A Kickstarter for A New Civilization
A few days ago, my friend Liam Sharp sent me this video from the British Television program Charlie Brooker’s Wipe.
The gist is this: there are profound powers of control out there that have enormous influence over the Narrative — the stories that we tell in order to make sense out of the world. As a result, we can’t make sense of what is going on. Who are the bad guys? Who are the good guys? Who did what to whom and why? What is important and what is a distraction? Its become nearly impossible to have any real confidence in the answers to any of these questions.
If you’ve looked at my foundational assumptions, you will remember that I believe that the only viable path forward for humanity is a “hard reboot” of our total social architecture. As a consequence, this video does not strike me as odd or even challenging. In fact, I find it a bit refreshing. So — we can no longer trust any of our institutions of authority? Our organs of political, journalistic and even scientific truth-formation are fatally suspect. What are we to do? Clearly — reinvent new ones.
This will, of course, be difficult. And if you believe that it is possible to simply muddle along under our current architecture, perhaps with some modifications or reforms, my approach will feel (far) too risky and you might want to stop reading here.
But if, like me, you’ve come to the conclusion that the current game that we are playing — all the way down to its most fundamental code — is no longer viable, then you can join Mr. Holmes in the highest form of pragmatism: “. . . when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Our challenge, as usual, will be fear. And, in particular, it will be fear that comes from two different areas. Fear of two very different flavors.
Historically, those who are ostensibly in charge of (or most benefit from) a current institutional order will fear and resist forces of change. Particularly forces of profound change. We can expect this to be true in our current Great Transition as well. This is in spite of the fact that we can objectively consider how dangerous it is for all of us to attempt to maintain a society of scarcity. Indeed, it is in spite of the fact that a society of abundance will raise even the highest contemporary boats — consider that Louis the XIV, the vaunted Sun King of Versailles, entirely lacked internal plumbing, air travel or a tooth brush. Presumably some, perhaps many, of our contemporary power elites and oligarchs will understand this and assist the Transition. But others will not and it is entirely likely that they will use their access to the various organs of control developed over the past century to keep us stuck. Many paths run aground on those rocks — nipped in the bud, disoriented, or crushed with violence.
The second flavor of fear is more universal: the whirlpool of chaos. A Great Transition of necessity involves a breakdown of structure and many, perhaps all of the zones of safety that we have come to rely on. This is necessary because in general those “zones of safety” are obsolete structures that are holding us back. Nonetheless, to the degree that it opens us into the unknown or the untried, that opening leaves us feeling unsafe, unsure and captured by fear. Historically, this has been a most potent recipe for a people willfully choosing tyranny.
In order to thread this needle it is needful, then, that we design a disruption that simultaneously brings decisive power to bear (enough to unwind and overwhelm the forces of control) while at the same time providing a minimally-threatening “safety net” that gives our suddenly liberated energies a sense of orientation and a pathway to safety.
So, lets take a look. I don’t have the answers, but I do have some suggestions that I hope will be helpful to those who are aware of the situation and are (collectively and individually) trying to make this work. I have identified four “components” that I believe are necessary, though not quite sufficient to our task. In this essay, the view must of necessity be at a high level. Future posts will address each component in some deeper detail.
A New Sensemaking Apparatus
I addressed this component briefly in my previous essay, Reinvent Everything. Appropriately so, as it might be said that this function, the sense making apparatus, is the single most important component of any collective endeavour. Simply: how do we go about taking advantage of our many different experiences and capacities to do a much better job making sense of our world and making both collective and individual decisions.
Science, for example, has been a powerful sense making apparatus for the past 500 years. Using a combination of repeatable experiments, provable mathematics and a communal (nee “peer reviewed”) approach to both critique and knowledge sharing, it has been able to coordinate the distributed efforts of tens of millions of people around the globe to “make sense” of an extraordinary amount of our collective experience.
More prosaically, we have the totality of journalism and much of our organizational (e.g., corporate) structure. It is a very useful view to see all of this as different approaches to getting the most “sensemaking” out of different groups of people.
In every case, the most fundamental breakdown of sensemaking is a breakdown of trust. If I can trust you to be acting with integrity and good faith, then I can trust the perspective and information that you bring to me to at least be as clear and truthful as you can make it. The “oh dear” expressed in the video at the top of this essay is responding to the deep breakdown of trust that has come to characterize most and perhaps all of our current sensemaking apparatus.
I was recently introduced to Dave Snowden, a rare practitioner of “applied complexity science” who has done some groundbreaking work in crafting new tools for collaborative sensemaking. The bottom line: there is good reason to believe that a deep reinvention of every single mechanism of sense making that we currently use is ripe. This is cause for great optimism. Can’t make sense of the world through what you read or hear in newspapers, television and radio? Stop using them altogether and start helping to construct the new tools.
It appears to be entirely plausible to completely replace our entire suite of sense making techniques within the decade — and in making critical mass progress in just a few years. This will, of course, be the consequence of a large number of different initiatives. The foundation of all of which will be “scaling trust”.
In my next essay, I will suggest a set of models on how we might construct new sensemaking architectures and propose two concrete approaches that I believe are practicable in the immediate term. I believe, although I cannot prove, that this is where we should begin — because effective sensemaking tools make everything much, much easier.
A New Monetary System
At first blush, this sounds absurd. Are we to propose that developing a new monetary system that is adequate to replace much (or perhaps all) of the infrastructure currently occupied by dollars, euros, yens? Yes.
Money is not magic. It is a technology. It is a set of signals that we can use to structure a “decentralized resource allocation mechanism” (aka “the market”). When it works, it helps us know what is a useful and valuable way to direct our personal energies, and it empowers and rewards those people who create value.
The fine point is that our current global monetary system no longer works. It was designed (by ordinary people likely with the best of intentions) in the years following World War II. And it is now hopelessly obsolete — broken in many different ways. Perhaps most importantly, it (and the various political and legal institutions that coordinate with it) has been so vigorously gamed that pretty much anything we do these days has only one result: a headlong dive into unsustainable income/wealth concentration.
A new monetary system is badly needed, and if it is well designed, it will do much to cure what ails us. Astoundingly, it is also perhaps the easiset “component” for us to imagine. In fact, in an important sense, it is already underway.
Bitcoin is what people in the software world might call an “alpha release” of a new monetary system. It has a number of important flaws — but its core teaching is inescapably profound: we no longer have to ask anyone’s permission to design our own money. If you don’t feel the power of this, think about it for a while.
He who has the gold makes the rules. If we are suddenly empowered to simply decide that dollars, euros and yen are artifacts of an ancien regime and that henceforth we will use some new currency of our own design, a lot of the power (and a lot of the rules) change quite quickly. Of course, this wouldn’t mean that dollars (or taxes paid in dollars) would go away (at least not all at once). But decentering them in favor of a money (and monetary system) of our own design is a crucial, powerful and achievable move.
The big questions are:
- What is the right design for the future?
- How do you bootstrap this new currency design into a critical mass of adoption?
For the next two components, I suggest two possible answers to these questions.
In the late 60’s and early 1970’s there emerged a political object variously called things like a “basic income” or a “social dividend.” It was a notion that serious people treated seriously. The idea was elegant and simple: replace the morass of “means tested welfare” with a periodic grant of direct deposit cash to every citizen. This would eliminate both the massive and inefficient welfare state bureaucracy and the most painful edge of poverty. Nobel Prize winning economists came out in support. Martin Luther King, jr. wrote a book. Presidential candidates and politicians from all over the political spectrum supported it.
Then it dropped profoundly off of the political radar, joining things like gay marriage and marijuana legalization as fanciful thinking. I don’t know, maybe the Reagan Revolution had something to do with it? In any event, in the past few years, the notion has seen a renaissance. It has its own subreddit with 22,000 subscribers. It is the subject of more and more press. It is the darling of the techno-illuminati who correctly see it as a way to remove the fear of innovation and enable everyone to benefit from our movement into Abundance.
The idea is still far from mainstream, but it will be part of the zeitgeist before too long. And I believe that it is a key design element of a new monetary system.
One of the biggest challenges to a basic income is practical: how do we implement one in the current political and economic environment? There has been a lot of effort put into modeling different ways to structure taxes or rearchitect the welfare state to provide a basic income. But if we take seriously the power of creating and living within our own monetary system, then this problem resolves itself nicely.
In the Bitcoin system, money is created through an esoteric (and increasingly power intensive) algorithmic “mining” process. Run mining software and you “discover” new coins. In our current US dollar system, money is created through “bank issued debt”. Run a bank and you have the magic power to create new money in the form of loans. In an older system based on gold, money was created by digging it out of the dirt.
In our proposed new monetary system, money will be created by depositing it into the account of every citizen. This is simple and elegant. In fact, there already exists at least one cryptocurrency system that does it. It is a very powerful move. By anchoring basic income in the fundamental mechanics of how money is created, you simultaneously make a more robust and healthy monetary system and anchor a principal mechanism of Abundance deep in the bedrock of your social architecture.
Why would a monetary system based on basic income be more robust than our current approach (or older approaches based on something like gold)? Because money is a kind of sensemaking appratus that is effective (smart) precisely because (and largely to the degree that) it is decentralized.
Economies will always orient themselves around the centers of money creation and money will always benefit from concentration. If money is created by banks, then those kinds of economic entities that are most able to “get close” to banks and get access to their loans (e.g., finance, real estate, insurance and large corporations) will tend to hypertrophy and the money will concentrate into those channels. But if you structure your monetary system so that money is created at each and every individual in the economy, then you will have a system that is getting enough signal from everyone to really make the best sense of the world and, therefore, the best decisions.
I have heard two common critiques of the basic income that I would like to quickly address here:
“A basic income would be inflationary. If you give money to people, this will simply cause prices to rise in response to the increase in the money supply and, therefore, ameliorate the intent of the income.”
This could be true, but only if the new money created by the basic income resulted in an increase in the quantity (and/or velocity) of the money supply faster than the growth of the actual economy. If the economy grows faster than the new money creation (and velocity), you could actually have deflation. The real challenge, then is a standard challenge in any monetary system: how to elegantly balance the money supply with the growth of wealth in the economy so as to maintain stable and predictable prices?
There are many ways to elegantly avoid inflation that I won’t discuss here, but I do have a personal favorite. My suggestion would be to examine combining a differential geometric index number-based inflation algorithm with demurrage. This would allow you to precisely measure realtime price inflation and then to elegantly exit an appropriate amount of money out of the system on a pro-rata basis. If prices start to rise, the demurrage rate ticks up and some fraction of the overall money supply evaporates. Quite similar really to a steam release valve in a steam engine. An approach like this could provide a completely transparent and highly efficient path to long term price stability that requires little to no human intervention.
“If you give people enough money to survive without having to work, then they won’t work.”
This is my favorite objection because it is so easily addressed: precisely! Lets take a look back at The Coming Great Transition: We are all going to be unemployed; we don’t need everyone anymore; the obselesence of the carrot and the stick. This is the challenge and the opportunity of the society of Abundance — taking seriously the opportunity of setting people free from having to work. The reality of 50, 60, 70% unemployment is coming round the mountain one way or another — a basic income makes that a happy event rather than a tragedy. Of course, it doesn’t answer the question of what will people do when they are free? But that is a much deeper and more interesting question.
Now, of course, “dirty jobs” won’t go away all at once — but in an economy where everyone can choose not to do them, we might expect two wonderful results:
a) They will start being priced efficiently. Who really creates more value in the world, the jokers at JP Morgan who manipulate high finance, or the lady who comes in at night to clean all of the bathrooms and hallways? Well, we currently live in an economy where the bankers get paid millions while the hard-working cleaning lady gets to work two jobs in order to barely scrape by. In an economy where she gets a basic income, JP Morgan has a choice: either pay her enough to make it worth her while, or clean their own damn toilets.
b) And precisely because these dirty jobs will be priced efficiently, there will suddenly be a significant profit incentive for entrepreneurs to replace them. Lets say cleaning ladies go from making $20k a year to making $50k a year. This is a 2.5X increase in the size of the potential “cleaning robot” market. The whole point of a money system is to identify where people can contribute value to a society. Efficient pricing means a smarter economy.
Finally, I have run against two problems with a basic income that I would love to see be resolved:
1. What is the right amount for a basic income to be? It seems like there are two boundary conditions. On the one hand, an effective basic income needs to provide enough resource to remove people from fear. On the other hand, it cannot be so high that it fundamentally distort market functions.
2. How do we deal with national income inequality? A basic income of $3000 per year would be an incredibly empowering grant — even a windfall — throughout most of the developing world. But it would be nearly useless in the developed world. On the other hand, a basic income of $20,000 a year might be sustainable (efficient, effective) in the United States, but would clearly destroy the market signal on a global basis.
There is much to discuss about the details of a basic income, the new monetary system and how they work together and I greatly look forward to dialing in on these components. But now it comes time to address a question of “how?” How will we do this? It’s nice to talk about creating a new sensemaking architecture — and that seems plausible. It’s nice to imagine a new monetary system and to play with basic income, but, really, how could we possibly pull that off? Particularly in the face of entrenched interests who control our political and economic institutions?
So now comes time to consider what I’m certain will be the most challenging and controversial, yet at the same time the most powerful and important component.
David Graeber has lucidly discussed the many times throughout history that recourse has been made to a fundamental reset of social obligations: a jubilee. He suggests that what the world needs now is a big dose of that ancient medicine. I agree. But I go both deeper and broader in my prescription.
First we have to be clear — this isn’t just a matter of social justice. We must recognize that the existing global financial/economic order is deeply unstable. The West is broke and there is every reason to expect a major financial crisis in the next decade that will be both deeper and more intense than 2007–2009. Its impossible to say just when the other shoe will drop, but there is a good chance (lets say >20%) that it might happen in any given year from now on. The point is this — for both bad reasons (greed, exploitation, bad management) and good reasons (the obselesence of scarcity and the move to abundance) the current financial system is not long for the world. The question we have to answer is not if, but how.
So far, I’ve seen a handful of approaches to this set of circumstances. Some (lets call them the “Goldman Sachs approach”) are positioning themselves to do even better than they did in the last financial crisis. They are buying hard assets like farmland and water, minerals and energy. Others (the “alienated survivalists”) are doing the best they can to protect themselves ranging from financial hedges in precious metals to basements full of guns and canned goods. Pretty much everyone else is just trying to ignore it and quell their anxiety by trusting to hope that “everything will be OK”. In other words, fear is leading the way. I believe that there is a better way — and it starts with a true global jubilee.
If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. — J. Paul Getty
Let’s start with debt. Remember that our entire monetary system is based on debt. As a consequence, any contraction in debt is also a contraction in the money supply. This is a big reason why our current monetary system is so unstable. When things look good, debt flows and money is created — making prices and profits rise. But when things look bad and debt contracts, money also contracts. Doubling down on the misery.
The current global debt is somewhere north of $100 Trillion dollars (representing over 128% of global GDP). Imagine for a moment what would happen if some critical mass of that debt entered into default? In fact, imagine what would happen if some critical mass of that debt seemed likely to default? Or was even at plausible risk to default? Debt is interesting in that way: it is highly probabilistic. Past some minimal threshold of plausibility, any chance of default would have to be factored into interest rates. So the more significant the threat of default, the more pressure on interest rates.
Normally, this wouldn’t be that big a deal. A few points of interest here or there is the sort of thing that could be absorbed by any number of political interventions. But in the context of the contemporary geo-financial system — where (almost) every bullet has been shot and the system is extremely fragile, even a modest global jubilee movement could easily push the system into real crisis.
Of course, on its own, this sort of crisis could be a disaster of epic proportions. There is every reason to believe that we could push the system past a tipping point where many sovereign debts would have to be defaulted on or monetized, which in turn would lead to massive inflation of the major currencies and perhaps the collapse of some of the major economies (Japan? Southern Europe?). Without a safety net who knows what would come to pass?
But what if we did have a safety net? What if we already had a well functioning and stable currency? What if that currency was the sort of thing that people could opt into and quickly feel safe and part of a functional, honest, trustworthy, effective, just community? Well then?
But this, in my opinion, would take more than just a “debt jubilee”. It would require us to reach into deep myth and recall the notion of a moral jubilee. A true wiping clean of the entire slate. A lot of nastiness has gone down over the past few thousand years and a lot of pain, bitterness and enmity burdens our collective soul. Imagine if our jubilee were a commitment — person by person — to put the past in the past and act henceforth in peace and good faith and in the highest of personal integrity with everyone else who also made a similar commitment?
At first, this might seem ridiculous and asking for a lot, but I think that it is both necessary and achievable. Not everyone, of course, will be able to get to a point of forgiveness and responsibility during the jubilee year, but time and again we have seen individual human beings able to make peace with each other even after brutal conflict. The power of forgiveness to set all parties free should never be underestimated. And we don’t need everyone to join this commitment — we just need enough to turn the tide.
Moreover, as I mentioned in Introducing Generation Omega, we humans are rapidly accelerating our technical ability to impact the world. Including our ability to wage war on each-other. We are entering the age of the “super-empowered individual” (see also here) where, to put a fine point on it, we are going to have to get incredibly good at peace if we are going to have any chance of surviving the century at all. “Once you have eliminated the impossible . . . “
How might we go about pulling something of this magnitude off? As a thought experiment, we might think of a massive, global-scale kickstarter for a new civilization 😉
Kickstarter is an elegant solution to a classic collective action problem: we would all benefit if only we all could act together; but since we can’t coordinate enough people to make it happen (for a variety of reasons) we suffer without it. In the case of Kickstarter the object is usually some sort of product. Lets say a musician proposes that if her fans will front her $15,000 she will create a new album. She puts the project up on Kickstarter along with some minimum commitments and a time limit and starts trying to get to critical mass.
Everyone can make a commitment (say $25), but without risk. If the project doesn’t hit its targets, everyone’s commitments are returned as if nothing happened. If the target is hit, then all of the commitments are unlocked and the project moves forward. Collective action problem solved.
In this case, we might imagine something like this:
- You make a commitment to the jubilee and to the terms of the new monetary system (including a basic income).
- You agree that, if and only if the project hits its critical mass target (say 200 million people representing $2 Trillion in potential gross income) you will commit to personally absolving all debts (moral and fiscal) owed to you by anyone who has also made the commitment; to acting in peace, good faith and personal integrity with all such people; to personally refusing to pay any debts owed to those outside the community (and taking responsibility for the legal consequences thereof) and to working diligently to enact a political debt jubilee within all legal jurisdictions that you have a vote in.
- This commitment is encrypted and sealed — and linked to your new money wallet. You are now an anonymous (but cryptographically unique) “member” of the new monetary system and entitled to receive a basic income and any other rights associated with this membership.
- When the critical mass targets are hit all of the commitments are unlocked and the jubilee begins.
In concept, this is deceivingly simple. By bundling a tremendous upside with a collective action, and by insulating everyone from risk until enough people are committed, this kind of approach cuts through much of the Gordian Knot we presently face.
In practice, of course, it would be extremely complex — particularly when you consider the various machinations that recalcitrant legacy elites will use to try and short-circuit the transition! But it is an excellent thought experiment to prove the deep point: so far at least the integrity of the current game we are playing (the one we often call “real life”) is entirely based upon our willingness to keep playing. If and when enough of us decide to stop playing this game and to play a new game instead, on that day the world will change.
Whew! Will the Transition look like this? Probably not. But it might very well resemble it. Certainly it is plausible and certainly there are far worse scenarios lurking on our horizon. But I think that is enough vision for a while. It’s time to do something. For the next few posts I’d like to come down to the ground level and talk about steps we can take in the immediate term that actionably move us in the right direction, testing theories, building value and discovering the right questions to ask. I think the right place to start is with Sensemaking.
Trevor Rose said:
Ive spent the best part of 25 years working on this, I’m ready to go the moment I get funding … if you’re serious & can input skills, networks, and/or any other resources, we need to talk.
Mike Riddell (@mikeriddell62) said:
Create a community currency that is earned into existence for contribution to the common good (commonly defined and commonly measured) and distributed through community groups and you will have a monetary system that ‘makes community pay’.
Brands would soon want to accept a currency that helped them disguise their price discounts and add liquidity to move stuff faster.
Plus you’ve got a proxy measure for CSR/social impact etc.
All the markets need to function is a legitimate pricing signal. Legitimate in the sense that is owned by the wider community rather than the Fed or government.
Your Great Transition series has been spot-on so far, and I look forward to seeing it continue to progress. I am very glad to see that you are familiar with Dave Snowden’s work, as I have found it quite useful in avoid pitfalls in thinking.
Another element that you haven’t directly talked to (yet) that is sorely needed is a new metaphysics. Our religious and spiritual thinking is oriented around scarcity now and abundance later. I recommend taking a look at the Syntheist Movement and the works of Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist as one approach to how religion might look in an age of abundance.
I work with MaestroConference and we are passionate about enabling individuals and organizations to scale up their impact. Because global change is at the heart of why we built our social conferencing platform, it seemed fitting and purposeful to reply to your blog post.
Venessa this is a very powerful post and speaks to the heart of the fundamental social change that is happening right now. I see the interwovenness between your post and MaestroConference’s commitment to host conversations about topics close to people’s hearts, so there is an option for large scale, global conversations where everyone’s voice is heard. Your post is passionate and real. It brings to the forefront a topic on people’s minds and hearts, and perhaps a global conversation is the next step for this topic. There is something magical and empowering that happens when when a topic as relevant as “Kickstarter for a New Civilization” is the topic of conversation for thousands of people worldwide. Imagine an event where everyone is able to fully participate and have their voice heard in this global conversation. MaestroConference’s platform creates the space for us to collaboratively create the change we want to see in the world. Below, I’ve shared how your post personally touched my heart and passion…
You highlight two main fears that people face when a new civilization comes into being:
1. Fear that our current institutional order will fear and resist forces of change.
2. Fear of universal chaos – i.e. “A Great Transition of necessity involves a breakdown of structure and many, perhaps all of the zones of safety that we have come to rely on.”
If we look at our past history, both of these fears have proven to be true. I think it’s time to ask “WHY?”. Why have human beings behaved in this way historically – and what is different now?
First of all, human beings have evolved a lot in our culture. Our main spectator sports may be men running into each other on a field getting brain injuries (ie American football), but at least it’s not being thrown into a Roman gladiatorial pit with people fighting to the death. Slavery is the minority, not accepted among the mainstream. People are inspired and applauded for altruism. Many people on this planet genuinely want all aspects of our world to be a better place to live. So, if we start looking at what the majority of humanity is now, not the minority that gets a lot of mass media time, there may be a less fear based approach to creating a new civilization. Here are my thoughts:
I offer a different alternative to the article’s “two takes on fear”.
If we begin implementing new aspects of society grounded on common good, prosperity for all, genuine collaboration and honoring each individual’s unique gifts, those who resonate with this philosophy will create the new paradigm. Those who do not resonate will be irrelevant.
The key to what I am sharing is focus. This is really important. If we focus on building a new civilization that is in opposition or contrary to our current one that includes current oligarchs and hierarchies, we choose to have the old system as part of the new one. Comparing the two actually invites in the old to “share its perspective” on the new.
What I recommend is to change our focus entirely. Simply and powerfully, focus on the new civilization only. This means no comparisons.
This means exceptional collective collaboration. This means utilizing powerful tools for massive scale conversations, inspirations and action. This means truly envisioning what’s possible because collectively we decide to shift our limiting belief structures and invite in goodness beyond imagination. This means listening quietly to that authentic voice of wisdom inside. The voice that we can only hear when we still the external clatter. The voice that offers authentic self compassion and compassion for others.
There is a truth within each one of us that is clamoring to build this new civilization in a collaborative way. In a way that honors each of our unique genius, that loves to share our unique gifts, that when used together creates a new civilization for the good of all.
What I am offering is alternative to the assumption “A Great Transition of necessity involves a breakdown of structure…”I. What if this transition process doesn’t have to look like the old paradigm? What if transition encapsulates focusing on the new only? This creates a new civilization that is truly independent of the old. Not breaking down the old structure, but rather focusing on building the new.
So how do we begin to build a new civilization truly independent and entirely unfocused on the old? To begin, it is fundamental to be honest with ourselves and realize our external environment is a reflection of our internal world. This understanding is key to building a new paradigm that is truly for and created by the common good.
How we feel about ourselves and others is reflected in our outside world. So, a beautiful, non-revolutionary, simple place to start is internally. How do we want to be treated in the new world? Begin by treating ourselves this way first. Do we want a compassionate civilization? Begin treating oneself with compassion. Do we want abundance for all? Begin by finding “Where am I scarce with myself? Where do I impose scarcity on myself and others in my everyday life?” and changing self scarcity to self abundance. Do we want our new civilization to have clarity or even love as a predominate motivator; instead of fear? Then notice when fear inspires each of us to act. Pause. Seek that compassionate, wise voice to inspire each of us to act. Then act from that place of internal calm wisdom, compassion and love. To truly have a new civilization it must begin with each of us being, acting and living the new civilization.
For more of our thoughts on why conversations at scale are so important, see here:
Conversations that could change the world: http://blog.maestroconference.com/what-is-possible-if-we-have-conversations-that-could-change-the-world-2/
Democracy for the next generation: http://blog.maestroconference.com/democracy-for-the-next-generation/
-by Gina Maria Mele, M.S., Editor-in-Chief, MaestroConference (www.maestroconference.com)
I just came across this essay this morning and think it’s completely fantastic, definitely a lot of overlap with my own views and ultimately steps in the right direction, I believe.
Myself and a handful of others are currently working to build an online experimental platform to discuss these sorts of issues and work though prototypes for how a ‘post-capitalist’ world would operate, particularly through the intersections of critical studies and design thought. We would love if you had anything to add or contribute! You can drop us a line at https://deterritorialinvestigations.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/rebuilding-a-call-for-contributors/ or email me at edmund.b.berger[at]gmail.com