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NeurodiVenture : an inclusive non-hierarchical organisation operated by neurodivergent people that provides a safe and nurturing environment for divergent thinking, creativity, exploration, and collaborative niche construction.

NeurodiVentures | Autistic Collaboration

NeurodiVentures create safe spaces for groups of autistic and otherwise neurodivergent to share knowledge, to cultivate collective intelligence, and to offer their gifts to the world in the form of genuinely innovative and unique services.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

By definition, the main purpose of existence of a NeurodiVenture is the creation of a psychologically safe and egalitarian communal space for neurodivergent people.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

The technologies we develop and use tend to reflect the level of collaboration and competitiveness within our culture. In our role as conscious designers of technology, humans have the potential to influence the level of collaboration in our culture in profound ways, especially in a highly networked digital world. 

The NeurodiVenture operating model not only raises neurodiversity as a top level concern for good company but by imposing a hard limit on group size (in the case of S23M enforced by our company constitution) it also ensures that every member of the team has spare cognitive capacity for building and maintaining trusted relationships with the outside world, whilst at the same time encouraging creative collaboration for life.

Organising for neurodivergent collaboration | Autistic Collaboration

Beyond eliminating formal hierarchical structures the NeurodiVenture model also removes all incentives for the emergence of informal “power-over” structures via transparency of all individual competency networks for the benefit of everyone within the company. This is perhaps the most radical idea within the NeurodiVenture model.

Transparency of individual competency networks enables meta knowledge (who has which knowledge and who entrusts whom with questions or needs in relation to specific domains of knowledge) to flow freely within an organisation.

The conceptualisation of meta knowledge flows via individual competency networks assists the coordination of activities via the advice process outlined above and via regular Open Space workshops, and it acts as an effective dampener on the informal hierarchies that can easily come to plague hierarchical and “non-hierarchical” organisations.

Organising for neurodivergent collaboration | Autistic Collaboration

NeurodiVentures are a concrete example of an emerging cultural species that provides safe and nurturing environments for divergent thinking, creativity, exploration, and collaborative niche construction.

NeurodiVentures are built on timeless and minimalistic principles for coordinating trusted collaboration that predate the emergence of civilisation. All members share a commitment to:

  1. Visibly extend trust to people, to release the handbrake to collaboration. ​
  2. Unlock the tacit knowledge within the group. ​
  3. Provide a space for creative freedom. ​
  4. Help repair frayed relationships.
  5. ​​Replace fear with courage.

Source: The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

At the level of small (human scale) groups, the NeurodiVenture model provides a set of first principles for creative collaboration that can be implemented in appropriate ways to accommodate local needs. The prosocial principles (Atkins et al., 2019) that are part of the NeurodiVenture model not only provide guidance for collaboration within the group, but also for collaboration with other groups, and thereby they pave the path for the development of collaborative bioregional networks of NeurodiVentures and other human scale groups.

The fact that human scale social operating systems can be constructed on top of corrupt infrastructure is a powerful message.

By focusing on the human scale outside the theatre we can reconnect with the physical and ecological niche that supports our human needs. The more collaborative, egalitarian, and accomodating of cultural diversity, the surrounding cultural environment becomes, the less NeurodiVentures will be perceived as unusual, and the more neurodivergent people will be able to spend significant time outside the protective islands of safety provided by a NeurodiVenture without getting overwhelmed.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

The open source NeurodiVenture operating model for employee owned companies primarily consists of a set of first principles that can be adapted to the unique needs of a specific team of neurodivergent people. There is no need to be prescriptive about how to go about forming and operating a NeurodiVenture, because there is no right way or best way.

Autistic people with complementary talents and skills are ideally positioned to jointly design, develop, and offer highly unique products and services, without any need for external capital, and without any need for an employer or manager.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

A NeurodiVenture offers the freedom to create products and services that do not necessitate continuous interaction with the neuronormative human social world.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

Digital communication and collaboration technologies enable NeurodiVentures to act as a catalyst for trusted collaboration between groups.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

Further reading,

Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic retired technologist turned wannabe-sociologist. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they