Manifesto 1.0

Together We Can Solve Tomorrow

A work in progress

1

There are many brilliant people with the potential to change the world for the better who are, right now, not enabled to do so. The result is a personal tragedy for them, a moral tragedy for those who put barriers in their path, and an existential tragedy for our species. We want to empower everyone who has the desire to build a better future to flourish in doing so, as far as, and in whatever direction, their ability takes them, and as a result to create the best tomorrow possible.

2

We focus on those working on the problems in greatest need of a solution, providing the skills in which we excel over others, advocating for what we do in the spaces our voices can best be heard, inspiring those who would without us not be reached to do things that without hearing our message they would not do.

We give individuals the skills they need to come up with better, more developed ideas that maximise the potential for doing good; help them understand the area in which they make their most valuable contribution.

We help individuals to communicate those ideas more effectively in the places and to the people that will make them real.

We help institutions with the power to bring ideas to life to be more open to amazing ideas from unexpected places and to the needs of people who have those ideas so that the can be empowered to have the best chance possible of realise their ideas. We do this both by working with institutions and training the people who will be the members, and ultimately leaders, of tomorrow’s institutions.

In everything we do, from focusing on empowering those who are currently un- and under-used to focusing our efforts on those who will in turn go on to teach and influence whole groups, we look to maximise impact. Impact. Impact. With empathy and compassion and justice, passion, compassion, difference, beauty, excellence, rigour, excitement, limit-pushing, interdisciplinarity. To achieve impact.

3

We believe tomorrow’s problems can only be solved by empowering everyone who is able and willing to work on them to the full extent of their ability. We believe that this requires a radically open access approach.

It is easy to say open access means allowing every human being with an internet connection access to the sum of human knowledge. And it does. But that is only meaningful if you also give every human being that internet connection; and the skills, and the time, and the resources, and the freedom, to use it.

We believe that all of these have to come as a package, and that we are ideally positioned to advocate for that whole package, but we believe that we are uniquely positioned to deliver a key part of those skills needed to enable the currently unempowered to take part in this epic endeavour of building a better future – the skills to make better choices and find better solutions by seeing the world in ways it has not been seen before.

We teach creativity as a truly soft skill, a wiring of the brain that is not deigned to answer this problem or that problem but to enable you to answer whatever problem you are best place to tackle.

We believe that knowledge in its most meaningful sense is not the sum of every thing you know, but the product; that memory is not about how you store ideas in order to remember them but how you store ideas in order to use them. These are the assumptions from which we start, and the techniques we teach enable you to build an interconnected matrix of knowledge in which you can fluidly connect every node to every other in order to find new uses that promise to make a positive impact on the world.

We believe that society overvalues memory in this less useful form, and that in order to unlock people’s creativity it is essential to help them understand where memory and creativity fit in the palette of people’s skills. Memory is about who we’ve been; creativity is about who we could be. Who we are is about how we build on one to become the other. We will use our storytelling, our communication, to show people how through creativity they can be the narrator of their own remarkable story in which they play a pivotal role in shaping a better future.

We believe that the most promising solutions to the world’s most pressing problems will likely come from outside the paradigms and parameters in which they arose. Therefore we believe that the most likely source of those solutions are institutions that draw from and operate outside those parameters and paradigms. Diversity is an existential imperative. We therefore advocate for building institutions diverse in this radical way, and work with existing institutions to completely rebuild along these lines, and advise new institutions so that they might avoid the pitfall of falling into step with existing models.

We believe in providing brilliant people with the financial security and access to the tools and knowledge and environment they need to do their best work on the most pressing problems. And we believe that if we truly stand by our goals and our belief in our unique ability to attain them, this should apply as much to our own people as to those we seek to empower elsewhere. For that reason we charge an appropriate rate to those who want to work with us, but do so mindful of the need to do what we can to benefit those who cannot afford that. We therefore commit to finding the most effective ways to donate 10% of our fees to empowering those held back by lack of financial resources; we also commit to donating a further 5% of our fees to projects and organisations working in innovative ways on vital and underrecognised problems.

We believe that we should demonstrate the value of diversity and empowerment not just by what we teach but through the way we are. We seek to create a team that shares an unwavering commitment to our goals but is as diverse as possible within that umbrella.

Most people have a very short period within each day, and for some within longer periods than that, during which they are able to excel to the very best of their potential. We believe it is essential to building a better future to enable people to protect that time, whenever it occurs, for the activity that most needs them to operate at that level. We do not believe that “you just need to form better habits” or that “you just need to get on with it.” We believe that institutions will flourish if they treat people’s “golden hours” as something precious and protect them ferociously. We will teach institutions how to do that, and we will endeavour to embody it ourselves. By and large we think those things which don’t need the multiplier effect of being undertaken during this time are probably best ultimately automated (not outsource – outsourcing those tasks simply steals someone else’s potential you should be attempting to enable rather than your own) – and obviously if people “only” work those golden hours, you don’t pay them less!

Because we believe that creativity comes from outside the paradigms and parameters that have given rise to problems, we believe it is important that we keep decentring what we do, to avoid the pull to the middle and away from the truly creative and valuable, and we teach techniques for doing this to our clients as a key part of giving them the best chance of solving the problems they work on

For all of these reasons, we will not necessarily work in the ways you expect us to work. And we will not adapt ourselves to your frameworks in order to make us “easier to understand” or “more comfortable companions” for you – in terms of creativity, to do so is to remove those elements of what you do that make you truly creative. Instead, we will operate in the way that works for us. We will operate within our own paradigms, our actions and our practices that make no sense to you making full sense within them. Instead of waiting for your invitation into your world, we invite you into ours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s