Dear Earth Citizen,
Our world is rapidly changing. Here at the end of 2017, it is clearer every day that nation-states are not the only game in town anymore. The recent changes in our geopolitical landscape are markedly defined by the internet: they involve, on one hand, Facebook gathering an unprecedented amount of power and allowing its business practices to be a disruptive force for democracy. And on the other hand: Bitcoin.
Surging from $940 to $19,000 USD in only one year, 2017 marked a point-of-no-return in Bitcoin’s ability to promote the divorce between Money and State. Peer-to-peer models and disintermediation are being widely discussed, reaching mainstream media and culture. And as populations from countries such as Venezuela 🇻🇪, Zimbabwe 🇿🇼, Argentina 🇦🇷, and Greece 🇬🇷, start to rely on cryptocurrencies as a safeguard against their own banking systems, the configuration of a new status-quo is hard to ignore.
Those profound changes are emboldened by the evident failures on both levels of political control: the Land (governments that monopolize the law on territorial jurisdictions) where the US 🇺🇸 is joined by France 🇫🇷, Greece 🇬🇷, Japan 🇯🇵 and more than 65 other countries with a downgraded Democracy Index; and the Cloud (global corporations that monopolize access to user data, a.k.a. the new oil), where we have witnessed large-scale cyberattacks exposing billions of internet users, and the irony of a security agency – the NSA – making us more insecure.
Those are not individual events, but pointers signaling the widespread decay of the economic and political frameworks in which our institutions operate. But there is good news too: as hierarchical and centralized systems disintegrate, the road is paved for new models to take place. Non-coincidentally, 2017 has also marked a pivotal point for Democracy Earth Foundation.
Where have we been?
Physically: 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇦🇷 🇧🇷 🇩🇪 🇵🇹 🇪🇸 🇲🇽 🇹🇼 🇩🇪 🇦🇪 🇰🇷 🇻🇳 🇬🇧
We ended 2016 with a very clear understanding of the requirements needed to create an organization capable of reaching impact at a global scale. So this year, we worked on those foundational building blocks. The Social Smart Contract, our White Paper published in September, was written on Github with contributors from all over the world 🌎, and it is now a living document gathering the digital hive mind to think about how we can govern ourselves on a planetary scale. Witnessing the creative and intellectual forces unlocked by the open source collaborations around this paper has been both a humbling and fascinating experience.
Sovereign, our token-based liquid democracy software, was soft-launched in its alpha version with a simple request to our community: use it to make suggestions and polls about the software itself. One more time, the response was beyond our imagination. Our focus on delivering a social-media like UX resonated with our users, who jumped in utilizing our features and making the most of the platform since day one!
Throughout the year we have developed, discussed and demonstrated open source governance on the blockchain, the geopolitical nature of Bitcoin, and the power of liquid democracy tools at the World Economic Forum in Dubai
🇦🇪, the Sorbonne in Paris
🇫🇷, the Civic Tech Fest of Taipei
🇹🇼, as well as @CodeMoBerlin
🇩🇪, @#ColaborAmerica17 inRio
🇧🇷, and the BIEN conference in Lisbon
We raised the profile of the decentralized democracy movement, starting the year on stage at the World’s Fair Nano in San Francisco, and appearing in stories and profiles by theOECD, the World Economic Forum, Forbes, New Scientist and Futurism in the months ensuing. Finishing the year, we introduced Democracy Earth 🌿 at the United Nations and launched our Ambassador’s program – a key initiative to empower leaders from all over the world with our message and software. We could not be prouder of our very first Ambassador, Sunny Sangha from the UK 🇬🇧, who gave this extraordinary TEDx talk and is starting a liquid democracy movement in Birmingham. Most exciting of all, we saw the expansion of our digital footprint with the growth of the Democracy Earth community, now numbering more than 92,000 subscribers and followers across Twitter, Facebook, GitHub,Slack, Medium, and Instagram.
In keeping with the decentralized nature of the Democracy Earth Foundation, for the first time ever this December, members of the team came together from all points of the globe. We converged in the Sierra Nevada mountains where we worked on finalizing plans to hold an Initial Coin Offering in early 2018 – the last in a sequence of events, aimed at creating a massive global movement for blockchain-based liquid democracy.
It’s been an extremely productive year, filled with accomplishments and recognitions. Yet we are only at the very beginning.
Thank you for reading, and thank you as always for being part of the Democracy Earth community. Be well, and we wish you an extraordinary 2018!
Founder & President
Democracy Earth Foundation
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit in San Francisco, California.
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