ICYMI, last week, we published our reflections on Cycle #2 as we close the book on A More Play-Full Future. That means, of course, that Cycle #3 is on the horizon — and we’re eager to tell you all about it.
When we were planning for the year in our SuperCuration process, this topic was hard to ignore. Divisive, but hard to ignore. We knew we wanted — kind of needed — to cover it, but we also knew we wanted to do it in an undeniably RADAR way.
Which means not just covering the thing, but the world around the thing; the rippling ramifications of the thing. It means taking the thing for a spin in our time machine, to explore its horizontal and vertical context. It means unpacking what it says about our humanity and what it will mean for our relationships with ourselves, one another, and the world.
At the convergence of man and machine lies a Centaur Future. But what shape should that convergence take? Will it be combative, combinatory, or something else entirely? And moreover, what will it mean for our conception of ourselves, our lives, and one another? We’re asking these questions sooner than anyone thought we would. And without answers, we’re defaulting to taking sides — often without sitting with the ethical and existential implications of doing so.
In the now, the near, and the next, it’s clear that we’ll be living (working, playing, learning, and creating) with more human-like technology than we’ve ever dealt with before, drawing to mind fear-inducing scenarios that feel straight out of science fiction while simultaneously calling on us to look more closely at what, exactly, makes and keeps us human.
What does this mean for our relationship with technology? For our relationship with our humanity? For how we think about the physical, the digital, and the spaces in between?
All things we can explore — and so much more — as we embark on Cycle #3.
Interested in everything we’ve just covered? Then you might also be interested in being part of the team who will pursue it as part of our 10ish week research process that kicks off in just under a month!
(1) *Community Synthesist: The Community Synthesist will be the eyes and ears on the ground relative to the community’s involvement with the project, responsible for shaping an approach to community-fueled primary research, and deeply involved in shaping the report as it progresses. Interested in being the ultimate dot-connector in Discord? This one’s for you.
(1) *Experimental Specialist: New for this cycle given its particular lens on emerging technology, this role brings a ‘fck around and find out’ mentality to the team: combining an interest in human-centered research with a desire to experiment with tools and tech that can supercharge our process and our output. Fancy yourself an experimentoooor? Join us!
(2) *Primary Authors: The Primary Authors will be proven storytellers — but that doesn’t mean they’ll only be involved in the end-game. They’ll be involved throughout the process, working to surface themes, shape narrative, and consider primary research opportunities. Are you a wordsmith that loves to dive deep? Come write with us!
(1) *Project Manager: The Project Manager will be the get-it-done’r when it comes to all things Research and Incubate this cycle. This role will run the length of the full cycle, from coordinating expert outreach and keeping the project team on task, to helping organize Into the Future and all things incubate. Organized and on top of things? This might be you.
(2) Editors: Someone did the math and let us know A Future In Sync was the length of a novella. This next report shouldn’t be quite that hefty, but it will still require the fresh eyes and sharp thinking that comes with editorial support. Love the Oxford Comma? Have an unrelenting desire to correct grammatical errors when they arise? Come prove it :)
(∞) Research Contributors: Surrounding the core project team are contributing members of the Research Squad. These members offer their input in a range of ways — and the scale of their contributions vary. This one’s the wildcard — we can’t wait to see what you’ll bring.
With two cycles under our belts, we’ve designed a process that works: leaning into async work, handovers, and the occasional campfire huddle. We never rely on endless calls and chaotic timezone management, but we do ask that the core project team (starred roles above) be able to give in the range of 5-10 hours a week (worth of impact, not necessarily time; sync or async).
As a community, we’re trying to move away from time-based costing, so there’s no timesheets or anything like that — but instead, an expectation of the impact created.
At each stage, there will be various deadlines (and we’ll surely be doing some dividing and conquering), so we don’t expect this to be a solid day blocked out of every week of people’s calendars, but instead worked into your schedule with a few hours here and there as we progress through the process.
Just like last cycle, we’ll be activating a fractional funding process. This means building a coalition of Patrons and Partners to share in our vision and pursuit of Our Centaur Future.
Patrons: Patrons are individual supporters who are excited about Our Centaur Future. They believe in high-quality decentralized research and want to be part of making it happen. In an upcoming mint, we’ll launch patron NFTs at two tiers — The Angel & The Advocate. This cycle, we’re rethinking supporter benefits from the ground up, so stay tuned for more details coming soon.
Partners: Partners are like-minded brands, funds, and other organizations that share our interest in bringing this future to life. They’re co-signers invested in the mutual benefit of this work bearing fruit. We’re actively seeking partners for Our Centaur Future, so if this sounds of interest to you or an organization you work with and you’d like to learn more about what’s included in each partnership, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the context of this framework, contributors share in the fruits of our collective labor, as revenue is split among the project team, community contributors, and RADAR’s treasury — incentivizing all of us to make the experience as special as possible and create value that pays off, literally.
The more value we create as a collective, the more abundance we create for one another — split equitably among contributors based on brilliance of output, not input of time.
As we said in our Cycle #2 reflection, our conviction in multiplayer futures is stronger than ever — and we’re so excited to activate it in service of Our Centaur Future. **
Of all the futures we’ve pursued so far, this one feels the most like wet clay. And with so many ethical and existential ramifications, the stakes are high. We said in our last piece that people are hungry to be meaningful stakeholders in better futures for themselves, their communities, and the world. That they want to support visions they believe in, and that they want to help make them happen. Shaping a vision of Our Centaur Future that genuinely represents a better future is a critical opportunity.
The future is not steered by the invisible hand of a small cabal. It’s not inevitable or immutable; it’s something each one of us can imagine and impact. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the future belongs to those who think about it.
So what do you say? Want to join us in thinking about this one?
To apply to any of the research roles listed above (and yes, you can express interest in more than one), fill out our survey here. There are so many ways to contribute — we hope you’ll find one that meets you where you are.
If research isn’t your jam, but RADAR sounds like it might be, our community application is always live here.
And if you or an organization you work with is interested in partnering with us as we pursue Our Centaur Future, reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Here’s to accelerating better futures in multiplayer mode!