22 September 2012

The ReStart Junction (EN)

The last two decades have witnessed the greatest revolution since Genesis. States have lost their importance and strength. […] So we are all surprised. It is a new world. […]
Shimon Peres, McKinsey Quarterly, June 2012, pp.5-6, via Boris Divjak
Being a ReStarter is a challenge.  Not only for the whole experience begins with a challenge, but also (mostly) for the intense process that follows suit:  A process that forces you, the “idea leader,” to challenge and/or rediscover your most intimate values and beliefs.  It happened to me for the past 12 months, when I realized that I must change everything about my ways of “doing business,” that everything around me was/is changing, that my biggest challenge is to adapt or perish :-)

source:  TechSoup Romania & Piaţa de şpagă
In my opinion, 5 november 2011 was the tipping point for Romania’s civil society.  The ReStart Romania gala, where I was awarded $5K for piatadespaga.ro (bribe market), was the moment that changed everything in the way I think about life, civic activism, NGOs.  Loose groups and small projects are more adaptable, more responsive and (paradoxically!) more accountable than institutionalized organizations that operate 6-digit yearly budgets.  For a change, for a smile, for staying in line with the evolution of technology, nowadays “small is better!”

Actually, think of bricks in a wall, if you would :-)  Every one of these small projects may have a life and a utility of its own, but the real breakthrough, the genuine value that ReStart breeds/nurtures is complementarity.  I am not an IT person, don’t know much about PR, communication and marketing, have no real skills for sales, but I think I have a good understanding of governance.  ReStart offered me a team of people with the skills that I lacked, and us working together may turn our project an individual success.  And ReStart does just the same for the complementarity of projects, as the bribe market has clear ties with irregular parking, medical alerts, illegal logging, electoral promises and lost public money.

In the past 12 months, I learned about the power of crowdsourcing, and how it may change society forever:  a crowd of individuals that bring together specific and complementary resources/skills/information/time, for a common goal.  This is a new world arising, a new way of doing business, and the challenge is to recognize it, embrace it, and embark on its rising wave.  Yes, it’s risky, but terribly thrilling and utterly satisfying to the entrepreneurial types;  equally frightening to the more conservative of our peers.  Watch out for this new social and political divide, as it’ll mark our lives for the next 20-50 years!

So, believe me:  once you’re part of the ReStart movement, there’s no going back, you’re hooked on to a new way of life, of understanding society, of relating to the dynamics of everything that happens around you.  All of a sudden, you no longer see problems, but challenges;  you rely on complementarity for finding solutions;  you focus on the impact, rather than the process;  you learn that ideas need leadership just as much as people do, and you also learn that common interests are extremely powerful in effecting change :-) 

PS  Once you’re past the ReStart junction, you live in the new continuous tense of crowdsourcing—the challenge there is that you mustn’t live in the cloud, regardless of how comforting you may find it!

Later edit:  This blog entry later inspired Daniel Ben-Horin to write “A New World Arising” in the Huffington Post.

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