"Noocracy" is an enticing concept. Especially for the people who have the where-with-all to get people to lend them their ears. Thanks to the advent of the blog, articulate, self-assured, word slingers -- like the group who is commenting here-- can muster people's attention. It's important to remember, however, that it is capital (i.e. capital, cultural and otherwise) which greases the wheels of all "-acies" (noocracy, democracy, oligarchy, aristocracy... alike) by buying the dominant group the initial audience.
How does the outsider get a hearing? What for instance does the new non-profit do to gain the minds, hearts and cash of others so as to do if they don't have the capital? In particular, what does s/he do if the movement ultimately poses a threat to the existing world order?
This is not just a rhetorical question. I've founded a non-profit whose mission is to bring technical assistance and "best practices" to museums around the world. Our partner museums feature some of the poorest and most remote in the world. We do this work in part by borrowing resources (mostly "experts") from the wealthy part of the museum world (1%) and giving them to the needy (the remaining 99%). After 9 months of trials, we've got an effective product, positive outcomes, dozens of museums on various continents clamoring for our assistance and dozens of museum experts willing to participate. What we don't have, however, is money.
And here's the problem. The public is uninspired by museum development. When you can feed the hungry or nurse the sick, why give money for a community-based museum in Mpophomeni, South Africa or traveling Mayan textile exhibit in Chiapas, Mexico? And foundations are not enough moved by our story to award us a grant, at least not the foundations we have already approached. (Many seem to be on other routes to social good,which are remarkably like each others'.)
Furthermore, the story we tell is potentially off-putting to a category of potential donors, namely the art collector and museum patron. Since we favor the tearing down of the thick walls between the haves and have-nots of the museum world and the creation of numerous, small, decentralized community-based museums, our values are at odds with this group of potential donors.
The same could be said of potential corporate sponsors. Since we work in places that were exploited (or continue to be exploited) in part by greedy corporations, we are very slow to find compatible donors in this sector.
Laughable as it may seem for a broke non-profit to be thinking this way, we can only imagine accepting support from an organization or person whose values we endorse. In fact, I'd rather the organization die than sell out.
So the question arises: short of waking up one morning as wealthy as George Soros or charismatic as Christ, how is it possible to sell a new, somewhat controversial idea without selling your soul? Setting aside the question of stretching one's soul (albeit mine could use some stretching beyond its puritanical limits), how does one get heard if one isn't already recognized as worth being listened to and isn't of the Napoleonic self-crowning bent?
Maureen is asking excellent questions to which I do not have the answer. Do others have suggestions on how an organization like Heritance, doing good while challenging the status quo, might win attention and funders?