Until very recent history innovation has pretty much kept reasonable pace with capability and capacity. Recently the discrepancy between what has been possible and what is being achieved has been widening more and more. Now we are in a world of boundless possibility with the realization that we are under performing as a species to a significant degree.
No reason for world hunger to still exist.
There is no reason that stem cell therapy should not be eradicating disease already.
No reason that we should not already be an interplanetary species.
These are all complete failures of the human race. Nothing less.
Abundance used to be what humanity would strive for when the benefits were not even all that apparent. Now it seems to be resisted at every turn when benefits are immediately apparent. Entrenched industries being disrupted left and right is a side effect of how long overdue change is. Little more than a bit of imagination, some tech savvy, and a little hard work has been disintegrating the status quo for the last decade.
It is actually pretty difficult to quantify how much progress was lost throughout human history because of ignorance and resistance to change, but ANY amount was tantamount to nothing short of a tragedy.
What can we do as a people to minimize the loss of progress from this point forward?
There is no imminent problem that we do not have the tools to solve at this point. Our level of capability from a creativity, knowledge, resources, and needs perspective is at a surplus.
Students seeking degrees in the sciences is on the rise!! No single sentence has ever given me more hope for the future. The level of progress that we have achieved as a society has been achieved by the tiny percentage of science minded individuals among us. If this trend continues it will be inevitable that every aspect of life on earth (and beyond) will be improved significantly in the near future. Progress has been built upon the foundation of transferable knowledge. The written and spoken word all the way through to the information age has been little more than tiny layer upon layer of added knowledge and then the expression of the knew thoughts and ideas that emerge from it.
Historically a lot of discovery and progress was achieved, knowingly or unknowingly, as seed investing for future generations. Gorilla glass was invented a generations prior to the smart phone making it ubiquitous. Countless examples exist for this type of situation. Where a discovery was made but practical uses for it would be years away. We are not as severely confined to this timeline progression anymore. We are in the midst of an era where the distance ideas have to travel from the realm of science fiction to culturally irrelevant is very short. We are on the path to shorten that timeline from idea to distribution effectively to zero. Ideas will be able to be created with AI, AR, and then rapid prototyped on home 3D printers with the ease that you could type and print a document today. So the manufacturing stream of the very near future is going to be done in home or even in-situ.
So what will it take to align our progress with our capabilities? What will it take to optimize innovation? In “Ideas and Opinions” Einstein speaks of the need to remove obstacles from the path of creativity and discovery. Freedom to explore ideas is the most powerful ingredient to progress. Throughout all but the most recent portions of human history there has been a pervasive fear and beliefs in mythology that has hamstrung progress in the sciences for more time than it has not. How do we balance this? How do we usher in the next phase of scientific progress? How do we bridge the gaps between the sciences and create a global (and beyond) community that fosters progress and triumph for humanity? Ultimately how do we align our capabilities with our performance?
Cooperation and pressure in the pursuit of magnificent goals.
This is the strategy that got us to the moon. This is the strategy that precipitated the greatest achievements in human history. This is the strategy that will align the capabilities of our collective human race with the next wave of solutions to humanities biggest problems.
Alignment and cooperation is a strategy that can result in the largest possible benefit for the largest possible amount of the world. The resources are available. Both to accomplish any goal set forth while at the same time giving the following generations the biggest head start possible so that they can do the same, so on and so forth. Maximizing the compound interest returned on our investment into ourselves and our planet.
I imagine a trend where the largest companies in the world begin making it a priority to amplify their positive impact, and the awareness of the impact, on the world as a whole. Not only companies but all institutions. Hospitals and militaries as well. Any entity with the resources and personnel will always find acceptance and longevity making investments into the future of all humankind.
I think it is an absolute necessity to shift the focus of all societies to a more connected, positive paradigm. It always puzzles me when I find out that there are massive charitable organizations that nobody has ever heard of but if a Kardashian puts out a new book or has a baby, everyone knows about it in real time!!! This in and of itself should be ample motivation to realign the priorities of society. There are massive forces for good at work that can be 10X’d if the public connection to them was amplified. It is a tragedy that the knowledge of these forces contributions have to be pursued when the latest fodder on TMZ spreads like the flu. Everyone knows the second McDonald’s has a new dollar menu item but the actions of the Ronald McDonald house?? sorry, you are going to have to dig for that. There are a class of mutual funds identified as “social” funds. These are funds that consist of companies that have met certain criteria of social responsibility. You would be shocked at the companies that meet this standard and how drastically their social reputation is in opposition to this achievement. Companies that have an image that is either disconnected from social responsibility or are perceived as socially irresponsible are often found on these indexes. It baffles me that this is not a priority for them to have these actions as part of their public image as their product.
The previous rant was simply some of the thoughts that catalyzed the dream of OneGen.
Morgan Freeman’s character in Shawshank Redemption had a very powerful line in reference to “time and pressure”. Few things are unable to be achieved when put under these conditions. I think there is massive value in applying time and pressure to situations in an effort to inspire and accelerate their achievement. There is absolutely zero reason that humanities greatest problems cannot be effectively eliminated in one generation.
That is the vision statement for OneGen- to align the capabilities of humanity with its accomplishments. Ruthlessly pursue knowledge and solve the worlds problems in systematic fashion. Nobody in the world is doing the best they can, we can and must do better.
Examples of possible OneGen projects:
How do we raise the collective IQ (ability to consume and process knowledge and form, articulate, and execute on intelligible thoughts and ideas) and EQ (empathy, compassion, kindness, and patience) of humanity?
How do we achieve a zero waste world?
How do we raise the standard of living of the entire world to above anything resembling poverty?
How do we stop people from ever getting cancer (or any disease?)
How do we develop the technologies to free us from energy dependence?
How do we remove the risk of fatality from as much of daily life as possible?
If we use a format where we think through grand scale solutions to their end, then we are automatically left with a picture to simply reverse engineer into a step by step guide to solving these issues. This is my action plan for OneGen. To tap into as much knowledge and expertise as possible to form strategic road maps for moonshot achievements to be accomplished as fast as possible.
When teams begin work on a project, shared progress will be reviewed to see where opportunities for cooperation emerge. Strategic alliances will be compound the likelihood of success. Personal gain and ambition will have to be sidelined for these projects as the achievement needs to be the reward, that way prize money can instead be used to fund and accelerate the projects.