come back. When they do, they’re astonished how far we got during their absence.

I’m familiar with working in and leading disbursed teams.  As a Marine journalist, I worked as part of a dispersed team of reporters in California and Okinawa, Japan. My last tour in Japan saw me working as the editor of the Marine Corps newspaper there. Part of my role included managing a team of reporters spread up and down the Japanese island. Having people who are independent self-starters goes a long way to making coordinating and leading easier. Discipline, an integral component of Marine Corps training, helped a lot too. Since the Marines I’ve worked with those who are self-leading, where I could focus on coordinating their work output rather than actually “leading” them.

Much later, while working at Intel, I lead a small team of people around the world working together to find ways Intel technology could make the world a better place. Team members were self starters working in a highly ambiguous environment (what we were doing was brand new).

Facilitating their success wasn’t always easy. For some, having what I call a “blue sky” role (i.e. you’re free to do whatever you want to be successful, so long as it’s legal and fits our mission) was unnerving. Some folks prefer the familiarity and certainty of clearly-defined roles nestled in a clear, straightforward and traditional mission. I don’t think that’s going to change, even when capitalism’s or communism’s or socialism’s cubicle farms are history.

Copiosis is decidedly not straightforward or traditional. People engaged with me on Copiosis aren’t up for the traditional and straightforward. Of course, many of them must work such jobs. They pay the bills.

But I can see Copiosis lights their fires. It lights mine too. And that’s what makes what we’re all doing so thrilling. When you meet people of the same mindset, focused on the same big hairy ass goal (BHAG) that you’re focused on, it’s fun, joyful even, thinking about the possibilities.

And while you’re focused on the joy and fun, the challenges recede into the background.

Why The Future Depends On Hearts, not heads

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

It’s fine (and fun for some) to talk about future technologies, planned future mega-cities, energy systems, transportation systems, water producing systems and the like, when contemplating transitioning to the a better future.

But a better future requires primarily changing people, or at least facilitating that change in some way.

Technology is not going to make the transition happen.  Psychological change within a critical mass of humanity will.  In a The Young Turks interview, Peter Joseph talks about how the transition must take place within each person. He says “When you talk about [the transition] literally, it’s the change of the human being, the change of you and I”.  

Peter’s quote is interesting to me.  One, because he’s 100 percent correct.  It’s also interesting because few talk about doing what Peter says must happen.

Sure, there are lots of people encouraging ecovillages, community gardens and personal behavior changes.  But those approaches preach to the choir: The people participating in these projects are idealistic, interested in lifestyles and values aligned with such practices. They are not, in my opinion, representative of everyone else.

It’s ok to preach to the choir. One must start somewhere.  Fundamental change though requires reaching people with no interest in changing.  We’re going to have to reach people who are apathetic about themselves.  We also must reach people in denial about self-transformation.

Starting with the choir makes sense because even with social media’s tentacles spread everywhere, an evangelical army must fan out, help folks understand why change is necessary, and help them make the change however they can.

Change makes change worthwhile

The deep, personal changes, changes which cause an individual paradigm shift can ignite hope.  Hope can show people practical solutions to problems to intractable problems are available.

Without such awareness, none of the apathetic/in denial majority – the people who have to “see it to believe it” – will support a new idea.  It is a marketing problem. I think reaching people requires giving them hope.

I believe change must include facing one’s conditioning before hope is possible. Especially for those really stuck in the status quo.

It’s not easy sparking hope in a person. Maybe that’s why so many focus on future technologies instead of people. We believe technological advancement will take care of itself.

We focus on changing people’s perspectives. We use words and pictures and movies, but also demonstration projects where the difference between earning a living and Real Freedom can be seen, and more importantly, felt.

Feeling change is important

Here’s an interesting conversation that happened in our early demonstration projects. It shows how deep, personal changes, changes I call “psycho-emotional-social shifts” happen when participating in a project.

A participant enjoyed accommodations, a meal, hospitality all provided at no cost to her and her daughter while they traveled from Northern California on the way to Seattle. While enjoying what she received from her host, she offered bookkeeping expertise to the host. She felt it would be a good “trade” as part of the project, she, receiving hospitality and, in return, offering bookkeeping.

That’s not how Copiosis works though.  It isn’t a barter economy, where “trades” happen. It is a gift economy. The gift of housing and food the participant’s host provided came at NO COST to her.  No cost includes no obligation to give something in return for getting something at no cost.

The participant admitted feeling very uncomfortable about that. The word she used was feeling “pain” over it. Examining her discomfort, she realized she felt obligation, an obligation born of the belief – a belief created by capitalism – that nothing is free and that if someone does something for you YOU MUST GIVE SOMETHING IN RETURN.

In Copiosis, the role of the consumer is to gladly, lovingly, appreciatingly RECEIVE what the producer is lovingly, gladly, appreciatingly offering. There is no reciprocation. Reciprocation can happen. But it’s not obligatory.

In return for the producer’s generous act, the producer is rewarded by society (via the Copiosis Organization) with NBR.

Obligatory giving is not giving

What is fascinating is how ingrained this reciprocation conditioning is. Our conditioning teaches us to feel guilt and pain in receiving something for nothing, when, in fact, receiving things for nothing is the natural state of everything.

Have we forgotten what it’s like to lovingly receive? Who taught us receiving is bad, particularly if we don’t give back? Where is the freedom in that? Where is the love and cooperation?

Receiving doesn’t incur debt. Unless the giver is not giving freely. This is why real freedom underlies Copiosis. Here’s what real freedom sounds like:

There’s no need for obligatory giving. That’s not giving.

Many such examples show how our demonstration project model creates what Peter is talking about. Circumstances wherein people change. Change like that isn’t exclusive to demonstration project participation. It happens when people learn more about how Copiosis works.

However they happen, such changes are key. They will catalyze humanity’s shift from what we have to something better. Without this cultural, social, psychological, emotional shift among a critical mass of people, the kind of shift we want to see is just not possible.

Real change for the better starts first in people’s hearts. Technology can’t do that.

How we’re changing the world

think big get bigEvery month we get comments and questions that get us thinking.

As we explore new demonstration project proposals, I think about questions we got while running our early demonstration projects.

Many people asked us this: “Are your demonstration projects places to live with like-minded people”?  I presume the writer, by “like-minded”, meant people interested in living together in a sharing community.

The short answer is “No”, but I didn’t leave it at that because that short answer needs some fleshing out.  There are good reasons why our implementation objective does not include creating small communities where the like-minded can live in relief from capitalism while the rest of humanity continues to have to deal with it.

Our main implementation objective is to create space where Copiosis can “compete” alongside capitalism, showing how both systems compare in terms of actual people living their everyday lives. We don’t want to create another intentional community or enclave where people can escape from capitalism. That’s small thinking. It’s also been done many, many times.

We prefer creating “like-minded” people from among ordinary people.  We do that by inviting these people to participate in the context of their ordinary lives, in their communities, in a demonstration project large enough to include most resources they have in capitalism. How else can participants and observers compare the two systems?

Such experiments also move Copiosis participants through a psycho-social-emotional mindset shift critical to making Copiosis a worldwide reality. I believe when people see how radically better it is living in Copiosis, people will abandon in droves capitalism. That’s why all we want is the opportunity to compete fairly and equitably with capitalism.

A Psycho-social-emotional mindset shift

Here’s what I mean by that. We already know from previous project participant feedback, visceral, changes happen when people tangibly see what’s possible. World-views change so significantly a new reality opens to them.  How does that happen?

When participants contrast what they experience earning a living alongside project experiences where they don’t have to do that, where they are out of debt, where they have nearly all their time available to them, and where almost anything they do – literally almost anything – affords them income, something unique happens.  Their experience takes them beyond theoretical understanding. It creates a visceral clarity and a psychological break from stress and struggles of making ends meet.

It’s pretty profound getting meals offered without you paying the person offering. It’s pretty profound getting a ride from a stranger when you need it without you having to pay that person. It’s especially profound when you realize people providing things aren’t put out, instead, they’re rewarded well for what they do for you. Here are some quotes from our early project participants:

I’m finding that even though I’m not participating with the software as I had hoped and hope to, it is changing me psychologically. I’m much more aware of what I am doing with my money and how I am relating to people around that. And of the gifts being offered to me all the time.

I notice that I am claiming more of who I am because I am evaluating my activities based on the Copiosis Innovation. For instance I had lunch with a friend and spent an hour talking about her kids and listening. She told me that she benefited from our conversation which got me thinking about how natural this comes to me. So I created it as an item in the demo project. We experience life through who we know ourselves to be and the project helps clarify and update my identity. I like what I have to give and it makes me want to give more.

I’m so inspyred about theze sweet tranzaxionz!!! My heart iz bursting with joy. A profound realization for me… a whole list of thingz I kan “afford” smile emoticon I feel lyke a freakin kid in a kandy store. This konnexion, this abundanse. This projekt haz been profoundly helpful to meeting my needz for purpose, kontribution, belonging, kommunity, growth, harmony, awareness, appreshiation. My strengths az an individual seem to really shyne in kopiosis in a way that the old paradigm/sosiety haz never provyded the spase for. Witnessing intelligent feedbak about the nature of the net benefit my passionz kreate provydez me with an aknowledgement and rekognition the lykes of which i have never known. To which i respond with a DEEP inner relaxing/softening that iz so very soothing indeed.

If our early demonstration projects created such transformations, imagine what can happen when an entire city puts on a project where hundreds of thousands of people can participate?

Our intention with Copiosis is to change the entire world. Not just create places where people can escape.

Such profound and lasting psycho-social-emotional shifts are exactly what will happen when our new projects get underway. I’m excited because our new projects will be far better than our first two.  I expect better results too.

Iteration: The key to success


When shooting for an ideal, whether it’s a new product or service, a movement or an empire, your chances for success are better if you create a tangible representation of that thing as soon as possible.

People will inevitably criticize your first attempt.  They don’t understand the value having an early version of your idea expressed in the real world.

By having something tangible you can incrementally improve toward the final version, the version matching your original ideal.  Beginning with a crappy version of your thing, then interacting toward better and better, excels over waiting to build the perfect version, or hoping to get resources you need for the perfect version, or just talking about how wonderful the perfect version will be when it gets built.

The few people criticizing what we did through our successful,  small demonstration projects, didn’t understand our approach. What we produced matches processes used in every major success across history.

From crappy to excellent

Hyundai is a perfect example.  The Korean car maker entered the US in 1986 with the Excel.  Their first shot in American markets sold very well.  As Wikipedia describes it:

Initially well received, the Excel’s faults soon became apparent; cost-cutting measures caused reliability to suffer. With an increasingly poor reputation for quality, Hyundai sales plummeted, and many dealerships either earned their profits on repairs or abandoned the product. At one point, Hyundai became the butt of many jokes (i.e. Hyundai stands for “Hope you understand nothing’s driveable and inexpensive”) and even made David Letterman‘s Top Ten Hilarious Mischief Night Pranks To Play In Space: No.8 – Paste a “Hyundai” logo on the main control panel.

Today, over 30 years later, Hyundai’s flagship products successfully compete with BMW and Audi. Along the way auto industry monitors awarded Hyundai’s autos accolades in several categories including top marks in auto reliability.

Our demonstration project model mimics this approach. I never expected rave reviews to start or even stellar results. I expected faults and starts, and complaints and critiques. Our initial projects created great feedback which became foundational to what we’re doing now. Just like Hyundai’s Excel.

What I do expect is we get better at what we’re doing.  We’re doing that. Building something right away beats waiting as it offers iteration opportunities leading to more and better.  Iteration is a key to being successful.

After putting early demonstration projects on hold, I had no idea how long it would be before we launched new, improved versions. Today though, we’re getting closer to new, stimulating ideas.

I can’t say what they’ll look like. But I’m excited about them anyway as we move closer to our ideal.