The Golden Decade Meme — Davos, 2030 and our emerging Planetary Civilization

In the beginning was the Word… Our words can be swords or spells. By changing our language we can, in turn, change our beliefs and identity. It was with this in mind that many of us have been spreading the meme of The Golden Decade among 10 Golden Memes. This blog tells the story behind our goal to create a brighter narrative of our future. Last week was my 12th year in Davos. This year we amplified the meme bouncing experiment which ultimately made it into the New York Times on Sunday in an article titled The Revolution comes to Davos.

We’re at a civilizational crescendo. We are living through what will undoubtedly be the most important decade in the history of the planet. Our choices over this decade will shape the lives not only of our children but for countless generations to come. The question I ask myself daily is: how I can be of greatest service to the best possible future for humanity and the planet. And yet, like so many of us, I often feel part of the problem despite my earnest efforts to be a force for good in the world.

Our intention in calling this the Golden Decade is that it will become that. We can be the seeds to begin the process of collective manifestation of our desired future. The science behind this is called Hyperstition — when a group of people share a belief system they create feedback loops that accelerate towards that outcome. Another way of saying this is our reality is shaped heavily by our beliefs — both individually and collectively.

The Golden Decade celebrates this Golden Age where humanity can pass through this metamorphosis into a Planetary Civilization. I believe this is the only way we can transition from a win-lose system to a win-for-all system where we design our society to work for the common good — people and planet.

I am a student of the Hermetic Qabalah. The first of the seven Hermetic Principles is Mentalism. The Principle of Mentalism embodies the idea that “All is Mind.” Everything that happens has to be a result of a mental state which precedes it. For anything to exist, thoughts had to form first, which then form physical reality. We know our language directly shapes our thoughts and beliefs so by consciously choosing our language we are making it easier to plant positive seeds in our belief system.

For the last decade, I have been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders community. This year I wanted to run an experiment with an intention to provide alternative narratives to the one that has been consuming so much of our energy — predominately that of fear, crisis and separation. I wanted to see if sharing 10 Golden Memes could be adopted into the language of some of the most influential people in the world. I came up with a list of synthesized memes from the thousands of conversations I’ve been having in Civana House, our experimental Planetary Embassy in San Francisco. Since launching Civana House 5 months ago we’ve hosted more than 3000 people from over 1000 organizations and networks. Our focus is to convene what we call the ‘Transition Team’ to accelerate the evolution of regenerative culture. The house is the birthplace of the Golden Gate Bridge and our intention is to support the birth of the emerging win-for-all system.

The week before the World Economic Forum’s Annual meeting Civana hosted a salon for 20 Davos attendees in order to come up with a further list of potential Golden Memes. I then asked and received a great deal of feedback from my community. Through this process, I was able to fine-tune the list into what I called the 10 Golden Memes. A special mention goes to Jamie Wheal, author of Stealing Fire and creator of the Flow Genome Project for his invaluable feedback on how to package a meme for maximum impact. These are the memes we landed on:

As Davos began I shared the 10 Golden Memes to numerous online communities attending such as the Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers, One Young World and UnDavos. Within 10 minutes I was able to share to more than 3000 people in Davos thanks to WhatsApp, Telegram and 12 years of investing in beautiful friendships with the World Economic Forum community. This simple idea seemed to immediately resonate. In my 11th interview with Edie Lush at Hub Culture, I introduced the idea of the memes starting with ‘This is our Golden Decade’. From that moment on Edie would ask in her many interviews with world leaders ‘what is your vision for the Golden Decade?’ You know when something has sticky potential when a concept needs no explanation to be understood and adopted.

Last Wednesday we then hosted a party called ‘Remember 2030’ in Davos Blockbase and had over 500 people register. It was a full house all night and we had the largest cacao ceremony in the 50-year history of Davos. We invited guests to attend as their best selves in 2030 having achieved the Sustainable Development Goals. We invited them to celebrate the completion of the Golden Decade and the new Planetary Civilization. Twenty leaders ‘spelled’ the future as themselves in 2030, sharing what happened through the Golden Decade. These included people such as Rick Doblin (Founder MAPS), Ron Garen (US astronaut and author of the Orbital Perspective). This created an immersive experience of the future that most of us hope for. These 3-minute future casts form a genre of content where we use the ideal point of the future as our roadmap to align behind. As the Tim Wu wrote in the Sunday Times: “At an event entitled “2030,” Lucian Tarnowski and his cohort predicted a new golden age of human thriving following various radical changes, such as the overcoming of material wants and broader use of psychedelics for emotional health. And in an official nod to the revolutionary spirit, the World Economic Forum itself, which runs the show, released a new “Davos Manifesto,” for the “fourth industrial revolution.”

Our 2030 immersion created an experience that bounced the meme of the Golden Decade beyond Davos. I wanted to share the concept of ‘Double-bouncing’ memes. Remember the last time you shared a trampoline with a friend. Do you remember the ‘double-bounce’? When your friend timed their landing so that you got slingshot upwards? When we carefully time the spreading of memes and who is doing the spreading we can double-bounce them from ripples into waves around the world. One way I think about this is the opposite of the pendulum of the ‘black-mirror’, fear centric, dark propaganda that is spreading through our society. Fear has been weaponized for profit and control. Love is the opposite of fear. Love is the antidote to the paralysis of a society overwhelmed by fear. Spreading positive memes is one way of spreading love.

The Edelman Trust Barometer, released in Davos last year, warned that 4 out of 5 people believe the system is broken and not working for them. 2 out of 3 people believe the future will be even worse. Clearly we have a crisis of hope and a war on trust. Like so many people, I’m highly motivated to do everything in my power to avoid this turning violent and this starts with telling a better story of the future. As Martin Luther King Jr said ‘Everything that is done in the world is done by hope’. Perhaps even more timely, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” We are Permissionaries — our mission is to give permission to have hope and faith in the future. There is a rising tide of us that view this as a critical part in charting our shared future for the common good amidst failing systems. We should not stop short of aiming for a thriving civilization for all. After all, let’s not predict the future, let’s achieve it.

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

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