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Introduction

1008 Worlds

The mul­ti­ple Earths on this catalog’s cov­er were envi­sioned by a machine asked to imag­ine what the Earth looks like. No two are exact­ly alike. Every shift­ing cloud and con­ti­nent depicts a dif­fer­ent iter­a­tion of how the Earth could be.

The ways we build our world each day are sim­i­lar­ly dynam­ic. Every deci­sion made, no mat­ter how triv­ial, branch­es into end­less poten­tial paths. More pos­si­bil­i­ties exist for our Earth’s future than any one per­son could come up with alone. Some paths will lead us to a world ruled by love and dig­ni­ty, where life flour­ish­es. Oth­er worlds will dif­fer still. Some will see us sep­a­rate into oppos­ing sides and destroy our­selves, while oth­ers will see us work togeth­er, ready to explore the cos­mos. Many more future worlds remain dor­mant, until we bring them to life.

Which world will you choose to help cre­ate?

Trained on 14,142 images from https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/ using Style­GAN. With spe­cial thanks to Gene Kogan.

Categories
Introduction

Our mission and invitation to every reader

The focus of this ­cat­a­log is to show­case a vision for human­i­ty, and our world, to arrive at by the year 2050. To achieve this vision, and to break from many of the harm­ful trends of today, we believe our think­ing needs to become more imag­i­na­tive, more dar­ing, and more ­embold­ened.

While the fol­low­ing sec­tions will offer infor­ma­tion about inspir­ing peo­ple, col­lec­tives, and events we believe are pos­i­tive­ly shap­ing the future, this com­pendi­um is not com­plete or exhaus­tive. Every­thing is always chang­ing, espe­cial­ly con­duits of inspi­ra­tion. The infor­ma­tion in the cat­a­log rep­re­sents what we have the capac­i­ty to see and explain at this present moment. As always, and as with every­thing, this infor­ma­tion is ever evolv­ing…

To help pro­mote think­ing along these lines and reclaim inno­va­tion as a fun­da­men­tal human abil­i­ty, this cat­a­log con­tains sys­tem the­o­ries, regen­er­a­tive prin­ci­ples, and insights from our col­lec­tive expe­ri­ence and per­spec­tives accrued over decades work­ing in the inno­va­tion busi­ness sec­tor. Beyond our pro­fes­sion­al back­grounds, we are gath­ered as con­cerned world cit­i­zens in con­ver­sa­tion around how to do bet­ter by one anoth­er and our plan­et. To this effect, we set out to describe what the roots of mass trans­for­ma­tion look like in 2019, how these con­di­tions mir­ror oth­er epochs, and how con­di­tions for change might grow in detail, dimen­sion and scale by 2050.

As indi­vid­u­als with our own his­to­ries, pro­cliv­i­ties, and ener­gies, we are aware of the lim­i­ta­tions in our per­spec­tives. Yet as a group com­mit­ted to address the effects of glob­al issues we run up against every day, we feel well posi­tioned to assem­ble our research around alter­na­tive prac­tices we find inspir­ing, diverse ways of prob­lem-solv­ing, and what we believe are the key ingre­di­ents to a just, sus­tain­able and cre­ative future.

As the authors of this text, our intent is to share ideas on top­ics of inter­est with­in our stu­dios and fos­ter dia­logue with our friends, fam­i­ly, col­leagues, chil­dren, or any­one who wish­es to com­mu­ni­cate per­spec­tives on life and our chang­ing world. The sub­sec­tions of these pages hope to enliv­en dis­cus­sion around the loose def­i­n­i­tions of inno­va­tion, and how this human fac­ul­ty for imag­i­na­tive, rad­i­cal change can dri­ve us for­ward. We are writ­ing this cat­a­log as a response to dehu­man­iza­tion, defor­esta­tion, and degra­da­tion every­where, as much as to add our voic­es to the call for de-com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion, de-enclo­sure, and de-growth.

We believe that human­i­ty already pos­sess­es many of the tools, knowhow and capa­bil­i­ties for choos­ing inclu­sive and regen­er­a­tive solu­tions that can be used to tack­le the sys­temic prob­lems we face on this plan­et. We believe we need to rec­og­nize humanity’s amaz­ing abil­i­ties, as well as under­stand where we’ve gone wrong, and the chal­lenges we’re up against. By doing this, we can begin to restore rela­tion­ships between peo­ple and plan­et by lever­ag­ing our abil­i­ty to inno­vate and align our activ­i­ties with uni­ver­sal laws of nature. We must acknowl­edge that sol­i­dar­i­ty and mass mobi­liza­tion is the linch­pin of change, and draw upon prin­ci­ples and pat­terns that have the pow­er to uni­fy. We must depart from a hos­tile sta­tus quo and move bold­ly into more uplift­ing soci­etal agree­ments. At that point, we can apply our lessons, expe­ri­ences, and col­lec­tive knowl­edge to rebuild alter­nate sys­tems that allow us to live lives of pas­sion and authen­tic­i­ty. In this way, we will cre­ate ide­al con­di­tions to expan­sive­ly explore our universe—from our most inner to our far­thest out­er spaces—together.

Our inten­tion is to tell a sto­ry about what we believe con­sti­tutes pos­i­tive change. We want to explore a dar­ing spec­trum of pos­si­bil­i­ties that can start to chip away at a malig­nant sys­tem and —more importantly—strengthen sys­tems that pri­or­i­tize thriv­ing life. The sec­tions of this cat­a­log evoke cri­sis and res­o­lu­tion, his­tor­i­cal anec­dotes about rev­o­lu­tion, along with tools, prin­ci­ples, and pat­terns that have served peo­ple and plan­et well over dif­fer­ent loca­tions and var­i­ous ages. Our goal is to acknowl­edge Earth’s sacred capac­i­ty for heal­ing, repair, and renew­al. We believe the best approach we can take is to main­tain an open per­spec­tive and lis­ten to insights from oth­ers who share wis­dom of phe­nom­e­na fun­da­men­tal to inspir­ing sys­temic change. By inte­grat­ing nature’s observ­able and mys­te­ri­ous prin­ci­ples, we can cre­ate a wild­ly pos­i­tive future.

We hope you find the same joy and inspi­ra­tion in read­ing this cat­a­log as we did in com­pil­ing it. Have a won­der­ful jour­ney…

Categories
Introduction

Choose how to read this catalog

Piece by piece, sec­tion by sec­tion, set­tle into a stream and ride the cur­rent, or jump around.
No right or wrong. See where intu­ition takes you, dear read­er.

“In this ide­al text, the net­works are many and inter­act, with­out any of them being able to sur­pass the rest; this text is a galaxy of sig­ni­fiers, not a struc­ture of sig­ni­fieds; it has no begin­ning; it is reversible; we gain access to it by sev­er­al entrances, none of which can be author­i­ta­tive­ly declared to be the main one; the codes it mobi­lizes extend as far as the eye can reach, they are indeterminable…the sys­tem of mean­ing can take over this absolute­ly plur­al text, but their num­ber is nev­er closed, based as it is on the infin­i­ty of lan­guage.” — Roland Barthes, SZ, 1970

The act of read­ing can become an act of writ­ing. As the read­er draws mean­ing from pas­sages, they can infer pos­si­bil­i­ties poten­tial­ly unknown to the authors. When French the­o­rist Roland Barthes dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed between a read­er­ly text and a writer­ly text, he was explain­ing how nar­ra­tives can lend them­selves to inter­pre­ta­tion.

In that open space for explo­ration, we may find our words offer­ing ideas beyond the scope of our own imag­i­na­tion. In writ­ing this cat­a­log, our desire is that each read­er will help bring forth new dis­cov­er­ies and under­stand­ings to the top­ics under con­sid­er­a­tion.

Categories
Introduction

Above all, innovation makes us human

Every­one has val­ue and is a cre­ative force by virtue of one’s very exis­tence.

As a con­cept, inno­va­tion cuts to the core of what makes the human ani­mal so dis­tinc­tive. Inno­va­tion illus­trates how we, as a species, can cre­ate and prob­lem-solve on such mas­sive scales.

From the moment our ear­li­est ances­tors start­ed fash­ion­ing basic tools from the mate­ri­als around them, we began to shape our envi­ron­ments in ways that allowed us to achieve increas­ing­ly com­plex goals. This urge to improve appears to be hard­wired. Bio­log­i­cal­ly, it is thought that we’ve evolved rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle since we began this jour­ney, but our abil­i­ty to inno­vate has man­aged to take us to the stars.

The more imag­i­na­tive we con­tin­ue to become, the more inven­tive and far-out our inno­va­tions might sub­se­quent­ly be. Future solu­tions to cur­rent chal­lenges are sleep­ing with­in us. By ask­ing per­ti­nent ques­tions, prob­ing com­pelling notions, and per­sis­tent­ly press­ing the lim­its of knowl­edge, we can awak­en the beast of inno­va­tion and har­ness its pow­ers for our ele­vat­ed pur­pos­es.

Every­body can inno­vate. All peo­ple have the abil­i­ty to find new and bet­ter ways to solve prob­lems and help one anoth­er live up to our fullest poten­tial. Once all peo­ple have free­dom to do so, we can pre­pare the ground­work for a world that encour­ages the pur­suit of cre­ativ­i­ty across all lay­ers of soci­ety.

Inno­va­tion is every­where, it’s always present. Inno­va­tion thrives in open dis­course. And yet, it’s long been clois­tered off in secre­tive labs that demand con­fi­den­tial­i­ty agree­ments in fear of com­pa­nies los­ing their com­pet­i­tive edge.

This cat­a­log is a response to siloed think­ing and behav­ior. Inno­va­tion in the future has be “out­ward” instead of “inward”. Inno­va­tion for every­one requires imple­ment­ing dri­vers to estab­lish a uni­ver­sal base­line sat­is­fy­ing all lay­ers of Maslow’s Hier­ar­chy of Needs.

The more we real­ize every person’s capac­i­ty for inno­va­tion, the more coop­er­a­tion is pos­si­ble between peo­ple. This is a cru­cial com­po­nent for respond­ing to the mon­u­men­tal chal­lenges inten­si­fy­ing before us. We have to demand that this change hap­pen. The more we refuse to change, the more we stick to our unsus­tain­able mod­els of indus­try, the bet­ter chance we have of lead­ing our­selves some­where dystopi­an. We need to strive for big, bold action that will hap­pen fast. This is a piv­otal time to shift course and self-actu­al­ize on an incred­i­ble scale.we look into this pri­ma­ry rela­tion­ship, the clear­er it is that we still have much fur­ther yet to go.

Categories
Introduction

Whole Innovation Catalog – access to ideas

In the fall of 1968, the first Whole Earth ­Cat­a­log offered a first look at Earth seen from space. The ­catalog’s sub­ti­tle, “access to tools”, sug­gest­ed a wide-­rang­ing scope of ­counter-cul­ture alter­natives to that era’s sta­tus quo.

Fifty years after the Whole Earth Catalog’s first pub­li­ca­tion, we won­der how its themes of ecol­o­gy, self-suf­fi­cien­cy, and holism can be updat­ed to account for the sweep­ing cul­tur­al and polit­i­cal change that has occurred over the inter­ven­ing years. Although some of the con­tent with­in that book may appear quaint in ret­ro­spect, in our minds, much of it should remain rel­e­vant to con­tem­po­rary sen­si­bil­i­ties. Some of the tools from the Whole Earth Cat­a­log include: Geo­des­ic domes for pre-fab shel­ter, veg­e­tar­i­an cook­books for healthy diets, and even ear­ly per­son­al com­put­ers.

Con­verse­ly, the avant-garde tools we’re deal­ing with in our cur­rent cli­mate include: shape-shift­ing / 4D mate­ri­als, auto­mat­ed robot­ics, and inves­ti­ga­tions into AI and quan­tum com­put­ing. Cer­tain as cater­pil­lars con­tin­ue to change into but­ter­flies through meta­mor­pho­sis, so too do we believe inno­va­tion will trans­form dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the com­ing decades. Yet, no mat­ter how advanced our capa­bil­i­ties become, basic tools should not be negat­ed. Ham­mers, fire, wheels. Eye con­tact. Breath­work. These are tools that will nev­er go out of fash­ion.

We believe prac­ti­tion­ers of inno­va­tion will soon begin direct­ing ini­tia­tives to replace the prof­it-dri­ven mod­el. After all, it doesn’t mat­ter how much mon­ey you have when your city is sub­merged by the ris­ing oceans. So we need to see our way beyond the sta­tus quo and make our work as acces­si­ble as pos­si­ble so oth­ers can join forces with us. Inno­va­tion must focus on whole sys­tems, begin­ning with sys­temic issues most in need of revi­sion. Our cat­a­log acts as an inquiry into human-made prob­lems and the prob­a­ble solu­tions we have found thus far. Chang­ing Mat­ter refers to shape-shift­ing pri­or­i­ties, sub­jects of focus, as well as mate­r­i­al con­cerns. We are inspired by the pro­posed abil­i­ty of the mind to direct mat­ter and the poten­tial for humans to respond to our ongo­ing cre­ation of waste with inno­v­a­tive approach­es for renew­al.

We feel our­selves step­ping into change. Our per­spec­tives con­tin­ue to open and syn­chro­nize around new sci­en­tif­ic obser­va­tions and spir­i­tu­al insights which con­tin­ue to con­firm our reliance on the nat­ur­al world. The more we look into this pri­ma­ry rela­tion­ship, the clear­er it is that we still have much fur­ther yet to go.

  1. http://www.wholeearth.com/index.php

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