Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Method

The Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Method brings your preferred future into the present through scaled experiments that can have a big impact.

Challenge your existing view of the future and use that to create a powerful vision and narrative that forms a call to action. Use our bespoke ‘Futures Action Model’ to inspire ideas and prototypes. The best ideas are developed into models that can be actioned in the real world. Learn how to bring the preferred future into the present by conducting real world experiments. Use this to guide investment decisions. Upscale the most promising experiments based on evidence of what can create your vision.


Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Method 

AF core method - bridge labels

The method entails five stages:

  1. Challenging the used future
  2. Developing a transformational futures narrative
  3. Creating a number of prototype ideas from the transformational narrative
  4. Choosing which prototype ideas to experiment with and running real-world experiments
  5. Upscaling and investing in the experiments with the best promise

Our services include three workshop and R&D component for the AIM/Bridge

Why use the Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Method ? 

The AEM/Bridge Method is powerful because it is an effective bridge between your transformational future vision and real-world experiments that bring that future into being. It combines a state of the art visioning approach with a proven conceptual prototyping method that can bridge future vision with specific and implementable ideas, which culminates in experiments that can have great impacts.

The method focuses on the best way to bring a transformational future into the present, running experiments that have maximum alignment with the enactment of the transformational future. Experiments are a powerful vehicle for enacting new futures because they are “small pieces” of the preferred future brought into the present. They are time and resource savers because, rather than commit a whole organization or community to a new path (which is both risky and potentially costly), experiments are cost effective ways of testing a new direction. If some experiments show promise they can be scaled and invested in, accelerating organisational momentum toward enacting the vision. If experiments don’t work, the investment was limited and the risk was measured, people still learn a great deal and nonetheless develop confidence in the experimentation process.

How does the Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Method work? 

AF core method - bridge methods

  1. First, we challenge the used future, which entails exploring the assumptions and images we have about the future, as well as learning about the emerging issues, trends and weak signals that are transforming our social horizons.
  2. Secondly, we help you develop an integrated vision and support you in creating a transformational futures narrative. The transformational futures narrative articulates the movement from your past to present to preferred future. It is an open ended narrative that requires the world to participate in its fulfilment, a call to action for others to work with you to create this future.
  3. Thirdly, we use the Futures Action Model to bridge your transformational futures narrative with prototyping. This includes an R&D process that begins with scanning the landscape of global pioneer projects, and then develops prototypes and models connected to your stakeholder ecosystem. This is done through a combination of R&D and gaming (the Futures Action Game).
  4. Fourthly, we set up an experiment using the FuturesLab approach of action learning – anticipate, design, connect and evolve. The experiment is that small piece of the future you are bringing into the present. We make sure learning happens that builds in systemic capacity for renewed experiments.
  5. Finally, experiments can be evaluated to see which ones show the most promise and are best aligned to enact your vision. These can then be upscaled and invested in accelerate the movement toward enacting the vision.

What are the main benefits of the Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Method ?

AF core method - bridge colors

  • How you conceive your future is genuine and powerful. It is not based on a “used future” that does not inspire, but is  connected to you or your organizations deep sense of purpose and creativity, giving you energy and inspiration. Your future is also informed by an analysis of emerging issues, strengthening its fit within an emerging horizon of change.
  • The ideas, strategies and prototypes you come up with for change are rigorous, aligned to your vision, grounded in an understanding of a changing world, tested against a global landscape of innovation, connected to the needs and potentials of your stakeholders, and concrete enough to implement.
  • Experiments show how to solve emerging challenges early. This can save valuable energy (time and money) that is spent responding to a problem once it is already a big one. Experiments also “prefigure” change. Especially when coupled to futures thinking, experiments can be transformative, providing a breakthrough into a new realm of achievement / performance.
  • Empowerment – people learn how to experiment, thus gaining capability, skills and confidence. Ultimately it is mastery of the process and a new culture that transforms a situation. No problem is too big to solve, because the capability and confidence in developing solutions has become so strong.
  • Social and technical innovation – from experiments and the deep learning they engender, new forms are born that are aligned to your preferred future vision, and which can be scaled to enact that future faster.

Futures Visioning

In order to create powerful strategies, experiments and innovations, you first need a transformed image and vision of the future, and from this to develop a narrative of change that projects your journey into the future where you create this future with others. Breakthrough conceptual prototypes need to be grounded in a re-imagined and renewed sense of future-facts and future possibilities. This is the first step in the journey to create powerful experiments that can scale.

The initial futures phase of the journey entails two distinct steps. The first is “Challenging the used future” and the second step is “Developing a transformational futures narrative”. Here, we’ll walk you through both in order.

Challenging the Used Future

Challenging the used future is the first part of this process, which entails discovery and unlearning, where the deep assumptions we have about the future can be disturbed and renewed. For this we use three sets of methods:

  1. Vision Cycles
  2. Weak Signals and Emerging Issues Analysis
  3. Causal Layered Analysis (downswing)

First is to understand the history of the ideas that have guided our actions. Throughout the life of our organisations, families and societies, ideas and visions emerge that guide our actions. We first need to understand what these have been and what we have learned from them. To do this we use a process called “Vision Mapping”. Vision Mapping is is a way to review the way in which visions of the future have guided us through history, and it helps us prepare for what is next.


Secondly, we need to learn about the emerging issues, trends and weak signals that are transforming our social horizons. Emerging issues are social phenomena that are “bubbling up” in discrete places. They are not common knowledge (yet), and they are “prefigurative”, they augur wider and broader social changes. Discovering them requires a special lens and perspective to understand what is and what is not an emerging issue, and we rely on the weak signals analysis of Dr. Elina Hiltunen,, as well as the work of Graham Molitor. Scanning for the changes that matter to our future is a tried and tested way of challenging our view of what the future might be. It opens up issues that we would not have considered, both possibilities that we can leverage for opportunity, as well as threats and risks that we want to avoid.

Thirdly, we use causal layered analysis (CLA), developed by Dr. Sohail Inayatullah. CLA helps to problematise existing future oriented thinking, exploring the assumptions, ideologies, worldviews, epistemes, myths and metaphors that already are embedded in images, statements or policy oriented research about the future. It is a way of opening up spaces for alternative futures. These alternative futures are not based on extrapolating trends or tweaking the assumptions in a systems model as is common in scenario building, but through deconstructing/reconstructing critical assumption about the way we constitute the world.

Narrative Foresight

Narrative foresight is the second part of the journey, where we rebuild our vision of the future from a new metaphor and story, and develop an integrated vision of the future. Narrative Foresight is a process designed to help people and organizations reframe deeply embedded life and organizational narratives and develop new inspiring and empowering narrative orientations to their futures. It is a process which takes participants and organizations through a journey of identifying the myths and narratives that have defined their past, and engaging in an analytic and imaginative process to create a new narrative for themselves in relation to the future.

This entails three steps using there district methods:

  1. Causal Layered Analysis (upswing)
  2. Integrated Visioning
  3. Open Ended Narrative

Firstly, Causal Layered Analysis provides the transition method by which to begin to build a renewed vision for the future. Through CLA, a new metaphor or story may emerge that expresses a new cultural orientation. From this new cultural orientation, new systems and structure emerge as logical expressions, and finally key indicators that can tell us whether we are advancing with this new pathway. CLA identifies the emerging culture, systems, structures and measurements for this new journey. CLA provides a way to reconfigure neural pathways that allow us to see our social pathways in a new light.

Secondly, we do “Integrated Visioning”. Integrated Visioning is a visioning process in which we develop a preferred vision of the future, consider what this vision disowns, and then develop an integrated vision from the combination of the two. The visioning method externalises the otherwise internalised logics of the psyche, providing a powerful way for participants to reflect on their own personal and organizational projections and images of the future, and to evaluate the futures that resonate best. The method was also developed by Sohail Inayatullah and is influenced by the work of Carl Jung’s archetypal psychology, the Voice Dialog approach of Hal and Sidra Stone, and the work of Ashis Nandy and William Irwin Thompson, among others.

Thirdly, based on this Integrated Vision, we develop an Open Ended Narrative. An open ended narrative is a narrative that describes the journey from past to present to preferred future, in a way that includes the key people that must act to make this vision a reality, and by crafting a call to action.

Narrative versus story, according to John Hagel, is open ended. We assume that from past to present, something has changed. It may be that there are new opportunities associated with technology. It may be new social or ecological challenges that we need to rise up to. Either way, something has changed, yet the future has not been determined. It may go our way, or it may not. Importantly, we may hold a vision and see the possibilities for us, but because it is open ended, it is up to us to determine the future. Therefore, narrative is outward facing, it needs to engage new people in the fulfilment of the vision. The critical question then becomes, how do people participate in the fulfilment  of the narrative.

Elements of open ended narrative:

  • Past to present – something has changed
  • Open ended future – up to us, not guaranteed, contingent on our agency / actions / decisions
  • Outward facing –  we cannot do it alone – it requires partnership in an ecosystem
  • Call to action – how do people participate, a compelling call to action for the community / partnership ecosystem
  • Is prospective, compels into the future, from passivity to activity and optimism

Workshop Process

The workshop process requires 1-2 days, depending on how much time participants have and the depth of exploration desired. Doing this in a one day workshop is intense. Doing this in a two day setting allows for more space of exploration.

The logical follow up to this process is to use the Futures Action Model to develop conceptual prototypes and models which become the basis for real-world experiments.

Conceptual Prototyping with Futures Action Model


The Futures Action Model is a conceptual prototyping and modelling framework, that provides the bridge between transformational futures thinking and powerful action, through real-world experiments. In order to develop breakthrough conceptual prototypes and models, we need to challenge and transform our images and understanding of the future. FAM provides a powerful way of integrating this futures thinking into conceptual prototypes and models, and is therefore the “keystone” method in the Anticipatory Experimentation / Bridge Model. It is also a useful framework to “wind-tunnel” policies and strategies against assumptions about the future and scenarios.


FAM model

The Futures Action Model (FAM) is a proven framework which enables the rapid prototyping and rigorous conceptual development of breakthrough strategies and models. FAM is a comprehensive approach in which team and network-based creative and analytic processes enable new strategies and models to emerge. It was designed to accelerate our ability to ideate breakthroughs that are the seeds of the futures we intend to grow.

FAM has two primary applications:

Business: Futures Action Model for Business Innovation

Government: Futures Action Model for Policy Ideation

Government: Futures Action Model for Wind-tunneling Policies and Strategies

Futures Action Model – Short Overview from Jose Ramos on Vimeo.

FAM has been applied in a number of settings, explained in this FAM resume. A comprehensive overview including theory, practice and some case studies is available here: FAM article.

Expanded Explanation

The Futures Action Model provides a way of exploring emerging futures and challenges for an issue, and developing creative and breakthrough initiatives to address them. There are 4 basic parts to it. Emerging Futures, global responses, the community of the initiative and the core model.

First, given a contemporary issue, such as climate change, transport challenges, public health, educational development, or any number of issues, there are ‘emerging futures’ associated with it. This includes any trends, emerging issues, existing scenarios and projections for this particular issue. The basic question here is: what is the nature of the emerging futures for this particular issue?

But then, there is a subset to this. There are some people around the world who are responding in creative ways to this issue. So here we explore global responses to this issue. But, why search globally for responses, when we’re dealing with an issue in a particular place? What does one person or groups creative response to an issue in their part of the world, have anything to do with what you are dealing with? The simple answer is that the world has become a great big learning laboratory.

For any emerging futures challenge there are also  global responses – all the ways in which people are responding from many walks of life. Paul Hawkens calls this a global auto immune response, because.. even though people may be separated by vast oceans, people may be experiencing similar challenges. And for any challenge there are people excited about tackling it, and many of these people or groups are connected through informal or formal networks across geographic regions.  So in this part of the process we map the variety of responses from around the world. Community initiatives, government policies, emerging technologies, networks, media, anything intended to create change in responding to this issue.

Within this global response space there are those that you may want to engage to develop your unique community of the initiative. This aspect is all about finding those people who care about collaborating with you in creative ways to address the issue that you care about. Your community of the initiative can be located across a city, a geographic region, an organization, or network or community. Building a community of the initiative entails finding ways of harnessing the energy, expertise and potential that exists in the world, locally and globally, to support our change initiatives. It may include experts, advisors, volunteers, funders, organizations, media groups, networks, anyone.

This community of the initiative forms a potential value ecology of the initiative. A value ecology is a set of stakeholders that find synergies through modes of dynamic exchange. It is like the metaphor of the bee and the flower. While very different species, they exchange value in fundamental ways. The flower gives the bee food. The bee helps pollinate the flower for sexual reproduction. And others may derive value from this…

And this takes us to the last aspect of the model, the initiative or enterprise that we are modeling. Here, we imagine and model an initiative that would effectively address the emerging challenge or issue that we are working on, by harnessing this community and developing a value ecology. It is the initiative and its core model that holds the logic of the value ecology, it organizes, develops and sustains this value ecology.

There are 3 elements of the core model:

  • First we want to develop the purpose of the initiative – why are we here? What is meaningful and inspiring?
  • Secondly, we want to develop the resource model of the initiative – how will we get the resources we need to do what we want to do?
  • Thirdly, we want to develop the governance model – how do we organise ourselves and make decisions about what to do?

These 3 elements of the core model makes the initiative effective in sustaining the emerging value ecology, which comprises a response the emerging futures for an issue.

Together the categories of the Futures Action Model, the core model, the Community of the Initiative, Global Responses and Emerging Futures, provides a solid foundation for imagining and developing an initiative.

1) The category of the community of the Initiative provides a bases for understanding who are the critical partners, collaborators and stakeholders, who have resources, connections, and potential that can support the initiative, and form a value ecology. The community of the initiative provides the context for the core model: its purpose, resource model and governance systems.

2)  The category of Global responses provides a rich tapestry of examples from around the world (a global learning laboratory) which can inform what gets developed locally. Scanning globally, we may find a significant gap in the field of responses, which the initiative is able to fill. Or perhaps what someone is doing in some other context can be adapted locally.


3) the category of Emerging futures provides a landscape of change within which the initiative is conceived.  Thus we can image and model an initiative  that does not just deal with yesterdays and today’s problems, but is created to thrive in today and tomorrow’s opportunities, risks and possibilities.

Vision Mapping


In the face of global disruption and change, discover the power to enact the future of your region and community.

Vision Mapping is a powerful way of reimagining our environments. It allows people to see their regions across many dimensions; the layers you create are only limited by the questions you ask. It provides a way to visualise future ecosystems and states in a granular way:

  • Use online editable maps to see the future of your environment and community in new ways
  • Develop the layers that are of interest to you, such as economic and social interactions, preferred futures and any other system relationship that is of interest to your stakeholders
  • By unlocking the power of people’s tacit knowledge, vision mapping gives communities and organisation new ways to understand the present, envision the future and identify actions to take tomorrow.

How our workshops work:

  • Action Foresight develop bespoke workshops created to meet the needs of our clients generally running over 1 – 2 days.
  • Our workshop are interactive environments using online maps and other methods.
  • We facilitate the inquiry as well as help you to learn the vision mapping process.
  • We provide dedicated support across research and development periods.

What our workshops deliver:

  • See the hidden layers in your area of interest
  • Identify the ecosystems to nurture to promote change
  • Develop a plan for your preferred future, grounded in the real geography of your community
  • Create a visual map of present and future states. Use this map to track change and update with new ideas.
  • Capture street level data (e.g. photos) integrated into the map

How vision mapping can be applied to your needs.

Screenshot 2016-03-30 20.33.12

Maps strengths, agents of change and inspiring ideas

Use tags and other icons to map strengths and seeds of change in your community and focus your activity to promote the change you need.

Read more

Understand how geography and systems shape your community

Using tagging and line interactions, map out the relationships between stakeholders and map preferred future ecosystems.

Read more

Uncover the stories that shape your community

Use map layers to look back and uncover the history and hidden narratives that shape your community and how these can be retold to shape a new future.

Read more


Strategic Foresight / Futures Training

We offer a range of training options in the use of strategic foresight for your organization that builds capacity into your organization for the long term.

Training allows people in your organization to have the core knowledge and skills to conduct in-house strategic foresight work.

We teach a number of foresight / futures studies methods and approaches including:

  • An introduction to the history of futures studies and foresight.
  • An introduction to the core ideas and concepts within futures studies and foresight.
  • The viable systems model and its relationship to foresight as elucidated by Peter Hayward.
  • Emerging issues analysis as developed by Graham Molitor.
  • Weak signals analysis as developed by Elina Hiltunen.
  • Environmental / Horizon Scanning basics.
  • The Six Pillars Methodology of Sohail Inayatullah.
  • The Three Horizons approach of Curry and Hodgson.
  • Jim Dator’s Four Futures approach.
  • The Action Foresight core methodology (includes the Futures Action Model).

We have a range of affordable training options, and are happy to discuss what fits best for your organization. Contact us for more information.


Liquid Democracy and the Futures of Governance

This is a book chapter entitled “Liquid Democracy and the Futures of Governance“, which I published this year in a book edited by Jenifer Winter and Ryota Ono, entitled The Future Internet (Springer).

The chapter is a synthesis of my research in Germany in 2013-2014 on Liquid Democracy, exploring questions regarding the significance of Liquid Democracy in broader transformations in democracy and governance, and exploring the role of web technology in creating fundamentally new potentials for social interaction and decision-making among diverse social actors. A new generation of Web technologies, accompanied by new political cultures, portends an ushering of radical transformations in democratic decision-making. This is a broader theme which I explore in the web blog site

The contribution this chapter makes to the overall literature is in clarifying the significance of such political innovations experiments. In particular how they prefigure two things: new political contracts and new political cultures.  

Some of the key insights from the research and study include the following:

  • We are witnessing a shift from the statist system of representative (republican) democracy that emerged from the enlightenment, toward new (post-republican) possibilities signified by the movements for participatory democracy and the emerging possibilities of the World Wide Web and network-enabled collaboration.
  • Experiments with Liquid Democracy / transitive voting are indicative of this shift, through the experiments conducted through Liquid Feedback and Adhocracy software, and other systems.
  • These experiments highlight the distinction between shallow political participation and deep democracy—and augur both new political cultures and political contracts where they can be enacted.
  • The diversification and fragmentation of existing systems of governance provides the basis for a number of possible future scenarios—with implications for how the state is engaged with governance of shared commons and emerging transnational governance systems, to name a few.

On the back of the in depth research project in Germany (over 50 interviews), the paper is organised as a strait up futures research exposition. I used the Futures Triangle and Integrated Scenarios method of Sohail Inayatullah, and Elina Hiltunen’s weak signals analysis.

A number of possible scenarios emerged from the study:

  1. possible “Liquid Revolution” where online governance has transformed democracy;
  2. “Steady-state Oligarchy” where pseudo-representative and oligarchic powers persist;
  3. “Partner State” where representative and online variegated governance is blended; and
  4. “War of the Worlds” where statist and variegated governance online systems aggressively compete for power.

Please contact me, would love to get feedback and also keen to collaborate with others on this important and critical dimension in our wellbeing.

Cosmo-localism and the futures of material production


Photo By Nicholas Zambetti – BY-SA 3.0

This essay posits the idea of ‘cosmo-localism’ (or ‘cosmo-localization’) as a potentially useful concept in both explaining a new economic model and in formulating sustainable development pathways. It is a thought stimulation exercise that invites us to join a conversation about the design of a new political economy.

The essay begins by providing an overview of the idea for cosmo-localism. Then, following the Futures Triangle template developed by Inayatullah (2008), identifies 1) drivers of change potentiating cosmo-localism, then identifies 2) the obstacles and weights of history impeding cosmo-localism, and finally ends with an exploration of 3) the emerging images of the future that connect with cosmo-localism, in particular by using Dator’s (2009) four archetypal futures images as a scaffold.

Cosmo-localism draws from previous work on alternative globalization pathways, in particular popular discourses articulating relocalization, the global network society and cosmopolitan transnational solidarity (Ramos 2010), as well as the work of Bauwens and Kostakis (2014) in articulating commons-based peer production and Kostakis et al (2015) in developing the Design Global, Manufacture Local model (DG-ML). Finally, there are projects emerging around the world that exemplify cosmo-localism, such as the Fab City initiative.


In very basic terms cosmo-localism describes the dynamic potentials of our emerging globally distributed knowledge and design commons in conjunction with the emerging (high and low tech) capacity for localized production of value. It already exists today in many quickly maturing forms such as with Maker Bot’s Thingverse and the Global Village Construction Set, as well as medicines under Creative Commons licenses (which are then manufactured). Cosmo-localism takes place when easily accessible designs are paired with localized and distributed production capabilities using new breakthrough technologies that facilitate local manufacture / production.

As an emerging issue, cosmo-localism augurs an inversion. Traditional manufacturing and production located intellectual property within (usually) a single company, manufactured a product in a (relatively) centralized place (even if the raw materials were from elsewhere), and then exported this nationally or globally. The neo-liberal turn (starting in the 1970s) saw the emergence of the Global Factory; yet even with the globally distributed corporation, intellectual property is (usually) housed in a corporation (or sometimes licensed), and even while production can straddle a number of countries, assembly centers will then export their products nationally or globally. Cosmo-localism represents an inversion of this logic of production. With cosmo-localism, the intellectual property is available globally for all to use (or can be a Peer Production license). And distributed production centers utilizing new production technologies allow enterprises to manufacture and produce such items locally for local markets and specialized purposes.

cosmolocalism - logics table
Comparative logics  – current production and cosmo-localism

The normative impetus for cosmo-localism is based on a number of as-yet unproven assumptions:

  1. that cosmo-localism can help drive the development of localized circular economies / industrial ecologies that can reduce or eliminate waste;
  2. that the localized production of critical products can make a city or region more resilient in the face of financial and environmental shocks;
  3. that cosmo-localism driven import substitution can generate local jobs and expertise and provide new development pathways;
  4. and that the reduction of imported goods from far away places will also reduce carbon and environmental footprints.

Such assumptions, if and when they are proven to be correct, will also represent potential benefits of cosmo-localism.

Theoretically, cosmo-localism draws strongly from Bauwen’s (2006) long held argument that in today’s networked world, our economies falsely treat immaterial resources (knowledge / designs) as if they were scarce through restrictive global intellectual property regimes, and treat material resources (minerals, soils, water) as if they were abundant. Instead, Bauwens argues that immaterial resources can be shared at close to zero cost, boosting global knowledge and design capabilities, while material resources need true costings in the context of global to local sustainability challenges.

This can be extended through cosmopolitan theory, whereby a global justice imperative is applied to the heritage of the world’s knowledge and designs. If, as  Hayden proposes (Hayden, 2004, p. 70) ‘all human beings have equal moral standing within a single world community’ the global design commons should be a human right, critical in addressing poverty, sustainability challenges, addressing social challenges and empowering grassroots enterprise and entrepreneurship. And likewise in the context of global citizenship it is our responsibility to extend, support and protect our global knowledge commons.

Secondly, cosmopolitan theory also posits the idea that, as we belong to a global community that shares the same global future (e.g. climate change will affect different nationalities differently – but all will be affected), we need to create new transnational governance structures and regimes that will ensure our global mutual wellbeing (Held 2005). This second strand puts forward the need for political projects to ensure the protection of global commons. In this way, we need transnational governance structures that protect and extend global knowledge and design commons, as a key pillar in addressing our shared sustainability challenges.

Finally, cosmo-localism draws from, but also critiques and extends relocalization theory. Relocalization advocates argue for the need to eliminate imported goods and relocalize trade and production for a variety of reasons (Hines 2002; Cavanagh and Mander, 2003). First, because of transport costs and associated high carbon / environmental footprints, secondly the need to decouple from what is seen as an unstable, volatile and predatory global capitalist market system, and finally as a way to prepare for what is seen as an inevitable energy descent (the end of fossil fuels) and deal with the effects of climate change. They also argue relocalizing economies (e.g. through sharing systems) can build community solidarity, knowledge and rebalance the effects of consumer homogeneity by cultivating local culture and connection, making communities more resilient (Norberg-Hodge, 1992).

As a counterpoint, I argue that we have emerged into a global knowledge laboratory, where millions of communities are experimenting with change initiatives and sustainability efforts, and that we need to leverage off each other’s experiments and successes, often applying one community’s innovations into a new context. Decoupling from a global knowledge / design commons would therefore be fundamentally detrimental to the very goals of localized sustainability efforts. A relocalization which does not draw from a global knowledge and design commons and which is relegated to only local knowledge can at best produce ‘life boat’ relocalization and at worst will not produce basic sufficiency. Secondly, the systems and structures that allow for a healthy subsidiarity (devolution of power to the local) are mediated at state levels, nationally and through global trade regimes, and therefore the very goals implicit in the relocalization agenda require political and social action at national and transnational scales.

Drivers of change enabling cosmo-localism

In this next section I discuss the critical drivers of change enabling the potential for cosmo-localism:

1.     Global knowledge and design commons

2.     Consumer manufacturing technology

3.     Maker movement

4.     Urbanization and mega-city regions

5.     Economic precarity

6.     Resource impacts, scarcity, and circularization of economies

Knowledge and design resources for a variety of critical support systems are now available in the distributed web under open licenses (creative commons / gnu / copy left), which include: pharmaceutical drugs, food production systems, machinery, automobiles, 3d printed products, robotics, and in many other areas. Literally millions of designs are available under open licenses that allow people to do local 3-D printing, build machinery, robotics and micro-controller systems (Arduino and Raspberry Pi), and food production and agricultural systems, medical applications and medicines, and even the building of electric cars, for example the farm hack project.

A second driver of change potentiating cosmo-localism is the reduction in costs of certain manufacturing equipment. Technologies such as 3d printers, micro-controllers (Arduino/Raspberry Pi), laser cutters, and CNC Routers, that have traditionally been too expensive for individuals to own have more recently become affordable. 3D printing has gone from an expensive hobby that would have cost someone $30,000 ten years ago, and $4000 three years ago, to about $500 for a home kit today. The same cost shift is happening with other machinery. The underlying technologies that drive these machine applications are microcontroller systems, which are now cheap and accessible (also central to emerging Internet of things). While currently we can only do 3D printing with relatively small objects, there are already a number of large-scale 3D printing systems for printing houses and other items. In China inventors have 3D printed houses in under a day. And Wikispeed have developed new ways to produce open sourced cars. Enterprise 3D printing is well-established with the printing of space modules as well as engine aircraft parts. Finally new advances in distributed energy production and storage mean that cosmo-localism may locate across urban, peri-urban and rural forms.

A third factor driving the potential for cosmo-localism is the maker movement. The maker movement is a very broad church and includes everything from preindustrial handcrafts such as jewelry making (e.g. the Etsy marketplace), textile making to well-established industrial crafts such as metal foundry work, power-based woodwork and welding, but also straddling the high-tech end of the spectrum. The grassroots maker movement has a strong commitment to open source and knowledge justice approaches, localization, community learning and sustainable closed loop / circular economy strategies. Reuse, repair, repurpose are common words. The potential of the maker movement for cosmo-localism lies in this broad church beginning to learn from each other’s knowledges and capabilities and to collaborate on the design and manufacturing of things that require a high level of coordination or organization. At the moment the maker movement is a fluid network, dynamic, creative and explosive, but not yet coordinated toward mainstream material production. To make things for commerce requires disciplined coordination, organization and capital, more typical of industrial models.

The fourth major factor driving the potential for cosmo-localism is rapid urbanization, and along with this the emergence of mega-city regions. The rise of mega-city regions potentiates cosmo-localism, because cities are locales of diverse production capacities, knowledge / expertise, human, natural and built resources, as well as diverse needs and markets. Mega-city regions have scales which allow for localized production capacities to cater to large populations. Because of proximity, a city can develop circular economies and close resource and waste loops easier than perhaps far flung regions (however acknowledging that regionally disparate locales can still be critical in closing resource loops). Cities would not be able to produce all the things they need, and many things would still need to be imported through trade and the global economy. Yet emerging creative industry and demands for urban sustainability and economic inclusion may drive cities and especially mega-cities as locales where cosmo-localism is developed.

Economic precarity has hit many countries, for example Argentina after their 2001-2002 financial crisis, the US after the Global Financial Crisis, the Eurozone after the Eurozone crisis, Venezuela today and in many other regions. This has had a particularly devastating effect on young people. Where people are excluded from the dominant market system, they must create alternative subsistence systems. Castells sees the emergence of ‘new economic cultures’ from populations which, in addition to looking for ways out of the dominant economic system, simply cannot afford to consume goods from the dominant system. In terms of cosmo-localism, both values and need drive a new type of social actor which can leverage the global design commons and community maker space-based production in ways that can produce agency, empowerment and livelihood for people in need. Cosmo-localism potentially creates enterprise opportunities for those people out of work to create livelihoods, or at least to begin to experiment with new production potentials. To the extent that cosmo-localism is seen as a way to support citizen livelihoods, we may see cosmo-localism taken up as state or city supported process.

The final factor that potentiates cosmo-localism relates to ecological crisis and the need to create breakthroughs in innovating closed loop and waste eliminating modes of production. As resources become more and more scarce into the future we will need to become much more adept at upcycling and repurposing things in general. Mapping, collaboration and sharing platforms are helping localities to develop exchange ecosystems which provide new foundations for localized resource exchanges, the development of ‘circular’ economies and more ambitiously industrial ecologies. Cosmo-localism includes the potential to map and activate local resource ecosystems and combine new production capacities with urban metabolic flows that can reduce or eliminate waste. Localized industrial-urban metabolisms may be key to generating environmental integrity outcomes.

Weight of history and obstacles to cosmo-localism

In addition to drivers potentiating cosmo-localism, there are equally powerful ‘weights of history’, legacy systems, cultural factors and other obstacles to cosmo-localism. These include:

1.     Platform oligopolies

2.     Economic incumbents

3.     Intellectual property regimes

4.     Consumer culture

Platform oligopoly is the first challenge to cosmo-localism, the power of the big Silicon Valley enterprises to monopolize and potentially suppress the potentials for cosmo-localism. Big platforms, like Facebook and Google, but now sharing platforms like Air BnB and Uber derive value from our practices of relationality. There is great value in the things that they have innovated, and yet the monetary value generated by users on these platforms through their sharing and interactions are not shared for social reinvestment back to the user’s communities. Michel Bauwens calls this ‘netarchical capitalism’, whereby platforms get wealthy at the expense of contributors, who enter into a form of economic dependence / precarity with such platforms. Cosmo-localism relies on supporting a global knowledge / design commons while supporting investment in localized maker enterprises. Cosmo-localism based on extractive platforms would be stunted, as cosmo-localism requires systems for localized re-investment that are now being discussed as platform cooperativism.

Another major obstacle is political in nature. What we consume is based on the legacy of industrial production, and there are many economic incumbents that do not want to lose business. As with resistance to AirbnB and Uber, incumbents may lobby governments vigorously to make life more difficult for cosmo-localism start up enterprises. In the US, policymaking has been co-opted by moneyed interests, to a large extent. For cosmo-localism to work it has to go beyond the local, and the state should not be abandoned as a locale in the adjudication of power. To counter this, there will need to be alliances of commons-based enterprises that work together to form cosmo-local public advocacy that is able to create favorable policy conditions for it. Bauwens has argued we need to create a “partner state” model where governments actively support localized commons-based peer production and cosmo-localism. Recently he has pioneered such a model through the FLOK project in Ecuador.

The third obstacle relates to intellectual property. The global policy pushed through the WTO TRIPS and now the Transpacific Partnership all have a common aim of enfolding joining nations into the Western European intellectual property regime based on positivist law. Positivist law in the most basic terms is simply contractual law. It does not acknowledge contextual, ethical, cultural or historical dimensions in the use or possession or governance of a thing; it simply says, if you signed a contract – hand it over or else. This is why when certain companies can buy a life support resource from a government, such as when Bechtel bought Cochabamba’s water supply, and then hike the price for water for locals. Buying and selling life support systems is perfectly ‘just’ within the framework of positivist law, but it is often in contradiction to the living conditions and needs of people. Today there are people dying from diseases around the world because they cannot get access to cheaper versions of the medicines that would cure their diseases. This is because certain intellectual property regimes do not allow people to produce local versions. A global neoliberal push that envelops the world in an intellectual property regime that treats knowledge as scarce, and based purely on the logic of investment and return, will harm the possibility of cosmo-localism. We need to normalize knowledge and design commons through our own work, and develop knowledge / design sharing and licensing systems that frees knowledge to transform the world in positive ways. As Kostakis & Bauwens argue, “the commons [need to] be created and fought for on a transnational global scale” (2015, p. 130).

The last weight of history is the cultural pattern of consumerism. It has been deeply engrained through the last century, whereby people have been taught and have learned a number of ideas and attitudes. That our self worth is based on what we own and consume. That it does not matter where a product comes from and where it goes after use. That other people make things for us, and we just make the money to buy those things. That if something breaks it is better to just buy a new one rather than fix the old one. Cosmo-localism is antithetical to consumer culture, and requires people to be willing to learn how to make things, be willing to tinker and fix things (or know others who can!), to get lost in problem solving and be patient enough to wade through, to work with people and share and learn, and to care where something goes and something came from, ultimately to close resources and waste cycles.

Images of the future

To conclude this exploratory essay, there are a number of images of the future that connect with cosmo-localism. To structure this I use Dator’s four archetypal images of the future, as a starting point, with an acknowledgment that deeper scenario work still needs to be done.

Continued growth: cosmo-localism co-opted

In a continued growth future, we would likely see the big players in networked capitalism, the platform oligarchies of Google, Facebook, Apple, (possibly Maker Bot) and other netarchical capitalist forms, play a key role in capturing (and stunting) the potential for cosmo-localism (e.g. Google Make ™ and Facebook Fabricate ™)

In this scenario, fabrication spaces could be put into a franchise model, whereby, given the corporate form’s adept talent at systematizing profitable models, pop up everywhere, disrupting industries connected to material production. As platforms, similar to the AirBnb and Uber models, people can put their designs up on the platform to be used, but the platform would take a large percentage of the profits of their use. Design contributors make a subsistence income (as with Uber or Taskrabbit), but never enough to finance and develop a robust self generating business, and creating a dependence relationship.

Because the corporate form survives and indeed prospers by finding cost saving loopholes (tax havens, sweatshops) and by virtue of this creates social and ecological externalities, it is unlikely that such franchises and systems would have a commitment to developing circular economies and industrial ecologies that address our real sustainability crisis. While initially these franchises could create jobs (while disrupting others), much like Uber’s plans to utilize self driving cars, Google Make ™ and Facebook Fabricate ™ type enterprises could eventually be fully automated.

Ultimately the promise of the global knowledge / design commons has been transformed into the ‘poverty of the commons’ – whereby capital preys on and reproduces itself through the generosity of contributors worldwide.

Collapse: cosmo-localism as civilizational boostrapping  

A collapse scenario, arguably, creates the fastest road to empowering a cosmo-localism process, but not without many problems. In such a scenario, whether because of massive environmental, economic or political disruptions, societies are thrown into ‘life-boat’ systems of survival. Without globalization, without income or with hyper inflation, food shortages, water shortages, energy blackouts, and the like, cosmo-localism becomes an important survivalist / prepper strategy.

Communities and cities would need to quickly develop basic self sufficiency, and no doubt would leverage cosmo-localism to make this possible. Key would be knowledge of machines, medicines, food production, water systems, building, vehicles, etc. How would people access these, however, if there were no trans-national systems and structures to maintain a globally distributed web, cloud services, regulatory agencies, maintenance of satellites, and cooperative systems for dealing with web security (e.g. hacking)?

In such a scenario, access to a global knowledge / design commons would not exist, or would be limited or impaired. Instead it is likely that people would form mesh networks, use slow sync cloud systems to deal with frequent service or access disruptions, would experience severe hacking and web virus disruptions, and would struggle just to maintain local basic infrastructure while globally the web is plunged into anarchy.

Breakthroughs in local fabrication technologies a distant memory, such communities would struggle to maintain a survival-tech level of productive capacity, reliant on whatever global knowledge resource can be accessed or salvaged.

Over time, however, cosmo-localism might support a civilisational bootstrapping, as trans-regional networks and value exchange systems widen, allowing a DGML economy to work.

Disciplined descent: League of cosmo-localized city states 

In a disciplined descent scenario, cities, in particular mega-cities linked through transnational networks, play a critical role in navigating escalating ecological, resource and political challenges. Globalization was another era, and in this scenario people live in the era of trans-city alliances.

Disrupted trade and shipping costs may prompt cities to play critical roles in cosmo-local production of basic necessities and goods. Because of fiscal constraints cities might create city-wide sharing economy and solidarity systems, whereby all able bodied citizens are asked to provide a quota of time-banked support, or else publically shamed / punished. Resource, energy and waste limits force cities to create circular economies that close resource loops. This transformation from cities of waste to cities of social and ecological discipline requires revolutionary zeal, and non-conformists are dealt with harshly, or banished to the peripheries. (See the sci-fi story “The Exterminator’s Want-Ad” by Bruce Sterling in Shareable Futures, for an example of this.)

Because cities have scale, knowledge, resources, markets and human resources, they are able to implement cosmo-localist initiatives to make them as self-sufficient as possible. Cities, in particular large cities and megacity regions, produce their own vehicles, food production systems (for use in cities and rural areas), computer systems, machinery, textiles, and many other goods. To do this, cosmo-localism plays a critical role in allowing cities to access knowledge and designs being produced worldwide, and in particular by other cities endogenizing production. Technology continues to advance and be shared, in particular to support the viability of urban centers. (See FabCity as early examples).

Intercity credits allow for value exchange within the city and between peripheral cities. Trans-city credit systems allow value exchange between large cities globally, greasing the process of cosmo-localism by allowing non-material value exchange (ideas / designs) using the global design commons primarily driven and run by city alliances, and supporting critical non-cosmo-localist trade.

Transformation: Transnational commons economy

A transformation scenario is one where cosmo-localism is supported by a ‘Partner State’, as articulated by Bauwens, and in which cosmo-localism has genuinely made a big impact in addressing local to global sustainability and social justice challenges. In the Partner State model, the state plays an important role in investing in commons based peer production, and the capacity for citizens and people to utilize open knowledge to empower themselves and produce for their communities. From a cosmo-localism perspective, the state would also support grassroots efforts to empower localized designing, making, and sharing efforts.

Because the state’s strategy is explicitly the grassroots empowerment of maker enterprises, it is assumed that in a transformation scenario, communities and people would be able to make great strides in eliminating poverty and addressing sustainability challenges. Empowered with a knowledge and design commons, state support and new technologies allowing localizing manufacturing and production, people would have new possibilities to shape their worlds.

Another aspect of a transform scenario is the elimination of manufactured goods with high waste by-products, leveraging the potentials of additive manufacturing techniques, and radical reductions in pollution related to global transport (assuming a process of import substitution). This transform scenario would require some kind of localization strategy. Here this is imagined as ‘micro-clusters’ of new cosmo-localism ecosystems.

Industrial clusters and corridors have been well established for decades, but are large scale and require intensive capital investment. Cosmo-localism technologies and the geography of mega-city regions would allow for micro-clusters to emerge quickly and fluidly. The following may be features of such cosmo-local micro-clusters:

  • The development of community and worker owned and run maker enterprises (in line with Open Cooperativist principles) with high tech fabrication equipment, initiated by community but supported by the state;
  • Micro-cluster coordination: local enterprise ecosystems instantiated through sharing and exchange platforms (software systems) with human supported administration and support that do resource and needs matching, fulfilling the possibility of circular economic / closed loop production;
  • Micro-clusters are made up of enterprises using Open Value Network (OVN) principles, which provide social inclusion at a community level, endogenize peer produced value into cooperative enterprises, while exogenizing design and knowledge value to the global commons;
  • New systems for capital investment that, while not following the Silicon Valley venture capital model, allow maker enterprises to scale quickly, in conjunction with the use of Commons Based Reciprocity Licenses (CBRL) that provide an economic engine for commons oriented open cooperatives;

Reduction in the costs of start ups, lower risk and lower barriers to entry, allowing regions to target imports for substitution, and to export knowledge and design as resources using CBRLs.

Local and Global online and cyber currencies / credit systems may play a major role in cosmo-localims, facilitating the exchange of economic value and investments across space and time in ways that are not constrained by traditional currency capital flows, some which may incorporate CBRL principles (a credit system for open cooperatives). These may combine with OVN architectures such that commons-based peer to peer production is nurtured and supported at the macro-economic level (via CBRLs) and micro economic (OVN based enterprises). Finally, cyber and online currencies may play a major role in allowing for exchange between micro-cluster regions, Phyles and Transnational Economic Collectives – such that trade facilitates and enhances localized production rather than just displacing non-local goods and the jobs based on them.


Cosmo-localization is not a silver bullet for solving the world’s challenges, or the ills of globalization. It provides an opportunity, which will play out differently depending on the alternative futures we encounter and help create. As an emerging issue and opportunity, it is important for us to consider its limitations, potential for co-option, abuse and indeed its capacity to transform. In the coming years we will be pressed to make bold decisions and experiments that help us address our social and ecological challenges, decisions and experiments which need to be guided by a robust understanding of cosmo-localism potential benefits and potential shadow. I hope this essay provides one useful stepping-stone on this path. I invite us to join a conversation about what cosmo-localism may mean for  the political-economy that we want to create for our shared and common futures.


Bauwens, M. (2006). The Political Economy of Peer Production. Post-Autistic Economics Review (37).

Cavanagh, J., Mander, J. (2003). Alternatives to Economic Globalisation. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Hayden, P. (2004). Cosmopolitanism and the need for Transnational Criminal Justice: The Case of the International Criminal Court. Theoria (August ).

Held, D. (2005). At the Global Crossroads: The End of the Washington Consensus and the Rise of Global Social Democracy? Globalizations, 2(1), pp. 95–113.

Hines, C. (2002). Localization: A Global Manifesto. UK: Earthscan.

Kostakis, V. & Bauwens, M. (2014). Network society and future scenarios for a collaborative economy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Kostakis, V. Niaros, V. Dafermos, G. & Bauwens, M. (2015) Design global, manufacture local: Exploring the contours of an emerging productive model, Futures 73 (2015) 126–135

Norberg-Hodge, H. (1992). Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh. San Francisco: Sierra Book Club.

Ramos, J. Bauwens, M. and Kostakis, V. (Forthcoming 2016), P2P and Planetary Futures, In Carson, R. (Ed.), Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures, Springer, Zurich.


Dr. José Ramos is a social change researcher, trans disciplinary collaborator and advocate for commons oriented social alternatives. His focus is on supporting breakthrough  design and social innovation through his practices Action Foresight and FuturesLab and in leading and supporting a wide number of high impact social change projects. He is originally from California from Mexican-American heritage, now living in Melbourne Australia with his young family. 


Train-the-trainer course in strategic foresight and horizon scanning

In early 2016 I got the opportunity to run a very exciting project dear to my heart. For years I’ve been conceptualising a design process for anticipatory governance. In 2012 I was given the opportunity to do the research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, where I compiled and made sense of the literature. I later wrote this into an article for the Journal of Futures Studies. My intention with the article was to really make it possible for any foresight consultant to review the 7 key strategies for anticipatory governance and support governments anywhere with building in the best approaches for their unique contexts. I saw the 7 approaches as a “design space” that provided a broad field of view of the issues and opportunities in the design challenge of anticipatory governance. I later put together the idea for an anticipatory governance design service.

The core idea is that anticipatory governance is absolutely central to social viability. Government is an important vehicle for organised and effective social responses to our challenges and aspirations. Governments have an important role to play in protecting and extending the social good (what is commonly valued), and in responding effectively to change (both opportunities and threats). And governments need to be able to operationalise all of this into effective strategies for change – through policies that facilitate and support better social outcomes.

But government cannot do this if they are not future oriented. If government is not in alignment with citizen’s ideas of the social good; or if government is not actively looking into how the future may be different than the present; or if government does not have effective operational strategies, then it is simply not possible for government to organise and support effective responses to our challenges and aspirations.

Many governments do their best, with piecemeal approaches. But any sober reading of our current situation across the globe should give pause for thought. We are not really responding effectively to the threat of climate change, a volatile financial system with moral hazards, the growing gulf between the super rich and the rest (tax havens), the changing nature of migration, and the looming disruptions we can expect from technology. This list goes on…

What we need are really holistic and robust approaches that can create the breakthroughs needed to address our real social and sustainability challenges, at many scales. Piecemeal foresight in policy-making will produce a few good ideas and initiatives and make us feel a bit better, but comprehensive approaches generate alignment between a clear reading of the shape of change and the breakthrough policies and strategies we use today that will get us to where we really want to go.

Now I feel it is an imperative to open source our knowledge and methods in this area so that we can accelerate social change, and support government and policy making that will well and truly address the real issues we are all are facing. In this spirit I want to make the methodology and approach I used and will continue to use as open and reproducible as possible for others who want to delve and work in this space.


In 2015 I was contacted by the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS) in Brunei. CSPS were looking for high level capacity building, to develop the thinking and methods of strategic foresight and horizon scanning and build it into their policy and advisory role.

CSPS are the lead policy advisory organization for the government of Brunei, and are now also mandated to be a specialist in strategic foresight and horizon scanning to support future-oriented policy making across government.

CSPS thus specifically wanted a train-the-trainer approach that would leave them with all the ideas, tools and approaches that would allow them to reproduce my techniques so that they could apply it for various government departments and ministries. With this in mind, I proposed and developed an intensive program of training and design thinking that would train CSPS staff and select government participants.


Training, learning and design process 

The overall approach was broken into three parts.

  1. Part one was a four day intensive training on strategic foresight and horizon scanning methods and approaches.
  2. Part two was a two month action learning project, where the participants chose one or two approaches they were taught and applied it on a topic.
  3. Part three was a three day review and design process where participants first reviewed their projects, and moved through the action learning cycle to reflect and glean insights from their experience, and then engaged in a human centered design process for prototyping anticipatory governance systems.

Part One 

The first workshop in Feb of 2016 was 4 days in length and covered the following material:

The workshop was applied, and teams were not just introduced to the key ideas, but also practiced the various exploration and ideation methods unique to each methodology.

Part Two 

This second part was a two month action learning project where each of the three teams chose one or two methodologies to apply to a futures research problem.

Each team took it upon themselves to use what was learned in the intensive workshop and apply it to a public policy challenge area that they needed to tackle.

During that time I skyped each group at least twice to see how they were going and offer any advice and support. All the groups grappled with the research challenge well. Of course there was the standard getting lost in the forest, but equally the deep insights and clarity that comes from an experiential approach. All three teams ultimately did a great job.

Part Three

The final workshop, three days in length, was comprised of

  1. A forum for senior ministers in Brunei.
  2. An action learning review for their projects.
  3. A human centered design process to prototype anticipatory governance for their contexts.

For the forum I engaged the services of Cheryl Chung of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, who has many decades of experience using foresight for public policy and gave a presentation on ‘Foresight Studies and Horizon Scanning for Policy Making in Singapore’, shared her knowledge on what works for foresight work in the Singapore government / how it has impacted public policy making.

I also gave a shorter talk on what makes for empowering or disempowering approaches to the future in the context of government.


The forum organised by CSPS was high level and included senior ministers from major ministries. The forum went well and got quite a bit of press:

The forum was very important in building the visibility and legitimacy of the endeavour, and can be understood as a type of foresight communication, which is central to the effectiveness of foresight projects.

Day two was the action learning review, where participants got to reflect on their experiences in applying foresight, what worked, what didn’t, and what they would do different next time around. They also had a chance to reflect on the political challenges in doing foresight work, and what strategies can be effective.

Day three was dedicated to human centered design to prototype anticipatory governance strategies. We started with getting clear on the problem, design challenge and intended impact. We did some empathy work to better understand the “design ecology”. Importantly, I did not introduce or push the 7 strategies for anticipatory governance until after this, as I did not want to overly imprint their designs with programmed knowledge. But it became clear that in the context of a human centered design process for anticipatory governance, these 7 strategies were very useful in helping participants to reflect and incorporate key elements. In this regard the process was similar to Reg Revan’s action learning formulation of Programmed Learning + Insightful Questioning + Experience. We ended by road-mapping the prototypes and then developing narratives that can carry the meaning and message of the design efforts.


Final thoughts 

CSPS have taken very concrete steps to make themselves a robust foresight unit which will be able to advise government for years to come. They have put in great effort and have build substantial capabilities, and will continue to do so.

I feel fortunate to have been able to conceptualise a design space and design service, and have an opportunity to support a national government in applying such designs and knowledge. I have learned a lot and I am reflecting and considering how best to improve on this.

For the government of Brunei, I think they are in an opportune space to build in foresight approaches that can make their policy making truly innovative and which can lead to breakthroughs. There is a lot of work to do but I’m very confident they have made solid first steps.

My hope is for greater collaboration, sharing and the development of a Global Foresight Commons on what works in this space, so that we can enable a transition to future oriented government and the necessary transformations we need to create a world of long term wellbeing and prosperity.

Interview with Joshua Vial: Past, Present and Future of Enspiral and Trans-national Collectives

Joshua Vial is the founder of Enspiral, the community, network and social enterprise in Wellington (New Zealand) which practices open source, networked and commons based enterprise creation. Enspiral is different from traditional businesses in a number of ways. They have an ethos of collective ownership and social impact, they have a networked form of organization with little hierarchy, and they make their work and innovations open source, contributing to the global knowledge commons. Finally, they take the cultivation of heathy and nurturing relationship seriously, indeed it is a foundation for their success.

Because of these reasons, Enspiral represents one of the critical seeds of the future. In a world struggling to re-invent itself, develop ethical business, and turn relational value into social value (rather than privatised), Enspiral shows a critical way forward.

For anyone interested in the futures of work and business, check out Enspiral, you will thank yourself you did.

Many thanks to Joshua for giving me the time for the interview. Many thanks to Michel Bauwens for putting them on my radar.

A longer video blog with the other interviews is forthcoming this month of April 2016.

Interview with Joshua Vial: Past, Present and Future of Enspiral and Trans-national Collectives from Jose Ramos on Vimeo.