Weconomics: driven by social innovation, empowered by technology
We should always remember that what we labor for, what we trade for, and what we fight for, should be the well-being of the largest possible number of citizen and the prosperity of our children, for that is the bedrock of the stability and the power of our society’ (Cosimo De Medici)
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Summary: the organization of the future… what does it need?
Weconomics helps you with future-driven organizing. Weconomics is the composer, orchestrator, and conductor of the transformation into the durable, digital and decentral future we need. We organize this future not with more economic growth but with technology, productivity improvement and by reducing waste. We ‘finance’ this future not with more money but more time hidden in nonproductive office work. We believe we can organize a sustainable prosperity, we work from a holistic perspective, and know that you can only heal a part by treating the whole. Weconomics is a ‘decentral organized initiative’ home to hundreds of partners, projects and startups working together with the help of new business- and operating models, modern organization science (Community Model Canvas) & data technology (blockchain-based digital assembly line).
The prosperity that we ‘consume’ now (especially in the West) is not sustainably ‘produced’. The ‘machine’ with which we produce our prosperity needs replacement. We are in the midst of a poly crisis with many challenges: climate change, energy transition, running out of raw materials, uncertain geopolitics, inequality, low productivity growth, a system that needs continued economic growth, rising public spending, debts and inflation, migration, democracies under pressure, dejuvenation and aging, tight labor market, power of (tech) companies and central governments, propaganda and fake news, the next pandemic and information overload in combination with the scarcity of trust & human attention, to name a few. These challenges are related to each other and are summarized as a (nonsustainable) prosperity problem. You could say we are in a prosperity crisis and transitioning to a new period. This new socio-economic order is no longer aimed at more prosperity but a broader and more sustainable prosperity. Roughly speaking, we have known six periods in the West (Ancient History, Roman Times, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Industrial Revolution). You could say that we are transitioning, that we are in an ‘intersystem’ from society 6.0 to 7.0.
Believe: it is not the stars that shape our future, but our belief system
Weconomists believe that we as humans are capable of organizing a sustainable prosperity.
Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all (Peter Drucker).
Weconomics is committed to organizing a durable, digital, and decentral FutureNext and helping professionals and organizations with future and data-driven organizing.
Vision: FutureNext is durable, digital, and decentral
Our world is in transformation. The existing social-economic order no longer suffices. We just recovered from a bank-, debt-, euro- and refugee crisis, and we are in the midst of the consequences of fake news, censorship, polarization, politicization, data breaches, protectionism, and a pandemic. The corona pandemic and instability in the early twenties revealed what was already broken. Most people think we have recovered from the 2008 debt crisis, but the total debt burden has doubled since the beginning of this century. We live in a debt society. Billions are invested in the economy each month to create quantitative growth, and even this principle is no longer working well. The value of houses or stocks does not increase, but the value of money decreases. In addition, inequality rises, and we have a fundamental productivity problem because it doesn’t keep up with our prosperity consumption. Quantitative growth still seems to be the magic word, contributing to debts, overconsumption, and climate change. We see problems in healthcare, education, security, and democracy: the system squeaks and creaks on all sides. People long for a compelling vision, a sustainable imagination that has the power to become a reality. Shortages in education, care, and safety can hardly be solved with more money but with more time and attention. A large majority will agree, but that does not mean we are already moving in that direction.
You can read more about this in the Weconomics books with more than 4.000 pages of research, analyses, concepts, and practical examples. The transformation to the new is mainly saying goodbye to the old and looking for new organizational forms, business- and operating models, technologies, and projects that contribute to a sustainable society. Sustainable prosperity is prosperity that meets the needs of the present without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Weconomics brings new thinking, ideas, projects, movements, and communities together and connects people and resources to goals.
New business- and operating models and data technology will reduce (digital) waste and make production factors and our focus: office workers, more productive. This will create a surplus(time) that can be used in domains with a deficit.
Purpose: to organize a more sustainable prosperity
We see it as our job to organize a more sustainable prosperity by designing, developing, and delivering solutions such as academy, coaching and consultancy services, data commons, experience labs, HR services, partnerships, project support, software development, and books. These solutions help with the step-by-step realization of this purpose.
Weconomics focuses on using technology, not as an end, but to become more productive, thereby creating surplus so that we have more time for human interactions, etc. We see our focus as conditional: first, generate a surplus, and at the same time, indicate what we do not want to spend the surplus on in generic terms (no more growth/GDP, waste, redundant work, etc.) and only then the specific completion of the surplus.
Mission: ‘Work Less, Achieve More’
The future of more means less. We estimate that more than 30% of what we produce is waste. Not only waste in food and clothes but also in data centers and transport capacities, for example. For Weconomics, waste means mainly: redundant office work. More specifically: more than 30% of all office work involves repetitive administrative tasks and control. Bookkeepers check numbers, managers control processes, teachers and caretakers go crazy with all mandatory reports, and we all receive more and more emails and information to which we must respond. Automation has made checking easier, but it didn’t reduce complexity. All we do is create a digital bureaucracy. Every time new compliance obligations nullify productivity and, therefore, prosperity growth and cause great annoyance in many jobs. The good news is that there is a solution. Because with modern organization technology, it is possible to organize much office work substantially more efficiently with much less waste: so ‘Work Less, Achieve More’, or more generally: ‘Produce Less, Achieve More’.
Ambition: halving office work within one generation
Halving office work within one generation is not a utopia but becomes a reality. This allows us to solve problems in care, climate change, education, safety, democracy, circular economy, and volunteer work. Responsible administrators, politicians, managers, and professionals must be aware of this.
Strategy: use new operating models and data technology to create surplus
Organize a broader and sustainable prosperity with the help of new operating models, modern organization science, and data technology. In our work, we show which social transformation we are in and how data may play the most important role in this transformation. The question that then remains is: how data-wise are you?
Matters such as non-transparent algorithms, disinformation, abuse of data monitoring, profiling, and data leaks show that data is not always organized securely and productively, and used correctly. A durable, digital and decentral society needs awareness, specific knowledge and skills, and behavior, also known as data literacy or data wisdom.
Everyone (people, organizations, and society) needs to have insight into what data are, how we can organize the supply and demand of data in the best way, and what the consequences are of the choices we make in this regard. Yet data wisdom still sounds like a distant show to too many people. Butt imagine the ideal future using backcasting and go there step by step, SMART and with the help of instruments from the Weconomics transformation program.
Innovation: the way we innovate (hybrid innovation)
We believe in hybrid innovation with the multi-helix model where the private, public and political spheres innovate together with startups and society. They work together from the beginning of a project to exploitation. Hybrid innovation finds a new balance between learning and working, innovation and exploitation, private and public, long-term and short-term, bottom-up and top-down, Greenfield and Brownfield. It omits the drawbacks and enhances the benefits. It doesn’t take incumbents as a starting point but people, society, and our children’s future.
Focus: focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new
Combining new business- and operating models with disruptive data technologies to create effective surplus by which we can organize a broader and more sustainable prosperity. Weconomics facilitates partners to create surplus and in the dialogue around the question: ‘What is an effective use of the surplus technology creates?’ In order to achieve a broader and sustainable prosperity, Weconomics focuses primarily on the use of organizational technology and the TAPSIX concept (a tap is a device to control the release of improvements). These improvements or drivers are:
- Trust: in institutions that should facilitate, not irritate
- Attention: from an attention to an intention economy
- Purpose: the purpose of work in relation to innovation
- Productivity: pay prosperity with productivity
- Privacy: new and strict European privacy legislation (GDPR)
- Power: more power to people, less to means such as companies & governments
- Propaganda: fewer fake news and news manipulation
- Processes: improve processes and transfer them to transaction networks
Weconomics is a network organization with:
- Weconomics Partners
- Weconomics Foundation as a commonality (shared capabilities) and intellectual legacy: operating model, infrastructure, and transformation program
- Weconomics Executor (specific partner: Weconomics Solutions, a trade name for Weconet Technologies BV, for innovation, exploitation, and solutions)
Being a partner, you can use the Weconomics commonality (label, library, network, brand, etc.), to strengthen your startup or provide training, project support, software development, or advice services for example. As a partner, you will not be employed by Weconomics. You will retain your status as a self-employed person or will remain in the function of your company.
Weconomics develops and delivers different solutions (advise services, workshops, training courses, experience labs, education, masterclasses, talent programs, roundtables, software development, platforms, applications, case materials, simulation games, assessments, quickscans, data commons etc.) that will help you to transform into a durable, digital and decentral organization. We are particularly specialized in applying the Community Model Canvas and data-driven organizing with the blockchain-based digital assembly line.
How we are organized
The Weconomics Foundation is the fiscal legal entity for the preservation and further development of our philosophy, ideas, intellectual legacy and the Weconomics school of thought. This school of thought consists of a organization/operating model, infrastructure and program:
- Operating model (Nomad, New Organization/Operating Models & Design): Weconomics goes back to the smallest building blocks and organizing principles (‘peel the onion’). An important principle for organizing work and trust is: specialization, coordination and finalization. After applying this principle you look at the best form to coordinate. That can be a hierarchy, a market but also a more hybrid form such as shared information- and transaction networks or a blockchain based digital assembly line. We help you to develop your strategy, business- and operating model with modern organization science.
- Shared Infrastructure (Weconet, Weconomics network): The Weconomics infrastructure ensures that data workers can work seamlessly and smartly together, without high transaction costs or barriers between functions and companies. Important starting points for this infrastructure are: an ontology, semantology, taxonomy, data common, data sovereignty (you are owner of your own data) and design organizations from the smallest parts: people and resources, supply and demand.
- Transformation Program (Apollo, Advance Program on Learning & Leading Others): The Weconomics program facilitates the transformation from factory to data driven operating model, from the industrial age to the digital age and from ‘company-organizing’ to ‘community-organizing’. We do this, for example, by consultancy, training & coaching, supporting projects and organizing events. The Weconomics program also consists of a number of books, articles and whitepapers.
Weconomics and Tetra Politica
Tetra Politica is an expansion of Trias Politica, a well known governance operating model with separated powers or offices that monitor each other’s functioning. Trias Politica has three separated powers: Legislature, Executive and a Judiciary. Weconomics adds a fourth ‘power’ to Trias Politica because we value that we not only live in the ‘here and now’, but also in the ‘there and later’. An unsustainable society in the ‘here and now’ is also an unfair society for the ‘there and later’. So we add a fourth more time dimension to Trias Political, a body of thought, an organization that develops a consented shared values and a vision for the future where our children live:
- Weconomics Foundation (Preserver): This power can be compared with (social, economic, ecologic and technical) councils that advise parliaments and governments. An office concerned with letting go the old (dogma’s, paradigms and dominant logic), the study, design, development, exploitation and management of the Weconomics body of thought. This office looks also beyond the ‘here and now’ into the ‘there and later’. Weconomics core connections of a community from the context side: values/belief, principles, patterns and perspectives, (context side). This office also holds a specif vote in the executor.
- Demos (Legislator): This power can be compared with a cabinet and parliament in combination with for instance referendums. This power approves (or not) the core connections developed and maintained by the Preserver, translates values, principles, patterns and perspectives into purpose, a mission, vision, ambitions, and strategy, and makes it possible (conditions) for partners and executors to act (demand-side).
- Weconomics Solutions (Steward, Executor) is the executive power, organization or a group of organizations with a number of special executive tasks, similar to ministries. An executive authority executes projects and services based on Weconomics core connections (value, purpose, principle, pattern, perspective, vision and ambition) and executes with the other core connections: governance, economics, structure and culture (supply-side).
- Sotic Foundation (Judiciary, Supervisor) is the controlling office, similar to the investigative and judiciary function in our constitutional state (coordinate).
With this governance model we facilitate: steward owned organizations, platform cooperation’s and ecosystems.
Weconomics and Multi Helix
Weconomics was founded in one of the world’s smartest regions: Brainport Eindhoven in the Netherlands where they already work with the multi-helix model: interaction between education/research, private sector and governments. With the multi-helix concept: private, public and political spheres and people in the role of citizen, consumer, employee, entrepreneur, patient, student, etc., work together, not only in the ‘here and now’, but also in the ‘there and later’. The latter is abstract but working together with other societies and the future, places competition in the here and now in another perspective.
How the journey started?
The origin of Weconomics goes back to the late eighties when Weconomics founder Paul Bessems asked himself: “How is it possible that our work changes, from factory worker to information- and service worker, but the way we organize work is not changing with it?” Later in the early nineties, he started decentral organizations such as Confluent Logistic Consultants, Buro Staff Support and later a community for HR products & services. Most of these organizations originated in the Innovation Lab on Eindhoven University of Technology campus. From this the Sotic foundation was established in 2005 as the forerunner of the Weconomics Foundation (2010) and Weconomics Solutions (2017).
Board of the Weconomics Foundation:
- Paul Bessems (chairman)
- Leo Kemps (vice chairman)
- Mary van Leeuwarden (treasurer)
- Ernst Steltenpöhl (chairman)
- Gert-Jan van Arnhem
- Hans Savelsberg
- Albert Akkermans (vice chairman)
Partners are pioneers who use the Weconomics commonality to develop ideas into reality. But they can also provide training, advice or project support services with the Weconomics brand or they support the Foundation with donations, lobbying, volunteer work or by giving us a podium.
Beside our organizing capabilities, the foundation offers a number of commonality services for partners:
- Apollo: Advanced Program on Leading and Learning Others
- Nomad: New Organization Models and Design
- Weconet: Peer-to-peer infrastructure for information & transactions
- Project: form idea to reality
- Symfin: financing projects and communities
- Weconomics Knowledge Center
- Weconomics network
- Institute For New Organizational Thinking