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Ignite DC #7

Ed Pastore

The time when humanity grew up (and your role in it)

One person leads, the rest follow. That's how we've always done it. Even in democracies, we elect one person or a few people, and they have sweeping power to make all the important decisions for our society.

This seems natural to us. Almost all animal societies have leaders and followers, and we humans organize ourselves like any other animals. But... don't we sometimes think we're better than animals? Isn't civilization basically the definition of growing beyond our animal limitations?

Well now we have a way to govern ourselves in a more sophisticated way than do wolves or sea lions. Now we have a new tool: the internet.

The internet allows people to collaborate and communicate in ways hardly imagined before. And thus it opens up the possibility of collaborative forms of governance, where everyone can be involved in making any decision.

This idea can sound deeply radical and/or highly impractical. But with a little reflection, it can look like a simple and natural step in the evolution of civilization. In five minutes, you'll learn about the first steps taken toward collaborative governance, and about how you can move onward from there.

Who knows? Maybe even in your lifetime, you will be able to claim that your society governs itself noticibly better than that of, say, gorillas.

About Ed Pastore:

Ed is a founder and spokesperson for the Metagovernment project: a global group of projects and people building internet tools to enable collaborative governance.

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