what do you think the future should look like?the utopiography project is the work of a small collective of friends.we decided to find out what kinds of worlds the earth's many inhabitants would ideally like to live in, given the choice; and to make those visions publically available.

to explore the utopiae we have thus far mapped,
visit our archive.
to understand the frameworks we are working with,
take a look at our theory.
to find out more about the process by which we work,
turn to our practice.
to get involved, step into the portal.

we are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims.

— r. buckminster fuller

the video archive is slowly coming together...

here are a few conversations to get started with!
expect to see more on our channel soon.

follow the links below to explore some occasional musings on the purpose of this project and the theory behind it...

what would you like it to be like?

an update on our current, working perspectives: spring equinox, 2023 | 7min read

a collaborative intervention on civilizationand an integrated meta-endeavour for humanity: autumn equinox, 2022 | 5min read

a collaborative intervention on civilizationand an integrated meta-endeavour for humanity

autumn equinox, 2022 | 5min read

we want to hear what anyone and everyone has to say about the best future they can imagine.
it is not our aim to share any one specific narrative about how the future should be.but the project of utopiography - of mapping utopiaspace - is not values neutral.this is an exercise in collective sensemaking and collective mythogenesis.we value and promote the collective intelligence, intuition, problem-solving and design capacity of humans.this "theory", then, is a meander into the perspectives that have inspired us to take up this mission.

any human with above room temperature IQ can design a utopia. the reason our current system isn’t a utopia is that it wasn’t designed by humans. just as you can look at an arid terrain and determine what shape a river will one day take by assuming water will obey gravity, so you can look at a civilization and determine what shape its institutions will one day take by assuming people will obey incentives.
— scott alexander, meditations on moloch

utopiography is a collaborative intervention on this context, civilization means all states, and instances of human social organisation, that depend upon the resources circulating in the global economy, contribute to each others economic, political and cultural development, and share a complex history of order to create a civilization that can support and engender desirable conditions for 100% of life, we must step away from political and philosophical paradigms that pit values in opposition to one another. the futility, fragility and volatility of this approach to social organization is obvious in the state of the world bucky put it, we have two options: utopia or oblivion.the aggregated effects of civilization, on all human and non-human processes, determine what life is like for all of us. as long as there are losers, in the long term there can be no winners. if we are to believe that it is possible for humanity to thrive here, we must recognize our fates as inextricably bound together, and work, as a species, together in collaboration, rather than against one another in rivalry.

in that spirit, we encourage you to listen to one another's visions for the future without judgement, attempting to understand the underlying values: and to explore whether those values can be brought into a synthesis with your own, where a world could be imagined in which what matters to you both can coexist.

it is common in our civilisation for collectives - such as corporations, or nations - to structure themselves in a competitive paradigm, where advantage is gained over other collectives operating in the same arena by gating access to the resources and information necessary for their success - until a monopoly is formed, and there is no more competition.

this is a rather tiresome practice, which may benefit a small number of individuals, but is ultimately to the detriment of most. the vast majority of us belong to the more practically meaningful collective of life on earth, and share the same needs, met by the same substrate of resources. in this case our only rival is that impetus to pit one against the other, not to the benefit of either, but to a third party leeching off that conflict.

the ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.
— david graeber

abstracting from the specific processes that guide the evolution of civilization, to the game theoretic principles that underlie them, we can gain insight into the broad shape of the finite number of possible futures which our civilization could face, if the terms of play and the nature of the game do not undergo significant, deliberate, careful and integrated redesign.we think that change should be guided, not by the incentives and power structures that have largely shaped our present situation - but by those things that we, the myriad humans living in this world, actually value. we are often thwarted in our ability to honour our true values, and it seems clear that there are very few humans who do in fact value what the current programmes of civilization are optimising for.hopefully, this project can begin to crystallise what it is that we value.

traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.
— r. buckminster fuller

there are many among our species who have made important insights into the nature of our shared problem - that of being intractably bound into a civilization which, along many core metrics, is progressively failing to sustain itself and the natural processes upon which it and much other life depends.
nonetheless, it seems we have not yet been able to identify a workable approach to redesign.we have identified a lot of things that don't work, and a lot of things that might work for specific parts of a much greater whole. we have refined and improved aspects of what we're doing in many areas, building piece by piece on the work of those before us, over milennia.the intent of this project is to gather the many disparate fragments of a coherent and integrated whole, and through dialogue between all the many different perspectives, specialisations, innovations, insights and intuitions, bring into focus the blueprints for a civilization that both addresses our collective needs, and supports us to realise our collective potential.

we are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims.
— r. buckminster fuller

we look forward to hearing what all of humanity have to say on the topic!

what would you like it to be like?

an update on our current, working perspectives

spring equinox, 2023 | 7min read

this is the question we have begun asking ourselves and our interviewees.
the conversations shared and recorded, over the months since our last investigation into the purpose of this project, have revealed many things to us: not just about what type of worlds people imagine, but about the exercise of ideal-future-envisioning in is hardly surprising that people tend to be suspicious of the question!the history of the last century and a half, well up to the present moment, is littered with horrors attendant on the attempts of groups of humans to engineer grand visions for the future, without taking into account the unknowable complexity of the world upon which they haphazardly, and hubristically, operate.and it is not only the case that today, there are defining features of human civilisation which rightly give us pause for thought about what the unintended consequences may be of both far-reaching, top-down decisions, and incremental but pervasive interventions on how our lives are is also the case that we live now in an age where the 'leaders' of our 'global society' - those humans, both elected and unelected, with the most tangible agency over the direction of the future of civilisation - attend international symposia on what grand visions should be engineered now: for the good of humanity, for the survival of the species, and by surprising coincidence, also cheerfully aligned with what best suits their financial interests or the reach of their influence.while connections are forged between those with ideas, those with power, those with money, and those with the technological and organisational facilities for implementation......the billions of us who are not invited to share in this discussion are left to bicker amongst ourselves about the appropriate emotions to feel about it.there is little else we can do, because although an estimated two thirds of us have access to the most advanced systems of global communication and broadcasting recorded in human history, this doesn't translate into us having direct influence over what lies in store for seems absurd to imagine that recording conversations with people about the world they would like to live in could change this state of affairs.even if we are to imagine that a superintelligent AI (of the sort that astronimical amounts of funding are poured by public and private institutions into developing), trained on all recorded human output, is tasked, or tasks itself, with shaping the future we appear to desire... it is hardly likely that our project would make a dent in its vast pool of data.our simple hope is that this project contributes to a culture of each of us personally considering the shape that our civilisation is taking, and thinking about - and talking about - what shape we each would like that to be. what things matter to us.that is why we have begun to ask "what would you like it to be like?" - rather than, "what is your ideal future" or "what would your utopia be like".

what is the purpose of all this new knowledge, if not to reshape our conceptions of who we are and what we might yet become? if not, in other words, to rediscover the meaning of our third basic freedom: the freedom to create new and different forms of social reality?
the dawn of everything, david graeber and david wengrow

the number of living beings on the earth are (as yet) uncountable. it is only a negligible percentage of us who gather in blue rooms to discuss the finer points of how we might, for example, keep a traceable ledger of every item on the planet, or implement biometric security for everything from personal banking to international borders.
the rest of us - well, we haven't yet conducted enough of these conversations to say with certainty, and perhaps examples such as those above will turn out to be every bit as ubiquitous in peoples' hopes for the future as "access to clean water, healthy food and comfortable accommodation for everyone" - but our intuition is that the majority of humans prefer to think of the future in more dynamic terms, as an exciting labyrinth of unexplored possibilities, where wise guidance is readily available but getting lost is still an option.many are repelled by the idea of imposing their own version of a good time on to all of reality; but most of us have opinions about what is unacceptable, what we certainly need more of, and so on.this is a conversation we should all be having, not just one for those with a financial interest in maximising specific outcomes. why shouldn't we share coherent visions of what we would like it to be like, inspired by what matters to us, regardless of the profit margins of major corporations?in spite of popular myths about what is and isn't possible, throughout the meandering course of human history, across the vast earth, our species has developed countless ways of organising society, distributing power and access to resources and opportunities, making decisions collectively and allowing them to be made for us.people have lived for centuries, even millennia, with power structures and economies which bear little resemblance to the ones most of us live with today.indeed, it is not just how to (and how not to) exercise power over one another, and how to allow (and to bar) access to resources, with which we have experimented; different ways of doing almost everything imaginable have been played with.there is no reason that this process would end with the systems we have today, or with those being developed for us for our future.from our vantage point it seems incredibly unlikely that it will end with anything, as the rich resource of human imagination and invention has not yet shown signs of depletion.whether you see our species as being funnelled down a dead-end under the guise of "advancement"; or emerging into uncharted territory on the back of the latest string of developements in a particular way of doing technology and progress; or of simply seesawing back and forth in a repetitious cycle of history yet to be broken free from - the world is at least a little different with every passing season, and we are all allowed to imagine, and to talk about, what we would like it to be like.

the rise and fall of civilizations in the long, broad course of history can be seen to have been largely a function of the integrity and cogency of their supporting canons of myth; for not authority but aspiration is the motivator, builder, and transformer of civilization.
— joseph campbell

what do you do?

it's really this simple: we interview people about what their ideal theoretically possible world would look like, record the conversation, and make it available here for others to engage with.all that "theoretically possible" means to us, is that your vision complies with the laws of physics, as you expect them to be.that is, if you don't believe time travel is possible, don't include time travel (for example).if something seems impossible because existing power structures, or current trends in 'human nature', wouldn't allow for it - we don't consider that a good enough reason for exclusion!these are things which have taken an almost infinite number of forms throughout our species' long and kaleidoscopic history, so we expect them to continue to change, according to whichever pressures and conditions they encounter.if you have a very clear vision, that's brilliant. if, like many of us, you have a few vague and dislocated impressions, we'd still love to hear what you have to say. if there is one specific aspect of reality you have strong feelings about, then let's talk about that.

we're also delighted for you to ramble on as long as you'd like, or keep it brief if you'd prefer - anything from a few minutes, to several hours, is a valuable insight into the world as you see it, and as you'd like to see it.
our conversation will be recorded and uploaded to this website and our youtube channel.

who are you?

we are a small collective of utopionauts based in the UK.we are not here to promote any ideology or agenda, except maybe that which we have made plain in our theory - although even there, we are only seeking to explain ourselves!this is a non-profit endeavour.

how do i join in?

visit our portal to choose how you would like to contact us about scheduling a conversation!

this is an invitation to share your visions of utopia.

drop us an email to arrange for us to interview you, or schedule a meeting on our calendar. feel free to get in contact with any questions you have.we look forward to hearing your perspective, and exploring the world of your dreams!

© utopiography. a collaboration of plex & world peng, generated in accord with eternal bliss ∞
coherently extrapolating our volition since 2022