Dimensions and Universes for Team-preneur Changemakers

Written by Mondragon University for COCOONERS N.11

April 26, 2024
4 min read
a group of people standing on each other

This article was first published in COCOONERS N.11 by Mondragon University Team Academy, one of the most innovative entrepreneurship and innovation centers in the world, part of the Mondragon Group, a worldwide ecosystemic case study for the practical application of cooperativism economy.

It might seem contradictory to talk about hope for more relevant organizations at a time when some talk about WW3 is lurking in the shadows. Are we speaking from another dimension, from another planet? For some it may indeed seem like it, but changemakers are creating change and hope. If anyone knew about hope, it would be our grandparents who survived WW2. Allow us therefore, to address these challenging times with the same narrative that gave light to their darkest hours.

Dear grandparents,

Let us illuminate, in our trying times, what fills us with hope and purpose for the future that you so often talked about. At a global scale we are seeing unprecedented shifts towards a new economy: “Philanthropy and the state do not have enough funds to deal with the planet’s problems. The private sector, which moves 5 times the amount of capital, needs to get involved” Michael Porter (2013). “Impact investing is the fastest growing economic sector since 2008. It is the only mechanism capable of mobilizing the financing and talent needed to address the 2030 Agenda and United Nations SDGs’’ Sir. Ronald Cohen (2019).

As a result of the pandemic, the World Economic Forum calls for a Great Reset: a wakeup call to Re-imagine, Re-build, Redesign, Re-invigorate, and Re-balance the economy for the benefit of the people and the planet.

And what about us, what are we doing to contribute to the positive change we want to see? Well, we are fortunate to be inspired by ´teams´ that work and create together, learning over 4 years through the companies and projects they co-create. They work in our Mondragon Team Academy (MTA) team-preneurs ecosystem, forming part of the Leadership in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (LEINN) degree.

These teams teach us that when young people challenge themselves to work in their individual dimension, learning to search for their purpose, they also achieve high performance in teams, creating safe spaces where empathy and diversity allow them to try, test and learn with the whole company.

The three dimensions (individual, team and company) are based on learnings from the Finnish Tiimiakatemia Global model and we are now prototyping new learning Universes. In particular, three Universes that serve as a learning and self-transformation framework in teams. The 1) basic Universe is about gaining technical knowledge and tools in legal, financial, and digital skills in the company dimension, while the individual and team dimensions include specialization and team learning journeys in the MTA ecosystem (Europe, Asia and America). As they grow in teams they go further into two more Universes: 2) Cultivating Changemaker teams and 3) Startup developments that culminate with the Scaling Impact learning process.

So, during the 4 years, team-preneurs grow into changemakers and expand the impact economy following their team’s purpose through the organizations they co-create. Teams that learn by creating together are capable of surpassing opposing political views from both sides of the Basque conflict, as teams made up of Northern and Southern Koreans in our MTA lab in Seoul.

Although we believe in “lighting a match rather than complaining about darkness”, as the Mondragon cooperative founder Arizmendiarrieta said, we are not blinded by this but encouraged to keep continuously developing more inclusive and radical learning frameworks. In fact, we are fully aware that scaling impact means being relevant in fighting global challenges such as the climate emergency.

This is why we intertwine Learning Dimensions and Universes, creating real impact which has brought us to prototype impact forums, impact measurement workshops and we are bringing impact investors into our ecosystem. We are launching action-based participatory research studies in the form of PhD´s in order to document and implement what we test, measure and learn.

Could this be the answer to address the climate emergency? Well, we are testing it to make it one of the relevant ones, so that we can look into the eyes of your great-grandchildren filled with the knowledge that we are changemakers, transforming organizations for the betterment of people, planet, and prosperity. In this journey, also the partners we collaborate with are key. Partners such as Cocoon who also believe in the power of individuals working together to drive organizations driven by value.

This gives us hope for a future where, in the words of Jon Sarasua “May our dreams be worthy of your achievements and our achievements worthy of your dreams”.

COCOONERS is our half-yearly publication, printed out in a very limited number of (recycled-paper) copies, and released in digital version. You can read more about it here: https://cocoon-pro.com/cocooners/

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