How to build Utopia: Goodbye nostalgia, hello future!

Be the pebble, make some ripples

Nationalism and nostalgia are evolutionary dead ends

One positive from the pandemic struck me today. We’ve changed. We are focused on the future, the promise of a vaccine, the chance to enjoy and appreciate the things we took for granted just months ago. Think back, think about Trump and his MAGA desire to return to the 1950s. Think Brexit and the Conservatives’ fantasy of a return to the 1930s. Think about all the deluded nationalists around the world. They all want to take us backwards, to some imagined older, ‘better’ time. These are all bankrupt ideologies. But there is a better way…

Climate crisis wake up call

With the western US in flames, each storm seemingly more powerful than the last, and the global oil industry still getting billions in state aid (including from the European Union), the UN Global Goals initiative sums up the current situation perfectly:

Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

Words by Arundhati Roy, UN Global Goals

Tech dystopia is becoming more real every day

The ‘utopia’ of big tech, the surveillance capitalists at Google, Facebook, Microsoft is taking shape at an accelerated pace during this pandemic. It’s actually a dystopia. We are held captive by our smartphones and the social media apps and ‘free’ services that mine our future behaviours, selling our predictability to the highest bidder. This ‘surveillance capitalism’ is a nightmare. In her must-read book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (read our review here), Shoshanna Zuboff outlines the traits that Franz and Fritzie Manuel identified as defining the classic Utopianist. So let’s use them!

How to build Utopia

  1. Simplify the Utopian challenge.
  2. Be an early adopter of the potential for a new state of being.
  3. Obsessively pursue and defend the ideal.
  4. Believe in the inevitability of these ideas coming to fruition.
  5. Drive for total reformation, at species level and the entire world system.
  6. Foresee the evolution and consequences of technological development already present in an embryonic state.

We’re on a mission to build Utopia

Our vision of Utopia includes a carbon-positive economy, based on plants and natural resources instead of oil and guns. We want a world of equals: equal rights, equal opportunities, equal access to education, food, shelter, clean water, sanitation and the internet. Our starting point is the creation of a completely new kind of carbon offset technology, with hemp as its driving force, and a new blockchain green currency and network effect at its heart. We need software engineers, UX designers, partnership builders and storytellers, and investors that want to make huge returns from doing real good. Get in touch today if you want to help build Utopia, and a better tomorrow for everyone.

Read more

Check this excellent fast Company article on how reframing a problem unlocks innovation:

Wiki on Arcadian Utopia:

CNN on job guarantees and free money: ‘Utopian’ ideas tested in Europe as the pandemic gives governments a new role:

Image credits

Thomas Cole‘s The Arcadian or Pastoral State, 1834

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Gary J Byrnes

By Gary J Byrnes

Gary J Byrnes is a bestselling thriller writer by night and a tech marketing guy by day. Extensive international experience in software startups, SMEs and multinationals. Find on LinkedIn. Has researched hemp, climate change for over twenty years. Writer, blogger, parent, animal lover. 2022 is about building a new business model to enable mass planting of hemp through easy carbon offsetting at