Junto and the ‘pay it forward’ business model

Image designed by Gavin Keech

Venessa Miemis on her blog emergent by design, has introduced Junto (Junto is born), an evolving platform for having real live conversations, but with a difference. Instead of just having the conversation and going on with our lives, Junto is a platform that not only will permit to record and publish those gems, but also to make them part of our collective knowledge base.

“Junto is a concept we’ve been discussing for a global communications and collaboration platform. It starts with a simple interface, combining video chat with a text box and a twitter backchannel, all streaming in public, real-time. It could be used for any number of projects or goals – organizations could use it for open innovation or to show how they are taking social responsibility in the world, groups with similar initaitives could use it for huge group discussions and meetings in order to accelerate the process of organizing and taking projects from idea to action, and individuals could use it to engage in dialogue and create shared meaning and shared understanding across geographic and cultural barriers. For more context, check out the original post here.” (Junto: Discussing Ideas Worth Spreading)

In How to Have “The Conversation” & The Future of the Web, (link) Venessa posted an example of how this could work, recording a conversation she had with @jazzmann91 and posting it in video snippets on her blog.

So, this is what I have been talking about. This is what I’ve been exploring for all these months, and trying to figure out for myself. This is the big picture for me. When I’ve been talking about Junto, it’s not the platform I’m really talking about – it’s the conversation. Having the conversation is what matters. Below is what the conversation looks like.

With posts on Venessa’s blog and great comments by a community of people who are attracted to the idea of making networking work for us in a new way, the concept is evolving. In an Open Letter to Tim Berners-Lee Venessa asks to Help Us Build Junto.

The Junto is just the conversation platform, but everything is built upon it.

… there needs to be a way to be certain it remains open source and free and distributed. There needs to be a new infrastructure built to distribute the bandwidth of the video streaming. I don’t really understand the technical aspects of this, but there needs to be some kind of alternative internet structure to run this, but I see it. It starts with a 3D conversation interface, where we interact in a floating space similar to the look of the Virtual Choir, and the only components it needs is a live video stream of the people, data visualization (a la Pivot), a way to record the conversations, and an AI to parse and summarize the conversations so they’re searchable.

Now the latest post in this unfolding concept and developing idea is Venessa’s attempt to imagine a business model based on the value those conversations surely will have for the participants and those who follow the experience in real time as well as others who come to see later on. A Pay It Forward Business Model explores the game changing possibilities of Junto.

The conversation is also about creating a vision of the future. The future I am interested in manifesting is about cooperation, and if you read the writings of people like John Hagel, Umair Haque, Seth Godin, and other progressive thinkers, it’s clear that this “Shift” is already underway in corporate culture. Those that want to stay in the game will have to choose to understand this shift and adapt their organization to it, or take responsibility for what will happen when the structure they operate within no longer fits the business environment.

The shift to a new culture is about redefining the operating system – internal and external. So it comes down to values, morals, ethics, principles, and trust. How do we want to live? How do we want to be? By what means do we want to earn wealth? How can we be successful without being exploitative? How can we live in accordance with our physical and social environments, with Nature and with society?

I do not want to spoil the fun of your discovery of what exactly Venessa has in mind and how this resonates with those who comment on her post. Better head over to her blog and see for yourself. Here’s the link again:

A Pay It Forward Business Model [in transition to a new global society]

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