Currents 048: Welf von Hören on Potential

Jim has a wide-ranging talk with Welf von Hören, co-founder of the recently beta-launched Potential app. (Listeners who download the app can use the invitation code “jimruttshow”.) They discuss Potential’s goal of upgrading the human capacity for omni-considerate choices, the co-evolutionary relationship between increasing individual capacity & improving institutions, the risk of creating “more efficient destroyers of the universe,” GameB’s three-part model of sovereignty, online as the primary conditioning environment, asymmetry between the human mind & AI-driven platforms, bridging the intention-action gap, the decision to be a public-benefit for-profit corporation, aligning the value proposition with the user’s best interests, how the app actually works, a more monastic digital environment, enabling communities of practice, facing the moral challenges of data collection, and much more.

Welf von Hören is an applied philosopher, designer and entrepreneur. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Potential, a public benefit corporation dedicated to making technology that’s aligned with our best interest. He’s an expert for the intersection between Humane and Persuasive Technology.

EP 150 Jeremy Lent on the Web of Meaning

Jim has a wide-ranging talk with Jeremy Lent about his latest book, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe. They discuss the dominant worldview in today’s advanced economies, its lack of scientific basis, how worldviews shape the direction of history, myths of selfishness & separation, how viewing nature as resource leads to self-reinforcing feedback loops, money-on-money return, origins of capitalism & colonialism, the extractive mindset as a European development, a complex-systems approach to spirituality, “natural attractors” as spirits, discovering Taoism, wu wei & yu wei, animate vs conceptual consciousness, integrated consciousness, yu wei as multipolar trap, problems with using GDP as a metric, improving the relationship between I & self, a democracy of consciousness, contemplative & embodied practices as a way of moving the brain toward new attractors, false ideas about evolution e.g. the selfish gene, how cells began cooperating, how humans might do the same, changing our social operating system, stepping off the hedonic treadmill, fixing transnational corporations, and much more.

Jeremy Lent is an author and speaker whose work investigates the underlying causes of our civilization’s existential crisis and explores pathways toward a life-affirming future. Born in London, England, Lent received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and was a former internet company CEO. He is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the Earth. He lives with his partner in Berkeley, California. Lent also writes topical articles exploring the deeper patterns of political and cultural developments at Patterns of Meaning.

EP 149 Joshua Vial on Enspiral

Jim has a wide-ranging talk with Joshua Vial, co-founder of the multifaceted social-impact support network Enspiral. They discuss Enspiral’s origin story, its organizational structure, tradeoffs between exploration & exploitation, coherent pluralism, how to do a company without bosses, keeping product & consulting companies separate, the origins of Loomio in Occupy Wall St. consensus processes, how to invite external investors without shitshow VC culture, building to sell vs building to keep, Enspiral as intentional-contributor collider, face-to-face vs virtual collaborations, effects of international growth, the Golden Pandas livelihood pod, unsettling permission-seeking habits in communities, management theories as picking grounds for practices, Dev Academy & cutting out “ball-chasing” in education, Web3 as a chance for citizens to win, DAOs as possible next unit of human culture, worthy social-impact projects in the blockchain space, and much more.

Joshua Vial is an entrepreneur, programmer and educator with a passion for business, technology and social change. He has been running technology businesses since 2004 and launched Enspiral in 2010. In 2013 he co-founded Enspiral Dev Academy and has been focused on teaching and accelerated education since then.