Think of your local community (e.g., your city or city subpopulation) as a living, breathing superorganism. Then ask the following: How healthy is it? How well does it learn from experience? How well does it adapt to changing conditions? Is it sustainable and vibrant? Most important of all, how well does it solve problems that matter?
Now, imagine a future in which your community—the superorganism of which you are a part—is wise and empowered, meaning that it is able to solve or successfully address its problems and challenges. As a result, public health and collective wellbeing (social, economic, financial, and environmental) are far higher than they are today. Your education and health care systems are affordable and excellent. Work days are shorter, leaving more time for family, rest, learning, and community. Rates of crime and preventable disease are low. Jobs are more meaningful. Air and water are cleaner and the local environment is protected and actively being restored. Imagine how living in this community would feel. Imagine how it would feel to children and young adults.
One more step. Imagine zero poverty. Incomes are high and roughly equal for every adult in your community, the same as the national average. For a US family today, this is about $110,000. The very concept of money has changed; it's now understood to be a voting tool in a transparent system of economic direct democracy. Your community has its own local currency—its own tool for voting on local matters—that circulates alongside the national currency. The concept of business has changed; it's now understood to be a dynamic and transparent extention of the community that exists to serve the common good. You and your friends are engaged in voting with money in the local marketplace, as well as through democratic decisions in the local financial system. Wealth is measured as collective wellbeing and your community gathers and assesses rich data in order to gauge how its wellbeing changes from day to day and year to year. High-quality simulation models help inform the community of what to expect next.
This future is possible, for your community and for networks of cooperating communities. It's called Economic Direct Democracy. The Principled Societies Project empowers communities to achieve it. Many versions and variations on design are possible, which allows each community to express its own unique character.
The mission of Principled Societies Project is to empower individuals, organizations, and communities to solve problems that matter. We do this in part by developing predictive models of public health, demographics, human resources, energy use, and other matters of concern. And we develop and test concepts, tools, and platforms for new forms of decision-making and economic direct democracy.
In particular, we develop new and better social choice systems. Figure 1 illustrates the general problem-solving process. A more complete description is provided in the article Is Solving Problems the Ideal of Democracy and Capitalism? Tagged in the figure (S, P, E, and D) are steps that pertain to a social choice system, which is the mechanisms and rules of a problem-solving process that are amenable to design and innovation. If the components of a social choice system are well designed and well integrated, and they reflect a realistic and broad worldview, the problem-solving process is likely functional. If not, the process could be dysfunctional and problems could go unsolved.
We aim to innovate all aspects of social choice systems. For example, we develop computational models that help communities predict what will happen next. The models forecast changes in a wide range of socioeconomic, public health, and other wellbeing factors. And they allow examination of "What if?" scenarios.
We also develop fundamentally new, integrated social choice systems as flexible open-source platforms. These are designed to excel as problem-solving systems and are intended for implementation at the community level via volunteer civic clubs. A prototype is the LEDDA framework. Be sure to try out the interactive model for currency flows.
We have a start, as evidenced by the articles, models, and other materials on this website. But the bulk of the development work remains, awaiting funding. To see where we are going, read our blog articles. More information about our products, including a slide deck for funders, is available on the Socio prospectus Program page.
Like your job? Hate it? Too much stress? Life too boring? Frustrated with the government or economy? We want to know! Please take our wellbeing surveys. Each has about 50 questions. Results will be summarized on this website and/or in scientific papers, media articles, and elsewhere.