The Commons Project

Catalyst Mike Taylor is leading  a Project Circle called “The Commons” where 21st-century health and environmental challenges can collectively evaluated and addressed.

How the Project is Emerging

This original concept suggested that openly engaging groups of people (from individuals to large scale groups) through digital interaction as a self-organized process would improve global health systems.

The project is scale free, dynamic and adapts to individual interaction with linked environmental systems, providing augmented feedback on both local and global scales. By creating a new system for demonstrating how individual and collective actions set the conditions for “self-organization” within our ecosystems,a pro-active awareness of human behaviors is established.

The core framework of The Commons platform is a web-based system for trustworthy mutual cooperation based on community validated contribution and reputation. As a self organized system, it will operate on a block-chain web platform that supports Distributed Autonomous Organizations allowing it to scale collectively and be locally adaptable.

The early stages of this project exploring how understanding the influence of social environments on individual behavior can influence social change. A key assumption during the initial project design treats individuals as autonomous agents situated in “real-time environments” with the following conditions and feedback.:

  • Participants can act independently with no preset guides for behavior
  • Open access to continuous data that demonstrates the impact of individual and collective actions on their local environment
  • Cumulative data and analysis of differences in behaviors and environmental impact on both the local and global levels.

Initial Design Parameters

The platform will feature two major modes of collaborative action. The first focuses on making “the invisible visible” through a virtual environment where the environmental impacts of real actions by individuals and communities will be graphically represented. For examples, how do actions influence air quality and land viability.  The impact of collective action across the globe will be compiled into a global picture of progress.

The second critical user interface is the creation of a digital currency that is valued on the degree of positive environmental impact of individual and collective behavior change. Environmentally positive actions are validated by the community with currency allocated to the individual or group who took the action.

Unlike more common digital currencies this currency cannot be invested in but only earned through positive action. This currency will be similar to other offerings in the digital currency world because it can serve as a prediction market that assigns value. In this case the currency will be based on environmental impact essentially giving the environment an opinion on value.

The Commons invites professionals from the social, environmental, technology, game design, prevention, educational, organizational, finance and policy domains to share their experiences, build new relationships and develop viable products for human health and behavioral “ecosystems.”