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Collaborative spirit

brasilobserver - Jul 17 2015
"Jimmy Wales came into my list of 'great heroes' with his contemporary progressive ideas, and also for his collaborative and inspiring spirit" (Photo: Divulgation)

(Leia em Português)

The idea that “there is not space for everyone” is outdated. The crowd can create amazing things


By Ricardo Somera

It is increasingly evident that the model of competitive life we ​​have been taught from childhood does not meet our needs. Courses and more courses were – and still are – passed with a simple warning: “Be the best as there is not space for everyone”.

With this inner voice challenging us every day, a feature we were taken from us without we realize it: collaboration. But with help of the internet – and without it – the world is trying to rescue this most communitarian side. Gradually, we are proving that this is not just a philosophy of the past but also the present and the future. The internet connected us and sharing our knowledge has reached a point that we could never have imagined – for good to the evil, it’s true. The fact is that from there arises what today is at the mouth of individuals, associations, schools and businesses: a collaborative economy.

The crowd can share their knowledge to build social and business solutions with free software; finance high impact projects with crowd funding tools; and create one of the most ambitious dreams, that of building the largest free encyclopaedia in the world, Wikipedia, feasible only with the collaboration of thousands of people.

In one of the speeches of the event Fronteiras do Pensamento (which means Boarders of Thinking) held in São Paulo and Porto Alegre, the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, told a curious audience some interesting facts about the sixth largest website today on the world. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia has over 32 million articles in over 280 languages ​​(876,000 in Portuguese), more than 70,000 contributors, mostly men (87%) with a mean age of 26 years. All this is made possible by collaboration. And it’s not just Wikipedia that shows this phenomenon. Waze, Airbnb, Quirky, among hundreds of projects are made possible by the collaboration of network generating not only economic value, but also social.

Wales came into my list of “great heroes” with his contemporary progressive ideas, and also for his collaborative and inspiring spirit, and is a staunch supporter of net neutrality. While not a billionaire like many of his friends who “founded” the internet, he says he is happy with his sons and his wife, Kate Garvey (former secretary of Tony Blair). And he nudges his colleagues saying that he knows many billionaires that are bored.

Today we see several collaborative projects that promise to revolutionize the way thinking globally, acting locally and thinking about the future in order to rescue the feelings with others. Every day we are bombarded with negative information and evidence that the line between progress and retrogression is pretty thin, but we must also see what works, what good is being done! I trust a more collaborative world is being made. What about you?