Hello Edgeryders community! I am so glad to have found you. I was sent a link to your call to action on the Fellowship application on a day or so ago so I apologise firstly for the late submission and secondly for the long post. Although it’s late I still feel it’s important to post this and become a member of your community. I also hope that any conversations continue and won’t stop on the deadline today though if they do I look forward to discovering more about the community and I’m looking forward to engaging in other conversations too.
Innovation and technology progression usually means bigger is better but bigger also comes with greater energy demands So how are we as humans expected to survive in a world already suffering from the demands on its finite resources?
The impact to the planet is also causing a greater intolerance to our neighbours. We find ourselves amidst increasing far-right views driven by fear of an uncertain future that is dependent on our precious dwindling resources.
In my opinion the two real threats to humanity are our disregard for the environment and our disregard for each other. Most individuals wouldn’t argue this yet help isn’t coming from the places that could make the most difference.
For example, The UK Government want the shiny new technologies - they think 5G, AI and blockchain will secure an economy by attracting global industry to UK shores but it’s a misconception that this will solve any problems, all it does is create more. They’re sold the ideas from capitalist machinery that operates without any regards for humanity, and they don’t have the means or will to challenge what they are being sold. They don’t want to think differently, they want to be told how to think.
The world is being nurtured on capitalist values; scaling vertically, making things bigger can only result in a survival of the fittest or a type of natural selection where those creating these changes consider themselves to be the fittest. The help isn’t coming from those who could help the most and it won’t. It’s up to us.
We need to do more with less and we need to innovate to do this. We need to challenge the general material and consumer driven values and demonstrate that the likes of health, community and purpose have more meaning and reward.
Because I have worked at the level of very overarching questions I need to be careful not to just reframe the question of how we make a more human-centric internet. If I try to be more specific I would frame this as:
What technology innovations (infrastructure/hardware/software) could be invested in to ensure that we reduce the demands on natural resources to sustainable levels whilst we enable humanity to thrive and live harmoniously alongside each other? And how do we make whatever solution so attractive that it is readily adopted by society at scale?
Maybe this question is too broad - a rather random set of considerations include: cheap to build low-powered devices and networks, technology that lasts many years rather than just a few, tech investment decisions based on human-centric standards, personal data pods and distributed applications, cooperatives, skills trades, collective action and intelligence, altering value systems, building sustainable local communities.
I propose to work with a team to explore this question in detail or to join in with a team who are already exploring elements of this. The work may be to bring together disparate work into a consolidated package and to design an attractive and scalable product that could be readily adopted by society and easily incorporated into peoples lives.
For me the fellowship would integrate me into a community that appears to be directly addressing the concerns I’ve been trying to address in the wrong places. The financial element would allow me to dedicate time to the questions that this campaign has raised. I’m on a sabbatical from the UK Government, I feel like a student at the moment - the intention is to find the communities, movements and causes that can I fully get behind and collaborate with on this type of work.