PIP-20 2023 - progressively decentralizing co-creation

Idea/Project Title: 2023 - progressively decentralizing co-creation

Submission Date: 13th Dec 2022

Discord Handle: Andrea Brena #6950

From season 5 onwards, we will invite our community to contribute to the co-creation of a new insight report for Protein’s Dirty Words series which examines words that have been co-opted and overused by brands to the point where they have lost all meaning.

This overarching theme will create synergies across the elements of our ecosystem, generating new and clearer opportunities for contribution and new value creation models.


Season 4 has introduced two major changes:

  • Our very own merge, creating synergies between our ecosystem elements, Agency and Studios.
  • An organizational restructure, from team-centric to project-centric.

Last season has been a testbed to pilot a new operational model that wants to facilitate opportunities within our community. We learned that projects that do not depend solely on the community might fall victim to prioritization and that a lack of long-term vision has a toll on community energy, engagement, and motivation.

Out of the four projects that the Grants Committee decided to fund, two could not lift off the ground due to sudden priorities that have not allowed the project initiators to actually kick off their plans. While “fostery” and “supplement research” develop into community-led initiatives, “Studios x matchmaking” and “Protein x special guest”. We don’t think that collective progress should happen under our full control, but it is important to acknowledge what could be factors that can create delays in our plans.

While we never stood still, we felt that our efforts were dispersed instead of being channelled into something meaningful and tangible.

For this reason, we thought of a seasonal input, an overarching seasonal theme that could help us connect all Protein initiatives into something of greater value. From here the idea to have an output as well, something that we can be proud to share with the world, a co-created report, that can disrupt the current status quo of cultural research and behavioural insights.


From season 5 onwards, starting in January 2023, we will gradually invite our community to co-create reports based on “dirty words”, overarching seasonal themes that will create synergies across the elements of our ecosystem, generating:

  • opportunities to contribute by responding to specific briefs and requirements
  • opportunities to pitch and get support for ideas that can contribute to our mission.
  • new value creation models

Building on the legacy of our agency work, the dirty words report, our community is the perfect test-bed to develop new forms of collective knowledge and move step by step towards a longer-term vision.


We all need a Northstar to move the first steps in the right direction. With this proposal, we are introducing to Protein Community a long-term plan that is aspiring and ambitious while being flexible enough to be refined as we go.

A long-term vision can favour members’ retention and create more intrinsic motivation.

We are finally working toward something that can generate value to be redistributed among contributors.


This vision needs to be embraced and supported by members and not by the core team only. It’s only through advocacy and intrinsically motivated people that we can lift this off the ground.

Good growth:

What aligns with good growth is the redistribution model and all the forms of redistribution that could be developed around something of value that has been co-created.


Long-term vision / Road map

We envision a future where new forms of cultural sense-making and collective knowledge can be fostered by a reports protocol, an open-source framework for creating reports, enabling new qualities of reporting and higher frequency, breadth, and scalability that would allow the cultural tastemakers that align with our values to create their own Protein-powered reports.

2023 will be about progressively decentralizing the report creation process and unlocking new forms of co-creation. It’s going to be a journey, and we invite you to join us early on in shaping the future of collective creation and sense making.

Season 5: Learn
Agency Role: Lead • Community Role: Learn & Document
Protein Agency will guide us through their process of creating a report with deep dives and behind scenes that will prime our community with the necessary knowledge to build reports.
There will be opportunities to contribute to RFPs (requests for proposals) coming from our core team and agency team.

Season 6: Unlearn
Agency Role: Support • Community Role: Explore / Drive
****We will pilot new formats of cultural research while exploring new revenue and value distribution models.

Season 7: Create
Agency Role: Learn & Support • Community Role: Lead & Share
****The community will lead the creation of our S7 Report, with open access to the process, activities and outcome piloting new formats of sense-making and cultural research

Season 8: Facilitate
Agency Role: Learn & Support • Community Role: Lead & Share

In this Season the Community will create its own report alongside a pilot partner report. Which will allow us to test our process with a wider audience.

2024: Support communities and partners to conduct their own reports