“We humans are smart enough to have created complex systems and amazing productivity; surely we are also smart enough to make sure that everyone shares our bounty, and surely we are smart enough to sustainably steward the natural world upon which we all depend.”
Dr. Donella H. Meadows
We can do better. We have the capacity to make life better for everyone.
There is no doubt about it.
But we don’t.
We don’t do a lot of things we can do.
But what if we did?
What if we were able to put aside our petty differences and work together to help benefit everyone, what could we accomplish?
By everyone, I mean individuals, businesses, governments, non-profits, and other groups.
I’m not talking about some imaginary, hippie-communist ideal.
I’m just asking a question.
If somehow we were all able to get on the same page, what kinds of goals would we strive for?
If we were able to unite human creativity behind a willingness to help everyone, what would that look like?
What kind of planet would we build?
Bear with me and imagine a place where the planet’s vast resources are thoughtfully put to use to make life better for everyone. Where impactful decisions are made based on what’s good for the most people.
Where we used the Earth’s resources to benefit of everyone.
Not the wealthy, not the politically connected, not the loudest or most forceful. Not what makes a few people a few more dollars. Not what keeps a few more people under control.
Yes, it’s an unrealistic premise. But just follow along for a bit – call it a thought exercise.
What does a better world look like?
How would we get there?
What goals would we set for the private sector, government, the environment, and society at large?
If we were devising a plan to reach universal happiness, what goals would we need to meet on that route?
What do we want?
Here are some ideas. They are grouped into goals for the environment, the private sector, government, and society at large.
Goals for the Environment
What does a better environment mean? If we took care of the planet to the best of our abilities, what would that look like?
Goals for the Private Sector
What does a well-functioning private sector look like? In a perfect world, what would businesses use their resources on? How could the free market, “business,” make life better for everyone?
Goals for the Government
What do we want out of government? What should the government spend its energy on?
What is it reasonable to ask the government to do? What are the goals that government is best suited for?
Goals for Society Generally
What do we need to have a society that works for everyone? What does that look like?
What doesn’t fall under the business, government, or environment umbrella, but is vital for achieving a better world for everyone?
What goals can we set for ourselves as a society?
Not a comprehensive list to be sure, but we’re adding to it constantly. If you have any thoughts get in touch.
Steering Progress Toward Our Common Goals
The central idea of Less Bad is to find ways to improve life for everyone. And to do that, we need some kind of living, developing a roadmap of where we want to get to.
And no roadmap is complete without a destination. This page is an attempt to begin to describe that destination. To work out what a better world looks like in terms of specific goals.
What are our goals? That’s not for any one person or group to decide. The items above are more of a jumping-off point.
I hope that someday we can collectively, collaboratively define, and work toward various goals to make life for everyone better. Some day we might even put numbers and metrics to the goals – make ’em SMART.
Even with goals that are constantly changing, the strategy stays the same.
With a few goals in mind:
- We look around and see where those goals aren’t being met – Problems,
- Figure out why things are like they are – Causes.
- And we identify ways to make that problem better – Strategies.
- We identify potential partners already working toward similar goals.
- And we just keep working on getting closer to those goals.
Think of the goal-developing framework like Wikipedia mixed with Patch mixed with Reddit mixed with Github. But for issues. And normal people, experts, corporations, and more all work together to help figure out what the priorities are and what we can do to help make progress toward the goals. Hom to make things Less Bad.
Everyone can collaborate to break down issues into their constituent parts. To help reach whatever the goals end up being.
Eventually, we have a giant repository of where we are and what we are doing.
It’s a shell, a structure, a way to contain all the data.
It will be hard. Nobody is saying it’s a walk in the park. But it’s something. Which these days is something.
There will be questions like why should anyone trust it, who’s going to care, who decides what is the common good, etc. All the reasons why we can’t do it. But that’s not the question, the question is why not? The question is what else are we going to do?
So yes it’s gonna be a mess and there are myriad issues and questions we’ll have to deal with, but we CAN deal with them.
It’s probably going to be pretty hard. There will be stumbles. I’m not saying it’s gonna be peaches and cream. But it’s something. At worst we just prove it can’t be done.
But I mean this stuff isn’t hard. Throw something up, see what’s good, and why it’s bad, improve on it, and keep going.
It’s not rocket science.
But We Need You to Help to Make It Happen.