The power of co-creation
Uppdaterad: 16 maj 2019
I’ve believed in and worked with co-creative processes for several years now, mainly with design and facilitation of societal development in the public sector*. But the last 1,5 years I’ve really delved deeply into the concept of co-creation. First through the development of The Initiative, a new Swedish political party, where co-creation is one of our core values. We believe that we can deepen democracy and reinvent politics by co-creating the whole shebang. To invite more perspectives and knowledge into political development is necessary for innovating the political system and to lead society into a new, sustainable, paradigm. But it’s not enough with an invitation, you need to really give people the power to create. Give people access and encourage them to create the future. After all, we hold the future in our own hands.
My other deep dive has been through my work at The Castle, a co-working space in the heart of Stockholm. Our mission is to provide a physical space for organizations and their people to pursue a meaningful work life. So my daily job is to explore methods and culture for creating more meaningful workplaces, where people, and thereby their businesses, can flourish. The organization behind The Castle is self-organized (according to TEAL-principles) and the culture is strongly influenced by the burner community (see Burning man). Participation and inclusion are thereby at the core of our culture, both in our organization and the Castle Community.
Co-creative activities and processes include people through participation. A good co-creative process is radically inclusive. Every perspective, every participant, gives value to the process or project. Every single participant and their contribution is a gift to the creation, for workplaces just as for political parties and society at large. It is radically inclusive in the way that it is not just about including others, it is also about daring to include more of yourself.
Critics of co-creation, from my experience, often mistake co-creation as a cozy and consensus-driven process where everybody needs to be part of everything or that co-creation is a goal in itself. But no, this is not what co-creation is to me. Co-creation is both about the journey and the result. It’s about being generous with our knowledge and passions. It's about collective intelligence. It’s about the sum of its parts. It’s about believing that we can create something bigger together. It’s about building something larger than ourselves.
Today we co-created an Unconference at The Castle. All members were invited to fill the conference with whatever they felt enthusiastic about sharing with the community. It resulted in a conference with topics such as transformative innovation, eye-gazing meditation as well as an opera workshop. A dynamic, educational and community building conference.
What I've learned from my deep dive into the concept of co-creation is that co-creation is key for building community. It is key for a revitalized democracy as well as for creating a meaningful workplace. And it is key for leading society forward, into the new, post-industrial, paradigm.
To experience the magic of creating something together, that’s a transforming experience.
And that folks, that’s the power of co-creation!
*This is something I worked with in my former businesses Experience Design (ED) Sweden and Radicle. Check out the latter which is still up and running by my brilliant co-founders!