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Members of the neurodiversity movement recognise neurodivergent traits as natural variations of cognition, motivations, and patterns of behaviour within the human species.
NeurodiVenture : an inclusive non-hierarchical organisation operated by neurodivergent people that provides a safe and nurturing environment for divergent thinking, creativity, exploration, and collaborative niche construction.
In Te Reo Māori the NeurodiVenture concept translates to Neurodivergent whānau. Indigenous languages like Te Reo Māori have important words for concepts that have been suppressed by colonialism.
Whānau : extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people – the primary economic unit of traditional Māori society. In the modern context the term is sometimes used to include friends who may not have any kinship ties to other members.
NeurodiVerse : human scale cultures created by neurodiversity within the human species
- (a) the universe of NeurodiVentures
- (b) the set of all neurodivergent people
There is an urgent need to catalyse Autistic collaboration and co-create healthy Neurodivergent and Autistic whānau all over the world. Autists depend on assistance from others in ways that differ from the cultural norm – and that is pathologised in hypernormative societies. However, the many ways in which non-autistic people depend on others is considered “normal”. The endless chains of trauma must be broken.
In mainstream society people don’t understand how Autistic people support each other, love each other, and care for each other in ways that go far beyond the culturally impaired neuronormative imagination.
There is the saying that “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Autistic translation of this saying is “For an Autistic person it takes an extended Autistic family to feel loved and alive.”
Most Autists are not born into healthy Autistic families. We have to co-create our families in our own space and time. In a healthy culture Autistic children are assisted in co-creating their unique Autistic families, but in our “civilisation” this cultural knowledge has been lost and is suppressed.
In many indigenous cultures children with unique qualities are recognised, are given adult mentors with similarly unique qualities, and grow up to fulfil unique roles in their local community, connected to others with unique knowledge and insights, perhaps even in other communities. If we are embedded in an ecology of care, we can thrive and share the pain and the joy of life.
You can also view a 40-minute webinar that walks through the above presentation and that contains a few further observations not mentioned in the slides.
Don’t worry if you are not yet part of a NeurodiVenture or Autistic community. Joining Aut Collab as an individual may be the first step towards meeting the right kind of people to collaborate with!
If you are interested in establishing a NeurodiVenture or in implementing a neurodiversity friendly operating model within your company, the open source operating model template from S23M may be a useful starting point. The S23M team has 20 years of international operational experience, including 10 years of operating as an employee owned NeurodiVenture.
This article provides further context on the origins of the NeurodiVenture model, and this short Q&A video from economist Richard Wolff explains why employee ownership is essential for creating inclusive workplaces.
Examples of neurodivergent ventures and teams committed to Autistic collaboration:
- AIKIDO SHUSEKAI, United States
- Amba, New Zealand
- articulation.house, United Kingdom
- Autism Dialogue, United Kingdom
- Autism-Informed Therapy Institute, Ireland
- Autism Rights Group Highland, United Kingdom
- Autistic Collaboration Trust, New Zealand, Australia, US, UK
- Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Autistic Peer Leadership Group (ApLEG), United States
- Autonomous Press, United States
- Divergent Labs, United States
- Existential Autist, United Kingdom
- Gryffin Corp (nonprofit that’s a work in progress), United States
- ICTrust, Switzerland
- National Autistic Taskforce, United Kingdom
- Neuro Diverse Self Advocacy, United Kingdom
- Neurodivergent Consulting, United States
- Nicnac Podcast Network, United States
- Paper Dog Ltd, New Zealand
- Participatory Autism Research Collective, United Kingdom
- SOLA SIBLINGS, United Kingdom
- Stimpunks, United States
- S23M – Collaboration for Life, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe
- The Future is ND, United Kingdom
- ZIG/ZAG, United Kingdom
- 3 Bee Data Systems, United States
- … If you would like your organisation to be added to the list, please get in touch with relevant details.