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Principled Societies Project

Empowering Individuals, Organizations, and Communities to Solve Problems That Matter

Solving Problems That Matter

Our mission is to empower individuals, organizations, and communities to solve or successfully address problems that matter. What are problems that matter? Communities worldwide face a mix of specific challenges, including:

  • Climate change
  • Joblessness
  • Pollution
  • Income inequality
  • Excess disease
  • Biodiversity loss

Organizations and individuals face their own kinds of specific challenges, like budget shortfalls and decisions about careers and health. More generally, however, problems that matter are the ones that directly relate to core human needs.

Figure 1 illustrates a general, idealized group problem-solving process. Learning occurs as the process cycles. A more complete description is provided in an article.

problem-solving process, summary
Figure 1. Overview of the group problem-solving process

As tagged in the figure, social choice systems (A through D) are the components of the group problem-solving process that are amenable to design (the components that can be intentionally altered by humans). If these components are well designed and well integrated, the problem-solving process is likely functional. If not, the process could be dysfunctional and problems could go unsolved.

For communities and societies, primary social choice (sub)systems include portions of economic, governance, and legal systems, broadly defined.

We focus on social choice systems at the community level. But to give a flavor of what they can entail, the social choice system pertaining to the Legislative Branch of the US government includes Congress itself and how its members are elected. It also includes the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control, and every other agency that collects or models data to aid Congress in decision-making. Further, it includes the process by which money influences the decisions of Congress.

Among the most important components of any social choice system are the conceptual models and worldviews upon which its design is based.

How We Empower

We innovate any and all aspects of social choice systems that are available for innovation. In particular, we research and develop information, decision-making, and computational models, applications, and systems that can aid individuals, organizations, and communities in problem solving. We also integrate these into comprehensive, flexible, open-source problem-solving platforms. We provide products and services to clients based on what we develop.

For example, we develop a suite of computational models to forecast the burdens of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other preventable diseases and conditions, for small areas (like zip codes), based on small-area socioeconomic, environmental, lifestyle, and other factors. These models can be used for budgetary or planning purposes, business decisions, and to explore community interventions that might improve public health and wellbeing.

As another example, we develop fundamentally new economic system designs, as flexible platforms, intended for implementation at the community level via volunteer civic clubs. These function in parallel with existing systems, as a type of overlay. A prototype is the LEDDA framework.

Our initial simulation model of an idealized LEDDA illustrates how it eliminates poverty in a US county and more than doubles the mean family income of participants, regardless of work status. The unemployment rate drops to one percent. One can think of the LEDDA framework as providing a novel, alternative version of a rising minimum wage and a rising basic income, plus all the benefits of economic democracy.

We have a start, as evidenced by the articles, models, and other materials on this website. And we have other preliminary models that are not yet described here. But the bulk of the work remains, awaiting funding. To see where we are going, read our blog articles. More information about products and services, including a grant and social investor slide deck, is on the Socio prospectus Program page.

Take Our Wellbeing Surveys

Like your job? Hate it? Too much stress in your life? Life too boring? Frustrated with the government or economy? We want to know! Please take our wellbeing surveys. Your responses help us understand current levels of wellbeing and your views on existing and desired social choice systems. This is an opportunity to tell your story. Results will be summarized on this website and/or in scientific papers, media articles, and elsewhere. Please take all four surveys, and encourage friends and colleagues to do the same. Each survey has about 50 questions.

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Survey #1: Home Life
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Survey #2: Work Life
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Survey #3: Health
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Survey #4: Governance and Economic Systems

Fractal globe image by Fdecomite