I submitted an earlier version of this proposal as part of an application to be a Singularity University Impact Fellow. The current draft is slightly expanded for clarity, but is still a first shot at how S4S Associates might act as to bridge the eight areas identified on this site and influence public policies. Comments and Discussion are most welcomed.
The Sufficiency4Sustainability (S4S) network (www.sufficiency4sustainability.org) is a new organization founded in May 2017. The Network is a virtual one, created on and operating over the Internet, promoting awareness, education, activities, and policy formation by connecting thought leaders in eight fields:
1. Sustainability (economic, social, political and ecological dimensions),
2. Exponential technologies,
3. Artificial intelligence (AI),
4. Sufficiency (enough for all),
5. Universal/unconditional basic income (UBI),
6. Other public policies (especially fiscal policies),
7. Changing values, and
8. alternative economics.
While these fields are interconnected, they are not always perceived as so. Hence the S4S network effort to promote thought, research, and policy formation across them.
S4S Network Background and rationale
How are these fields connected? For example, exponential technologies may be seen as promoting abundance without regard to the ecological constraints emphasized by ecological economists, yet these technologies offer the best opportunity to alleviate such constraints, e.g. by finding substitutes for scarce natural resources, developing renewable and non-polluting energy sources, and creating important medical advances. But these technologies are also likely to destroy more jobs than they create and further concentrate income and wealth, hence the need to consider such policies such as UBI to separate a minimum income from the need for work paying enough to live and more progressive tax systems to finance UBI and curb over-consumption. As writers such as Jane Mayer (Dark Money) and Robert Reich (Capitalism for the Many, Not the Few) have pointed out, current trends favor further concentration of income and wealth. The political consequences of these trends are increasing populism and authoritarianism around the world, undermining democracy.
This project will result in production of a 50-minute TV program and a book, both with the provisional title The Sufficiency and Sustainability Challenges.
· Network building – recruitment of key thought leaders: May 2017-October 2017
· Video interviews by local producers of key thought leaders using a common format, emphasizing the connections between the eight fields: November 2017-May 2018
· Recruitment of chapter writers for a book (initial drafts to be presented in an international conference): November 2017-December 2017
· International conference of thought leaders with contributed papers in the eight fields emphasizing the connections between them: June 2018
· Preparation of a high-production-value TV program based on the video interviews and conference: July 2018-November 2018
· Preparation of a book drawing on the papers prepared for the conference: July-December 2018
Estimated resources and budget
· S4S Coordinator professional time without pay for the duration of the project
· Needed financial resources
o Travel to conferences, website, coordination, and fund-raising expenses: $15,000, beginning with website and participation in the Basic Income Earth Network Congress in Lisbon, September 25-29, 2017
o Video interviews by professional teams recruited locally, 16 interviews @ $5000 = $80,000
o International conference (possible venues include Singularity University and Fernand Braudel Institute of World Economics) expenses for organization and travel of key participants: $150,000
o TV program of approximately 50-minutes (allowing time for advertising, one-hour slot) TV Program (B-Roll footage, professional editing, limited additional shooting, including at international conference) $50,000
o Book preparation: Honoraria for sixteen authors @$3000 = $48,000
Total rough estimate of needed financial support: $343,000 for the full project to be sought from foundations, crowdsourcing, and other sources