TBC 2: From Platforms to Governance

February 6, 2015 § 7 Comments

In our first installment of my series on Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC), we talked about how platforms enable us to tackle problems and markets too big for any one entity to manage directly. Because of that, though, it is much harder to create a successful platform than it is to create a successful program. In this installment, we will talk about how to do that.

Characteristics of a Platform

The first thing to realize is that every platform is characterized by three distinct but interrelated factors:

  • Policy (governance)
  • Incentives (business)
  • Infrastructure (engineering)

The health of a platform is determined by how well these three factors support each other and the overall purpose of the platform.

This has two interesting implications:

  • Every complex human system (states, markets, corporations, etc.) can be considered a platform
  • The reason most platforms fail is that “wonks, suits, and geeks” only worry about their layer of the platform (politics, economics, or technology, respectively) and tend to despise or ignore the others

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TBC 1: A Platform for Regional Transformation?

February 4, 2015 § 5 Comments

[his is the first in a series of posts to help me clarify my thoughts about Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC). The opinions expressed are my own, as of February 2015. They are based on very superficial observations, and will likely change as I learn more. Your assistance and feedback in that journey is appreciated!

Possibly the most exciting thing to happen to local Christianity in over a decade, Transforming the Bay with Christ is a coalition of business and church leaders who appear to be simultaneously pursuing:

  • Service to the community
  • Church growth and unity
  • Society-wide revival

When I first heard about it, I was rather conflicted. On the one hand, I am a big fan of “meta-church” movements that — unlike the parachurch movements of my younger years — seek to work through churches rather than alongside them. On the other, I have been in the technology industry long enough to have become cynical about grand alliances…

That said, I was deeply impressed by the character and caliber of the people I met and saw during the first meeting in September. There appears to be a deep commitment to humility and directly confronting the hard problems, rather than glossing over them. I particularly liked the focus on prayerful relationships, which I agree are the essential building blocks of any larger movement.

While TBC draws inspiration and leaders from city reaching movements in Portland and Boulder, the scope of what they are attempting here seems vastly greater:

  • Nine geographically and ethnically diverse counties
  • Multiple major anchor cities
  • A population of “Wealthy Influential Miserly Pagans”

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