The Project 2030 Proposal
A simple, sweeping proposal to decisively solve systemic global issues with an entirely new social contract and complementary currency, built on distributed ledger technology (blockchain)
The Global Shift
Our world has undergone a significant shift over the last 50 years — from predictability and simplicity to VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Despite these sweeping and rapid changes, our systems of governance, economics, health and education are centuries old and beginning to show signs of systemic failure.
Solutions offered have been few and — even if possible — none have been politically viable or adequate. A real solution must be bold and extraordinary. It must be global rather than national, while being able to cater for nuanced differences in local communities. It must be feasible, resilient, sustainable and evolvable. It must include effective feedback loops. It must captivate the attention through great emotional appeal, and allow for the expression of the full range of human emotion. Project 2030 is that solution.
The planet’s current social contract (simplistically: how we engage with each other and with institutions) is built on outdated, inflexible ideologies and systems, and is slowly collapsing. Groups of experts from business, government and academia are currently assessing the opportunities for distributed ledgers (commonly referred to as blockchain) to be used within government and the private sector. However, none of these experts question the validity of the underlying social contract itself. Blockchain experts want to transform governance and business. Our ambition is to transcend centuries old governance and business principles to an entirely new operating system for humanity, one that works for everyone.
We will achieve this grand plan in 3 steps.
Step 1: We will bring together the most visionary social activists and developers of emerging technology in one place for a week-long celebration of humanity’s ingenuity. We believe that no single movement has the answer to our global challenges. Instead we believe that the answer lies in a process, a journey. The inspiring vision and shared journey of creating a new social contract is the mechanism by which we will unite humanity. We’re calling the event the First Annual Global Reboot Humanity Symposium, to culminate on 02/02/2020.
Step 2: We will build an incredible, beautiful, elegant governance platform and complementary/crypto currency that supports a meaningful income for all. Both the platform and the currency will support an entirely new social contract which is just and fair to people and planet.
Emerging Tech + Complementary Currency + New Social Contract = Systemic Solution
Step 3: We will educate those who are interested on how the new social contract works. We will jointly define a distinctive, innovative philosophy, which will be disseminated by a dynamic ambient knowledge system able to educate everyone on demand. The education campaign will be patient and persistent. The new social contract will include true equality of opportunity for everyone, without biases whether religious, sexual, or racial.
Longer term, and after we have proven the validity of the new social contract, we will build entirely new city-states to house thriving local communities of people who share consensually derived values. These city-states will be designed from the outset to regenerate people, planet and place.
We have identified the partnerships required to do this and have developed a viable, credible plan. We have an income stream that will fund Phase 1 and solutions for funding of Phase 2 and Phase 3 will emerge as we progress.
You’ve been invited to read this proposal because you are a Key Person of Influence. We need your help to kickstart a systemic solution.
- A systemic problem requires a systemic solution.
- Sufficient research exists to establish that the current human operating system is beyond repair. A system reset is required. The reset must be triggered from outside the existing system.
- System resets have occurred in the past. The most recent occurred in the 1970s, architected by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. A system reset is a complex undertaking, which starts with an alignment between societal demands, emerging technologies and visionary leaders. That alignment is happening now.
- Our world in 2017 is in a similar situation as the world was during The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894. The crisis then was solved not by policy makers, but by technology, thanks to Gottlieb Daimler and Henry Ford. Policy makers and activists are generally ignorant of emerging technologies, and the same is true today.
- Exponential change is now pervading the planet, due to the all-encompassing effects of accelerating computer power. Exponential change looks linear until its explosive, final stage. We are entering that stage now.
- More than 70 social engineers and 60 activist groups who want to fix global challenges have been identified. Over 35 relevant emerging technologies have been identified.
- The two sectors of social innovation and tech innovation have never before collaborated with a view to rebooting humanity’s operating system.
What Others Say About a System Reboot
“We challenge the deadly notion that nothing can be done — disputing that capitalism as we know it is the best and the only possible option.” — Gar Alperovitz and Gus Speth, co-chairs of the Next System Project.
“Successfully ushering in the next system will depend on binding the diverse actors into powerful, federated strategies to effectively press for broader system change.” — Michael T. Lewis, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Community Renewal.
“Centralized, authoritarian systems of control — whether in the economy or in politics — must be challenged and overcome by genuine forms of democracy.” — John Restakis, Executive director of Community Evolution Foundation
“We must develop a political economy in which decision-making powers and knowledge formation are dispersed both functionally and geographically among different actors, rather than concentrated within particular groups.” — Andrew Cumbers, Professor of regional political economy at the University of Glasgow
“We must drive systemic changes so deeply that our planet emerges with a new system of political economy, one programmed to routinely deliver good results for people, place, and planet.” — Gus Speth, Co-chair of The Next System Project
“The fundamental failure of the present system is that economic success is measured strictly according to monetary indicators, such as the Gross Domestic Product for countries, or financial profit for businesses.” — Christian Felber and Gus Hagelberg, The Economy for the Common Good
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” — Edward Abbey, author
“Blockchain is a foundational technology: It has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems,” — Marco Iansiti, the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Karim R. Lakhani, the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration and the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Fellow at Harvard Business School
“The blockchain is a technology for fair play in a globalized world.” — Vinay Gupta, Founder, Hexayurt Capital
“We are searching for a path that will lead us beyond our current unsustainable economic system.” — John Fullerton, Founder and President of Capital Institute
How We Got Started
The journey to Project 2030 started almost 50 years ago.
In my early twenties, skeptical of all I was being told about how the world really worked, I committed to autodidactism: a life-long journey of self-education. The process really took off in mid-2004 with an unplanned two-and-a-half year sabbatical through south-east Asia.
What I learned about the human condition broke my heart. It seemed to me that the world is entirely beyond repair and no effort to fix it would ever succeed. In 2005 I self-published my first book — thankfully under a pen-name — an angry account of all society’s faults. After a year or two I realised even Herculean efforts cannot change the tide of ‘progress.’
The unplanned birth of my daughter in 2014 — at roughly the same time I was ousted by co-founders of the company I helped build — created mental and emotional panic. How could I bring a child into a world I knew was broken? How would I educate her when education systems globally exist merely to ensure conformity to a broken political and economic system? My mental and financial state was so bad that I regularly considered voluntarily removing myself from the planet.
At my lowest point of despair, and with the gentle but firm insistence of my personal coach and a vertical learning expert, I started writing Postcards from 2035 in June 2017. The tenet of the book is that every one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be solved with a new social contract, managed by emerging technology.
Instead of completing the book before publishing, each chapter was released online as they were completed. The decision to release each chapter publicly could turn out to be the best decision I’ve ever made, since it ignited conversations and formed friendships with people I would never have dreamed of meeting. Two of those people are Jonathan Kolber, author of A Celebration Society and his wife, Jennifer.
In 2004, I accepted the position of Editor of an investment advisory focused on breakthrough tech companies. In the years that followed, I noticed a pattern. Technologies were emerging capable of remaking the world. However, those same technologies were preparing a wave of automation that would result in permanent unemployment for many millions, and perhaps billions, of people.
After leaving the Editorship in 2008, I focused on writings capable of addressing technological unemployment. I delved into Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, since it seemed to be the only book that all schools of economics revere. In it, I discovered little known views and insights of Smith, including that government debts and deficits are ordinarily not a problem, and his prediction that capitalism would lead us to a world of “universal opulence.”
I edited the book, New Money for a New World, which defines complementary “currencies of abundance” and how they can solve major, seemingly intractable problems.
But that wasn’t enough. I realized that we actually need a societal reboot. From 2012–2015, I researched and then wrote — with essential help from my wife Jennifer — A Celebration Society. It offers an evidence-based scaffolding and proposal for achieving a society of sustainable technological abundance.
The 2017 Eclipse Watershed
Down through the ages, many who have experienced a total solar eclipse have called it a watershed event in their lives. The 2017 US eclipse was no different for Jonathan (who was there in person) and Michael (who was there in spirit). Both of us were in awe that — volumetrically — 64 million moons can fit inside the sun. Despite it’s size, when it’s perfectly aligned, the moon can turn day into night — as well as inspire millions around the world. Little things, when fully aligned, can have a major impact.
The profound alignment of the work of many social activists — albeit from different angles — as well as the emergence of new technologies that can help solve global challenges is happening right now. However, most initiatives operate in silo’s. What is needed is a global initiative that weaves together the threads of each individual solution to create a rich tapestry of new possibilities. Project 2030 is that initiative.
How We Will Generate Income
The long term vision of Project 2030 includes an entirely new currency which incentivises regenerative rather than extractive behaviour. You can read more about our unique revenue model here and our Universal Abundance Income here. In the short term, however, there is a need to cover the not-insignificant expenses required to make Phase 1 a reality.
Our short term revenue roadmap is focussed on the 1st Reboot Humanity Symposium, to be held in a luxury, private, tented safari in South Africa. The Symposium is an exclusive gathering of 500 of the world’s social and tech innovators for a week of deliberation and decision-making, culminating in the birthing of a new social contract on 02/02/2020. The entire event will be live-streamed to the public and the public will be exposed to true participative democracy by being able to influence the policies debated.
The lead-up to the Symposium will include the largest online marketing and education campaign ever attempted, in which we plan to inform and educate at least 1bn individuals on the need for a new social contract. During the campaign we will generate a minimum of $325m revenue, through crowdfunding and the sale of digital products. Financing for the project will be transparent and anyone will be able to see how the funds are generated and used.
The safari operator, location and dates have been secured. The marketing team has been identified, with tentative agreement provided, subject to negotiation of details.
Similar gatherings of national leaders to steer humanity’s future already occur. However, there are several key differences between the Symposium and existing policy gatherings:
- It is unlikely that government officials will attend, since we intend transcending government rather than transforming it;
- Few religious leaders will attend;
- All sessions will be live-streamed for the public;
- Citizens of every nation will actively participate in development of the agenda and topics for discussion and debate;
- Proceedings will be an extravagant celebration, rather than dry policy deliberations. Since our envisioned society will emphasize fun, so too will this event — and the other events to follow.
Who We Will Collaborate With
We intend operating the Symposium under the banner of The Next System Project, an “established, multi-year initiative aimed at thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades.” Project 2030 will simply extend their initiative to a global focus.
We have already identified over 300 supportive individuals and groups active in new economics, ecology, technology, culture design, societal reform, systems thinking, peak performance, consciousness and movement building. These and many more will be invited to the Symposium.
Our Hopes for the Future
1. Blockchain-Driven Distributed Direct Democracy
The Internet irreversibly changed society. Right now, a new technology is emerging that could have a greater impact on society than even the Internet did: blockchains and more specifically distributed ledgers. It is early days and the industry has many lessons to learn, but the vision of a blockchain-driven society is supported by many. Bettina Warburg explains why in this 15-minute TED talk:
Designing a social contract built on blockchain (Distributed Direct Democracy) — which removes mistake-prone, corruptible middlemen — is a required first step to solving today’s Grand Challenges.
Ultimately we envision a world in which all governance and economies are powered by distributed ledgers. A built-in societal and individual feedback loop will measure the extent of celebration and quality-of-life measurements, which are our indicators of societal success. Central to this vision is a private Human Unique Identifier, or as Michael calls it, the Whole Person Index.
2. Celebration Societies
With a workable Distributed Direct Democracy platform built, we envision existing societies choosing to become Celebration Societies, as envisioned in A Celebration Society.
We hope that this decision will be driven by excitement rather than desperation. However, if existing societies fail to address the looming mega-crisis of technological unemployment, we intend to show them a viable alternative.
3. Circular Celebration Cities
Like the founder of The Venus Project, Jacques Fresco, we believe that it would be far easier and would require less energy to build new, efficient cities than to attempt to update and solve the problems of the old ones. We believe that the present state and aims of architecture need to be redefined, as envisioned to fit the evolving needs of individuals in a Celebration Society. We consider the architecture of a circular city to be most appropriate and we envision building the first of these cities, using 3D printing, hemp, bamboo, and other advanced construction materials and techniques, by 2030. A location for the initial community has already been identified.
4. A Peaceful World
We firmly believe that total world peace is achievable, however not under the current social contract. Project 2030 lays the groundwork for a world at peace.
Historically, most wars have been fought over resource shortages. In an attainable world of effectively unlimited material abundance — based on provable supplies of clean energy, cleanly extracted and recycled raw materials, and software, which we call the “Three Pillars of Abundance” — we can provide for everyone’s basic needs through automation, with most luxuries soon to follow.
Even the catastrophe of WWII might have been averted, had a little-known experiment in two towns in Germany and Austria been allowed to flourish.
Meet the team, see our revenue model or find out what makes this project different. If you’re skeptical, good — it means you’re thinking critically. Our Frequently Asked Questions may allay some of your skepticism.