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Introducing COMMON

Watch as Alex Bogusky, Rob Schuham and John Bielenberg present COMMON, and follow along with the deck below (Download PDF).

 

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We’re confident that benefiting people, communities, society, the environment and future generations is the new advantage in business. We’re launching the COMMON brand in support of this transition from competitive advantage to collaborative advantage.

COMMON is one part community; one part business prototyper; and one part collaborative brand. A living network of creative people rapidly prototyping dozens or hundreds of progressive businesses designed to solve social problems. Connected to a brand that’s community designed, community owned, and community directed.

For updates on COMMON, follow @commonworks on Twitter. If you'd like to get involved, sign up for our FearLess Force and let us know how you could help.

 

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References (38)

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Reader Comments (52)

Alex + Boulder + Common = Miracles

What if....!

Blessings

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIN-B-TWEEN

Yay!

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott Smith

Great initiative. They same energy as I get get from The new capitalist Manifesto from Umair Hague!

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersikko

Umair Haque's book was a huge inspiration for COMMON.

January 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterFearLess

Hey, I think I just came up with a great slogan: It's the New Communism! "community designed, community owned, and community directed."

If it catches on, I hereby reserve all right . . . oh crap. Can't do that anymore. Okay, feel free to use it for the good of the brand. Other slogans:
Common: It's like Communism, without the blood purges.
Common: Like Ayn Rand, except we say "Who is John Galt?" to be funny and ironic.
Common: Brought to you by Dow Chemical Company. --- Just Kiddin'

Just to be clear - I love the idea. I'm just a skeptical old ba$tard.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrammofan`

As a former business partner once said, and quite beautifully I might add, "Lawyers are tools. Use them for what you want to accomplish. Don't let them stand in your way."

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott Smith

w00t! This is seriously unreal.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDerrick

Big thinking. I wonder if there's still another level up -- time. I wonder if we can ever increase total love & prosperity in the world without a healthier disregard for growth & the calcified, synaptic impulses that have already pushed us toward our physical & emotional limits. Should a sick world & a sick population still see growth, even a Common growth, as a solution? I don't know. Maybe we need to do a better job now of accepting the limitations of the world (mostly) (ie, the edges of the bucket) & the limitations of our bodies (ie, slow down, eat better, exercise, relax & dare I say it, work less). Maybe we should allow people & businesses to just be. Get them collaborative & transparent & aligned beyond price & profit, but don't force them to grow or scale. Maybe Pie Lab is good enough. More Pie Labs, please. I know that's one of the big goals here & I applaud it. I just worry that we see good ideas take hold on a small scale & want to grow them beyond their usefulness. Stay focused on that as the platform develops.

Working harder on anything -- Common or otherwise -- may be only an interim solution. We need to figure out how to be more fully human, full of love & the potential for prosperity, within capitalism & then we need to move quickly beyond it. It's okay to work 30 hours a week & raise a family. & volunteer. & do nothing but think. & get sick. & be scared. & be middle class. & pursue profitless dreams. We need some big thinking around time management & it's intersection with work & capitalism to really address some of the sickness we all now carry.

That's not to say this isn't awesome & inspiring. Good luck. Just remember that time is another bucket edge & it's not going anywhere. France seems to remember it at times. Maybe they can help us figure it out.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

Brilliant! I can't wait to get invloved.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert D. Jones

Is this like Adbuster.org's black dot sneaker?

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVincent Ammirato

Really interesting and ambitious. And what's wrong with that?

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHaydn

@Vincent - Elements of COMMON are definitely in line with the thinking behind Blackspot. We think that building a community around it and "out-cubating" like-branded businesses, we can accelerate the notion of a better capitalism.

January 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterFearLess

Marc,

There most certainly is a level up from here. It is where miracles are a habit! Yes, we are going to reach that level in our lifetime. Cheers and.....


Blessings

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIN-B-TWEEN

Placing "confidential and proprietary" on every slide of a deck (about an open source project) that you have placed for public consumption on the web seems a little ... um ... odd on two levels.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrand Zeitgeist

Alex and team:

This is pretty remarkable. Thinking that leads anyone willing to follow and inspires anyone smart enough to accept the invitation. We are seeing this happen already in many places, from entrepreneurs like Jules Pieri and Sheena Matheiken, to Mesh companies including Zipcar and Upthread. Whether or not this will be best accomplished by big companies that agree to try new things or from the emergence of lots of startups remains to be seen. As does whether or not it can be achieved by a collaborative community rather than the by visionary entrepreneur with a more modern purposeful mindset. But no doubt this initiative will take this to a new level, generating attention, excitement and ideally participation. You are to be encouraged for being fearless and liberating others to be the same.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteredward boches

I love this. And in keeping with Osho's words, "we're all born creative." so basically anyone can participate in molding this new capitalism. I'm in.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZack Kinslow

YES. Time for a new economic model. Not a growth (rollercoaster model that DEPENDS on losers) but a stable model, sustainable cooperative, collaborative one.

I have a plan but must I take a bullet to present it?.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterluaP

Capitalism is a brand that needs REbranding a name that invites and one that separates it from wall st greed and evil competition.

January 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterluaP

This is so so awesome!!!!! Common! I just pray I could contribute big sitting here in India...Hope it goes global in the truest sense... All the very best... Feel like am already a part of it:). Definitely the way forward...

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMukund

jeez, couldn't you edit the video?

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrs

Overall, I really like this idea! I think it's innovative and inspiring. The presentation was very clear in explaining what in some ways is a very complex idea and I am looking forward to watching everything unfold.

While watching the video, my brain moved to thoughts and questions about how the Common process will evolve and play out. The word "community" has several definitions and really is open for interpretation. For product-based companies born out of the three-part Common process (pie-chart), the community may simply mean of the employees and the consumers of the products.

Unfortunately, not all problems can be solved with a product. It seems likely that several Common ventures could take the form of services, campaigns, or systems that try to solve local social issues. For these projects, the community must include those being affected by the identified problem. To have long term sustainability and success in these projects, it is vital that the local community is involved in the discussion and visioning section (community & out-cubator) of the Common process. Only the community affected by a problem can really understand its complexities and breadth of all of the systems that play into it. Without their involvement, one also risks solving one problem at the expense of making another worse. It's important to work as an ally to the local community to solve issues versus instructing them on how to do so.

Creativity and solutions have the ability to come from the most unexpected places, and I hope the large and diverse group of people are interested in joining the Common community!

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Great point, Amy.

Not only would you need to encourage the affected communities to be involved, but there should be a way to give them accessibility to membership (which they may not be able to afford).

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Common ground is sacred ground.

Blessings

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIN-B-TWEEN

Very inspiring and I look forward to joining the common community. Great start!

January 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdog

Marvelous!!! Can't wait to see how the COMMON brand will evolve. And I love the name - COMMON as well.

January 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerri

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