Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight: Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

III. Evo Devo Activism (Empowerment Activism)

How do we best advance the Third P, our preference foresight, the one we care the most about in human society? How can we use evo devo models, including the Five Goals and Ten Values, to act in ways that make things better for individuals (empowerment activism) or societies (progress activism)? How do we best resolve our conflicting individual and social agendas, take best advantage of opportunities, steer away from environmental downsides and risks, and manage the downsides and risks in our strategies?

Martin (2007)

Martin (2007)

Evo devo models offer a framework for thinking broadly about normative (values, preferences) foresight, in a wide variety of complex systems. They help us view human social systems from a bigger picture, universal frame. Perhaps their most important benefit, for leaders and foresighters, is their proposal that in all normative, strategic, agenda-setting, activist activities, we will do best to continually keep in mind two fundamental, perennially opposing ways of view the world: evolution and development. Roger Martin’s insightful book on leadership, The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking (2007) makes this point well. All good leaders are constantly keeping multiple opposing viewpoints in mind. The key to adaptive integrative thinking is to make sure those opposing “binaries” are the most important viewpoints. You will have to decide for yourself if these binaries are the best categories you can use to make sense of the world, and generate visions for personal empowerment and social progress.

Evo Devo models offer us two very fundamental process viewpoints on which to build our understanding of adaptation, values, and intelligence. While they are quite preliminary today, I think evo devo models are already useful enough to help guide our activism, and we’ll briefly consider that important emerging topic in this section.

In Chapter 1 we considered the tension between Growth-Innovation-Freedom, and Sustainability-Limits-Rights perspectives, our two current dominant social schools of foresight. We can now understand the universal value of each, when seen in an evo devo frame. As mentioned in that chapter, empowerment foresight and activism, can be understood as a synthesis of these two perspectives, and an emerging third school of foresight and action.

Three Approaches to Social Progress

Three Approaches to Social Progress

When we recognize the exponential power of digital technologies to impact personal and social empowerment, for good or ill, via the twin trends of densification and dematerialization, as in Chapter 7, we get exponential foresight and activism, which seems a very helpful generalization and extension of digital and social empowerment activism. Finally, when we consider how models of complexity and change like the 95/5 Rule, the Three Ps, the Eight Skills, the Five Goals, and the Ten Values, are likely to impact personal and social empowerment, again for good or ill, we arrive at our most broadly useful, specific, and speculative model of all, evo devo foresight and activism. This is the most general model for growing social adaptiveness, and achieving social progress, that we will offer in this Guide. Again, the cartoon at right summarizes these three models of normative (vision and values-based) foresight and action. We hope they are at least somewhat useful in your own journey to understand where the world is going, and how to best create social progress.

Beyond recognizing the unique power of digital technologies to improve lives, we can help our clients to better see and use accelerating D&D technologies wisely, to help us be more healthy, wealthy, evidence-based, and self-actualized. We can ensure everyone has their fair share of accelerating technical productivity via social safety nets and entitlements that rise directly with the exponential capabilities of our machines. We can ensure we make nanotechnology, hardware, software, and smart agents that defend and promote our values and serve us well. Finally, we can look to models like evo devo foresight to guide our activism.

There are many other tensions about which exponential and evo devo foresight can inform us, and spur us to action. All of this activism involves conflict, and the conviction that we are doing the right thing.

Some of the positions I’ll advocate now may not be something you can easily convince others of, especially if they are not acceleration- or evo devo-oriented in their thinking. But figuring out your own position, and where the world is going and wants to go, whether you want it to or not, is the foundation of evo devo activism. The better we understand the probable future, the better we can steer toward our own preferable futures within the constraint of the probable.

What others are most willing to hear, in order to join your cause, and the best ways you can approach them, is a separate issue we won’t address here. All activists must find out the most practical and yet ethical ways to drive change themselves, as they engage in their important work. But effective activism and leadership always starts with figuring out what most needs to be done.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice