Trust is a vital and critical ingredient in any successful collaborative endeavor and, ultimately, one of its most precious assets. Without it, any system or society, no matter how well-crafted, is prone to failure of its ideals and fragment into various factions of power. Even the tiniest crack of doubt can lead to an escalating mob pouncing on short-term gains to minimize losses or a cunning few who manipulate the system behind the scenes to maximize personal gains. At the end of the wreckage are the stakeholders who remain after doubt and suspicion (or violence -- whether emotional or physical) have scattered the center. The only way back, in this case, is ascertain who was excluded or what axiom was wrong and regroup.
Note that the significance of Trust arises prior to any automated system of allocating trust, such as found on the Internet, as any such system eventually relies on some higher-level trust (or inordinate amounts of obfuscation in order to protect the integrity of the data in its absence). Gödel ensures us that no such system will ever be complete, so at some point the only real way forward is good faith. As such, it is mandatory that trust and inclusiveness be a foundation that is fostered and built into the system as an item of continued support. That means that domains and processes for conflict resolution and the redressing of grievances must be part of the community lest cynicism creep in and poison the well. Silence and cloaking the ills of the past are not sustainable options.
The betrayal of trust by governmental leaders produces severe disenfranchisement. To correct the existing apathy, one must be gracious, yet earnest--negligence breeds addictions, dependency, extremism, and slow decay -- history has not been kind in man's journey of self-awareness and governance. Anything which elevates the human spirit encourages trust and helps build the wealth of mankind. Oh... and kindness goes a long way.
Strategies for building and fostering trust:
- Inclusiveness: Believing in fundamental equality and opportunities for all fosters feelings of mutual ownership and minimizes vandalism.
- Transparency: Ensures accountability, equality, communication, balance.
- Knowledge Sharing: Many lessons belong to all and a global community requires that we make the effort to educate each other and get along.
- Commitment to fairness and justice: Without which the investment of one's energy and time are imperiled as well as one's faith in the system to begin.
- Transcendental purpose: To sustain creativity and desire to give effort (i.e. work), the highest ideals of mankind must be upheld rather than any self-glorification or patriotism; in other words, a compelling vision.