Do Support “TransTribal Collaboration” #TransTco

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This is urgent. We have to recognize and support #Btwieners who can bridge the fences and borders between groups of people by connecting able and creative specialists who can solve problems together by contributing proven knowhow from different perspectives and backgrounds.

  1. What is the problem: We have to find a remedy against the recently floods of xenophobia and fear of foreigners and people with other skin colours,  cultures and religions.

There is a recent flood of protests against inflow and reception of migrants from outside the EU. In a number of countries, like France, England, Sweden, Russia and Germany, at the same time large parts of society are voting and joining political groups protesting against immigrants and asylum seekers. These groups insist on closing borders with vocal xenophobia and talk about ‘authonomy’ and ‘sovereignty’ looking inwards, which is ridiculous since in the present world business, networks and social ties are getting more and more interconnected and interdependent. 

  • Being ‘stand alone’ & living on mental islands does not exist any more. Everything and everybody is connected. 

The underlying fear of those groups is that they are uncertain about their jobs and future. They feel threathened by the outside world and seek the comfort of bygone days and certainties of cultural identities, political ideologies or religious systems that feel good and seem to have an explanation for all evils. Result is extremism, ethnic cleansing , intolerance and violence against the outsiders to show you are member of the clan or tribe.

Especially  the recently converted sect members are real blind dog zealots who act violent in their quest to find connection to the ‘pure’ core of the tribe. And they are active to convert others to their ‘idea system’. Which is applauded by the hierarchical leaders, from maffiose bosses to dictators, who like to have a big following by attacking others hope to show their potency by fights about hegemony and POWER. This is destructive and it kills lives. Closing up within your own tribe or nation state and hating or even shooting, bombing and killing (IS) all outsiders is not a solution. It even can turn out to to be suicidal since the outsiders can have the same violent sentiments about YOU. 

2. What can we do about this downward spiral of hatred and violence? Not by destroying, shooting by militia / police persons or by droning tribesmen and their families. The solution IMHO is to have a  better and more constructive idea: openly interconnecting people from different tribes and backgrounds. The exact opposite from the ever more isolated tribes. No this is not a soft idea from vague ethical idealism. It is done right now by young people all over the world already. My generation unfortunately, consisting of hateful old men have difficulty with that, afraid as they are to lose power, authority and influence. 

Sure, tribes are no longer geographical bounded, since the internet makes distances less relevant, although the core of many of the most hateful tribes members are the old who have never left their village and consider those on the other side of the mountains, or other cities as sworn hostile and mortal enemies, having raided them for ages. No for instance members of the Ajax football supporters association are now located everywhere in The Netherlands instead of only in Amsterdam. But still the Ajax, ADO, PSV and Feyenoord hooligan supporters fight each other violently, and even take their sons and daughters to the cellphone organized fights.

And that is peculiar since their star teams consist rather obviously of the best professional soccer players that club money can buy. That is exactly what I see and propose to boost.

Young urban professionals, creatives and software whizz kids know that to achieve results and create value and wealth they have to set up a team consisting of the proven best skilled contributors from different fields, WHATEVER THEIR TRIBAL background, haircolor, sexual/music/food preference or shoe size. As long as they can be trusted to deliver what contribution they have promised to deliver in time and if they are interested and committed to correlate, cooperate and learn from the other top skilled kids in the team and from responses P2P from outside: clients and from other fields of knowledge however remote and weird and crazy as long as it is relevant for the project of the team.

This is TransTribal Collaboration ( #TransTco ) in its purest form. Result is that I run into whizz kids born in Chile, raised in Geneva, with job histories in Shanghai, Arnhem, Oxford, Frankfort, Cairo and Madrid. The new class of Trans-Nationals !!. Are they loyal to big branded corporations or nation states? Not really. They are loyal to their respected collegues and they flock together in the big cities of Corridoria and beyond.

3. My advice is to scale this kind of interconnections up by several proactive policies.

a. Companies and institutions: Instruct your HR people to hire very skilled professionals with a very wide diversity to collaborate and cooperate in such able and fast learning teams. If they are successful such teams work as magnets for talent. Indeed their success can be rewarded by measuring the number of people who beg to be allowed to join the team.

b. Governments Indentify who are the informal super networkers  in society I have called ” #Btwieners “. Recognize, support them and offer them financial support too !! Who are such persons and what do they do? They are highly skilled in “networking” which means that they can refer somebody with a problem to a person who has the solution or knows somebody else they can recommend who can [1]. I have studied this activity and give short effective courses in it [2]. But Btwieners are a higher level of that function. These people are respected and TRUSTED IN MORE THAN ONE TRIBE. A kind of traveling and visiting Gandalfs. It is a rare but extremely valuable breed of people.  They are able to select specialists from a number of tribes who can join in project teams described in a. to solve problems or from their unique different perspective can contribute parts of solution that have been tried and tested in other tribes. This is what happened in the Near-East ages ago when sages from widely different origins met halfway the Silk Routes to combine and synergize their knowledge and knowhow. Much of our Western and eastern cultures can be traced back to the combinations made there. Interesting is the fact that most of nature and indeed even our own bodies and brains contain btwiener-like organisms that repair, reconstruct and stabilise complex living structures. Professor Peter Csermely has described them in his “Weak Link” book [3].

“TransTribal Collaboration” : Please DO IT. Make bridges across tribal fences and borders and let the best young people connect to eachother to work and create synergy. New synthecratic structures with P2P Weavelets will emerge [4].

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

# Yes, maybe one day…….



[1] Example:

[2]   Tutorial “how to network” and definition of Btwieners

[3] Peter Csermely, “Weak Links”, Springer Books; freely downloadable chapters:


(( this article is under construction))




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1 Response to Do Support “TransTribal Collaboration” #TransTco

  1. Pingback: Conference on Complex Systems, Amsterdam Sept 19 -22 | The Connectivist

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