Seven Beliefs for a collective civilization (1/9)

Tim Bansemer
Mar 16 · 5 min read

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This work is the visionary part of three connected areas which together allow for the formation of sovereign network societies.

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The three elements which form an in-depth vision and strategy for a new way of living.

“The 7 beliefs” represent the philosophical vision and are intended to form an attractor for new ideas in the fields of collaboration and governance.

“Node One” models physical representations of intentional ecologically sustainable and sovereign communities. Here is the center of exploration for new practices of “distributed governance” which allow for the “governance of the commons” in a permissionless way.

“Aqua” represents the development of a sovereign internet infrastructure which preserves the sovereignty of individuals and allows for the building of peer-to-peer services as a foundation of a new commons and the nervous system of a digital network-society.

Together, these domains enable a culture of physical and digital network societies which succeed through collective governance systems.


This is a visionary document. Its purpose is to motivate and inspire you to join the exploration, research and practice of the principles and protocols required for the stable emergence of scalable, collective governance systems. We envision those new forms of governance at scale to follow the principles of, and to represent themselves as complex adaptive systems.

Complex adaptive systems are open, self-organizing systems that have the added capacity to conserve and process high levels of information. They live on the “edge of chaos” where the system maintains enough structure to process information, but fluctuates enough that new information (in the form of new patterns and structures) is always being created. Source: “Pain: Dynamics and Complexities” page 231.

We believe that those attributes as described in the definition of complex adaptive systems are the highly desirable attributes of collective governance systems. The intention of this document is to continue a conversation about how we can practically create the right conditions for those systems to emerge.

There is a state of mind required for an individual to be functional in a complex governance system. There is also a need for a simple set of rules which allow for the emergence of collective signalling, sense-making and decision making. These are analogous to the coordination of a flock of birds to avoid collision, or the functioning of ant colonies.

Seven Beliefs for a collective civilization.

“The future of governance is one in which we come together to form a collective organism.”

Version 1.0 Date 12th March 2020 Author Tim Bansemer, Editor and Co-Creator Tom Mansfield, Pale Blue. We are thankful for feedback and review from Adam Paquette, Trent McConaghy and Anja Blaj.

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What is the world you want to live in?

Before you is the entrance to a room full of inspiration. You are the key to this door. Close your eyes and take a deep breath to envision the future of our civilization. What does the world you envision look like?

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We are emerging, we are millions of years old. We are humans united in spirit, unfolding our true potential through collective compassion, wisdom and intelligence. We honor and integrate our heritage, those who came before us and brought us to this moment, today. We stand with integrity, becoming ancestors to our children. All the children of our future.

The future we strive for, the future we live for…

We wish to live in a world with many cultures, with many perspectives and many different beliefs harmoniously co-existing. We shall find common ground to be united in our spirit. We can live in fruitful diversity while sharing the common journey of life on this planet and throughout the universe. We are all woven from the same genetic cloth, brothers and sisters united in our African origin.

When we make decisions, we shall give those unheard a voice and with it we empower them to exercise their agency. We shall speak for the fish, the forest and the ocean. We shall give a voice to the future generations and all the others who are not able to be present but are impacted by our decisions. We make space for the quieter voices, amongst us and inside of us. We shall keep in mind the impact we have and our responsibility as stewards of the biosphere. We shall make decisions together, knowing we are all connected and have a shared fate.

Tapping into our shared knowledge and wisdom surrounding a governance of the commons increases our capability to find paths toward a healthy future. Commons are the shared resources which we are all connected to and impacted by; our planet, the cities we live in, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the infrastructure we depend on and communicate with.

How do we collectively govern those domains so they provide for us and for future generations, creating abundance, stability, health and wellbeing?

Collective wisdom emerges from collective coordination. While a single ant cannot grasp its situation, a whole colony is able to remember, plan and adapt to a changing environment. Functioning as a coherent community with a common purpose, wise decision making appears, behaviour patterns are formed which benefit the whole.

Nature knows how to do it. We see proof. We are the proof. Let’s listen and observe nature to identify the principles and to learn how we can live in a world of connection and wise decision-making by using our shared potential as contributors to a future of happiness and wellbeing.

Read the next article: First Belief — Diversity

Comment directly into the Community Document as Google-Doc.

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