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Octopus Tank

Sarva-Anumati is a compound word: Sarva means all and Anumati means permission or consent. Hence, the term Sarva-Anumati implies the permission or consent of all. Introduced by Mahatma Gandhi, the concept of Sarva-Anumati was further championed by Acharya (Sanskrit for teacher) Vinoba Bhave who is also known as the spiritual successor of Gandhi. He was one of India’s most poignant social reformers and best known for his Bhoodan (Land-Gift) Movement. His life’s work is based on the principle of ahimsa (non-violence) and swaraj (self-harmony).

We all have dreams. However, how many get a chance to share them with others, and how many actually get to make their dream a reality? The social conditioning and own resources are the self-imposed filters, keeping dreams limited. In the money/capitalist world, a person with a business idea can go to an investor for money. If they find the idea profitable, it gets funded.

A reality TV show, Shark Tank, is all about investing money in profitable business ventures. But what about ideas that do not make money, or may not even need money? Is there a way to make them work with other kinds of wealth?

The Octopus Tank is about making every dream real. It's a safe place where one is free to share any dream, idea, project, or wish. It's the community that gets together to pool their wealth to make this dream a reality. What is this wealth? Besides the one everyone knows, money, the wealth exists in several other forms, like inner wisdom, family or social, time, contacts, health, experience, creative...

In TOT, typically played in a circle (The Tank), everyone gets a chance to share their dream and what they seek from the Tank. The one who is asking is called The Diver, and everyone else is an Octopus. The Diver gets 2-3 minutes to share the dream and what exactly they require as support. The rule is that this idea can neither be judged nor rejected. The Octopus can only ask clarifying questions over the next 2-3 minutes. In the next step, people get a chance to make contributions and write a cheque to the diver, which has a clear commitment with the validity of the cheque. Now the onus of redeeming these cheques lies with the Diver to fulfill the dream.

The role is passed in the circle till the round is completed. A group of 10 Divers is ideal. Octopus can be more. Each diver is also an octopus when not diving. The game allows us to take up simple or complex ideas and shape them with a community. It recognizes the value of wealth existing besides money. It's a great community-building and confidence-building tool. This can be played in teams, schools, families, friends... Possibilities are limitless.

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