Another disaster in Tohoku
Which brought to recall a disaster on top of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear: dearth of support to preserve the mesh of neighborhoods and communities of trust. Desperate local government officials appeared in interviews lamenting the trouble to get people out of the shelters and into the temp homes already built. About 70% remained unoccupied for months according to colleagues who visited Tohoku and did volunteer cleanup work. Main reasons were breaking up with the just found shelter community, and location - greenfield, no shops nearby, no cars to cover the distance.
Docodemoecocar estimated 4000 community cars would would help, and got to work. As a volunteer organization they got donated maybe 40 cars plus fuel from the German community in Japan to give each of the people a set range of kilometers to drive for free and to trade transportation with each other as a complementary currency.
If we rely on bureaucracy to do what it does best...
... we have become addicted to the necessity for control, which we can never achieve - hence the exhausting sense of failure and pessimism. Even worse, the very attempt to achieve control is the source of most, if not all of the personal and organizational pathologies that bedevil us.
offers an almost comfortable workaround, and in case of neighborhoods, a backup to re-connect and take action together, giving more choices and mobilizing more resources than a strained bureaucracy can hope to offer in case of disaster.
To me, viable collaborative organization online comes in layers.
- connected individuality as Anne Marie McEwan says.
- open space for people to join groups and work out results together.
- practices, protocols and processes for groups to connect, align and join forces on shared goals.
What connecting via the web does
It reduces cost of the preliminaries. (Thank you @CASUDI). So when you meet in 3D same-space, trust is already there and you can get right to work. As in the meeting, Mike gave me his telephone and I took the video of the interview as if we had been neighbors/friends for years. In a way we have, online.
Connecting with another organization actively supporting recovery: Tohoku Planning Forum, a group of professionals engaged in long-term revitalisation of Japan's disaster-struck Tohoku as well as other regions, marked by similar structural problems.
On their TPF2 site a serendipity synapse via Twitter appears just as I am writing this. It links to a related event yesterday Nov. 30 at United Nations University, Tokyo: Rebuilding after 3/11: Vulnerability and Empowerment.
Looks like the dynamics of the third layer are already in place. Now the question becomes how to enable more people and communities to walk this path into viable collaborative action. Your turn?