Director of Startup Cities Institute @ UFM. Political complexity, entrepreneurship, education, urbanism and development.
re intro’d to Zach here:
Why Social Technology Will Eliminate Poverty In The 21st Century
the fundamental paradox of the modern world… the central issue… someone can have nothing yet have a smart phone.. and yet be treated w … no dignity… a bizarre puzzle… ultimately has to do w tech.. but not as traditionally understood
3 min – meriam’s paradox… two world’s of tech 1\ physical 2\ social… (law governance institutions rules)… one progresses on does not…
may seem strange to call these things social tech – but ultimately social tech are tech… law/governance shares same essence w computers/cameras/smart phones..
4 min – tech is a programming of nature – that’s its heart. tech takes some kind of natural phenom.. gravity/electricity and directs it toward some kind of purpose… it programs nature.. by taking some kind of process and putting it toward a goal that the human sets for that piece of tech… ie: flashlight….
5 min – this is the power of mother nature in your hand.. but structured by human creativity… harder to see.. but this is exactly same thing that happens in social techs in law/governance. … the way we organize ourselves… the rules/processes/norms.. that make social coop possible…
some trivial – rive on left/right side of road… some important.. innocent till proven guilty… ultimately all these things are ways of programming human behavior towards goal of org… we program ourselves w social tech…
6 min – ebay’s rep system, democracy, corp hierarchy.. all are ways of structuring human behavior towards some kind of goal.. also a programming of nature..
on one hand… physical/social tech treated very differently… physical runs on experimentation… in social tech … we have politics.. slow… almost completely opposed to experimentation…
7 min – they say you should work on what keeps you up at night.. the question that torments me… what if we could innovate w/same intensity/effective ness that we do with physical tech with social tech.. in other words.. what if politics could progress at the pace of tech…
possible but requires:
1\ acknowledge that law/governance is tech...
this is the leap that makes all the rest possible… politics is no longer this big monolithic elite thing… that no one can do anything about.. it’s just social tech.. it’s just another world of tech… and everyone knows that tech can be innovated.. it’s a collab project that everyon can be involved in.. take social tech off its pedestal
2\ commit to extreme humility in anything we do in social tech..
social prolbem are insanely complicated… ie; orphans, corruption, elections/laws/regulations that don’t work… nightmare of systemic complexity.. there is no silver bullets..
to get to innovation.. need to build something analogous to start up culture in politics…ie: philosophy of – really uncertain about future…..s o.. we need lots of people trying lots of new things all over the place… why… because we don’t know who’s going to be right..
10 min – that’s based on humility in the face of complexity… esp looking into the future..
3\some practical way of doing this in the real world..
possible… using a tool called… start up cities… designed from very beginning to pilot new approaches to human community…. to social tech…… new ways of organizing ourselves…. that’s a big category… could be in urban design… anti corruption… .. we need a vehicle to try them out…
how feasible is this… to start from scratch.. or to use existing communities…very… because all of these small units are already there… small units w some degree of autonomy….
perhaps better off from scratch (not bagging history/culture.. but getting back to what is really us)
12 min – we don’t need anything new to do this.. all we need.. is to expand… the scope that these zones/municipalities enjoy.. to go and try out ever new things.. to push out that frontier in social tech..
broad outline of a very big idea…
most of all… human creativity is the ultimate resource… and what is so lacking….
start up cities aren’t a final answer… they’re a system for searching for answers… that’s the calling…
startup cities (institute) site: