Oldie but Goodie – Plinth Project Could Guide Future of #ows #soc5

Silence can be a message, what if #ows embraced the 4thPlinth ideal?

Silence can be a message, what if #ows embraced the 4thPlinth ideal?

The #soc5 this week is really #soc1.  I want to highlight some incredible public art that embraces the Social Enterprise ethic.  The One & Other Project by Anthony Gormley in 2009 in the UK really exemplifies the magic that can happen when the Social Enterprise is unveiled.  While it was a 2009 effort, the residue remains online today in significant ways and the current “Occupy” efforts could learn a great deal about how to organize a global resistance movement in a way that embraces their powerful message without the dilution of violence or active challenging resistance.

The project was incredible.  It was a public art project held on the 4th plinth of Trafalgar Square.  Citizens could apply to spend an hour on top of the plinth and they would rotate continually for 100 days in 2009.  They did so in wind, rain and worse and the output was watched by the world.  The interest was immense.  They received over 35,000 applications and over 2400 people took part for their hour of fame.  Flickr and YouTube were active during the event and remain active today.  A community built up over the hashtag #fourthplinth and the experience became a great example of spontaneous organization which creates its own momentum and generates its own organization.

This project highlights the possibilities and the challenges in the social enterprise.  It certainly entails a small amount of risk to the creator or sponsor.  They need to give up the current illusion of control of information in any real sense and enable a democratized version of control.  But the benefits are there too.  By eliminating control techniques, the unseen value beforehand is uncovered.  Much of the presentation was unanticipated.  While some was surely frivolous, some of it was unexpectedly impactful.  And that is the value.  The benefits of the social enterprise are sometimes unseen going in but indisputable coming out.  By accepting the small risk it becomes asymmetrical and the payoff becomes obvious.


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Matt Miszewski has been a leader of incredible teams, that accomplished unbelievable goals - together. From rebuilding an enterprise technology strategy from the ground up as Chief Information Officer of the State of Wisconsin to driving a struggling global sales and marketing team to live beyond their potential and helping take their stock from $45/sh to over $110/sh, I have been honored to take on huge challenges and beat them by building collaborative and high performing teams. I was proud to be a regular speaker on Digital Realty's earnings call each quarter and being able to brief and advise the Board of Directors each quarter. Focusing on our shareholders needs while coupling that focus with the needs of our top customers was the combination the street was searching for and our increase in equity value proves the effort worthwhile. Our focus on total leasing costs, net present value of long term leases, closing the gap on cash performance and elimination of stagnant inventory helped to drive a stalled stock. Most proud of standing up a revenue engine that will be used for decades including a renewed global salesforce, inside sales expertise, demand generation focus, new global Partners and Alliances program, sales operations team and a heightened focus on connecting lead development to sales outcomes (including a new social marketing program, AR/PR, digital presence, brand identity refresh, SEO/SEM and a regular campaigning process). Combining decades of technology leadership with this commercial success creates an incredible package to unleash revenue and hack growth for companies from any industry out there.

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