The Dreamer

The Dreamer has great faith in humanity’s evolutionary destiny and is eager to be in the vanguard of the change he or she wants to see in the world.

Not surprisingly, most of a Dreamer’s investing energy is directed toward the evolutionary strategy, with a significant secondary focus on building healthy and sustainable homes and communities.

For many Dreamers there is little purpose in remaining invested in the global economy, which seems devoid of dreams; though as with Doomers, there is a place for limited engagement in areas of the global economy where they feel they can make a difference, including personal buying and lifestyle decisions.

Peter Diamandis: Breakthrough Dreamer

Peter Diamandis is the driving force behind the innovation-fueling X-Prize and Singularity University, and a leading writer and speaker on the potential for exponential and unexpected technological and socially/environmentally-beneficial breakthroughs in the years to come. We could easily have included him alongside his oft-colleague Ray Kurzweil as a Driver, but the breadth of his vision, especially in the book Abundance, tips him toward Dreamer-hood.

About Peter Diamandis:
Diamandis’ website
Wiki on Diamandis
Peter Diamandis newsletter

Book: Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think
Abundance is a whirlwind tour through several interacting forces that Diamandis sees as driving widespread and largely unexpected innovations in the coming years.

Video: Abundance is Our Future
Video: Nine-minute montage of Diamandis media interviews; a good introduction to his primary themes.

Two recent Diamandis initiatives are designed for entrepreneurs and impact investors looking to make positive change in the world:
Book: Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
Website/network: Abundance360
Book review of Bold: The review’s opening sentences capture the gist of Diamandis’ breakthrough dreams: “Just as an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs that ruled the Earth and made way for small furry mammals, a new wave of planetary disruptions is about to occur. The new asteroid is called ‘exponential technology.’ It is going to wipe out industries in a similar manner to the rock which fell on Earth during the Cretaceous Period.”

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Lester Brown: Worldwatch Institute, Earth Policy Institute

In 2001, Brown founded the Earth Policy Institute, with a focus on practical planning for a sustainable future. Now 80, Brown recently announced that EPI would shut down in July 2015, when he retires after the publication of his latest book, The Great Transition. With any luck, their informative website will remain alive.

Book: World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse. This relatively recent book provides a thorough, concise summary of the world’s environmental crises, as well as a comprehensive set of strategies to address them. Available for purchase, or as a free PDF download.

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Gar Alperovitz: New Economy Movement

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. He is president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives, and a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative. His widely-praised book, What Then Must We Do?, looks at how our economic system got to where it is, and why the time is ripe for a new-economy movement to coalesce; it’s already becoming visible, and Alperovitz outlines how we can move it forward.

Gar Alperovitz website. Features current blog and articles, as well as information on his books.

Article: What Then, Can I Do? This article is a precursor to his book of a similar name, and features ten types of activism you can engage in to help the new economy to grow.

Democracy Collaborative. A research and consulting firm developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.

Book: What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution. Alperovitz calls for an evolution, not a revolution, out of the old system and into the new. That new system would democratize the ownership of wealth, strengthen communities in diverse ways, and be governed by policies and institutions sophisticated enough to manage a large-scale, powerful economy. This next system is not corporate capitalism, not state socialism, but something else entirely—and something entirely American.

Video: What Then Must We Do? A forty-minute talk that introduces the key themes of Alperovitz’s book of the same name.

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Paul Hawken: Champion for change

Paul Hawken has been cheer leading, and leading, positive social, environmental, and economic change for over fifty years. He’s made his marks early in natural foods and backyard agriculture, and moved on to bigger topics in widely-read books on the economic system (Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism), social change (Blessed Unrest), and next up, removing carbon from the atmosphere (Project Drawdown).

See Paul Hawken’s website; view videos of his talks

Commencement Speech Text: Healing or Stealing?
This 2009 commencement address at the University of Portland has been hailed as “unforgettable” and “one of the best commencement speeches of the past 75 years” (by His speech illustrates with clarity and grace how he lives in both optimism and pessimism about our future, with both social justice and corporate responsibility being vital to our collective future.

Interview regarding scenarios, optimism, and doomers.

Video: Project Drawdown. Introduction to a 2015 initiative to support new (and old) technologies that can reduce the greenhouse gas burden in the atmosphere.

Project Drawdown website. Project Drawdown is a book, a digital platform, and database about how we are and can reduce carbon in the atmosphere over the next thirty years. Detailing and measuring technologies that are already available, Drawdown describes the beneficial financial, social and environmental impact state-of-the-shelf solutions can deliver. By scaling existing solutions, we can mitigate and functionally reverse the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


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Jeremy Rifkin: Empathy, collaboration, emerging economies

Jeremy Rifkin has long tracked our society’s leading edges, and in recent years has written on the rise of empathy, and on the disruptions being caused by technologally-mediated new business structures. He runs the Foundation for Economic Trends.

Jeremy Rifkin’s website for the Foundation of Economic Trends

Book: The Zero Marginal Cost Society. In Rikin’s newest book (2014), he looks ahead to a world in which the lightning-fast rise of a global “Collaborative Commons” leads toward a “zero marginal cost” economic system. He looks ahead and back, at 500 years of history spiraling from an economy based on the Commons, to capitalism, and in his view, an oncoming return to this technology-mediated collaborative commons as the foundation of a new economic system that could solve some of our sustainability challenges.

This article digs into Rifikin’s newest book’s themes of technological advances disrupting entire industries, allowing small producers and players to compete with established players thanks to a trend toward zero marginal costs.

Video: The Empathic Civilization. In this Ted talk based on another relatively recent book, Rifkin delves into how empathy has evolved, profoundly shaping the shape of human development and society. He also looks ahead, asking, “Can we reach biosphere consciousness and global empathy in time to avert planetary collapse?”


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Stories of Great Transition open-source website

Great Transition Stories is an open source wiki, initiated by Duane Elgin. The purpose of the site is summarized as follows: “The stories we tell shape our view of ourselves and the path we take through this time of collective awakening and global turning. We have the ability to consciously choose narratives that offer realistic beacons of hope to guide our way through the Great Transition. The following stories are drawn from many sources–biology, psychology, cosmology, mythology, and more–and offer a wide menu to choose from in crafting guiding narratives, whether personal or organizational.” There is also a resource list of leading articles, reports, and books giving credence to the idea of a Great Transition.

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