What makes networks work?

I think it is now established that the only way to meaningfully achieve anything new or novel, at scale, is through networks.

One person going it alone, battling away at whatever is not enough to change the world or create a movement; equally, although there are some very bright, creative people out there, the only way to move beyond the current moment is through the power of our connectedness.

One and one equals three or four;

The existence of Mallard Ward is a case in point – is it the result of incredible team working, a scintillating culture of care and support and a network of passionate individuals who have come together to create something special.

Yet, not all networks work.

Just having the people or the shared goal or sense of meaning is not enough; there needs to be a glue which holds things together. A website or homepage is inadequate, nor is money or fame, innovation or enthusiasm;

It is ineffable; it cannot be grasped.

You can’t hold-on to the magic that allows certain stars to align – to fit together in the best of best possible Goldilocks worlds to generate something special. There is no recipe book or field-guide that point the way.

We potentially stumble into these things.

Networks simmer with energy as they take the talent of one and combine with another and joining two to three to create eight, then 64 connections; exponential fizzing.

Some folk seek to destabilise the networks.

There are nutters out there who see something good, yet, because it doesn’t align with their interpretation of the world, seek to tear the bonds apart, to demolish. Yet, the network, when it works, is always greater than one or even two or three feral extremists.

Look at Al Gore.

I read an article about him in today’s Observer – he describes the way that democracy has been hacked by the likes of Trump and Johnson – egotistical bigwigs who bully their way to power and stay afloat by keeping people down.

Yet, Gore is fighting back.

He has established The Climate Reality Project, a global organisation to take-on the oil and fat-cat syndicates who are screwing our world; he is teaching lessons in un-doing the double-speak.

This is network generation to save our planet.

And, this is just as vital as the network of health and care which supports my patients, which keeps going despite the thinness of the air.

Good begets good, which lets us survive.

There is hope, there is tomorrow, there is coming together, holding hands or social media accounts; I am convinced that Facebook despite its malevolence in relation to the US elections was beneficial in the recent UK vote.

We just need to understand the power.

For social media and the networks they support are tools of fearsome influence;

Come together, right now.

come together

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