I’m Malte Josh Wagenbach. I’m exploring how our societies and political economy will change under the force of rapidly accelerating technologies and other trends.
This Newsletter is called Anima Mundi, which means:
The world soul is, according to several systems of thought, an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to the world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body (Wikipedia)
I’m writing this to begin to synthesize my own thoughts and feelings. This new Newsletter is focused on exploring topics that I find meaningful and relevant to being human well, individually and collectively. Specifically, thoughts on the future of civilization, Artificial Intelligence, the sensitivity and potential of our current situation, and how we might navigate the path ahead. The impact on our lives and choices, in service to supporting more collective sense-making around a topic that it seems we (or perhaps it’s just me) have mostly wanted to avoid.
Please enjoy it, comment and forward this to friends.
What do the next years hold?
Making predictions is complicated once we understand that the system we are trying to predict is a complex one, of interwoven forces that affect each other, each layering one atop the next. And that we don’t have clarity of when certain technical breakthroughs will occur or how political forces will shape the implementation of technologies (or vice versa).
If we are trying to predict something we have to cope with major challenges. At what level of abstraction should or can we make predictions? And what will be the impact on other industries? At the level of technological progress (chips will get faster, the cost of genome sequencing will decline, the development of new materials is faster...), or at a highly macro level that describes population aggregates. I think we have to zoom in and out all the time to understand the complexity and influence of those things. Thinking between those two perspectives is most relevant for understanding how our lives will change. This is where things get complicated and where our social institutions (like cities, firms, industries, communities) exist: where, in short, we spend most of our time.
What to expect here?
How do we find meaning when the world is on the verge of collapse from forces that seem to be beyond our control?
We are all facing different realities and we have our own thoughts on climate change, economy, and politics. While I have been aware of and deeply considering this reality for some time, I have not yet written about my considerations or conclusions, mostly because I have been afraid of the implications of doing so and also because I have been unwilling to face the stark reality fully.
Today that changes because I do believe and have concluded that the greater call of this crisis is to turn directly towards our fears and face them, overcome our own insecurities, and come into a collective sense-making that could be the only path toward a solution. We no longer have time to waste on a desire for perfection. I will write several articles with the awareness of my own limitations, and also a desire to educate, inform and empower all those who read it into the next level of personal awareness and awakening that could actually result in collective change.
Even as I write those words, I am aware of the part of me that says I am crazy to think that anything I write could make any sort of a significant difference and that I should just keep my head down, stay focused on earning a living and paying the bills, and make my own personal plans for weathering the proverbial and literal storm in as much comfort as possible.
And yet, it is exactly this thinking that we must overcome, both personally and collectively. I surface my own shadow thoughts around it all here in support of perhaps helping you see these thoughts in yourself, and perhaps become willing to make choices that may confront your own sense of meaning. I am willing to go out on a limb and share my views and the choices I am making because, I believe, as many of us as a possible must, if we have any hope for the future of humanity.
Over the past several years, I have had the immense honor to be learning directly and indirectly from some of the great thinkers and sense-makers of our time.
What I have learned in my relationship with each of these people is that I must not give up hope. And I hope you don’t either.
Instead, we must first face the reality, then feel the despair fully and finally, on the other side, continue to dream and live into a new future.
In the last few years, I understand that we do not yet have an economic system to support us in the new era, while at the same time we cannot sustain current levels of economic growth.
My take on this is that we will need to come together to create something new, and it’s happening, and it likely will happen as a result of “force”, not “choice” because we are all so addicted to the current capitalistic structures in which we live. And we have to come up with alternatives for the new era.
Those of us who are wise will get ahead of the coming “force” by converting our current business and personal structures into “share the wealth” paradigms, which we have not learned or been taught, and which it’s time for us to invent, anew.
This will require us to, first and foremost, learn how to share and collaborate. You may think you already learned how to share, but if you really look at your life and the lives of those around you, you’ll likely see that’s not actually the case.
Maybe you’ve learned to become great at creating your own wealth, but how are you sharing it? And I don’t mean just by paying people to work for you. But, truly, how are you sharing what you are creating?
Maybe you think you don’t have anything to share. And that’s the foundation from which you get to build a new understanding of wealth creation.
In order to “share the wealth” we must begin to recognize that wealth comes in many, many, many forms. And not everyone needs to (or even should) earn money, but everyone does need to (and should) be well-compensated for their contributions to the collective.
So, what is in the emergent field and what is each of our individual roles within it? Or, as I am asking myself, what can I do?
To begin with, I can share what I am doing.
These are the 9 most important things I’ve identified in my own life, so far. If you have any more to add, please share them with me. I’ll come back at a future time and write up a whole article on what I’ve discovered about each of these 9 at a later date, and then link them when done.
Find Your Tribe
Find Your Northstar
Heal Your Core Wounds and Traumas
Learn How to Become Personally (and Collectively) Sovereign
Heal Your Relationship With Your Parents and Start Co-Creating With Them Now
Don´t invest in unsustainable Assets, invest in Impact or ESG Assets
Learn to Live in Close Quarters and With Less Stuff
Listen to Nature and Follow Her Direction and Guidance
Be free (that is probably the hardest one to understand)
And please, I’d love to read your suggestions for the shape of the next decades and your thoughts on the comments below.