We all know that the world is facing massive problems, like climate change, extreme poverty and refugee crises. As individuals, we often look on and feel helpless to do anything in response. But history teaches us that large numbers of people acting together can achieve amazing things. With the Internet and other advances, collective action is possible at a scale and speed never dreamed of before.
The idea of Shared Nation (www.sharednation.org) is to create a process that will bring together lots of people to pool their money and time in support of projects that address global commons problems (e.g., climate change, refugee crises, destruction of biodiversity, etc.). We think that if we can make the experience fun and meaningful it could have a big impact, which is so urgently needed right now. The way it works is for people to donate their money and/or time and then vote every day between two different projects. Over time, using our major innovation - a unique approach to group voting -- the group will narrow down its choices and select a winner who will get a very big boost for their important work.
Our innovative approach to group decision making is called “pairwise voting.” What this means in practice is that - once individuals sign up for the site and make a pledge of either time or money - they vote between two projects each day and, through our innovative approach, that allows the group to make a smart choice fast.
We’re going to grow big, and grow fast. And yes, we’re serious about creating a new, intensely democratic, virtual country of people from around the world. As fellow citizens with a common cause, we can become an important alternative to existing power structures that are too entrenched in the status quo to enact the change we need to save our planet and create an equitable world.
Governments, market-forces, and even well-meaning billionaires are not equipped to solve many of the world's greatest problems. We're launching Shared Nation because we believe large-scale, digitally-coordinated, collective action can achieve more than these institutions. We can have wisdom without ego. We can act swiftly, yet with tremendous deliberation. Most importantly, we can apply massive resources while being immune from special interests. In our system, nobody has enough power to be worth lobbying.
To date, we've run five prototype tests with 100+ individuals. Of those who completed our summative survey, 83% rated the experience either "good" or "very good" which we've taken as encouraging feedback at this early stage of our development.