The Human Project

The Human Project App
on Kickstarter

I am in love with this.

The Human Project is on a mission to architect a global public discourse on the future of our species. It’s undoubtedly bold, but their first, small step—to launch a framework for how to think about challenges that confront the species as a whole in a free iPad app—is gaining momentum. Using Kickstarter, a crowd-funding platform, co-founders Erika Ilves and Anna Stillwell raised $25,000 in just 5 days—a big success for a micro-funding endeavor. 14 days later they have raised over $40,000.

“The support has been incredible,” says Stillwell. “We have backers from all over the world: Canadians, South Africans, Emiratis, Lebanese, Americans, Italians, Danes, Bangladeshis, Dutch, Irish, Australians, Bahrainis, French, Saudis, Germans, Costa Ricans, Pakistanis, Indians, Malays… It’s pretty unbelievable. Perhaps this is an idea whose time has come.”

“Basically we’re working to bring about an understanding of all of the challenges that effect all of us, all in one place, so that we can take a step back and take a look at ourselves, as one species,” says Ilves.

Ilves and Stillwell were advising Fortune 100 companies and small and medium-sized governments on the “big challenges” of our time, when they noticed that there was not yet an integrated overview that took all of the challenges into account. “We were fairly shocked to find that there was no master list of all of the challenges that threaten the survival and development of the species.”

“Further, we were struck by the fragmentation. Every expert said their issue mattered most. Climate change, terrorism, war, poverty, asteroids and comets, “natural” disasters, technological terror and error… But where was the big picture? Where should we focus? Why? It’s impossible to answer these questions without taking a stand on where we’re headed as a human race. We need to develop a well-researched, big picture vision to guide us.” They believe that the framework and content they offer is a starting point.

Their hope is that their ideas will lead to connections with people who can help them realize one element of the longer-term vision behind The Human Project: creating a 21st century platform where those of us interested in the survival and development of the species can engage in a disciplined debate and experiment with new forms of organizing to solve problems on a species-wide scale. They believe their conceptual framework offers one way to structure the conversations on that future platform.

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