Two years after the first article, I feel ready to write the second article. I had concluded the first article as follows: “We are at the right time to focus on our common needs. We have enough time to make clever use of this time. Now let us get together and ascertain our common needs. Let us set our principles and values. Let our principles and values be our “partnership of intention” promise. Let us develop a partnership of intentions with imagination. Let us determine the beginning and end of the steps that we will take in our action and our goals will be revealed. While doing all this, it is time to move from “me” to “us.” Moving on to us, the second post in the solidarity economy step by step series emerged as I wondered how a community could form step by step like a mathematical sequence. We defined the window and the frame with ” Solidarity Economy Step by Step I”, now we are opening the window with this article, craning our heads inwards.
I am drafting this article based on my personal observations and experiences, independent of all the sources I have read. Therefore, it would be appropriate for me to affix the phrase “keep out of the reach of children”. Because I would like to emphasize that the factors such as culture, people, space, geography, and accent should be taken into consideration at the beginning within the essence of those things I will write.
Talking about the economy of solidarity is very enjoyable. However, there are not many solutions on how we can inquire the solidarity economy and make this system permanent. During the times that we are left without a solution, it can be inspiring to watch or follow someone working towards an answer by looking at it from a unique perspective. That is where I write in case I can inspire.
To be One
To be ‘1’ means to exist. It is easier to understand’1’than zero. The moment we are born, we are all ‘1s’. To be an individual is to be a person, to be a ‘1’. Primarily in the world, there are 8 billion ‘1s’, and these ‘1s’ are “people” first, regardless of anything else. When we read Engin Geçtan’s book “Becoming a Human”, we learn to be able to become a human. Thus, we comprehend to be ‘1’.
In communities, everyone becomes ‘1’ first. Since all ‘1s’ are gathered for a specific purpose, the community becomes stronger when they realize that they are all ‘1s’ separately. On paper or let us say in the “WhatsApp” group today, it seems that there are many ‘1s’ In some communities. However, unresponsive ‘1s’ are actually non-existent and they are zero. It is also those who made zeros out of themselves that complain the ‘1s’ do not react within the community. Because, if people are silent and unresponsive in a community, there is no empathic ‘2’ in that community.
Being two is specific. At least one person must be ‘2’ if an institutional structure is desired to exist within the community. If there is a multiple ‘2s’ in a community and there is harmony between those ‘2s’, that community can reach its goals more easily and quickly. Michael Tomasello’s book Why We Form Partnerships tells us that it is in our nature to be ‘2’.
Being ‘2’ is being an entrepreneur. Of course, there are two types of entrepreneurships: the simple entrepreneur-boss or the social entrepreneur. It is easy to be the boss when the ego and the super ego join hands; when the ego completes empathy, one becomes a social entrepreneur. Empathy is the most basic characteristic of social entrepreneurs. The secondary element of being a genuine ‘2’, the empathy, which we can also define as altruism, is effective in creating sustainable communities.
‘1’ = manager
‘1’ = technician/technical
‘2’ = entrepreneur ( ‘2’ = boss = ego + super ego | ‘2’ = social entrepreneur = ego + empathy)
To be ‘2’ is to be the one who hauls a community. ‘2s’ can be given different names in communities. For example, “Chairman of the Board” in associations, foundations, cooperatives, “spokesperson, coordinator, chairman” in places such as committees, working groups, commissions, or “circle leader or representative” in communities that provide sociocracy and governance these days.
When being ‘2’ is explained with empathy, social benefit is at the forefront and efforts are carried out by adding social benefit to the primary purpose.
Examples for ‘1s’ and ‘2s’
I can give examples of communities from my own life where I am ‘1’ and ‘2’. I am a ‘2’ in Şirince Village Agricultural Development Cooperative. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, I strive to create the agenda of the community by “empathizing” in order not to be bossy. I am participating as ‘1’ in the Village-Koop Izmir Union, which I joined on behalf of ŞirinceKoop. The ‘2’ of the Village-Koop Izmir Union is Neptün Soyer. The Union expands its range of motion and influence with the Union’s nudge at the point where it needs ‘1s’. As ‘1’ in Köy-Koop İzmir, I am always on standby relatively ready and available. It may also be my duty to take on a different role when necessary; at this point, the issue of being ‘3’ comes up. In a moment, I will talk about who is a ‘3’, who can be, and how to do it.
Another example is Yaren Cooperative. Yaren Kooperatif Chairman Özgür Topaç is the ‘2’ of YarenKoop. Özgür knows that I always take part in that community as a ‘1’, a technician or manager, and that I can act. When the community is happy with a single ‘2’, it is necessary to respect the movement and sphere of influence of the designated ‘2’.
Another example is from the “Sociocracy For All” network. I joined this network a year ago. Naturally, I joined the “cooperative circle”. I participated in and contributed to the meetings as a ‘1’ for a year. At the end of a year, I became a “Delegate” with the recommendation of my friends. That is, I become a ‘2’. Therefore, being a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ is determined according to clearly defined roles. According to the clear- concrete roles defined within a community, it is also possible to be ‘1’ and ‘2’ at the same time.
Being a ‘3’
Being a ‘3’ means being a “facilitator” in a remarkably simple and plain way. One of the most unknown works in our country is “facilitation”. Even a book called The Characteristics of the Facilitator has not been written yet; we do not hear the Turkish equivalent of the concept of “Facilitator” much, we do not know. In schools, there is a corresponding word for every word, role I have enumerated so far, but there is nothing for facilitation anywhere. There is no area where we can learn to be a ‘3’ while our lives are draining with adjectives such as presidents, members, partners, coordinators, leaders, spokespersons, representatives, etc.
‘3’ = facilitator = ego + empathy + nonviolent communication
The key priority of being a ‘3’ is to succeed in becoming a pioneer or social entrepreneur and to transform language with compassionate communication immediately afterwards. ‘3s’ are always positive, constructive, and developing when communicating, they never disregard to appreciate. A ‘3’ encodes everything perceived as weakness or deficiency as an open direction to development. Being a ‘3’ requires being easy-going, an open perspective, just like a pinecone making you dizzy with the smell of resin.
Being a ‘3’ can be described by splitting the duties generally attributed to the president in communities and defining a new role. Those who are ‘3s’ are also the mediators that will enable the ‘5s’, who are the community itself, to meet with compassionate communication and empathy. If the culture of empathy develops in the community and adopted as a means of compassionate communication, the sociocratic division of labour may become permanent for everyone and all relationships in the community.
Being a ‘5’
Being a ‘5’ is a prerequisite for being a community. If a community of five people defines roles clearly and precisely, it means that the first step is taken to create a lasting organizational model. The roles of a community of five people can be defined as follows:
Circle Pioneer (2)
In order for the community to become popular, the communication between them must have a structure that is continuous and regular. In a community where it is determined for everyone what to do and how to act, people who take the form of puzzle pieces creates the picture of the community. When we look at it from a higher point, there should be a ‘5’ that follows the harmony of five people in the nucleus and the growth of the community, such as stairs that gives us the golden ratio in the circle. When ‘5’, representing the sum of ‘2’ and ‘3’, joins the team right after ‘3’, all the conditions for a sustainable organization can now be met.
Why is it necessary to be ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘5’ for the Solidarity Economy?
0 1 1 2 3 5……. (The first terms of the Fibonacci Sequence)
0 (none) ‘1’ (technical) ‘1’ (manager) ‘2’ (social entrepreneur) ‘3’ (facilitator) ‘5’ (community)
As the first steps of a caring, systematic, and horizontally nurtured community, roles can be determined in this way.
When we pair the Fibonacci Sequence with community formation stages to make the solidarity economy permanent, we can achieve productive, beautiful, and most importantly sustainable results. The community can be an association, a cooperative, a foundation, as well as a family business or a private sector component.
I zoomed in on associations based on the saying “people are good for people” for permanent peace and health in this article. My goal is to become permanent and to support permanentizing. The most basic need in associations, foundations, cooperatives and even companies that prioritize capital is to ensure that the relations between people become qualitative and permanent.
The sustainable impact of the efforts of people while stepping into partnerships can gain value and be realized by being “us”. Thanks to the associations in the community, each person’s best behaviour can be seen, and thus, be able to achieve the community goals in the best way. While people in the community make the most contribution to that union, the best processes evolve to the best results with this structure that moves away from individuality. So, while we are building the solidarity economy step by step, we can model the participation process, participation style and contribution stages of each individual.
PS: I would like to thank Mehmet Ali Özgündüz from the Guild Cooperative for translating the article into English.