Monday, March 14, 2005

Vision, Action and Inclusion

So I like to talk about a Social Source Ecosystem. The idea that there can be lots of developers, consultants, intermediaries, customers, and users all centered upon some mission-focused, nonprofit-specific software.

For an ecosystem to work their needs to be nourishment and symbiotic relationships among the different players. Since we live in capitalism, money often becomes the logical nourishment. But capitalism is not so good at creating non-monetary symbiotic relationships. These are the keys to making real social source ecosystems work. Relationships between players where no money changes hands, but enough value changes hands that those players become inextricably linked to one another's successes and even failures.

The ecosystem comes about because their is a vision of what can be and an evangelism that shows the different players that there is value in participating. The ecosystem must also be accessible to all-- be inclusive of all the players.

So once you all the players out there and they are all start taking action, conflict arises.
To gain nourishment in the ecosystem, players have to begin taking action. They sometimes overwhelm other players in the ecosystem, they sometimes cooperate with others in the ecosystem, but eventually the system finds a balance.

So the conflict becomes:
Vision requires collaboration to help others see what you see
Inclusion is best supported in collaborative cooperative environments
Action often requires autonomy
and the general nature of an Ecosystem is that there are winners and losers.

Now put that all together and it becomes very difficult for a single person, a single organization or a single entity to catalyze a Social Source Ecosystem.

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