Experimenting with change and disruption in real time: findings from the OuiShare community
The ambition of this year’s OECD Forum, Bridging Divides, was to reflect a rather unique period of economic and social disruption and shape solutions which bring divergent views together to find common purpose. In the same vein, 35 OuiShare members from around Europe came together to what we call the ‘OuiShare Summit’ (14th to 17th of September).
This article is part of the Forum Network series on New Societal Contract
For this 10th edition, we were welcomed by our German community based in Münich. Organised every year, Summits allow us the time and space to explore and experiment with what we want OuiShare to be.
Delving into the OuiShare community: fairness, openness and trust
What is OuiShare? This question has as many answers as the number of members in our community. And that is the magic and beauty of it. OuiShare is a blank canvas on which you can draw, explore and create what you want to do. It is both a safe place and one where you can go beyond your comfort zone. It is an international community of entrepreneurs with shared values, a group of people happy to be and work together, experimenting and reinventing the way we think, do things and, ultimately, live.
We are an internationally-distributed organisation of innovators, freelancers and movement builders with a presence in over 25 cities, from Rio de Janeiro to Oslo and from Mexico all the way to Montreal. This means we face enormous opportunities and challenges. This is why we need special moments to come together as a community and keep experimenting from within.
No solution comes in isolation: listening, sharing and debating
In a traditional organisation, most decisions come from the top and can be opaque. At OuiShare, we want everyone to have a voice and take advantage of a space to safely express their views, frustrations, and desires for the organisation as a whole.
Summits are that safe place. We debate, work together, argue, agree to disagree on many things and then move forward. We deploy action plans everyone feels comfortable with; we assign responsibilities; we start new projects. We get to know each other better, we share and we have a great time until it's time to say "Until the next one!"
‘Permanent Beta’: the core of our philosophy
OuiShare was born out of the desire to explore what the sharing economy could become and map its ramifications for individuals, organisations and society as a whole. After almost six years things have changed a lot and, yet, the core of OuiShare remains the same. ‘Permanent Beta’ is our guiding mantra. It is the freedom to explore and experiment as we go forward. It is about being unafraid of making mistakes, nimble and adaptable.
Helping people and organisations deal with change
At OuiShare we are proud to adopt a very systemic and holistic view when taking on new projects and addressing challenges. In our ambition to “change the world”, we are aware that helping organisations change from within can lead to a positive impact on people and society as a whole.
As part of a larger cross-community initiative, we bring six years of expertise and findings working as a non-traditionally distributed organisation. We see that the unique added value we bring to companies – and any type of organisation – is the experience of doing things differently every day: the way we assess the value of individual contributions to projects; how we make collective decisions and manage our finances; and performing our experiments in real-time that seek to share with the world how to be greater than the sum of our parts.
Harnessing change in action
At the Summit, the Münich team organised a three-hour 'inspiring hike' with a very insightful twist. During this ‘walking workshop’, we debated in small groups what changing an organisation means and what it entails. Audi, one of the Münich team’s clients, called on OuiShare to share insights into how the company could “ride the wave” of change and adapt to a fast-moving world. Together, we raised questions such as how employees can have a greater say in the future of the company and, on a more daring note, whether Audi should still be making cars in the future. We articulated a ‘radical’ framework to think, organise and make decisions, while remaining loyal to our core values: openness, transparency and collaboration.
And this is what we do. We have collaborated for over four years with two of our partners, Castorama and Maif, to build the OuiShare Fest, another a unique event experience and platform for entrepreneurs, activists and thought leaders to gather and join forces. We also team up with the research lab Chronos and partner with Trandsdev and Michelin to explore the potential of the sharing economy in medium-sized cities and the new frontiers of mobility. Clémentine Malgras will share some insights into this project on the Forum Network in the near future.
“Until the next one!”
The 10th Summit has just finished, but we will soon reconvene for more endeavours, adventures and projects. This November, OuiShare communities in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro are hosting their yearly festival. From the future of education to the future of work, we hope to see you at the OuiShare Fest Bcn and Colaboramérica.
We want to hear from you:
- How do you reconcile dealing with change in a complex, fast-paced world whilst embracing values of fairness, openness and trust?
- How do you see the “sharing economy” transforming the way we think, work and live?
- If you have experience organising events that serve as a catalyst for collaboration and inclusiveness, we are keen to hear from you!