Rob Schuham is a risk taker, marketer and answerer of heavy questions. At the risk of oversimplifying the story behind Rob and famed adman Alex Bogusky’s latest social endeavor, COMMON is a response to Rob’s son’s powerful observation about the meaning of marketing.

In Rob’s TEDx talk below, he explains how his son asked, “What’s it [marketing] doing for the world?”

After reflecting on the question, and I’d assume countless late nights and cups of coffee, COMMON was born – an entirely new way to think about brands and capitalism. As Rob explains, collaboration is the new competition – and the brand is the new vehicle for sharing wealth.   

According to their About, “COMMON is about making something. To be more specific, COMMON is about connecting people together and harnessing the power of true, rule-breaking creativity to launch socially beneficial businesses.” It’s a community of rapidly prototyped startups all solving a different local, social problem. Aside from the community that they’re building, there are a number of accelerator opportunities that they’re offering.

So what would you do if you could do anything? If you’re one of those people who prefer not to just talk about making something, but instead actually making something, perhaps COMMON is just what you need to get going. Thanks to Rob, Alex and the other founders who dare to think different.