To date society has been controlled through authority delieveed through a hierarchy, or various hierarchies in various ways which is usually based on a specific ideology or belief system. This ideology or belief system can be either political or religious in nature but it becomes the predominant ideology or belief system in society which means that authority is delivered through a certain instrumentality which many people find to be alienating, isolating and disempowering. This is despite the fact that we are supposed to have both democracy and freeedom, which as a result of a concentration of power in the hands of the organization - be it political, religious or corporate - tends to gravitate towards totalitarianism and results in such issues as disempowerment of people, cultural decline and social fragmentation and division.
In recent years this process or cycle has been exacerbated by the development of information technology which has given people greater power to use technology to access information, share it, and communicate and interact with others through the internet and various networks. It is debatable whether those in authority have become more corrupt or totalitarian in nature or whether this has always been the case. What is clear however is that the devcelopment of technology has caused information and knowledge to become currency almost as powerful as money and that technology is incompatible with the current prexisting hierarchies and belief systems based on external authority. This has caused a shift in the balance of power in favour of the organization and the further disempowerment of the individual and it is this shift in the balance of power which gives rise of many different social, economic and environemtnal issues which place the entire future of Mankind under question.
To date we, people, have never properly worked together to properly design a society paying due attention to how efficiently society functions, and with regard to aesthetics and balance. To date we have always trusted those in authority to create social structures and shape society, its inafrastructure and econjomy for the benefit of everyone but in recent years this trust has been undermined by the incentive of large organizations to concentrate power and make the acquisition of profit (which is the concentration of power) as their primary objective. This leads to disempowerment of people, deprivation of opportunity and deprivation of individual human experience.
What is social design?
Social design is much more about redesigning or changing your relationship to society rather than redesigning or changing so0ciety as a whole - that concept has already been covered by social conditioning, social engineerinbg and politics in general. Social design is about getting past the idea of working towards changes in a community or society as a whole on the basis of a belief system, ideology, or even an idea which will cause further disempowerment to people and affect them and their lives. One of the effects of disempowerment is that you have a lot of people out there in society and in your community who desire some kind of change to make their lives easier but who are not participating or doing anything towards making those changes themselves. They are expecting someone else to make the changes. many expect the government or politicians to make the changes, or some other organization. This results in no changes taking place, nothing happens, and this leaves further opportunities for others to exploit, many of them corporations or other organizations, and so individual people end up being further disempowered.
It's very important to understand that we have a lot of information technology, such as the internet,, social media, various online forumns and resources, and a multitude of web hosting vompanies. There has never been ever before so many different opportunities to get information, syhare information, communicate and interact with other people. Two things need to be understood when it comes to all this technology. Firstly technology is incompatible with authority and hierarchies. We accepted hierarchies of people and authority through this because we didn't have the means to access and share so much information nor communicate with so many people. Secondly technology is designed to support individual creativity and ideas. Technology is theer to make our lives easier and is much more compatible with social srructures which are based on community.
At a fundamental level social design is another term for cultural development. Ir doesn't matter who you are or how you perceivce your relationship your community and society in general, the incompatible nature of technology with authority and hierarchy means that change is inevitable. Collectively we face a choice, and that choice is whether we allow those changes to be decided by a hierarchy imposing it's own order and beliefs on evceryone, or whether we want a say in what changes are to be made, how, and how those changes are going to affect us. Qultura as an organization supports people being able to have a say in changes which affect them and their communities, and having the opportunity to do something about it. But this requires that you are actually prepared to do something, share your ideas, use your voice, speak up and at keast make an attempt to participate in the process of making those changes.
Social design is about reclaiming individual human experience
An essential part of grasping the concept of social design is getting past the illusion of separateness between you - the individual - and your environmental and society. Can you breathe without air? How long will you survive without access to fresh water>? is there anywhere else you can exist other than this pklanet, society and the community where you are now? You are an individual human being. There's never been anyone else like you born before ever in the entire history of Mankind. There's never going to be another 'you' at any point in the future. You are a reflection of both society and the entire human race, you have your own place in human evolution, and your relationship to your environment and society as a whole is an unique and individual, and as much a part of you as your fingerprint, face and DNA.
Social design is about individual human empowerment
Most people perceive themselves and others in society looking through a specific socioeconomic perspective. However if you look at others differently without the socioecnomic perspective you will see that others are just like you, individual human beings with a unique set of life experiences and a unique and highly individual perspective on life. Part of what social design is all about is overcoming the disempowerment which comes from the instrumentaliuty of authority and the resulting social divisions in society and the local community. Social design is not like political activism or joining a social movement where you have to adopt a particular ideology or follow authority through a hierarchy. Social design is about finding a platform to share your experiences and ideas with others in a community to exchange those ideas and experiences and develop a new perspective beyond the limitations of your socioeconomic perspective and then getting together to set up a project and make changes.
Other concepts related to social design
Social design is related to a number of other concepts. Primarily social design is related to the concept of mutual arising, which essentially means that any project which is based on social design needs to be of benefit both to oneself and to others or someone else. This is a move towards the much more egalitarian type of functioning in community which information technology supports moving away from disempowerment and both inequality and exploitation. Another related concept is reverse participation, of particular interest to those who are affected by poverty and inequality which are two of the more extreme forms of disempowerment which affect individual people. One of the things which is generally lacking in society is a definition of poverty and inequality which comes from people who are actually experiencing it. This is covered in more detail in the webpage about reverse participation. Conscious living is another related concept to social design.
Social design and personal enlightenment
As social design involves social interaction, community involvement and vommunity participation it can also offer opportunities for personal enlightenment, healing and personal growth. Involvement in community through Qultura provides opportunities for personal enlightenment and growth which is not based on any specific faith or belief system nor is it based on such thinkgs as self-improvement or positive thinking because if you are an individual human being like no other what is it you need to improve and what external yardstick are you holding yourself up to? Social design is all about increasing the level of consciousness in a community through cultural development and community participation so as to create better environments where people can be themselves, empowered and develop consciousness on their own personal and individual terms without becoming involved in unnecessary social divisions or conflicts.
Definition of projects in social design
Within Qultura project is a key term because a project is a component of Qultura. A pproject can refer to a Qultura community, a specific activity or task with a mission and objectives, a group such as an interest group, or even something which is unique and individual to one person. Therefore project is something which can refer to an interest, an action or activity, or a group of people. There is a reason for this varied and widespread use of the word project relative to Qultura, and that is to place an emphasis on Qultura's internal egalitarian culture and manner of working, which is in turn relative to our mission and objectives of promoting human individuality and creativity.
Thuis means that a project in social design can be personal to just one individual, such as development of a social support network, recovery from experiencing a social issue, or a creative project related to the sharing of nan idea, a narrative or an experience. A project can also be something between a few people with a common or shared objective to bring about change in a local community or indeed, to create a new relationship, amenity, or other collectivity such as an organization. Likewise a social design project can be a small community of people who work together to create and spawn other projects.
How social design works
You can use social design to make any sort of change to your relationship with the community or society in general - to develop a social support network, to share an idea, start a new non profit, acquire experience, make a film, or resolve a problem in your community provided there is some mutual benefit to you and someone else or others in the your local community. However obviously this does not extend to any promotion of belief systems, enterprising or profit making activities or personal capitalism. Nor does it extend to anything divisive or potentially leading to a social conflict.
Social design is a way of restructuring a community or society through community participation, the sharing of ideas and discussions, involvement of members of that community or society and the empowerment of people and the sharing of power. This process can shift the emphasis away from consumerism and consumption, where people are passive and put in a position where they have no choice but to accept changes made to ttheir community and society to a greater empjhasis on experience. It also shifts the emphasis away from belief towards experience and knowledge. When more people take part and get involved in the development of their community, the community as a whole becomes more inclusive, stronger and mkuch more cohesive between people. This can often make a community safer and easier to be a part of.
Conscious living is all about living on the basis of a fundamental awareness that as an individual you are connected to everything else and also everyone else in your environment. There is no concept of separation or separateness, therefore no need for division or to form attachments. You either connect or disconnect. Like social design conscious living is inspired and influenced by the concept of mutual arising.
Personal enlightenment is about the process of personal enlightenment which is unique and individual to you. When people die that what we usually miss about them is the unique perspective they shared with us, the memories and experiences which were shared, the way they made us feel, and the connection or bond which we shared with them which became lost through their death. Perosnal enlightenment is therefore important because it develops your quality to others and also promotes your awareness and consciouness. Everything you need for your own personal enlightenment is within you and is innate. Personal enlightenment therefore isn't about self-improvement or positive thinking, but about living your life, about the journey, the experiences, the connections, the memories and your personal legacy.
Reverse participation is a fundamental Qultura concept and forms the basis for our Pledge and Support system. All experience is just that, experience and unlike so many in society Qultura values the negative experiences and limitations equally because these things are what make you human, vulnerable and unique. Therefore we make no distinction between creativity and poverty, innovation and inequality because these are things which make you stand out and individual. For this very reason we believe it is a fundamental human right for you to be able to define your experience in your own way and your own words and expression, rather than be defined by others and authority and be forced to accept the definition of others. Therefore reverse participation is simply a statement that you need not just support from others but also their understanding and awareness because you need to define your experience in your own way.
Mutual arising is a key concept which influences al the other concepts here. Mutual arising is about the connection between the individual ajnd other and also the connection between the individual and totality. Therefore it is based on both creative law and universal law.