The World We Want in 2035

Change the story to change the future.

Image Virginia State Parks staff, CC BY 2.0

Out of the ashes of the post-truth era intellectual honesty has emerged as a primary value. We came to understand that shared knowledge is a public good. Determined to value reliable and accurate information as much as we value free speech we recognized that each of us has a duty to know how we know. People developed reliable epistemologies to guide them toward beliefs that corresponds to reality.

Dialogue began to replace dogma, diatribe, dismissal, and even debate. We learned to transcend conflict rather than to seek it out and wallow in it. We learned to earn trust, and began to trust others who were taking personal responsibility for living wisely. We began to focus on what matters.

As people examined how they form their beliefs they began to examine and abandon obsolete ideologies and think beyond the doctrine. As a result many people progressed beyond theism. This left people searching for moral guidance. In the absence of theistic dogma, we searched for a more authentic basis for moral reasoning. Many of us developed our own moral tool kits based on fundamental human values including dignity, well-being, flourishing, fairness, compassion, human rights, empathy, symmetry, the golden rule, and solving grand challenges. Although no fundamental objective foundation for morality has yet been discovered in the universe, our empirical experiences of being human converged on these simple and nearly universal moral principles.

We have made progress in advancing human rights, worldwide. An Olympic-style competition based on the Universal Declaration of Human rights is now a celebrated global event. This visibility on the importance of human rights has been remarkably effective in advancing human rights worldwide. People came to recognize that excellence in human rights is at least as important as excelling in the broad jump competition. This has sharply reduced international conflicts, and reduced military spending world wide. We are beginning to enjoy the peace dividend.

Governments recognize they exist only to promote well-being. National governments use a variety of well-being indicators to establish, evaluate, and improve public policy. Global measures of well being are used to direct increasingly-effective world governance agreements.

We have begun to make progress in correcting economic faults. The US adopted a tax code that is only ten pages long. The purpose of taxation has become clear, people read, understand, and comply with this simple and effective tax code. This simple, accessible, and transparent tax code has increased fairness, trust, and compliance.

These economic reforms have helped to make it clear that many of us enjoy abundance. Economic policies developed during times of scarcity have yielded to new principles based on abundance. The old imperative of find work or starve, is being replaced by more inclusive and compassionate policies. Various forms of Universal Basic Incomes are emerging around the world.

New technologies including cultured meats and reliance on renewable energy, along with policy improvements such as carbon fee and dividend policies, and other fees for the use of public goods have allowed our earth to begin to regain its glorious abundance. Water and air are cleaner, fisheries are teeming with fish, and forest areas are regaining lost territories and species diversities. Reforesting and rewilding have restored vast areas to a more lush, scenic, and abundant conditions.

Research on wisdom and the future continues. We continue to seek out social operating systems that capture the creative energy of anyone who want to contribute to improving our world.

As we began to recognize that reality is our common ground, many of us understand the importance of seeking real good.

All we needed to do is tell a new story.

Seeking real good.