Currencies as a Catalyst for Cultural Evolution (Part 1): Patterns of Social Organization

Seeing Social Patterns and Flows (Photo by Mike Chai from Pexels)

About the Currency Design Course

Invisible structures of incentives

  • we have to make money so that we can pay our rent
  • we want a degree from a reputable university so that we can get hired at a good company
  • we study hard for a test to get a good grade
  • we read amazon product reviews/ratings before buying something
  • we check people’s follower/like counts to judge their social status
  • we check food labels (for example, “organic”, “GMO free”, etc) to inform our purchasing decisions
  • we shop with certain cards or at specific places to collect points and reap the rewards they offer

Models of Incentives and Levels of Consciousness

  • Survive and thrive
  • Fun and pleasure
  • Learning

The Four Imperatives

The four imperatives quadrant

Spiral Dynamics

The main stages, or memes, in spiral dynamics
Mapping the levels in spiral dynamics to the imperative quadrant

Implications for currency design

The problem with current structures of incentives

Lessons from nature

The importance of open rules

Changing the rules of the game



Living Systems Network is a collective working together to advance regenerative culture practices such as peer-to-peer governance and commons stewardship. We both draw inspiration from observing living systems, and model our evolution on living systems principles.

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Wesley Finck

Interested in novel patterns of social organization, biomimetic computing architectures (like Ceptr & holochain) and many other mind-warping paradigms.