THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED,
BUT IT WILL BE ON A DATABASE
There is a ghost that haunts Millennials, Zoomers, Boomers and Silicon Valley now: the specter of ’empowerment’. A myriad of startups have promised to ‘empower’ the people and ‘disrupt’ traditional businesses. To the chagrin of the masses, they have failed to truly deliver a benefit without the addition of chains. From FANGS to other creatures, we’ve been promised a new age ushered in by technology, a golden age led by cyber overlords at the next interaction. . . yet to be fulfilled.
HOW IS RELIGION LIKE COMPUTER CODE?
Religion, in many ways, is meant to codify behavior with the expectation that others of the same belief will behave accordingly, with the promise of eternal damnation and punishment for non-compliance. It’s the original social contract.
Religion offers tangible rules of behavior that can be referenced, and part of the appeal is that all those indoctrinated will be assumed to behave accordingly and do good things for the greater good, to maintain good standing. Religion offers a code for a complex world where cooperation makes everyone better off. Classic Prisoner’s dilemma.
ACCOUNTABILITY IN LIFE
Where religion falls short is accountability. What happens when someone hides their wrongdoing or fails to fulfill a promise?When it does, the social capital that is lost disappears into the air. Guarantees of an afterlife are hard to prove or disprove and belief can falter without a tangible assurance. Without an account that can be tracked and reviewed, the only thing left is hearsay and rumours that are nearly impossible to prove or disprove. While life is a collection of shades of grey, there should be instances where people can verify that others say and do as they claim. A world where data can tell the tale better than any human, while allowing for unusual circumstances.
EDUCATION, INSTITUTIONS AND THIRD PARTY VALIDATION
What do educational institutions, governments and religion have in common? They all provide points of reference for minimum competency through tests and feedback. What they lack is openness. Openness with their people, their intentions, their reasons, and their inner functionings. And an openness to revision by the people, to a changing moral landscape, to new technology, and to different forms of knowledge and learning. They can stifle freedom of thought.
Although institutions intend to provide social validation and proof of skill level for workplace applicants, this is often to the detriment of the working poor and lower educated who, although lack formal training or education, could have brilliant insights or innate talent that is otherwise lost. ‘People skills’ are currently considered ‘unmeasurable’ yet they are the basis of trillions of dollars a year in our economy. This wasted talent is a moral shame.
WHY IS THE TIME RIGHT NOW
Thanks to distributed ledgers, technology has come to a point that everyone participating in our economy driven world can have a record and proof of claims that others make. These claims could be checked regardless of any economic, social or educational barriers. This is revolutionary because it takes away the monopoly that institutions, governments and others have had over the common people for centuries.
With a ledger that anyone can check, things like hiring employees, seeking employment, loans, and establishing credit become much more open and transparent. An electronically shared ledger parallels how revolutionary the printing press was in its ability to spread control and knowledge from the powerful to any everyday person who cares to dig a little deeper.
Today, there are major information gaps between consumers, producers and enterprises of each other. The benefits of sharing this information are being lost. Current solutions to feedback and improvements lack the human element that would really encourage participation and benefit all participants, both the givers and receivers of feedback. All solutions are focused on the benefits to corporations, not to the individuals or the participating customers. But without these participants being rewarded, systems cannot work efficiently, nor is there motivation to participate.
So what if we could use this ledger technology to offer staff everywhere a record of skills or talent for what is now considered ‘intangible’? A record that could be shared anytime, anywhere to prove one’s claims of skill, for example, in a field where there are very few metrics — as is hospitality.
WHO IS IN CHARGE?
You, me and everyone will make the difference.
Collective participation on a network that benefits all participants means, that much like the marketplace, it will sort itself out over time. The participation of as many people as possible will mean that the data will be as unbiased as possible, and if any biases exist, they would be evident over large sets of people’s votes.
Our platform only allows for the flow of information, not control who says what or where. The People will, by their vote, tell the tale.
WHAT ABOUT MALICIOUS ACTORS?
Of course there will be those that are by inclination or circumstance impossible to make happy. You cannot make everyone happy, but with feedback data there will be a point where those that are unhappy with everything will have to realize that the problem may be them — With technology we are able to trace where and whom is contributing. Someone that is consistently providing a negative rating across the board can be spotted and notified of their interactions: sometimes the problem is the individual, not where they are or who they are interacting with.
Another part of the beauty of the Ledger is that there can be records as to whom contributed, with the implication that malicious activity could be known by everyone. Trolling, flame wars could become a thing of the past by having personal responsibility online and offline attached to one’s identity.
WHO OWNS THE DATA IN AGARU?
The data is and should always be owned by the participants and contributors, shared on the promise of rewards for contribution. The data can then be shared, if the staff agree, to whatever degree they may feel comfortable. People’s choice.
This data is also a better way to get feedback on job performance; and a way to express gratitude in a more personal form. The latter transcends culture and time, and thanks to modern technology we can bring about change and recognition for people everywhere, at no cost to the participants.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DATA THEN?
The data is anonymized by having a minimum participation of a team of at least 3 persons, and shared with the enterprises if the staff team agrees to participate in the exchange. This feedback is important because it allows enterprises to know how customers think, how the team is performing and whose talent that may be an asset.
The staff also get an addition to their record, in a format that is easy to understand and share.
For the staff this data is important because it allows them to have a proof of talent, a way to demonstrate their skill, and proof-of-place all in one package. Also, knowing when one does a great job is equally important as knowing when one is not doing a great job.
WHAT ABOUT JOBS? HOW WILL PEOPLE FIND JOBS?
We propose a talent bounty that will be brokered by our company, with the benefit for the staff and participants that contribute to the platform.
A bounty will be posted by enterprises looking for staff, and the staff will have the option of choosing the offer or not, depending on mutual requirements (like wages and or rating accrued). The bounty is then distributed on a schedule mutually agreed, with a small commission going to the platform and distributed to participants — customers and staff.
The bounty has the advantage of offering the benefits of a market economy but bringing transparency and choice to the employee. Enterprises will have much greater certainty of who to hire and what talent to expect when onboarding someone, saving time, effort and money. All parties benefit.
Talent will be compensated according to their ability, and the conversation of job seekers vs employers will change, as the market will become a sellers market, with the highest wages going to the better talent, now third party validated.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
We propose that a larger percentage will go back to the participants, as it is money we did not work for. We are merely accountants of the social skill arts. We aim for a share of our revenues up to 80-90% and beyond if it is possible. Participants and contributors will be rewarded, with a bias towards developing nations, where employment certainty and job stability are a much more difficult matter. A dollar in the USA may not be much but it can be life changing in Africa.
IS THIS COMMUNISM?
Not quite. What we propose is while the data belongs to the staff, the data is the true value that is beyond the labour surplus, currently lost and yet immensely valuable. If we can manage this data better to the benefit of those that contribute, we can change the conversation of what is labour worth and what is the magnitude of talent and attitude to determine the fate of someone (or entire companies).
Although we are still seeking a profit, a majority of the revenues collected will be given back to the participants, so that there is an incentive to continue to contribute to the platform wherever the person may be, or whomever they may interact with. Both staff and customers will receive points that can translate to rewards by virtue of being on the platform.
In a way we will be rewarding positive contributions to society and enabling people to have a record of their contribution, so that they can show it to others, use it as they find necessary or to have access to other opportunities that were not available before.
SO WHAT WILL THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
With a record of time, place and person we can create access to opportunities based on employment ability. Imagine a system like this in developing nations, where there is no trust in governments or institutions. We will empower people to prove that they are someone and contribute in some way to the world. Imagine giving someone without an ‘official’ address access to loans, mortgages or capital for investment for SMEs.
The metric created by customers votes will be customer satisfaction, in whatever the local context seems appropriate. Ultimately the return of satisfied customers creates cash flow, and thriving businesses.
We think that Meritocracy, not politics, should make the difference between rich and poor.
A system like this will bring people everywhere what they deserve: Respect and dignity. Cannot be bought or sold. It will be built by the talent and effort of the individual. We will make it tangible.
SOUNDS GREAT. HOW DO WE GET STARTED?
We start by noticing and giving an acknowledgement to those that work in customer service positions wherever you may go. Could be a bartender, a barista, or a retail staff. What matters is their attitude and aptitude for the job. A vote on our platform, Agaru, will help those people have a third party, transportable, independent record of their skills, so that talent which is considered ‘unmeasurable’ can finally be quantifiable.
When you vote for someone we send them a paper letter, telling them ‘someone, somehow noticed that you do a great job. Well done, keep it up!’. Their manager also receives a letter, telling them how good the staff was, and encouraging them to hold on to them.
Customers that help grow the platform receive rewards for their participation, for now for every 10 votes we send them a bottle of wine. Everyone wins.
IS IT REAL?
YES. We have been around for about 4 years, slowly working out the kinks.
We have sent hundreds of letters to voted staff; impacting 500+ people across Canada, Mexico, USA, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Barbados, Japan, Nicaragua, England, UAE, Germany. We have records for 50+ enterprises on record; and growing.
We like to think that we have made a positive difference, bringing good energy and recognition to those that have been brought to our attention.
YOU can make a difference wherever you go. By helping others rise, we will truly notice the human potential that now languishes in coffee shops and corner restaurants everywhere. By helping people help themselves we will enable them to have a future brighter than before, limited only by their talent and capability, not by the shackles of the elitism, sexism, ageism or racism that exist right now.
We do not seek to become a religion, or cult. People have more power in their hands that they realize, if we only work together with higher purposes in mind. We think most religious would be in agreement with our proposal. Gratitude is ‘the nicest of all emotions’ and can propel us in this technological era, to a higher, more humane plane.
The tl;dr: The best way to help people is to help them help themselves. With your participation we’ll create a record of work talent we can all share, benefit and profit from.
www.agaru.me helping talent rise