Inspiration of the Week: The Breakthrough Concept of Participative Community

I recently watched a talk on the 10 Principles of Burning Man and it got me thinking of Participative Culture and how communities should be embracing a new way of thinking and working. Here are the basic points, as foreign as they may sound, could they apply to our every day work life and community? We would love to hear your thoughts:


Radical Inclusion: welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in community.

Gifting: acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Decommodification: community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. 

Radical Self-reliance: individuals are encouraged to discover, exercise and rely on their inner resources.

Radical Self-expression: arises from the unique gifts of the individual and is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort: community values creative cooperation and collaboration and strives to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility: conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace: community respects the environment and leaves no physical trace of activities - clean up and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Participation: committed to a radically participatory ethic and the belief that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. 

Immediacy: immediate experience is the most important touchstone of value and we seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers.

To most people, the Burning Man community is outside their comfort zone and will expose them to something beyond what they can imagine because they are open to participation. It's an informative experience where people will grow from the journey because its a testing ground for all kinds of experiments. There are no spectators, its a participative community where people are tired of consuming, they want to create, learn, teach, interact. Its a safe space to open up and be creative, be present and give without expecting anything in return.  

This speaks to us because it's everything we want from a Collaborative Co-working Space. Everyone is invited to work and make the most of their environment. Everyone is invited to play and participate. We make the world real through actions that open the heart, be it giving of our time, creating something beautiful or just connecting with fellow like minded people and being authentic to who we are.