Level 5 Research Center

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—The Next Big Thing

What will be the next big thing?

Welcome to the Level 5 Research Center, where researchers are exploring the question:

How can we best shape the emergence of Level 5?

We welcome your participation as spectators, enthusiasts, learners, researchers, or advocates.

If you have comments, questions, suggestions, or issues and wish to contact the secretary, please click here to send me an email or leave a comment or question on the discussion page.

Research is conducted according to the Wikiversity research guidelines.

The following sections suggest the evolving research agenda.

Complexity Levels[edit | edit source]

The big history of the universe can be characterized as emerging in several levels[1] of complexity. The tree of knowledge system identifies four levels as:

  1. Matter—The set of material objects and their behaviors through time.
  2. Life—Organisms and their behaviors through time
  3. Mind—The set of mental behaviors of animals mediated by the nervous system that produce a functional effect on the animal-environment relationship.
  4. Culture—The set of sociolinguistic behaviors, which range from large scale nation states to individual human justifications for particular actions.

These levels represent metasystem transitions—the emergence, through evolution, of a higher level of organization or control.

Many future studies theorists are predicting the emergence of a next level, related to what we are calling level 5, that can bring us into the next plane of existence.[2] These conjectures, prototypes, life styles, and social movements include the technological singularity, wisdom research, skeptical movement, occupy wall street, effective altruism, simple living, meditation, post-scarcity economy, Modern Monetary Theory, circular economy, Plan B, GameB, Rebel Wisdom, intellectual dark web, the long now foundation, virtual nations, ultimate knowledge, and others.

Capability Infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Several developing trends are creating the capability infrastructure that is increasing the collective intelligence for global problem solving and preparing us to emerge[3] into the next level of existence.

Some of these trends are briefly described here:

Values[edit | edit source]

As we envision the next level we have come to value:

Possibilities[edit | edit source]

(Contributors are encouraged to provide content describing possible manifestations of the 5th joint point and level 5 experience.)

Aligned Work[edit | edit source]

Many futurists are working to envision, describe, prototype, and build elements of our future. Below is a growing list of concepts, organization, and projects that appear to be aligned with Level 5 concepts. This list includes several external links that may migrate to the Wikimedia address space as they evolve.

Production Systems—obtaining tangible goods

  • A circular economy is "a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible" that aims at tackling global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.
  • A steady-state economy is an economy made up of a constant stock of physical wealth (capital) and a constant population size. In effect, such an economy does not grow in the course of time.
  • Post-scarcity is a theoretical economic situation in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labor needed, so that they become available to all very cheaply or even freely.
  • Universal basic income is a sociopolitical financial transfer concept in which all citizens of a given population regularly receive a legally stipulated and equal financial grant paid by the government without a means test.

Information Systems—learning what is

  • Seeking True Beliefs — Excellence in the quest for Knowledge.
  • StopResetGo is a growing collective of change agents who seek your support to co-create an open, digital framework for the commons, enabling citizens, entrepreneurs, activists, communities, and distributed initiatives around the world to come out of their silos, converge and effectively share resources to build the future of humanity.

Wisdom—deciding what ought to be

Governance—ensuring community safety

  • Good governance is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way.
  • Advancing human rights, worldwide.
  • Evolving Governments are working to unleash collaboration.
  • How can we improve our social operating systems?
  • Perspectiva is a community of expert generalists working on an urgent one-hundred-year project to improve the relationships between systems, souls, and society in theory and practice.
  • The city of Telosa is a proposed utopian planned US city.
  • The concept of a virtual nation uncouples the traditional binding of geographic location to the associated government and its policies. People born anywhere would be free to choose the virtual nation they want to become citizens of.

Collaboration—acting together

  • Moral reasoning — Knowing what to do.
  • Transcending conflict — Resolving contradictory goals.
  • Intentional Evolution is the recognition that our role in the next evolutionary transformation has the potential to transform the nature of human existence. [9]
  • Commons Policy is a collection of policy proposals that are specifically oriented around commons.
  • The canonizer is an innovative consensus building tool.
  • Game B is a community trying to figure out what a viable, better civilization could look like and how to reach it.
  • The metaverse is a hypothesized iteration of the internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets.
  • Metamodernism refers to a broad range of developments in culture and society that appear after and gesture beyond postmodernism, and at the same time attempts to characterize post-postmodernism.
  • This essay A movement with no name collects several resources that seem aligned with this work.

Research Organizations

  • The Long Now Foundation is working to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.
  • The Santa Fe Institute is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of the fundamental principles of complex adaptive systems.

Recommended Reading[edit | edit source]

Researchers wanting to learn more about emergence of the next big thing may be interested in reading the following books:

I have not yet read the following books, but they seem interesting and relevant. They are listed here to invite further research.

  • Evolution's Arrow: the direction of evolution and the future of humanity, by John Stewart

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Within the ToK System/PTB language system, Matter, Life, Mind, and Culture are “dimensions” or planes of existence and levels are the levels of analysis that occur at the part, whole, group “level”. However more generally in physics and mathematics, the dimension of a mathematical space (or object) is informally defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify any point within it. Instead of using dimension as it is used within ToK, the word level is used here as it is often used with systems of biological organization and other complex systems. It is intended to refer to the complexity present at each of the distinct planes of existence.
  2. Henriques, Gregg (September 19, 2014). A New Unified Theory Of Psychology. Springer. pp. 307. ISBN 978-1489996619. https://www.gregghenriques.com/unified-theory-book.html.  Chapter 9, The Fifth Joint Point.
  3. A useful analogy can be made with the excellent mural illustrating the “capability infrastructure” that enabled the mother of all demos.
  4. Stewart Brand’s Pace Layer Thinking influenced this concept.
  5. We are grateful for the life-long work of Nicholas Maxwell in advocating for a transition from knowledge-inquiry to wisdom-inquiry.
  6. The importance of expanding cooperation is emphasized in The Evolutionary Manifesto, by John Stewart
  7. Genuine privacy concerns need to be accommodated. The book The Circle explores the limits of transparency and its relationships with privacy.
  8. The importance of systems thinking is emphasized in Strategies for Advancing Evolution, by John Stewart
  9. Intentional evolution is described in The Evolutionary Manifesto, by John Stewart
Educational level: this is a research resource.