High Impact Philanthropy: Anthony Wall Of Noēsis On How To Leave A Lasting Legacy With A Successful & Effective Nonprofit Organization
Be the future person that you envision, but forgive yourself when you falter. You’re flesh and blood. Vulnerability shows strength and courage.
For someone who wants to set aside money to establish a Philanthropic Foundation or Fund, what does it take to make sure your resources are being impactful and truly effective? In this interview series, called “How To Create Philanthropy That Leaves a Lasting Legacy” we are visiting with founders of Philanthropic Foundations, Charitable Organizations, and Non Profit Organizations, to talk about the steps they took to create sustainable success.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anthony Wall.
Anthony Wall is the Founder and President of Noēsis, a humanitarian non-profit, seeking global presence, to unite all humans on Earth under the banner of species’ self-preservation. An increasingly helpless human race is unsustainable, swept along by the churn of perpetual conflict, with no understanding of the ancient compulsions that drive this deadly constant. The evolutionary triggers for all human behavior must be understood. Only with these basics in place will humans glimpse a sustainable future for the first time. Until then, a declining humanity, locked into mindless conflict, imprisoned by its evolutionary past, has no bridge to its future.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about a ‘top of mind’ topic. Before we begin, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”?
I’m the third of nine children. We grew up in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. I describe my childhood as being an extremely fortunate one–a wonderful neighborhood of colonial homes, good friends, lots of loving relatives. We didn’t have much money, but we were never without anything we needed.
I graduated from the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia–again, it was a very fortunate thing to receive such a quality education. I then found myself at Lake Forest College, just north of Chicago, right on Lake Michigan. It was my Liberal Arts education that steered me in the direction of Literature and Philosophy.
As I raised my family in Eagleville, Pa., I spent two decades in the financial services industry, but I found myself continually drawn back to “macro” human behavior, the study of large groups, up to and including all of humankind. In 2019, I established Noēsis and created a series of educational videos to describe the immensity of evolutionary influence upon modern behavior. I’m also a very lucky father of two young men, Matthew and Jack. They, and by extension all of the sons and daughters around the world, are the inspiration for everything I do.
Can you tell us the story behind why you decided to start your non-profit?
I looked out over the entire human landscape and I saw a deteriorating and blameless human race slowly destroying itself, not because it was flawed in any way, but rather, because it never had an opportunity to understand itself. I began to look for a process-driven way to gift the human race an opportunity to survive itself. That goal created a single sentence at the center of our mission. “The only light to the future is that of the past.” The timeline of our species is now knowable in great detail. Noēsis is here to shine a light on the weight of past evolutionary influence. Only a being that understands itself in full can value itself, view itself with empathy, and then plot strategies to preserve itself. The only way to get ourselves under control is to determine how we lost control. We have a key that was never available–the evolutionary data that will allow self-discovery for the entire human species.
Can you describe how you or your organization aims to make a significant social impact?
We will ask everyone first and foremost to notice how seriously we take our mission. A lack of intelligence and/or continuity here at Noēsis would put us out of business quickly. Conversely, seamless and process-driven methodology will engage all humans, and will keep them here with us. We’re therefore fact-based, because a faltering humanity no longer enjoys the luxury of theory. The highly-detailed evolutionary timeline of humankind is a wide-open window of discovery, a vast field of crops waiting to be harvested, just when we truly need it.
When we humans learn that our many ruinous behaviors of the past were the fault of no one, our entire species can forgive itself. We can and must cross over — ever so slowly — to understanding and cherishing our exquisite cosmic rarity. We will then view ourselves not with the self-loathing we increasingly see, but with great empathy. These arrival points will also induce us to actively preserve ourselves, while also allowing our economic models to reposition themselves slowly and responsibly. At this juncture, we ask an emotionally exhausted humanity only to examine itself. We do not ask humanity to surrender its cherished beliefs, for these are central to all humans. We instead challenge a stressed humanity to survive, in order to believe.
What will humans discover when we come to know what is now knowable? We will quickly come to see that humans are not flawed in any way. Rather, we are gravely injured, deeply hurt, and largely helpless. How this happened to us is easily identified, once we know where to look. Please consider:
Around 10–15,000 years ago, when humans completed their migratory journey to all points of the globe, that journey unfolded in the spirit of cooperation. Migrating, evolving humans needed to collaborate, or they risked their very lives. These deepest of human longings are still baked into human DNA. Once the migratory journey was complete, the deepest of human longings — to help what is helpless — would soon be discouraged as our populations grew. Indeed, Collaboration yielded slowly to Acquisition. The trouble began immediately. We maintain, in fact, that these random evolutionary crossover events broke the human heart. Modern humanity is exhausted for a viewable reason. We’re swimming technically upstream, acting in a clinically unnatural — and thereby unsustainable — fashion.
Noēsis is focused on education, to explain the components of a psychic injury that not only toppled every human culture ever to exist, but continues to haunt all human interaction in the modern day. We aim to educate all of humanity about the evolutionary relics that still burn brightly inside of us. They control our actions, they drive our repetitive behaviors, and they lock us into perpetual conflict–where we remain. The phenomenon — conflict into perpetuity — is not survivable in any way.
Without saying any names, can you share a story about an individual who was helped by your idea so far?
When people who are close to this project learn that blame and judgment are symptoms of our shared injury, rather than workable solutions, their view of the world is quickly transformed. They report a lasting crossover. They detach themselves from the churn of blame and judgment, and arrive at a forensic disposition in examining their environments. They abandon judging what’s in front of them, in favor of an infinitely more valuable process, one that begins to view the ancient, evolutionary motivators for all human behavior. It becomes forever clear to all that human self-loathing is wholly undeserved. How can we humans blame ourselves and others for being imprisoned by ancient and non-bargaining compulsions that quickly overwhelm us?
The question above asks me to name an individual that benefits from our process. I’m compelled instead to name an entire group, namely, everyone alive on Earth. All humans are the same; we come from the same place. We’ve therefore arrived together, as equal beings, to our current crisis. In short, those who are closely associated with this project arrive at the truth, that humans are innocent of all existential crimes. From there, they see it differently forever. We believe that this arrival point is possible, and now vital, for all humans on Earth.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
In the near- and mid-term, there is so much work to do, but all of it is doable. For instance:
- Step back from your surroundings, even for a single day, and become an observer. This is very difficult; we understand that! Humans are fully prepped and ready for conflict. We’ve normalized what is unnatural to us, because we’re swept along, not by the choices we make, but by an historically deadly inertia.
- With our emotions in check, even for a day, begin to notice that the harsh words and cruel actions of others, meant to deeply hurt us, are not what we thought they were. A counterintuitive reality will reveal itself, if we stay with it. We never once noticed it, because we never thought to disengage from it.
- What we’ve always viewed as an attempt to invalidate and diminish us is more correctly an attempt by “the other” to protect an injured heart. By extension, what feels so personal to us, simply isn’t! With this understood, we’re suddenly not looking at cruelty and vengeance. We’re now looking at an injured, frightened and helpless being, protecting whatever sliver of its broken heart remains. What we currently view as an ocean of human cruelty, is more correctly a lonely desert of broken hearts. We further deduce that this is the only arrival place for a sentient being called away from its natural longings.
- With this new understanding, we can now recognize and abandon the action/reaction model, the urge to hit back. We can instead work a minor miracle, by asking our tormenter why it wishes to hurt us. We will discover quickly and forever that it never meant to hurt anyone. It means only to protect itself from now-known dynamics of self-interest that are foreign to human DNA, ones that long-ago divided once-equal human beings into agents of self-interest.
The action/reaction churn described above, the one that we can now describe and understand, has placed our species into ceaseless conflict, and it keeps us there. We depend on conflict. A species that evolved in the spirit of cooperation cannot survive what is wholly unnatural to otherwise peaceful and loving beings.
These now-viewable realities combine to transport us to an astonishing conclusion. Perpetual conflict was and remains the only available arrival place for a sentient being that never had the data to examine itself. Inconveniently, we’ve also fully monetized these models of “conflict into perpetuity.” We therefore exist at Noesis to slowly unwind, over multiple decades of education, what required 10,000 years to entrench itself into every corner of the modern human experience. With what we can now know, and with a fresh verdict of “not guilty” in hand, what lies at the heart of our species deserves to survive.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Being a leader once meant that a stiff upper lip was always in place, against enemies that stopped existing multiple eons ago for modern humans. A surviving humanity will abandon its false bravado, and will admit its helplessness against ancient compulsions, too many to count, and impossible to defeat. Modern humans believe that the simple truth will diminish them. At Noesis, we cannot concur. The vulnerability of truth can silence a room. Truth is an orphan to the modern — failed — leader. Ignored truth does not disappear. It waits. A leader in a sustainable future will choose the clarity of truth over the betrayal of a lie.
A leader of today will tell us to get a hold of ourselves. A leader of a sustainable sentient species will encourage the fearless expression of how we FEEL at any given time. We will not merely admit our helplessness and our pain. We’ll shout it out to the universe, and we will only then value ourselves enough to forgive ourselves. Modern humankind is frightened, much like a child. Would we not wish to comfort a child? We must abandon false bravado, and we must examine ourselves through an unblinking lens, to finally understand who we truly are as a species. The data is there!
Based on your experience, what are the “5 things a person should know before they decide to start a non-profit”. Please share a story or example for each.
- Bold thinking is often a threat to the shortcomings that your ideas wish to address. Trust your conclusions. Be ready to defend them. Know your business, inside and out. Remain calm in the face of mindless attack. Understand that insult is the choice of an indefensible position.
- You’ve got way more work to do than you think. Your ideas already have merit. Now, are you ready to put the work in? Whatever you think it will take, multiply that by 5. Then, multiply that by 2.
- Administrative realities must be meticulously and consistently maintained. Stay ahead of your growing responsibilities. Surround yourself with people who are experts at what they do, and then let them do it.
- Remember that you always answer to your board. If you value them, and if you enable them, what comes back is not quantifiable.
- Be the future person that you envision, but forgive yourself when you falter. You’re flesh and blood. Vulnerability shows strength and courage.
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world who you would like to talk to, to share the idea behind your non profit? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.
We claim to be a missing and unifying force for efforts that currently seek human sustainability. We wish to partner with and complete the existing team that seeks human sustainability, never to diminish any of its members. Current global efforts (climate change, pandemic, nuclear disarmament, disruptive technologies) are eminently noble. If their goals are realized, will humans become sustainable? At risk, but firmly, we claim the answer to be “no.” It is not our factories, or our weapons, or our viruses, or our computers that threaten humanity. Rather, it’s our very nature that once again stalks a sentient being that will not examine itself, even as the gathering data to do so openly beckons us to harvest it. We seek men and women of influence who recognize intelligence, who have the financial means to help us to achieve escape velocity for a global mission to preserve what may be the most remarkable and rare species in the galaxy. We seek people of vision who understand that our powers of reason require us now to REASON, as a matter of species’ preservation.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson” Quote? How is that relevant to you in your life?
There are two quotes:
“Mankind is not made for defeat.” –Ernest Hemingway
“The human mind fights long-dead enemies.” –Anthony Wall
I have no business comparing myself with Mr. Hemingway. But Mr. Hemingway had no knowledge of what humans can now know. His above quote notices — and laments — the tragedy of perpetual conflict. He positions this serial killer of human interaction as an inescapable constant. His is the conclusion of any man who labors in a vacuum of knowledge. The helpless being described by Mr. Hemingway fights invisible enemies that died multiple eons ago. It growls menacingly when we approach it, and cries silently when we abandon it. This is modern mankind, acting unnaturally–the finest of garments, turned inside-out.
Anthony A. Wall, Jr.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you for a meaningful conversation. We wish you continued success with your mission.
About The Interviewer: Karen Mangia is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world, sharing her thought leadership with over 10,000 organizations during the course of her career. As Vice President of Customer and Market Insights at Salesforce, she helps individuals and organizations define, design and deliver the future. Discover her proven strategies to access your own success in her fourth book Success from Anywhere and by connecting with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.