The Norwegian word, dugnad, can best be described as a type of civic and communal mindset where people get together and volunteer to fix, clean, paint or tidy things up for the betterment of their community. Dugnads are organized in neighborhoods, blocks of flats, at summer homes, marinas, mountain cabins, at schools and especially places of work. It can be summed up as a time of coming together and contributing.
Recently the World Economic Forum released a study ranking countries on their ability to convert economic growth into well-being for their citizens. Norway came out on top. While there are many reasons for this, I’m sure no small one is their focus on community engagement in the form of dugnads.
Community 3.0 connects local businesses and organizations to its patrons by solving their community’s problems directly. These are our version of the Norwegian dugnad. I call the physical spaces that connect people, Front Porches. They are hubs of civic involvement and volunteerism. Just imagine a social hub where like-minded can come together under no condition of hierarchy or predetermined authority to just do good for the community we all live in.
A community’s Front Porches give it its personality; and a big part of this personality are its small businesses. How a community wishes to be seen, felt and portrayed is dependent a large part on how it supports its locally-owned business entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Under the Community 3.0 network, these Front Porches create environments in our communities that nurture hope by empowering avenues for us to engage with our world and express our creativity through a Solutionist mindset – letting the inherent resourcefulness and benevolence inside us bloom. By making “helping others” our societal norm and expectation … we will supplant that of the hopeless climb up the ladder of our current economic caste system.
The key to making all this happen is not through existing channels though. The solution is creating a new system, a new embedded society that runs parallel to the existing one … “a society within a society.” This new society will be the one of ideas and inclusion, not one of maintaining the existing power structure. This new society of outliers is us, Community 3.0. By uniting ourselves and those around us – we will be able to create communities that are inclusive and built for and by everyone … not just those tasked with protecting the status quo and those empowered by it.
We must design our communities in a way that we encourage an inclusive journey of contribution and well-being for all our residents by creating environments where everyone has an opportunity to realize their place – whatever and wherever that may be. Resorting to traditional social and civic institutions and the hierarchies that reinforce them is not the solution. We need new alternatives – and what better place to look than in nature – and specifically with the structure of the subterranean root-like rhizome network.
Providing the fuel and nutrients for this rhizome network of resource decentralization is the bleedingEDGE Experience Platform. The platform is the marketing and communications conduit that connects the Front Porch (Merchant), the customer and their community. It is Community 3.0’s loyalty vehicle designed to help create the customer experiences and memories that will give local businesses the competitive advantage over Wall Street chains and box stores – all while building a community of health and well-being.