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Is New Artisans Inevitable?
Day 10 of Alan Moore's 13 Design Questions
I think that perhaps New Artisans is inevitable in the same way that catching a virus is inevitable.
Our societal and organisational immune systems have been progressively weakened by an obsession with economic performance measured in money, and the immunity provided by “wellness programmes”, “leadership courses”, and all the rest are proving increasingly ineffective. The only question that remains is which mutation of New Artisans is going to get you?
Because New Artisans is not a “self-help” scheme, a course, or a process. It is an idea and awareness that we use only a tiny fraction of our capabilities and potential inside the enclosures that we call work, and the realisation that we have so much more to offer. It develops inside us, looking for release in ways that “consuming” - from cars to cocaine to foreign holidays - can never satisfy.
“New Artisans” is just the container I am using to hold my thoughts. There are many other containers with different names but which touch on the same basic needs. I welcome them, share them, and long to connect to them because the change we seek will not be a revolution (though there may well be outbreaks of them) but an evolution. As I researched the catalysts that have triggered previous societal and economic changes and identified the part that artisans play, I was influenced by two authors in particular; Gal Beckerman and his work “The Quiet Before” and Greg Satell’s “Cascades”. Both are well-written, well researched and documented and provide healthy provocation rather than bland recipes.
“Small groups, as it turns out, are almost infinitely scalable.”
Greg Satell, Cascades:
Radical change - change that strips off the stucco and gets to the girders, that offers a chance to see ourselves and our relationship to nature or to others in new ways- doesn’t start with yelling. It starts with deliberation, a tempo that increases, a volume set first as a whisper. How else can you picture what doesn’t yet exist?
Gal Beckerman, The Quiet Before.
New Artisans is, I hope, one tiny catalyst amongst many that will cause a few people to think differently, connect to others doing the same, and play a part in changing the nature of work to something far healthier than our current corporate business models offer us.
We are, I believe, in a “before” time, not an “if” time. We may not know precisely what will happen, but very many of us sense something already is.
So yes, I believe that the changes we talk about in New Artisans are inevitable.
As for New Artisans itself, if it were to provide a tiny footnote in some future version of “The Quiet Before”, I would be a very happy bunny.
I’d like New Artisans to provide a place where quiet conversations can connect to generate the energy which will help power the changes we wish to see, that recognise people not as “resources”, but as unique creators invested in something less shallow than “more”.