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Simple actions by large numbers of actors can create beautifully complex and influential structures

We are part of a wonderfully open, vibrant and increasingly diverse progressive movement. Leadership and power working to drive the progressive agenda will also continue to diversify. We can not claim to support diversity without decentralizing the power tools for mass communications, organizing and leadership.

This diversity is a source of strength. It can also be difficult to manage. The challenge is to establish a regular framework for counterbalancing the friction of a genuine debate within our ranks. The challenge today for progressives is to build the capacity to manage ad hoc coalitions. The challenge is actually to establish many bonds to the movement that ARE NOT message or policy specific but more personal, social and experiential.
Netcentric Campaign: Networking the Movement
Our goal is to establish an enduring progressive movement which is bigger, more vibrant and more effective in shaping America. Surprisingly to some, our vision is of a movement tomorrow appears very much like the one we see today. A movement that is still alive and complex in issue work, multi-message capable, boss less and leader full. Our vision is of many voices working on many campaigns to foster progressive shifts in policy, culture, politics and business.

We are unique in that we see a clear path to drive the current cacophony of efforts into a process which harmonizes and connects the people and advocates into a more efficient network. The netcentric vision is a movement capable of rapid coordination of strategies and campaigns. The progressive network we envision is decentralized yet able to make real-time adjustments to messages and the way resources are deployed.

We want to foster a new merged network model of organizing adapted to the age of connectivity. Our vision is not the old models of organizing enhanced with new tricks nor are we advocating embracing new viral directionless politically naïve flashes fad culture organizing. We are suggesting an evolution or mutation of the community today into a new species. The Netcentric campaign will be related to both family lines but clearly a new beast. Much like the ways our cities have morphed in megalopolises, our companies into multinationals, our phones and computers into the internet, our stores into mega-malls, and our yard sales into E-bay. We are building out the next generation advocacy and social change based on a new business plan which has large anchors and smaller units coordinating together to attract and engage new mobile connected masses of people.

We must change. In any competition, strategic advantage is derived from doing something your opponents can not do. As long as the struggle for control of America’s future is about convincing people to aggregate money in order to counterbalance the influence of the wealthiest special interest and multi-national corporations, we are doomed to fail. If the competition is about our staff skills vs. what the opposition’s, we are doomed. We must shift the basic ways to aggregate and exercise influence. We must avoid wrestling on their turf, debating and measuring on their terms, lobbying and campaigning with the same strategy. We must not be dependent on feeding their media and advertising for distribution our message. They are better funded, better staffed and very disciplined and controlled. We are many.

Link: PopTech 2006: Dangerous Ideas, and Thinking About Networked Politics | Personal Democracy Forum.

One big idea that came up again and again in different forms was "the power of many," or how simple actions by large numbers of actors can create beautifully complex and influential structures.