What is this project all about?
The #dScholarship is a mixture of sabbatical, voluntary social year and scholarship. However, what is new is that everybody should have access to the #dScholarship. That's why we call it democratic scholarship. We want to help people to work unconditionally for a whole year. Grantees can decide themselves for whom and how much they work. The scholarship provides security for their existence, so they can set their creativity free. We believe that people that are free from pressure can take their creativity to the next level. Releasing this creative potential is needed today more than ever. Not only to make enterprises fit for the future, but also to surmount the social challenges ahead of us. I want to use my own #dScholarship to improve the life of my family, my friends, my donors and my town. It is an experiment. An experiment for a new working culture, in which people are not just exchangable workhorses.
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
We need to develop a new understanding of work and wages. Wage work is an antiquated concept in an automated and globalized world where work is outsourced to machines and low wage workers. Wage work creates dependencies, injustice and suppresses the true ingeniuty, which is hidden inside of us. We want to start a discussion and ask: "Would you do your work differently than you are doing today? Would you reinvent your way of working or would you even cancel your employment contract, if you had financial securities?
In the year 2015 I will be exempt from my job at an arcitect's office to be a test person for the #dScholarShip. Currently, I have a open-ended contract and work 30 hours a week for a salary that's higher than the grant of the #dScholarShip. I am doing this, because I believe that people actually like to work. The work just needs to make sense. It must fit the skill of the worker and it must be appreciated. I like to work, if I have a good feeling doing the work. It doesn't matter if it is paid or unpaid. I have met hundreds of people in my crowd that helped me to write books, build furniture, manage finances, produce shoes and even build whole houses. These people helped me without asking for a favor in return. I did not meet these people only in Germany, but also Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Canada, China and the Netherlands. I call these people karma workers. They are a new generation of value creators.
I am looking for like minded people to start and develop the #dScholarShip. I am looking for donors that want to spend their money on a meaningful project. I am looking for experts in the fields of employment centers (Hartz IV), welfare, social work and voluntary services. I am also looking for doctors and psychologists that can write medical certificates (for another experiment). If you give us karma workers a chance, we will try to make the world of your venture a bit better.
Because I want to build personal relationships with my donors, only individuals are allowed to donate (not organizations or companies). This project is about unconditional humanness, unconditional trust and unconditional creativity. In short, unconditional work. If you have a little money, you can make a donation to the project starting at 1€ or you could donate your time and help us! Just send me an email (email@example.com).
Why should you support this project?
Do you lead an enterprise and want to experiment with new models of motivation? Try giving people, like me, a week or two of financial safety and see what happens. You will be amazed by what people are able to do, if you let them choose how, what and if they want to work for you or not. I probably will not take a position in your company, but I do want to get to know you, your motives and visions. If our chemistry is "right", I'd like to help you reach your goals. My skills include PR, marketing, architecture, concept developtment, illustrations and visual recording, plus coaching and motivational training. I could redesign your office or home. I love spending time with kids (yes, babysitting!). I often come up with ideas that might advance your business. But still I want to get to know you personally, not just what's on your business card. And maybe the chemistry isn't right and I choose to spend my time on other projects. Either way, it's my goal to innovate and create new networks, and you are helping indirectly to make the world a bit better. Trust me and let me choose if, how and in which areas I will commit my skills to helping you.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
As a donor, you will also receive a unique, handcrafted, limited edition book: 52 Ideas - that can change your business (AT). Here's an extract: http://www.60pages.com/author/70/ Keep in mind that it's a blogging project initiated by Spiegel columnist Georg Diez and still in beta form.
What will I spend my time on in 2015? Well, I have tons of ideas that range from new Hartz IV furniture, to a daycare center for children, to a karma bank. But I don't want to make any fixed plans because then I would create pressure, which would contradict my fundamental idea of unconditional work.
Here's what is sure--I want to develop the #dScholarship together with innovative platforms such as startnext lab, BGE-Kämpfern and Jobcenter experts. I want to offer continuing education in Berlin to inspire potential fellows on how they can organize the #dScholarship for themselves. All of this without payment. You interested? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
And what if I just hang out on the beach for a year? Well, that's possible too.
In recent years, I've established and created the following projects (in German):
Furniture building for citizens without jobs: http://www.hartzivmoebel.com
Karma Chakhs--high top sneakers: http://www.startnext.de/karma-chakhs
University workshops: http://www.bauwesen.tu-dortmund.de/grundbegriffe/de/Grundbegriffe/Haltbar/Architekt3/index.html
Goethe Institute: http://onesqmhousencad.wordpress.com/
Community Colleges: http://www.dvv-vhs.de/fileadmin/user_data/PDF/Kulturelle_Bildung/DVV_Bundesfachtag_Kultur_2014_Strategie_und_Handwerk.pdf
Cultural groups: http://dmy-berlin.com/de/news/ausstellung-dmy-awards-jury-selection
Conferences: http://www.tedxmuenchen.de/the-smallest-houses-in-the-world-van-bo-le-mentzel-at-tedxmuenchensalon) and http://12.re-publica.de/en/person/le-van-bo/
Non profits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce5DZxF9nX4
Kids: http://www.neukoellner.net/verbrauch-verzehr/bibliothek-marke-eigenbau/ and http://www.labyrinth-kindermuseum.de/de/content/mentzel-schirmherr-platz-kinder-machen-stadt
Brief: I fight for the freedom of the 7 W's: Water, Wisdom, Wellbeing (food and medicine), Ways, Warmth, Where you live and Where your dreams are. These W's must be free and should not be owned by anybody (commons).
Who are the people behind the project?
This is an initiative from architect Van Bo Le-Mentzel and Karma economist. Supported by hundreds of out-of-the-box thinkers who strive to make the world a better place connected online at: http://www.facebook.com/buildmorebuyless