A great deal has happened in the ten days since the soft launch of Transpolitica. Here’s the first of what will become a series of updates on Transpolitica progress.
Note: to receive these news updates directly into your email inbox, visit this page online at https://transpolitica.org/news/ and click the “Follow” button that appears at the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
After an initial flurry of changes, the Transpolitica Manifesto has now been relatively stable for about a week. This manifesto sets out core ideas for policy changes:
Transpolitica calls upon politicians of all parties to define and support:
- Regenerative projects to take full advantage of accelerating technology.
More specifically, we call for:
- Economic and personal liberation via the longevity dividend
- An inclusive new social contract in the light of technological disruption
- A proactionary regulatory system to fast-track innovative breakthroughs
- Reform of democratic processes with new digital tools
- Education transformed in readiness for a radically different future
- A progressive transhumanist rights agenda
- An affirmative new perspective on existential risks.
These Headlines are preceded in the manifesto by a Preamble, and all eight Headlines are backed up by the provision of further Details.
The Transpolitica Manifesto drew inspiration from the Technoprogressive Declaration that was published in November 2014 following the TransVision 2014 conference in Paris. In turn, our Manifesto has helped to inspire a number of other political statements, including:
- The Transhumanist Manifesto (virtual), from the Transhumanist Party (virtual).
In parallel, the Transhumanist Party (UK) is working on its own set of Transhumanist Party Principles.
There’s an opportunity to improve the contents of the Transpolitica Manifesto in the light of the good examples provided as these other documents develop.
Another important step forward will be when the Transpolitica Manifesto is turned into one or more videos, in order to reach a wider audience.
The Transpolitica Manifesto is backed up by a FAQ. The FAQ remains a work-in-progress. If anyone would like to propose changes or additions to the FAQ, please get in touch.
How to get involved in Transpolitica projects
The Transpolitica Projects page lists:
- A set of tasks awaiting volunteers
- Suggestions for how to discuss your ideas with other Transpolitica supporters.
The project which currently has the most activity is to publish our first book of essays:
Transpolitica invites political thinkers, futurists, and transhumanists from around the world to become involved in a project to publish a book entitled “Anticipating tomorrow’s politics”.
This project is looking for chapter authors, reviewers, editors, and graphic designers.
Since the call was issued for people to submit proposals for chapters:
- One complete chapter has already been submitted, in a publication-ready state
- Seven other authors have submitted abstracts (formal or informal) that have been approved to go forwards to the writing stage
- Six more people may be submitting abstracts (or revised abstracts) shortly – we await further information
- A small number of initial author submissions have been declined, sorry, though these authors are welcome to re-submit proposals taking account of the feedback.
The stated deadline for submitting chapter abstracts (just a few sentences will suffice) is the end of January. Some submissions may be accepted after that cut-off, though the later authors leave things, the harder the hurdle they will have to overcome.
In all cases, complete publication-ready material for the chapter needs to be in the hands of the Transpolitica team by the end of February.
If anyone would like to join the team that reviews submissions, proposes edits (if needed), suggests changes to layout and graphics, etc, please make contact. (And see below for suggestions for the book cover.)
Asking the right questions
Reflections about Transpolitica – especially in the light of ideas for book chapters – show that we’re not yet in a position to advocate detailed policy recommendations. We don’t have all the answers, so far.
Over time, detailed policy recommendations will emerge. But for now, what we can – and should – do, is the following:
- Highlight future scenarios, that deserve more consideration
- Ask the key questions, that will transform contemporary political debate.
It is our insight as transhumanists and radical futurists that gives us the collective ability to do both of these things. In this way, we can make a cosmic dent in the political process.
What’s your favourite social media? Transpolitica online presence is growing:
On LinkedIn, there’s already been a small discussion about Transpolitica in response to a blogpost there. Transpolitica also exists as a company on LinkedIn – it’s listed as a “think tank”. See https://www.linkedin.com/company/9267587. If you’re one of the people listed on the (forthcoming) Transpolitica website page “Consultants, writers, and researchers”, feel free to add an item to your LinkedIn entry for your affiliation with Transpolitica.
Consultants, writers, and researchers
The co-founding team for Transpolitica will be announced shortly.
If you are interested in becoming involved, introduce yourself on the Transpolitica mailing group, stating what you would like to contribute to Transpolitica.
Alternatively, send an email to the Transpolitica programme management team.
Note: in the start-up phase, Transpolitica is operating with zero cash-flow, and all positions are voluntary.
The following list gathers some criteria for people to be considered as a named consultant, writer, or researcher for Transpolitica:
- Track record of producing interesting, well-researched material
- Able to finish agreed projects within agreed deadlines
- Strong public support in favour of transhumanist ideals
- Responsive to changing circumstances – practices agile working methods
- Doesn’t need a complex support infrastructure – practices lean working methods
- Able to disagree with people in a respectful, constructive way, rather than resorting to abuse
- Avoids publishing material that is likely to damage the good name of Transpolitica.
Note: people can use aliases for their Transpolitica persona, if they have good reasons to avoid using their official names.
Applications are welcomed from people with all political allegiances (or none), all religious backgrounds (or none), all employment and education backgrounds (or none), all parts of the world, and all ages and genders, etc.
How should decisions be made inside Transpolitica? How can we “be the change we want to see”, taking advantage of the latest technology to practise better collaborative decision-making?
We’re currently experimenting with the online tool Loomio. To quote from https://www.loomio.org/about:
Loomio emerged when activists from the Occupy movement teamed up with the social enterprise network Enspiral, realising that they were using different approaches to work towards the same aim.
Loomio is being built by a core team in Wellington, New Zealand, and a wider network of friends and supporters all over the world.
Loomio organises decisions into “Discussions”. These discussions start off with context and a loose brainstorming give-and-take. Once someone has a firm proposal in mind, they click the “Create a proposal” button, and give the group a fixed amount of time to vote on it. (48 hours seems sufficient.) By design, each discussion can only have one live proposal at any one time. That can seem counter-intuitive, but it turns out to have its own merits.
It’s too early to tell whether Transpolitica will keep on using Loomio. Our experiences with it, so far, have not been decisive, one way or the other. There are many other tools we could trial, as alternatives – each with their own apparent pluses and minuses.
In the meantime, there’s a new Discussion on the Loomio board – “Book cover”. To view that discussion, and to contribute to it, you’ll need to:
- Create a Loomio account for yourself (if you don’t have one already)
- Request permission to join the Transpolitica group on Loomio.
(If you click on the above link, “Book cover”, Loomio should walk you through the process automatically.)
Another Transpolitica initiative is to host online video discussions relevant to the future of politics. People can view these discussions live (and ask questions to the panelists), or can catch up with the recordings afterwards. Two forthcoming events are as follows:
- The case for anarchist transhumanism – Sunday 1st Feb
- Better political decision-making via better technology? – Sunday 8th Feb
If you visit the corresponding Google+ event pages and RSVP ‘Yes’, Google will send you a reminder to join it.
Let us know which topics (and which participants) it would be good to feature in future Transpolitica Hangouts-on-Air.