There is only one natural resource that is now available in larger amounts than in the past: humans. Connecting them, in novel, pervasive, widespread and affordable manners, is perhaps the biggest breakthrough enabled by digital technologies”
Any attempt to perform an analysis of the current political and social crisis in Venezuela, which does not consider the role of digital technologies, and the evolutionary changes we are experiencing as an interconnected and interdependent society, is going to be inaccurate. For it will be missing that large part of our new reality, the so called new world that is emerging and its power to modify any supposed course of action.
Indeed, it seems that a new social ecosystem has emerged in Venezuela, and it has grown beyond its boundaries thanks to the disruption of digital technologies, thus enabling the collective intelligence and all of its members to learn and respond quickly in their fight to recover democracy at a faster pace than its repressive dictatorship.
But how does this social ecosystem work? What is its behaviour? Who are its members, and most importantly, what influence does it have on the future of Venezuela?
During a coaching session I conducted with my partner Marina for a leader from the Venezuelan opposition, we talked about this ecosystem that at first seems to behave more like Sheldrake’s Morphic Fields than a concrete thing. At a closer look however, it displays a complex system formed by a network of diverse actors, groups of interest, and relationships with a consistent pattern of behaviour that play a key role in exchanging and creating value.
It is important to point out that in this context, how value should be understood as the actions and means by which actors contribute to Venezuela’s fight against Maduro’s oppressive dictatorship and co-create a prosperous and democratic society. As a result, every leader, influencer in this ecosystem will be considered as such, as long as their behaviour and discourse is connected to the people.
In this sense, the main actors of this ecosystem are as diverse as the groups they represent.
On one side, we find Venezuela’s current political and national leaders, some of them in the National Assembly and some others -unfortunately- imprisoned.
These along with several communitarian leaders are bringing value by joining forces in denouncing Maduro’s crimes and sending an unified call to action to their followers that envisions their wants and needs. A venezuelan major and shaman serves as an example of an active community leader. Indeed, I had the chance to see him via live streaming as he spelled a course over Maduro and his followers in a crowded shamanic ceremony in the Amazonian Forrest. Furthermore, the community has been joined by Luisa Ortega Díaz, the Attorney General of Venezuela who was in the past aligned with Chávez Communist ideology, but has now become one of Maduro’s strongest opponents. She has been active in revealing Maduro’s fraudulent attempts to dissolve the National Assembly, its corruption and crimes to the international community.
On the other side, there are students and youngsters, the protagonists of the street protests against Maduro. All of them are sharing the fight and the murder of hundreds of protesters by the hands of their oppressors via social media, in exchange receiving worldwide support, and the advice from their counterparts in other countries such as the heroes of the Ucraine, and several leaders of the Cuban Opposition who have solidarized with them. There are also the local social media newspapers, which are considered of value by the members of the ecosystem for providing news coverage to the protests and showcasing the horror of Maduro’s repression against unarmed civilians to the world.
There are also the Universities Councils, Deans and Directors which follow the same pattern of behavior:
1) Making a decision to join the cause of saving their country
2) bringing value to the cause by raising their voices claiming for justice and supporting the hundreds of thousands of students who are fighting in the streets, and
3) spreading the word through their followers via articles in newspapers and social media.
However, the list goes on and on to include almost every group of interest and professional association in Venezuela (doctors & nurses, lawyers & attorneys, homemakers, singers, musicians, professors, etc.) who have become contributors in the cry for freedom by taking action, providing feedback and communicating the evolution of the crisis via digital media. This allows the ecosystem to learn and adapt to the changes in its environment in a matter of days or even hours, responding at a faster pace than any other form of human organisation in the past, including Maduro and its army.
Nevertheless, thanks to digital technologies the ecosystem has grown beyond the boundaries of Venezuela, to include its nationals who live outside their country.
This group again, exhibits the same pattern of behavior described above, as if they were part of a larger fractal. They have held international protests, lectures, and conferences against Maduro’s dictatorship; raised the Venezuelan cause internationally; communicated via digital media their achievements; provided feedback to their counterparts in Venezuela; and responded to their calls of help by sending food and medicines to those in need. That, along with the international lobby held by prominent leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, the support from the secretary of the OEA Luis Almagro among other public personalities around the world, have contributed to create international pressure over Maduro’s dictatorship.
As a consequence, Maduro is isolated in its own contry trying to impose its will by force, battling against an ecosystem formed by millions of people, that exist with the solely purpose of saving Venezuela from his evil intentions.
He has inflicted a lot of damage to Venezuela by impoverishing the country and submerging it in a deep social and economical crisis, starving its people almost to death, imprisoning almost everyone who thinks different and murdering hundreds of youngsters. But he will not win in the end.
And he won’t because no matter how hard he fights against certain groups that belong to the ecosystem. Its structure indeed, is not centralised, rigid and piramidal. Istead, is a descentralized, autonomous, intertwined and a flexible system of systems, somehow similar to a fractal, capable to co-create, learn and act accordingly as a result of its collective intelligence.