IMPLEMENTATION: On Acceleration Infrastructure, or How Better Futures Come to Bear
Multiplayer Futures: Toward an Emergence Economy (part 7)
This is the final installment of Multiplayer Futures: Toward an Emergence economy. You can read installments 1-6 here, read the entire paper in full here, and collect it on Zora here.
If you’ve been here with us through these 7 parts, a gratitude for joining us on this journey. As you know by now, we believe deeply that the more brains, hands, and resources we can put behind visions of better futures, the more likely we’ll all be to manifest — and benefit from — their fruition.
If the vision we’ve laid out for multiplayer futures resonates with you, join RADAR.
IMPLEMENTATION: On Acceleration Infrastructure, or How Better Futures Come to Bear
Hopefully, by now, you understand the core of what RADAR builds and does: We identify emerging futures through a decentralized foresight process, validating the shifts we believe are poised for adoption. We launch emerging futures as tokenized collectives that grant holders stake over the vision and its path forward. We accelerate each future through innovation sprints, designed for maximum ideation and innovation among a vision-aligned collective.
You also know, now, much of what we believe about change: that it doesn’t happen one person at a time, but at the speed of relationships, connections, and networks that enable the propagation of shared visions and, in turn, facilitate emergence.
And, finally, you know what stands in our way: that despite humanity’s predisposition toward cooperation, we’re stuck in a world where single-player mode is the dominant default.
So we know what we need to do: we need to activate multiplayer mode in service of better futures. And to do it, we need to bolster our multiplayer infrastructure across the spheres that make RADAR, RADAR: community, research, and incubate.
1. Multiplayer Infrastructure for Community
As we’ve said already, we think about the RADAR community as a living organism — an entity that’s ever-evolving, ever-learning, and ever-adapting to the wiggly world around us. And so, of course, we require a community infrastructure that will wiggle with us: a bit like how skyscrapers are designed to sway in high winds, rigidity works against us.
For us, this takes a few shapes: first, in our approach to community growth and ongoing onboarding. RADAR membership can never be bought; we filter in new joiners by way of an application we take seriously — with the intention of cultivating a community that satisfies what’s called ‘the edge effect.’
This means we’re consciously seeking out diversity in the ecosystem, keeping our eyes out for the ‘deviants’ (as @visakanv puts it) who will bring something special to our world, fortifying our collective with new, different, and critical perspectives. It also means that we’re looking for life that fills our ecosystem with all the good stuff it needs to thrive: shared vision, vested interest, a knack for sense-making and signal scanning — whether it comes naturally, or professionally — and a desire to activate that ‘knack’ to help build better futures.
Taking our ‘lessons from nature’ metaphor one step further, we’re also intentional about the way we manage membership: a perspective we’ve talked about before as ‘transitional communities & intentional churn.’ Taking cues from the ebbs and flows of nature’s seasons, and from cycles of new growth and decomposition, we acknowledge that our community will never be a static mass.
“Everything we attempt, everything we do, is either growing up as its roots go deeper, or it’s decomposing, leaving its lessons in the soil for the next attempt.” — Adrienne Maree Brown
“From starfish I have learned that if we keep our core intact, we can regenerate. We can fall apart, lose limbs, and re-grow them as long as we don’t let anyone threaten that central disc’s integrity. We can grow so many different arms, depending on what kind of sea star we are. We have to nourish ourselves with the resources we are surrounded by, with our community assets if you will, and by doing so we help keep ecosystems delicately balanced.” — JoLillian T. Zwerdling, as quoted in Brown’s Emergent Strategy
Some members may find their fit matches up with their bandwidth in certain moments and not the next; some will come back around cycles later when things sync up in their favor yet again; some will have had their moment with RADAR, taught us what they could, and moved onto their next horizon. All of these are welcome — because they’re natural. We wouldn’t expect anything otherwise.
As our membership ebbs and flows, so too does our experimentation. While our cycles are very public forms of testing and learning — weeks-long experiences that engage countless individuals — we’re building our infrastructure to support smaller pods and smaller experiments, too: giving life and resources to new ideas as they emerge and facilitating their role in the greater ecosystem.
What may seem like disparate philosophies are all rooted in the same belief: that facilitating multiplayer futures means cultivating a healthy, generative, mutually-beneficial, and vibe-rich environment where people want to be, where people care about the outcomes, yes, but more importantly the people and the process, and where people can activate their whole selves in service of futures they believe in.
2. Multiplayer Infrastructure for Research
Earlier in this piece we staked our claim: “If the future really does belong to those who think about it (and we believe it does), then we believe that should include more, and we mean way more of the population than it does today.” So how do we build an infrastructure for research that facilitates it?
For us, the answer lies in enabling and empowering more people to more easily think about and contribute to the future together. We’re tackling this in a few ways:
Building Tools: Coming soon, thanks to a partnership between RADAR and member Stephen Reid, we’ll be transforming RADAR’s signal garden into an evergreen database: a knowledge graph that enables members to take a bird’s eye view of what has historically required a dive through Discord.
Members will be able to visualize the connections between disparate topics, filter and search more simply, and find their way back to the relevant context and conversation in-server. Outside of RADAR, and taking cues from Kernel’s Signature Economies, users will be able to collect ‘tags’ that align with their interests, passions, and expertise — bringing them into the fold of RADAR’s ecosystem and making legible the learning trails and paths of inspiration that can pull them deeper down the multiplayer futures rabbit hole.
Gathering Resources: As part of our recent Cycle #2 launch, we also introduced a new, fractional funding model for our research. This means building a coalition of Angels, Advocates, and Sponsors who share in our vision and pursuit of each better future — and leveraging their support to fund our research process and contributors equitably, while maintaining the freedom that comes with the absence of traditional institutional funding (and the oversight and imprint that comes with).
The more value we create as a collective, the more abundance we create for one another — which means more contributors able to give more of their personal time, energy, and resources to each future we chase. And in a community as diverse in background, experience, and geography as ours, being able to support more players in our multiplayer futures is invaluable.
Open-Sourcing Education: It’s already happening in our server — organic moments of learning between those who’ve worked professionally in foresight, those who’ve worked around the edges of the industry, and those who’ve simply stumbled into our efforts as interested, observant, and curious citizens of the world. It’s education that works in both directions, and on our roadmap, are plans to fortify these organic efforts into open-source learning materials that empower more people to think about (and learn how best to think about) the future.
But of course, by now you know that research in and of itself isn’t the endgame. So as part of our multiplayer infrastructure for research, it’s also critical that we facilitate forward motion in the form of building intention and momentum around our yearly cycles.
And for that, we’ve shifted course on the way (and the when) we plan ahead.
SuperCuration has always been core to our research process. It’s how we bridge the always-on signal scanning and context creation that happens in the community to the topics we decide to pursue in-cycle. A small group of high-signal, high-context individuals come together to make sense of everything that’s been happening in the server. They bubble up constellations worth pursuing, debate and discuss amongst themselves how we might strengthen, elevate, or combine those that surface, and ultimately, create a short-list for the whole community’s input based on co-created ‘Future Criteria’ that RADAR believes best fit the bill for a full cycle.
Originally, we thought this process would happen before each and every cycle, tapping into the latest and greatest conversations in the moment. But through experimentation and conversation, we realized there was a better way. What we were doing as a community was far greater than chasing ‘of the moment’ fads as they flew through the zeitgeist; we were resolving to nurture better futures with real and profound potential to bear fruit.
Enter our new annual planning process — or, to put it less corporate-ly — RADAR Resolutions: our once yearly supercuration effort where we take stock of the world as it stands, look ahead to the world as it might be, and suss out the seedlings we believe are worth nurturing in the year ahead. From here, and with the community’s input and support, we’ll decide upon our three yearly cycle topics with ample time to build momentum and excitement both within and outside the community, while still allowing for flex as the world evolves around us.
In doing so, we create the conditions for Incubate to do what it does best. (Smooth segue, huh?)
3. Multiplayer Infrastructure for Incubate
Earlier, we talked about an economic theory for tokenizing markets to create shared upside. Theory is nice (most of this paper is theory); but at RADAR, right now, we’re about taking theory into action. The incubate phase is about how we create and cultivate those tokenized markets — and not just any markets, but ones aligned behind a better future. About how to take the vision that research puts forth, and build the group of people who are ready to create the things that will thrive in that future, that will bring that future closer to reality.
“The world changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.” — Meg Wheatley & Deborah Frieze
This is incubate: our process for developing networks of relationships and creating the conditions for them to build towards a shared vision.
How we attract: make it memeable. In order for this vision of the future to spread, we’ll create something that will transmit rapidly from person to person, offering each person the chance to iterate, shape, adjust, personalize and tweak so as to see themselves as not just a receiver of this vision but an active participant with a hand in building it. We design a highly transmissible vector of ideas, that propagates itself by leaping from brain to brain through the capacity to share in a piece of common culture, establishing new forks and iterations while tying back to the original, co-owned cultural capital.
Memes. We’re talking about memes.
We’ll start with our RADAR report, treating it as a creative brief. Inviting people to mash-up, remix, imitate, and evolve the original vision we’ve set forward. The status quo in the futures industry is for work to be closed off in walled gardens, or even worse, gathering dust on clients’ shelves. Our first act is to give ours away; turning our discoveries into the raw materials for creativity.
As Packy McCormick says in his piece Story Time: “Bottoms-up narratives are a powerful way to build worlds.”
And so by inviting the builders into this participatory visioning, we’ll also start to manifest the world. This meme of the future, sparked by our reporting, becomes its own headless brand — one whose direction and manifestation are deeply owned by the collective of creators who push it forward.
How we incentivize: co-ownership & governance
“The threads of community are of two types: gift and story, warp and woof. In short, a strong community weaves together social and economic ties.” — Charles Eisenstein
To activate multiplayer mode, we need to design a structure that includes both social and economic ties.
The people coalescing around this shared meme of the future establishes a headless brand, one co-owned by the creators and aligned in their vision. We call these groups Future Collectives. Each cycle drives the creation of an autonomous collective outside of RADAR, with ownership over their shared meme and rooted in the envisioned possibilities laid out in the report.
They are defined by and mobilized with a few fundamental tenets:
A community-raised, community-owned treasury: We’ll raise a treasury to fund the Future Collective through the sale of NFTs that not only enable and offer access to the Futurethon, but serve as ownership in the future emerging from each cycle.
Momentum by way of ideas, inspiration, and culture-building: To overcome the cold start problem and bond members, RADAR runs a Futurethon for the Future Collective, creating a collaborative, welcoming space for people to connect, and concepts, products, startups, collective visions to grow, all informed by the insights and opportunity spaces discovered during the research process.
Autonomy, governance, and co-ownership: The people who join the Future Collective are co-owners and founding members responsible for shepherding the visions laid out. A culture begins to emerge, vibes coalesce, and felt belonging begins to weave the social ties necessary for emergence to happen. In the first Futurethon, participants were simply that: participants. With co-ownership, we unlock what’s possible when participants are also stakeholders, deciding how to direct resources to reach this future while maintaining a lifetime membership and commitment to the community.
By establishing this shared ownership and incentive, we design a structure that unlocks the opportunity that our first Futurethon uncovered — turning a multiplayer moment into a multiplayer movement.
How we scale: exit to community. ‘From moment to movement’ isn’t as simple as shared ownership and incentive, though – plenty of groups of people have failed with these alignments. So, we’ll create the optimal conditions for the projects, ideas and ambitions of these communities to thrive.
First, with a place to start. We’re developing a proprietary set of tools to set these communities up to run fast and iterate quickly, creating a self-sustaining and self-learning system to thrive. This includes inspiration to weave the threads, lore, and vision of their community; organizing tools that allow them to learn together and identify emergence (many of which we’ve developed through the creation of RADAR itself); and platforms created with a format and design that supports connections.
Second, with resources to scale. The RADAR community exists in a symbiotic relationship with each future collective, providing access to our resources. We’ll support them with connections — think: ideas, signals, research, mentors, processes, technology, equipment and more — and guidance: offering our member’s deep knowledge to know which processes, techniques, and strategies work best.
At the same time, the communities will have much to offer RADAR: From individual expertise sourced from inside the community, to test markets for RADAR products, having this audience and opportunity working closely with us will accelerate RADAR’s work, too.
A few tangible examples:
We’ll discover the future, together: We’ve already talked about our knowledge graph in the context of research, but it has a role to play here, too. Between members of each Future Collective and members of the RADAR community, we’ll continue to explore signals that add depth and texture to the vision of the world each Collective is pursuing. Members of the Future Collective will have lifetime access to the ecosystem of ideas that surround their pursuit — an ongoing opportunity to learn and build and learn some more, together.
We’ll curate the future, together: Launching first among our Future Collectives, before opening up more broadly, we’re building a platform lovingly referred to as The Front Page of The Future. Our intention is for it to be the go-to place to discover ideas and builders of tomorrow; an ideas market where the public can pledge to help bring ideas to life via tangible (skills, connections, resources) or monetary (purchase of open editions) support. Think of it as Product Hunt meets Kickstarter — for collective visions of better futures, curated in collaboration between RADAR and the Future Collectives, and powered by web3.
We’ll invest in the future, together: In its early stages, the RADAR Venture Squad — led by Jarrod Barnes — is prototyping its vision for founders’ services and more as we explore new ways to support visions in their earliest stages and new ways to engage more people and perspectives in what has historically been a deeply exclusive field.
Third, with access to an ever-expanding ecosystem. A year at RADAR encompasses three cycles. Three futures reports, three future collectives, three community-owned visions of a participatory future that invites people to become a part.
The theme of our current report is Play, envisioning what might be possible in a future with more delight, whimsy and joy – what might happen when play goes beyond leisure to become a new approach for how we exist in, interact with, and build the world. Next cycle, we’ll tackle Our Centaur Future — exploring the impacts and opportunities the rapid explosion of AI technologies can bring to us.
Now, imagine what might emerge when we foster critical connections between the Play collective & the Centaur collective. We’re not simply building disparate communities of interest aligned people, but instead, an ecosystem that can cross-pollinate, identify its own emergence, and build intersecting futures together. Perhaps, even, a new community is born: a child of Play & AI that offers us even more new possibilities with their visions of the future. These systems of influence, of course, again share in the upside from their co-created futures — as does RADAR. The $SIGNAL token metagoverns the entire ecosystem, with RADAR as a 10% holder of each collective. The more connections and creations that are fostered, the more everybody wins.
RADAR asks the question, how do better futures emerge?
We hope, by now, that you have a sense of how we think they can. We’ve laid out a theory that, in many ways, relies on people beyond us to drive it forward. Thus is the nature of multiplayer; it’s interdependent. Our role with incubate is to simply to set things in motion — and then allow the stakeholders, aligned behind their shared incentives and visions, to shepherd the future forward.
CONCLUSION: Accelerating Better Futures, Together
We started RADAR with a mission to create a new model for a broken industry.
But when we brought the most brilliant people we could find together and asked them what that looked like, through a series of workshops, connections, moments of inspiration and opportunities for emergence (an unwitting prototype for the process we’ve laid out here) what emerged was not a new model for a futures company, but rather, a new model for the future itself. The one we’ve offered you here today. One that is intentional with fostering emergence. One that leverages web3 technology as a means not an end. One that leans into complexity and invites it to sort itself out through an infrastructure that allows connection and co-creation to bubble the best ideas to the top. This is how better worlds emerge.
RADAR itself is a living organism. It’s a canvas for experimentation. For prototyping the emergence we’re starting to recognize – for watching in action how the theory of change we’re offering can manifest. It means that — as we continue to trial these methods for enabling moment-to-movement, vision-to-action, concept-to-creation — RADAR might not always look just like the vision we’ve laid out here. But fundamentally, it will remain architected around one core belief.
That belief is that the future is community owned.
The more critical connections we can make between pathfinders and groundbreakers with shared visions for the future, and the more brains, hands, and resources we can put behind them, the more likely we’ll all be to manifest — and benefit from — its fruition.
It’s our perspective on multiplayer futures — and we think it’s the most likely way we’ll change the world.
Now, we invite you to ask yourself:
If a better future was not just possible but probable;
if you could have a stake in making it reality;
if you could work towards it as a multiplayer movement, aligned behind one shared vision;
what would you imagine, support, and build together?
This has been the final installment of Multiplayer Futures: Toward an Emergence Economy. To keep up with all things RADAR, subscribe to this newsletter and follow us on Twitter.
As a reminder, tomorrow is the last day to mint one of our Patron NFTs. If the vision laid out in these pages resonates, we invite you to take part in the inaugural cycle that will bring to life our theory of Multiplayer Futures: Play. It’s the first of many more to come.
See you in the future 🔮