A couple of months ago, we shared our participation in the Climate KIC Deep Demonstration on Long Termism with our community. The motivating idea behind the project on Long Terms is that we, as humans, often make decisions on the basis of short-term thinking, which can have a disastrous impact on the environment.
Often times we only see our own little slice of the pie, which makes it difficult to understand how our individual actions might affect the greater whole. In other words, we have an aggregation problem. But the challenge doesn’t stop there.
There’s an intertemporal aspect to our ability to make climate positive decisions too. Even when we consider how our actions today might affect our shared environment, we often lack an understanding of how those consequences impact the next 20, 30, or 100 years.
Coming to terms with the different possible “future scenarios” implied by our choices and figuring out how to build those future externalities into our present-day decision-making processes is absolutely essential if we want to take effective climate action. After all, preserving the environment is not only about us but about future generations as well.
In the Deep Demonstration on Long Termism, we will highlight how short-term thinking in investment cycles and in traditional ideas of economic value creation can be turned into long-term sustainable behaviors using the IOTA protocol in a bottom-up approach.
We aim to do this together with innovative thinkers from within the IOTA community. Today, we want to give you more insight into the process. Most importantly, we want to invite you to get concretely involved in designing experiments that have the power to shift entire consumption, production, or investment systems toward more forward-looking decisions and actions.
How IOTA — and YOU! — can help
The future is a strange concept. Anticipation underlies almost all of our actions, yet we rarely take a step back to understand how we use the future and how this affects the present.
This is a step we now want to take together with the broader IOTA community. We believe that technology in general, and the IOTA Tangle specifically, can help society to make desirable futures a reality.
We see it as a common resource that is free for everyone to build things that matter to them. We envision a better future enabled by a fluid, trusted network connecting the human and the machine economy so that we can better navigate the complex societal challenges of today by means of an open data commons, peer-to-peer economies and new notions of value.
In service of this vision, we want to support spontaneous innovations from our community that create the future by simply building it. When developing technology, intent matters, and we want to get a better feel for the ideas and sentiments in the community and explore how IOTA can become the backbone of a sustainable, long-term society.
Specifically, we are exploring how a more long-term mindset can transform the international development sector as a key driver in the global fight against the destruction of ecosystems and the improvement of human livelihoods.
Institutions in international development are active on the ground all over the world, supporting local communities, influencing international policies and directing financial flows in the global south.
However, digitalization, decentralization and new paradigms in world politics raise new challenges for institutions active in international development. The loss of ecosystems and changes in our natural environment have an impact on our collective well-being across geographies and are a looming risk to societal well-being on a large scale.
The human thinking bias towards the present and our often short-sighted understanding of time are root causes of these challenges and raise questions such as:
- How can we do a better job at sharing data and evaluating the long-term effects of interventions instead of focusing on simple, short-sighted metrics?
- How can we enable more people to invest in sustainable, climate-friendly infrastructure with a return on investment that is focused on measurable social value instead of short-term profits?
- How can we incentivize collective action towards shared goals using new notions of value and its digital representations?
The IOTA Foundation has made a start on these questions by providing a number of application blueprints that are a great source for inspiration to build new projects.
We also try to make it easier for new ideas to benefit from adapting and tweaking existing resources within the IOTA ecosystem. For example:
- Check out the IOTA Industry Marketplace to get inspired on how decentralized infrastructures can power frictionless peer-to-peer economies and create opportunities to participate in global markets without discrimination.
- Our certification blueprint is a great foundation to link and certify actions in the real world with new digital assets that represent actions towards a regenerative, circular and sustainable future.
- The work that the Foundation has kickstarted on privacy-preserving and self-sovereign digital identities which will give data ownership back to the individual.
- In the future, the IOTA Trinity wallet can be your gateway to invest in or support causes close to your heart directly and connecting you with network of people passionate about the same vision.
But we recognize that our own efforts are just a start. We want to hear YOUR bold ideas on how technology and the IOTA protocol can help to uncover and drive the emergence of new, long-term sustainable practices and value-chains.
Therefore, we have put together a small questionnaire and would be grateful for all contributions from the community in answering it. Combined with this vision of solving real problems and experimenting with technology, we want to invite bold ideas from the community on how IOTA can contribute to a more sustainable future.
The proposers of the three best ideas will be invited to a full-day workshop with the IOTA Foundation and experts from the international development sector in Berlin on December 10th, 2019.
Together, we will explore how your ideas could be matured and tested in real-world settings with the hope of jointly expanding on the ideas in 2020 and beyond.
To improve the status quo, we need reliable baselines and must choose a time frame under which we consider our action. The current economic and social systems favour short-term over long-term rewards.
This can be seen in the way our society judges investments based on quarterly returns, defines economic growth as progress or measures productivity in GDP.
Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, by contrast, will require building more inclusive measures and tools to help us solve key societal challenges collaboratively. We want to invite your ideas on how the IOTA Tangle can help to:
- Democratize access to trustworthy impact data and promote the sharing of impact data
Explore how decentralized marketplaces for data, development services, and environmental certificates or proofs can enable new models of service delivery and cooperation in the complex settings of international development.
- Incentivize sustainable, long-term action
Show how trusted, tamper-proof data will transform existing systems around the monitoring, evaluation, and verification of regenerative and inclusive policy interventions.
Highlight how to increase the impact per Euro spent on sustainable development and improve access to sustainable finance products for the masses.
- Harness the catalytic power of network effects and peer-to-peer economies
Share your vision of decentralized, community-driven development of the information-backbone of a P2P-economy that offers new avenues to build communities around the production of societal value for the coming generations.
To share your idea, simply submit a 1-page summary together with the questionnaire. Alternatively, you can share a link for a 1-minute video explaining your concept.
If you want to help us to further our thinking without entering the challenge, please answer the questionnaire and simply skip the Challenge section.
As always, please feel free to join the discussion or get your questions answered in our social-impact channel on Discord.