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Principled Societies Project

Facilitating Societal Cognition

Science-Driven R&D on New Societal Systems

Climate change, biodiversity loss, income and wealth inequality, soil degradation, groundwater depletion, and other interrelated social and environmental problems pose grave risks to societies. Although these problems are old and well understood, progress so far has been incremental and insufficient. As a result scientists, global policy experts, and the general public increasingly call for bold change across all sectors of society. At least two kinds of bold change are conceivable, both of which target core societal systems (e.g., economic, legal, education, analytic, finance, and governance systems) and/or their institutions, policies, rules, and priorities:

  1. Reform of and innovation within existing systems (for example, various Green New Deal programs)
  2. Transformation, understood as the de novo development of and migration to new, improved societal systems.

The focus of the Principled Societies Project is on #2, transformation. Reform is viewed as an important and necessary complement. John Boik, founder of Principled Societies Project, has proposed a science-driven (evidence-based) R&D program to design, test, and implement new societal systems that can better serve the common good.


A society can be viewed as a superorganism that expresses an intrinsic purpose of achieving and maintaining vitality. The core systems of a society can be viewed as that society's cognitive architecture. It is the formal means by which a society senses, learns, remembers, makes decisions, and adapts to changing conditions. The goal of the R&D program is to develop new, integrated systems that better facilitate societal cognition (i.e., learning, decision making, and adaptation). Our major unsolved problems, like climate change and biodiversity loss, can be viewed as symptoms of dysfunctional or maladaptive societal cognition. To better solve these problems, and to flourish far into the future, we can implement systems that are designed from the ground up to facilitate healthy societal cognition. The proposed R&D project represents a partnership between the global science community, interested local communities, and other interested parties.

Learn and Engage

Use the menu to view recent articles, science papers, and interviews; download the book "Economic Direct Democracy"; learn about the LEDDA framework; and interact with a simulation model of currency flows in a LEDDA.