Community 3.0

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Imagine, close your eyes and think of your community, your neighborhood. What does it look like. Imagine walking the streets, looking at the broken playground at the elementary school down the block, the vacant lots riddled with weeds. You remember the elderly woman in the blue house that hasn’t been painted in years. Does she even live there anymore? Is she even alive? Imagine inside the local middle school where you know there are children that have fallen behind, but could catch up with just a little extra help – but won’t get it and in turn will drop out … forever handicapping their future.

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What you see on your walk through community is a reflection of what is happening everywhere here in America. Are communities are little more than a shell, hiding a plethora of maladies behind the walls of disconnected residents. This is especially the case now as we’re caught in the grips of the COVID-19 crisis. Everywhere around us help is needed … everywhere. Our institutions have become as much a liability as they are an asset, government included. Public policy of austerity and the ‘survival of the fittest’ has put us in a position scrambling for survival. Resources available five years ago have or are in danger of being severely cut. Schools are now more concerned with budgets than they are with children. Local beautification efforts have become nonexistent. Food banks are full of patrons, but food on the shelves … not so much.

But what if it didn’t have to be this way. What if we decided not to wait for the “man on the white horse” to come riding in to save us: and when they didn’t we just cower in the corner and complain. What if instead we decided to do something about it, regardless if our so-called institutions and so-called leaders were on board with us.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest due to racial inequality, the world is at a turning point. I hope from this we evolve as a society and realize that this is indeed an unprecedented opportunity. But to do so we can’t just create models of the world we want. The optimal world I envision here in Montana is probably not the world you see in Los Angeles or Lagos, Nigeria. Each community brings different needs and resources to address these needs. Our goal should be to create a world that empowers the maximization of these local resources.

Welcome to Community 3.0.

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Community 3.0 is a network of community members and merchants, people like you who want to change the status quo, one dependent on the crumbs tossed at us from those in the institutional ivory towers. The 3.0 network consists of people who want to take back control of their towns and neighborhoods by doing the things that need to be done. No longer can we assume the government and other institutions will automatically be there. And even if they are – will they act in our best interests? It’s up to us to look out for ourselves, for our friends and for our neighbors. It’s up to us to take responsibility and maximize the resources we have. And our most effective resource is ourselves – our expertise, our talent … and our caring.

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Empowering ‘Main Street’ and Local Business

Community 3.0 connects businesses to its customers to solve its communities problems directly. We’re using our local businesses to bring back the concept of the ‘Front Porch’ civic gathering concept. The ‘Front Porch’ allows us to reclaim the priorities of our neighborhoods and our communities. It allows us to organize and take action directly, not wait on the sidelines while traditional institutions may or may not act.

By signing up with Community 3.0 businesses will have access to the bleedingEDGE Loyalty Engagement Platform, featuring programs that reward customers for their patronization – through a dedicated point system and event-driven communication. The more a patron spends, the more points they earn, the more that can be used like money. Customers will also be kept abreast of special deals, special events and whatever else might benefit them and the community they live in.

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The Pursuit of Hypersanity

Hypersanity: “A quality of an adult human being in full sovereign possession of essential character and integrity of action; with generative interaction, skills, sensibilities and superpowers – the ability to turn intelligence into continuity, change and agency.”

The bleedingEDGE platform is so much more than just a vehicle for loyalty though. It’s a conduit for personal well-being. When you sign up and join the Community 3.0 network, you will be asked to complete a short well-being assessment. We call this: “A Look In The Mirror.” From this look, we will (with the help of the bleedingEDGE algorithm) be able to provide you with the most effective nudges from community businesses and organizations (as well as us at Community 3.0) that will help you improve yourself as you venture on your journey to self-efficacy and hypersanity; whether it be physically, mentally or socially. Think of it as your own personal well-being bot powered by your entire community. I call mine Melvin. 🙂

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Revitalizing Your Community and Solving It’s Problems Yourself

But that’s only half of it. Each business involved with Community 3.0 will sponsor “solution” projects designed to help their community pick up the slack. These can range from organizing a clean-up effort, to fixing a playground, to even spearheading a high school mentoring or apprentice program. And by being a Member you can get involved with whatever “solution” fits your strengths and fits your desires. In this time when there seems to be more problems than solutions, maybe we can even the score. Whether it be finding a way to enable your small business to compete with big box national chains, or make sure that your child’s education is as good as your was, or even keeping the neighborhood park from getting overrun by weeds … maybe there’s a solution. And maybe, just maybe, Community 3.0 and your involvement is that solution. But central to any solution – with or without Community 3.0, is you, your neighbors and your friends. They don’t lie in Washington D.C., or in your state capitol, or especially on Wall Street. The power lies with you. Our goal is to connect and empower those who often feel left out and not acknowledged in traditional hierarchies and norms.

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To get a full understanding of the philosophy and strategy behind Community 3.0, please read through the “Situational Leadership” series below. The six pieces below outline: the illusion of the superiority of hierarchy; the need for a community norm of permission; how our new civic structure may be found in nature; how to create a new breed of situational leadership based on the power of peers and how we can implement it by improving our individual, collective and environmental health and well-being.

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Community 3.0 Philosophy and Tenets:

  • Community 3.0 is about the community first … not the individual. With the strength of the community will come the resultant strength of the individual. That said, while the community is the priority, a community is essentially the aggregate of its parts – its people. For the community to be healthy – first must the people. The relationship between the two is essentially a morph of one.
  • We do not care about existing structure and archaic systems. Community 3.0 cares only about finding the needs of the community and addressing these needs using whatever resources available. Legacy institutions hold no weight in the 3.0 ecosystem. Their value lie only in the insight, both positive and negative, that can be gained from them.
  • The basis of Community 3.0 is “human capital.” Every member of the community is unique and adds to fabric of the community. Everyone has something to offer and everyone should be heard – no mater their age or social standing.
  • Community 3.0 practices the concept of  Resource Maximization.  ” Don’t worry about what you don’t have … use what you have.” Traditional civic functioning looks for outside assistance first, assuming the status quo is static (unchanging). A 3.0 community looks to maximize, realign and leverage current resources to address dynamic needs and opportunities. The world is dynamic – so we must live in it in a dynamic fashion.
  • Community 3.0 is a lifestyle. It’s tenants should be maintained throughout your life. The 3.0 is not something you participate in – it’s a mindset, a lifestyle that revolves around health (physical, mental and social), for both you and those around you in your community.
  • Wealth is not just about money. It’s about quality of life and your “personal currency” can take any form. We must reward accomplishment on a multitude of avenues. Our goal must be to nurture a “personal currency” within each person that they themselves strive to build.
  • Cross pollinate. It’s not enough just to accept people who are different and act outside the norms – we must activity seek out their input. These outsiders will be the one who give us the insight to address the issues of today and especially the future. Sameness is a disease – and a show of emotional and cerebral lethargy.
  • Community 3.0 builds the community by strengthening locally owned business. We are “Changers of Commerce” empowering the Davids against the Goliaths. Local ownership provides ongoing multigenerational rooting and stability. It give those in decision making positions a vested interest in the community.
  • The future of the community is its youth. We must look at our youth for the vision of tomorrow – not mold them to fitting into ours of the past. We should give them guidance and the lessons gained from our successes and failures so they are best positioned to lead. The vision of community it embraces must include the relevance of each generation (and sub-generation) that inhabit it. This keeps us current and informed.
  • Every community is different. Community 3.0 is just a “tool box.” How you use the tools will be up to you. The 3.0 will provide its Members and Front Porches with tools, including a technical platform and rhizomatic structure to build on. While there will be basic tenets – what is built on the foundation must be completely up to the community’s residents, young and old.
  • Community 3.0 must lead by example. Understand embrace of the 3.0 way will not be consistent throughout the populace. There will be innovators, early adopters, the middle mass, laggards and those who will never come around. Accept this; regardless their acceptance level – they are still part of the community. Do your best to show them the way and accept the result.