I've been developing a social innovation platform that can potentially enable us to self-organize and replicate the most effective ideas for social change that are already working in different regions around the world, without (unreasonably) waiting around for a few dozen politicians to fix all of the world's problems for us.
Here is a preview of the next steps, complete with visual images: Free wireframes to create a free world
"But aren't you worried that someone will steal your idea?"
No. In fact, I am encouraging you to do so. I'm about to say something that will likely be considered sacrilegious to some: My primary desired outcome from the work I do during my brief time on this planet is not to purchase luxury items for myself, it's to solve problems that cause suffering for billions of fellow human beings. I've tried both, and I've found that the latter makes me infinitely more fulfilled; both through the people I meet, and the things I do on a day-to-day basis.
If you have the talent, resources, and desire to build this type of platform independently faster than I can, you should. In fact, I will even help you promote it.
A new paradigm that encourages open innovation and minimizes competitive waste will accelerate the process of solving the biggest challenges we face as a species; which, in the long run, will improve life for all of us. We've created these problems collectively, and perhaps we'd do a better job of solving them by working together collectively as well.
What we need is a cultural shift. There is an old quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery that comes to mind:
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood, and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
The biggest untapped resource we have on this planet is human potential.
The solutions we create need to go beyond facts and figures. They have to move and inspire people to want to become a part of something bigger than themselves -- and to do that, we need to focus on what really drives human behavior. What is it deep down that we're all really longing for beyond the cars and the clothes?
We have to make it fun, edgy, and exciting for people to get involved. We also need to make people aware that wealth, fame, and power are not the surefire keys to happiness. If you don't believe me, and need proof of this, just take a look at the cover of any of the gossip magazines at your local supermarket.
There's something much deeper that we want out of life. Beyond a certain threshold of basic survival necessities, we have a primal desire to develop strong community ties and spiritual connections with other living beings, and to self-actualize in order to make the most of our potential. By looking deeper than the surface level and realizing this, we can find new ways to work together to make life better for all of us.
Now, to the important question: How can we accelerate this process, and guarantee that all of our biggest societal problems are addressed; rather than failing and heading towards a path of self-destruction for our species?
The answer is that we can't guarantee anything. But focusing on the things that are out of our control or getting pessimistic about it are not useful, because by being idle we become part of the reason why things aren't improving. If we all used our amazingly innovative minds to constantly improve upon each other's ideas, rather than trying to list 101 reasons why something is impossible, just imagine how much faster we would improve our world.
If the people who invented radio waves, airplanes, and every other great creation in human history spent all day arguing with others about why their inventions weren't insane instead of just taking action, we'd still be in the Stone Age.
We have much more power to change things than we realize.
For the next year, I'm going to be walking from Canada to Mexico to build support for community incubator programs to begin tackling some of the biggest issues we face (poverty, homelessness, underemployment) in cities along the way, and I am encouraging others who strongly believe in taking action to come get involved. More info was covered in this nationally televised interview on Breaking the Set (starts at 6:50).
It's true, you or I cannot fix the problems alone; but if we can get enough people to truly care, believe, and (the hardest part of all) change our behaviors and lifestyles, then we absolutely can.
Alternatively, we can point fingers and argue in comment sections all our lives. But don't send me an invite, because I won't be attending. It's bad for time management purposes, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life in general. In other words, it's a lose-lose scenario all around.
Creating paradigm shifting ideas that make life better for everyone is simply more enjoyable. There's much work to be done. Let's get started.