Accountabilities needed for Future Fit Institutions

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By Alex Ryan Jayne Engle Indy Johar

What is Emerging? Are we at the darkest hour, just before the dawn?

The hard stop of the Covid crisis is akin to the rock bottom of addiction. It marks a moment of intense suffering for vast numbers of people and it has made visible that we face ever-increasing inequality and climate apocalypse if we don’t change course. Liminal space is created at rock bottom, and transcendence is possible. The Covid dissolution of the order of things has already caused mass suffering, death, and grief for far…


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How do democracies innovate in a complex world? How do we make the necessary philosophical transition from an object-oriented world view in an infinite-world scenario to an interdependent world view in a small-world scenario? How do we avoid the pitfalls that accompany the romanticisation of the small and the local, implementing something that is massively replicable and global in its impact and influence? Is it possible to draw on radical civics and sovereign interdependence as a new form of aggregation that will enable the future of democracy?

Democracies require a different systems, organisational, and aggregation logic. Since the industrialisation of…


By Millie Begovic R. & Indy Johar

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“A Way Forward”. This is an expedition into #NextGenGov that puts forward three core provocations:

An urgent call to build a new statecraft for the age of uncertainty and risk.

A recognition that we are operating in a new context of shared vulnerabilities, risks and interests which require new models of societal and transnational innovations.

An acknowledgment that the mere response to the immediate set of cascading crises is not enough, we need to scaffold the transition to a new human contract with the world around us.

In this context, this paper is…


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This article is part of the Futures in Long-termism series. You can read all other related blogs by following the links at the bottom of the text.

Throughout the past decades, we have been slicing time to finer and ever-shorter periods. As investor Esther Dyson once said, “In politics the dominant time frame is a term of office, in fashion and culture it’s a season. For corporations it’s a quarter, on the internet it’s minutes, and on the financial markets mere milliseconds”. Our underlying structural capacities and incentives are deeply coded to advance short-term thinking and decision-making. …


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Version 7.10

Dear Friends,

We are beginning a new decade and a critical year for Dark Matter in terms of achieving aspirations arising from our Berlin, Scotland and Amsterdam 2019 team retreats.

Amsterdam successfully positioned us to build shared intentionality with regards to who we are, how we seek to operate and, most significantly, why we seek to do what we do.

This letter seeks to synthesise and crystallise some of our discussions and shared meaning as to the year and the decade ahead and our journey together, building a shared, explicit and transparent frame in order to unleash both our collective…


From risk takers to strategic risk holders

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“Our whole life has been disrupted.” says Geetha, a sleepless mother about her struggle for water in Chennai- the city in India facing its worst water crisis in history. Geetha, a mother of three daughters, stays in the slums of Chennai where there has been no water for days and has to wake up her daughters to catch the rare opportunity of stocking water at odd hours in the night.

Building on last year’s Istanbul Innovation Days on NextGenGov, UNDP and Dark Matter Labs are designing the NextGenGov journey in Asia, to be kicked-off with a retreat in March 2020…


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The following is an outline summary and iteration of a talk given at techforgood. It is worthwhile acknowledging THIS summary builds on an important talk given by Cassie Robinson. and this must be seen as a precursor to what is outlined below..

First, I want to start by making the case for radical civic technologies. I would propose it is increasingly clear, that the sustainabilty & thriv-ability of our society is a derivative function of the capacities of our bureaucracies and thereby our means of governance of public, shared and commons goods.

Further, I would propose most of the societal…


Could a network of regulatory experimentation labs in cities build legitimacy and shape inclusive innovation toward a great transition?

Read the full report. — legitimacities/

By Joost Beunderman Matthew Claudel, Jayne Engle, Indy Johar Jonathan Lapalme, Chloe Treger,

This proposal is a response to one of the most urgent crises of our time: the widespread erosion of trust in governments, organizations, and each other.

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The immediate crises of ecological collapse and social inequality are difficult – if not impossible – to approach without addressing the deeper fractures in our public imagination and the social legitimacy of our institutions. By public…


Civic Cities as the Minimum Unit of Change in the Great Transition.

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We are living in the midst of rapid change and mounting evidence of the fragility of public trust in societal institutions. Increasingly our means of change are restricted not by capital or capacity (though we often like to point at these shortfalls), but rather by our means to create legitimacy, or shared coherence as to the proposed direction of travel, even as the climate threats to our civilisation become increasingly paramount.

How do we address the growing fragility of legitimacy in our increasingly complex contexts? There are multiple…


Industrial Revolution 4.0 : Asia’s Next Policy Moonshots.

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On the occasion of the launch of the new UN Development Programme Regional Innovation Center in Bangkok, we reflect on how Asia in the past decades has demonstrated previously inconceivable levels of change. The next decades of ‘directed improvisation’ could make a decisive impact on the future of how humans, machines and the natural world live harmoniously together.

“Five billion people, two-thirds of the world’s mega-cities, one-third of the global economy [42% at last estimate], two-thirds of global economic growth, thirty of the Fortune 100, six of the ten largest banks, eight…

Indy Johar

Co-founder Project 00 & Dark Matter labs, Senior Innovation Associate Young Foundation, contact - indy@darkmatterlabs.org

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