From the 1990s, the social climate and communication possibilities became limitless for everyone. We asked ourselves about the impact of this on the contact between people and with public and private organisations. About the future of reciprocal, lasting and reliable relationships, where people want to continue to understand each other and no one is excluded. Where people are able to take the initiative themselves or can continue to participate actively. And where organizations can add meaningful value to people and society.
We have now found answers via an unconventional learning path from 2001. First by working for five years with children and young people, inside and outside school. Then by stimulating and supporting social initiatives by people who are committed to each other, to their own neighborhood or region for different reasons. And with some initiatives we take the lead ourselves in the start-up phase, because society, people and organizations do not easily pick up on this themselves and we want to test it anyway.
Continuous learning path
Always in the form of an experiment, wanting to learn from it together and become wiser. More than twenty years ago it became clear that the cause of the lack of connection almost always lies in complex institutions; both in government and in public organizations and private companies.
For logical and understandable reasons, these organizations mainly focus on optimizing function and process. Within this, knowledge does not just lead to more and equal expertise for everyone. Or, for example, customer value optimization or economic profit lead more easily to exclusion than to inclusion. It almost naturally feeds into, among other things, distrust, polarization, conspiracy thinking, loss of equal opportunities and an ever-growing gap between people and organizations.
Always and everywhere connect and work from the existential question
Coloci's collaboration with many different organizations has always been conditional on complete independence and "sponsorship" without a logo. As a result, social initiatives could arise more autonomously, without any social or business 'assignment' from these organizations.
By consistently holding on to this 'freedom', a context and approach is created for all those involved in which the primary existential or sometimes anthropological question is formulated in advance, is placed central and continues to be asked continuously. This also applies to every part of the implementation: the shared intrinsic motivation, activities and communication, the roles, functions and relationships. Or during the restart, redevelopment or growth of an initiative.
Over the years, more organizations have become substantively active and involved in enabling and/or realizing social initiatives. Together, these give meaning to the 'participatory society'.
In many cases, practice shows that people have been 'tempted' to practically fulfill a functional need, to fix a social problem with a citizens' initiative or to organize a citizen participation project based on the implementation agenda of a public or private organization. And with some taking on the character of new institutions. All this without leading to a better connection with the organizations involved and their own need for a transition to a meaningful future. They do not reinvent themselves, any more than many social initiatives themselves.
Only together you can shape a society and thereby contribute to a more enjoyable and meaningful life for everyone
Acting from the existential question and implementing this down to the detail of the implementation and measurement of the result is not given to everyone. Any more than wanting to stay connected with the totality of organizations and their public or business goals or interests. And not just a couple of, similar or one organization.
We are now convinced that independent social initiatives that have come to life from this basis and that manage to make them more sustainable are promising and necessary for the transformation of the 'institutions'. Without mandate, these initiatives can provide direction and help change functions. Help recalibrate the division between economic, social and cultural value creation. Enabling people, regardless of role and relationship, to get things done together again. A society in which a government, public organizations and business enterprises simply remain necessary. But then meaningfully and in a reciprocal connection with the entire community.
To safeguard these convictions and experiences, to safeguard the interests, continuation and growth of all communities involved and to be able to freely share the knowledge and learning path, Coloci has recently set up a foundation.
From here we want to enter into new relationships and collaborate with organizations that:
- want to be in contact with society and know what is going on
- want to focus on a sustainable, pleasant living environment, with equal opportunities for all
- believe in the power of own initiative and collaboration at the local community level:
being together, doing + sharing