My story begins in a converted school bus on a residential street in Vancouver, Canada. It weaves through intentional community, meditation, homesteading, and software development, and arrives at Internet of Humans through three volunteer projects that all come from different angles on this question: how can we use technology to build smarter, more collectively intelligent patterns for systemic change?
Through a project I started a couple of years ago, currently called the Collective Intelligence Network (http://collectiveintelligence.ca), I’m trying to make sense of the disciplinary silos of research that use the term “collective intelligence”, find common threads, and identify ways that the best of what we’ve learned about cooperation can be embedded in technology.
On a more concrete level, in co-operation with The Open Coop in London, I’m building a protocol and code for organizations to share information about themselves that can be automatically assembled into maps and directories to make movements visible. The aim is to get beyond the multiple, overlapping, incomplete and difficult-to-maintain maps of organizations like co-ops or ecovillages, and create a way for those nodes to very easily host structured data about themselves on their own web sites. Data can be crawled and aggregated, based on filter criteria, so that directories and maps can be built and updated from the authoritative source of the nodes themselves. We’re starting with existing data specifications (Schema.org) and the most widely-available web technologies, and plan to launch a prototype next month.
The third project is in the research stage: could we build a mutual-credit digital currency that would support economic solidarity among next-economy organizations and individuals, outside the tilted playing field of debt-based money?
All three of these projects are motivated by the sense that the possibility to create a different world – or play a different game – exists in the spaces and connections among us. Many of those connections are mediated by technology. Can we build technology that fits the infinite game of regenerative life?
A hurdle that both motivates and hampers these projects is the nature of our economy. In an economic system that rewards the externalization of costs, that is predicated on competition, and that is destroying ecological and human potential, what tools can we use to leverage the benefits of doing things differently into economic viability and abundance?
And, personally, what tools can I use to be able to work on things that matter and still eat?
Looking forward to the conversations!