10 Golden Decade Memes for 2021

Language is a map for a thriving future. The stories we tell have power to transform ourselves and our planet. Hence, I am sharing 10 Golden Decade memes for 2021. I synthesized these from the collective intelligence of engaging with hundreds of systems change leaders over the last year with the United Planet Game. If these resonate with you please do share them. I also invite you to contribute your own favourite positive memes.

Last year, I co-created 10 Memes for the Golden Decade and released them in Davos during the World Economic Forum. They got shared widely and got a mention in an article by Tim Wu in the New York Times titled ‘The Revolution Comes to Davos’. This is the summary of the 10 we chose:

For many around the world, the 2020s may not yet feel like the Golden Decade but society has never been more pregnant with possibility. Most of us overestimate what will change in a year but underestimate what will transform in a decade. This is the most significant decade in the history of civilization. Our choices will determine the lives of many generations of our descendants. The responsibility of our leaders and ourselves is at an all-time high. However, I am an eternal optimist. I have childlike faith in our capacity to create a thriving civilization in harmony with all life.

This year would have been my thirteenth year in Davos and eleventh year as a member of the Young Global Leaders community. I’ve attended over a hundred World Economic Forum meetings and feel in every cell of my being the urgency of this time. For the last 2 years, I’ve hosted the 2030 celebration in Davos at the end of the World Economic Forum meeting. Each year I invited hundreds of attendees to step into the ancient future and celebrate the planetary civilization. The purpose of the celebration was to tell stories from the future about how we transformed society and ourselves — how we delivered on the Global Goals and beyond. We invited leaders of the present and future to share their story from 2030. A nice example is Rick Doblin of MAPS laying out a roadmap for the rollout of psychedelic therapies over the next decade:

Rick Doblin, Founder of MAPS future casts from 2030

I have now convened hundreds of people into 2030 immersive experiences and I know this is a powerful medium to reverse engineer the future. As one of last year’s memes summarises, ‘Don’t predict the future, achieve it’. This was part of our mission in my previous home, Civana House in San Francisco, as a prototype planetary embassy where we hosted over 3000 people envisioning a brighter future:

The 2030 Collaborators Dinner at Civana House in partnership with Planet Home

The first meme ‘We only have one earthshot’ is a nod to the origin of this concept — scientifically called Hyperstition (when a group shares a belief about the future they create the feedback loops that accelerate the belief becoming reality). In 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared ‘By the end of the decade we will put a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth’. The moonshot began. James Webb was running the Apollo program for NASA. He knew we didn’t have the technology in 1962 to land a man on the moon and realized the moonshot began in our consciousness. He knew about the power of narrative and wanted to create a collective belief that the moonshot wasn’t just possible but it was inevitable. He did this by throwing a party at NASA in 1962 to celebrate the successful landing on the moon. As some of the brightest minds in the US gathered to celebrate the moonshot seven years before their actual success, their collective psyches accepted the narrative and mission of landing a man on the moon.

A primary challenge lies in our collective narrative of our future. The Edelman Trust Barometer revealed 4 out of 5 people in the world believe the existing system is broken. But more worryingly, 2 out of 3 people believe the future is going to be worse than the present. Houston, we have a problem… Our society cannot sustain a collective lack of hope in the future. Complete systemic breakdown is becoming increasingly inevitable.

It was for this reason I launched the United Planet Game on the first day of the lockdown. We have been convening systems change leaders since March to apply collective intelligence for the transformation of society. We are still in our nascent stages but our intention is to start with a prototype of a ‘2030 New World Fair’ immersive experience in Ibiza. We will invite local and international systemic change leaders to envision our world from 2030 backwards. In doing so I hope we will co-create a new narrative for a United Planet. This is combined with a vision to create a prototype 2030 Planetary Embassy here in Ibiza. Our inquiry is how to turn planetary systemic change into a sport.

We have segmented the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into pillars of civilization designed around the Native American Medicine Wheel. I renamed each of the Sustainable Development Goals from the vantage point of having delivered on them. In 2030 we don’t speak of zero hunger, we have food abundance. We don’t talk of decent work and economic growth but rather of a wealthy commons. Instead of climate action, we have planetary health. Words are spells — that is why we call it spelling…

The United Planet Game is still being designed and prototyped in the micro but intends to be a physical and digital version of what Buckminster Fuller called the New World Game. We continue to convene members of ‘the transition team’ to explore generative solutions to story a better future. Each league consists of teams of 12 people that follow a process to apply their collective imagination and vision to our shared future. If you are interested in participating in or sponsoring one of the teams please do reach out. I am hosting an open room in Clubhouse tomorrow at 2 pm CET on 2030 Planetary Health. I invite you to join the conversation and share your vision for a transformed planet.

Finally, with the power of words and ritual in mind, I invite you to speak out loud the United Planet Oath:

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Lucian Tarnowski

Founding Curator of Civana — A global community working together on humanity’s greatest challenges