Movement of the Day: New Work

Franz Nahrada describes the work of Frithjof Bergmann:

“At its very core, the New Work movement that he is heralding is searching for technologies that allow people to become more self-reliant, less economically dependent, in a very serious sense of that word, more “free.”

The point is to showcase that an astounding diversity of innovations that make “economic independence” possible – that no longer require large factories but allow manufacturing in “small spaces” – has evolved in the last twenty years.

Liberation begins when the pressure on the individual can be mitigated by empowered community action & poroduction in all essential areas of life:

  • Housing
  • Energy, Heating, Cooling
  • Food Production and Processing
  • Appliances
  • Clothing
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Health
  • Transportation

New Work is showcasing an entire system of interlocking technologies that liberate us from the pressure of industrial depencencies and allow communal self – providing in ways that have never been possible before. Self providing even might grow into mutual provision between communities of professionals that have been outcompeted by industries and now entering markets again on the base of co-evolution of local small scale business clusters engaging each other.
The combined power of decentralisation, shared innovation, mutual support and a radical technological approach towards effective and available means will change thew rules of the game.

But all this is only one half of New Work. The technological side of New Work is complemented by a cultural effort to undo the damage that industrial work and specialisation has done to our souls, our needs, our urges. The very often used phrase “find out what you really, really want” is at the beginning of a process that does not compromise with work that one does “because you happen to do so”. New Work wants to unleash the burning flame of creativity in each individual that only a few people can enjoy in the current system. Work is radical self – unfolding, and the modern disguise and abstention of work and the admiration of consumerism and the habit of escaping to an “eternal party” is basically neither healthy nor satisfactory, as is the moralistic religion of work. We need time of creative tranquility, but the real creative tranquility explodes into wisdom, action and abundance – if it has and understands its means.”

2 Comments Movement of the Day: New Work

  1. AvatarJeff Bassett

    To me, this has always seemed like a more feasible approach than Michel’s “Partner State”. It is easily embraced by those with a conservative or a liberal mindset. It can be implemented on a small scale, allowing it to be the kernel of a new system that lives within the old one. And finally, like open-source, it can be copied, modified and shared, allowing for rapid inovation and improvement.

  2. AvatarMichel Bauwens

    perhaps in theory, but after 30 years, it hasn’t gone very far .. while if you see for the Partner State, there are already books exemplifying individual countries, such as the recent Towards the Peer Production of Public Services, outlining a dozen case studies …

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