COSMOS is a co-op for people with “visionary tendencies.”
We’re a community of writers, artists, programmers, designers, philosophers, and otherwise ordinary people who feel passionately about exploring the depths and potentials of our shared reality, joining forces to produce works of collective genius that elicit the best in us.1See Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, by Emily Truelove, Greg Brandeau, Kent Lineback, and Linda Hill.
While we are a collective of individuals—with particular needs, motivations, and models of reality that we may not always be able to commonly define—we nonetheless come together in a common participatory framework for conversation, collaboration, and mutual aid.
We recognize, honor, and draw inspiration from the same fire that burns within each of us.
Beginning from the premise of interbeing—the realization that we are not fundamentally separate, but reflect each other infinitely—we value candor, ethics, and compassion as essential to our creativity and play.
As the founders of Cosmos, we believe that it’s necessary to band together to create a cultural space where we can dive deep; stay sensitive and inspired; and remain present amidst chaos.
During World War 2, it took the concerted effort of thousands of brilliant scientists, in a race against the unthinkable, to unlock the apocalyptic secrets of nuclear energy.
As our civilization spirals through an age of exponential change, we believe that a whole other kind of Manhattan Project—a transmutation of consciousness, a revolution in the heart of being—is equally necessary and urgent.
The dominant stories, rationales, and ways of organizing society are breaking down, crashing on the shores of time. And what stories will we tell, in their wake, about who we are, what’s possible, and what we’re here to do?
Why a Co-op?
We “creative types” tend to be marginalized in the capitalist marketplace, unless we are willing to sell ourselves or compromise our integrity in overt and subtle ways.
Meanwhile, the social economy favors the contentious and sensational, impeding our focus on more important things that we could concretely experience and accomplish together.
Those of us who choose an independent path often find that we must “brand” ourselves in insidious ways, on platforms we don’t own or control, which are usually trying to profit from us through claims on our attention that have nothing to do with meeting our real needs.2See The rise of community media – and why social networks don’t work (via The Next Web)
To go it alone—which is sometimes necessary—is liberating, but can also be debilitating, as one misses the nourishment that comes from strong, collaborative relationships. Besides, artistically, we’re all familiar with examples of solitary genius throughout history—but how often have we imagined ourselves as part of a network of inspired individuals who hone their minds toward a common visionary purpose?3Margaret Mead’s famous dictum seems appropriate to invoke: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
That’s why Cosmos proposes a cooperative dream platform that gives us the freedom to iterate and evolve. Our goal is to amplify the social, cultural, and economic capacities of our members, specifically through:
- Incubation: to nurture latent potentials and ideas
- Production: to collaborate on media, literature, and events
- Publishing & Promotion: to share our work with the world
- A Marketplace: to exchange our goods and services
- Advocacy & Sponsorship: to champion the slice of genius of each individual
Our methods are experimental and holistic, inspired by principles of anarchism, integralism, platform cooperativism, open participatory organizations, P2P (commons-based society) networks, open-source software, and radical thought. And, while our organization is in a very early (start-up, bootstrapping) phase, we are already modeling the core principles we seek to embody by fostering a vibrant intellectual community and open development process.
Our flagship publication is Metapsychosis, a journal of consciousness, literature, and art.
Our community hub is Infinite Conversations, where we host collaborative dialogues for our members.
We have a podcast and are developing a podcast network at InfiniteConversations.FM.
Untimely Books is our publishing imprint.
And the Readers Underground is where we’re brewing a new literary culture through book clubs, study circles, and community events.
- The Co-op Marketplace – to support member livelihoods
- LitCoin – internal currency for a creative economy
- The Cosmos Codex – organizational “source code” for collective governance
First, we are sharing the vision of Cosmos with our friends and networks, listening to feedback and answering questions, prior of opening up membership. Our members will comprise the initial equity base and working groups for moving Cosmos’ various facets forward.
Our highest priority is to seed a stellar community with robust cooperative spaces conducive to deeply satisfying experiences for our members. The culture and community will fuel the development of Cosmos, and all members will have access to the conversations guiding our process, to the depth they wish to participate.
We intend to constrain the cost of membership to the extent of our features—i.e., starting with a nominal, extremely affordable membership fee and increasing as we’re able to deliver greater value. We are also working on a sponsorship model that will facilitate members raising money and supporting each other’s projects directly.
This is our creative moment. What are we going to do with it?
We are confident that we can do better than what is—and so let’s…
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||See Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, by Emily Truelove, Greg Brandeau, Kent Lineback, and Linda Hill.|
|2.||↑||See The rise of community media – and why social networks don’t work (via The Next Web)|
|3.||↑||Margaret Mead’s famous dictum seems appropriate to invoke: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”|