AKASHA Conversations #7 - Weco: Regenerating The Social Fabric Through Play

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AKASHA Conversations #7 — Regenerating The Social Fabric Through Play

By Martin Etzrodt

June 21, 2022

We were pleased to be joined by James Weir and LCC from we{collective} (WeCo) for this month’s AKASHA Conversation. WeCo is building a platform that creates public places in holonic structures. WeCo defines itself as “a collective intelligence experiment working to manifest the world brain by 2030.” :earth_africa:

The WeCo initiative explores three important topics:

  • Innovations in organizing information
  • Novel methods of creating together
  • Unique applications for being together

James shared his motivation for developing WeCo and his path of transitioning from an ideator to a self-taught developer. Both James and LCC share the conviction that we are on a trajectory towards a global civilization that needs new forms of governance. The current Web may be a manifestation of H.G. Well’s World Brain, but in its current form, it is not fit for what was envisioned.

We need various decision-making tools and methods to explore further and find a shared global understanding. James noted that the democracies of today are still operating in an archaic manner, as in the time before the internet, while online social media platforms remain privately owned. There is currently a misalignment between incentive designs, decision making, and the user base generating valuable content. The above reasoning resonates with the AKASHA Foundation and our mission to build an open framework to serve future online communities. :handshake:

WeCo is informed by Ken Wilber’s holonic paradigm and Integral Theory. This approach posits that our brains, world, and universe are built on nested patterns that repeat in larger and smaller dimensions. A community forming with the shared context of a single city might initially be small enough to meet in one single space. At the same time, the increasing number of participants and their increasingly diverging interests will still all have in common the same physical location while forming more and more nested subgroups. Thus, WeCo features a holonic nesting of its communities - with WeCo spaces having the ability to be integrated into a potential holacracy.

We also dived deep into a WeCo space named Castalia, which features a dedicated user interface that allows its participants to play the Glass Bead Game, named after Hermann Hesse’s famed novel. The Glass Bead Game of WeCo is described as “a trans media co-creative embodied sense making game” and possibly the first real incarnation of Hesse’s fictional world that even Magister Ludi Josef Knecht would have loved to play in our new digital realm. This game manifestation is LCC’s interpretation of what was mysteriously described by Hesse. To create the World Brain and steward, a global civilization, LCC believes there must be an individual and collective understanding of 24 fundamental concepts. Therefore, participants can build more profound knowledge of specific key topics through conversations. The positive feedback loops of interconnectivity among the players may then be translated from the game to the real world. Currently, LCC believes our World Brain is in a nascent state, being disoriented and perhaps progressing through “puberty.”

The World Brain needs our help to evolve beyond its current state if we are to face the massive challenges impacting our societies successfully. The clock is ticking…2030 is approaching.

Watch the full presentation and follow-up discussion below! :eyes:

Please continue the conversation below! :arrow_heading_down:

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This was a great conversation, thanks!!

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Absolutely blown away by this discussion that James and LCC brought to us. I feel like WECO is right in line with what I think AKASHA stands for especially if you have an understanding for what the word Akasha means from the ancient Vedic Sanskrit texts of India. It’s about bringing the human condition into unity through consciousness, and I think what they are working on to create the world brain is aimed at just that. Both James and LCC seem to have an understanding that our borders and nations have time and again created war among us and seemingly separated us from each other for generations to the point that we no longer understand any truth outside of our own individual forms of consciousness. I love the goal of what I call digital tribalism to combat this and bring us back together. I am fascinated by their presentation and how they blended our current technologies with ancient understandings of the universe and how to further human consciousness through mindfulness and meditation and how that can relate to our current world and their work at WECO. I just want more of this any day every day. Thanks guys!

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That was a mind expanding discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! I’m curious to learn if/how the WeCo model has been influenced by Integral Theory and Ken Wilber. :person_in_lotus_position:

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Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! I became interested in Integral theory and Wilber’s work about 5 years before I started on weco and would definitely say it’s had an influence on my thinking. Some of the key concepts Wilber helped solidify for me were around the trajectory of evolution and the presence of holarchies in nature (Up From Eden and SES). I wrote a draft article a little while back that ties some of that thinking together here if you’re interested. It explores how our brains organically construct world-views and how similar dynamics could potentially be harnessed by groups to build collective intelligence at scale.

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Inspired by my conversations with @james and Lawrence I have started to read The World Brain by H.G. Wells that seems to strongly have inspired their work on WeCo, too. This written in 1938 and at the time being a truly completely lunatic idea in terms of technical implementation I wonder time and again, how could we have gotten it so wring, with the magical technology of the Web at our hands to turn the Internet in a technology today dividing us more than ever before? - for the interests of profit for some. We need more of such great minds as @james and LCC and more of these conversations to get this right. Thanks again for having been with us!

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Awesome! Thanks. You’ll have to let me know what you think. I haven’t actually read it myself but came across the wiki page a little while back and thought it looked great. I originally stumbled into these ideas through The Global Brain Institute in Brussels. In particular, the work of Francis Heylighen, Ben Goertzel, and Howard Bloom (who also wrote a book called Global Brain inspired by H.G.Wells’s work). I’d recommend looking into their stuff if your interested in the field. They’ve done some amazing research and thinking around this subject.

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