Click here to the latest version of the paper on the heliogenic civilisation.From the vantage point of the 172,000 TW economy, humanity's current 19 TW output will seem like mere child's play. This economy will be as radically different from today's as our present world is from a century ago. Before delving into the imperative of constructing a 172,000 TW economy, let's first set the stage with a vivid illustration.A newborn arrives, and in keeping with tradition, the community bestows upon her a "Life-Gift"—a curated box brimming with seeds, microorganisms, and fungi. As she matures, she learns to leverage these biological resources for everything from food to compute. Upon discovering her innate passion, she specializes, mastering her chosen craft as is the communal norm. This ensures a robust, life-affirming economy of highly skilled humans dedicated to producing goods and services that enrich existence.
The 19TW economy
The current 19TW economy is fundamentally rooted in extracting materials and fossil fuels from Earth's reserves. Here, the key performance indicator for both political and economic entities is Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This system inherently drives an insatiable, exponential demand for energy and materials, a cycle driven by the direct linkage between GDP and exponential money creation.This forms a multipolar trap that recursively spirals from individual choices to international policies. Driven by game dynamics that mandate competitive, relentless resource extraction, the 19TW civilization is essentially devouring its own life support, paving its own path to obsolescence.
The 172.000TW economy
Leveraging the vast, free energy supplied by our celestial fusion reactor Project MIRACLE aims to build an economy rooted in nature's principles. Not only could this sunlight-fueled system resolve humanity's current crises, but it also promises a flourishing future for all Earth's inhabitants. The following sections will outline the contours of this envisioned heliogenic civilization and delineate the steps required to realize it.
Trapped in a 19TW economy, escalating economic, political, ecological, and technological challenges increasingly sever our innate connection to life's sacredness and beauty. Yet for those lucky enough to reconnect, prioritizing life over reductive metrics like GDP becomes an effortless, intuitive, and non-negotiable choice, leading to well-aligned societal incentives. A heliogenic civilization reorients itself around this very principle, fostering life and assuming a custodial role in its perpetuation.
Even if a 19TW economy could harness Earth-based fusion or geothermal energy, it would merely postpone ecological collapse by a few centuries. The heat waste from such energy sources would steadily warm the planet, requiring massive efforts to convert that heat into wavelengths capable of leaving Earth.
Utilizing any energy source other than the sun becomes morally indefensible under this scenario. Fortunately, the sun offers ample energy to sustain a flourishing civilization if combined with the principles of nature.
Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, is not only healthful and versatile in flavor but also easily home-brewed within days. Its "scoby"—the symbiotic culture that ferments the tea—doubles in size during the fermentation process. If each person began cultivating Kombucha and sharing the surplus scoby with their community, we could eliminate the global need for store-bought carbonated drinks in just seven weeks.While it's intuitive to think of nature as a source for food and nutrition, modern science reveals that nature can fulfill virtually any material need of a civilization. Imagine cultivating the components for your home, clothing, communication devices, transportation, and other essential infrastructure as effortlessly as you can brew Kombucha.With the knowledge and free access to raw materials like seeds, fungi, and symbiotic bacteria, individuals gain immense potential for self-sovereignty. While it's theoretically possible for each person to be self-sufficient, we recognize that not everyone excels or is passionate about the same things. This opens the door for a society where each individual can thrive by pursuing their unique passions, thereby enriching the community as a whole.In laying the groundwork for a new material economy, we have the freedom and opportunity to employ untapped forms of scaling—methods that harmonize more closely with natural principles than today's one-size-fits-all strategies. This novel approach to scalability embraces feminine principles, which are inherently life-affirming. Rather than concocting a single, standardized solution and attempting to mold the world to fit it, feminine scaling focuses on replication and adaptation. It advocates for solutions deeply rooted in local contexts, with the flexibility for adaptation to different environments.
Bernard Lietaer, renowned as "the world's top currency trader" by Business Week in 1992, was a pivotal figure in monetary innovation aimed at fostering human and ecological well-being. During his tenure at the Central Bank in Belgium, he orchestrated the ECU convergence mechanism that laid the foundation for the single European-currency system.When the Belgian city of Ghent faced a downward spiral in a neighborhood predominantly occupied by undocumented immigrants, the government turned to Bernard Lietaer for a solution. Taking an unorthodox approach, Lietaer first identified a shared aspiration among the residents: access to land for cultivation. He then brokered a deal with the city to allocate plots of land that could be "rented" using a special community currency. This currency was earned by contributing valuable services and improvements to the community. In a surprisingly short period, the initiative reversed the neighborhood's decline, demonstrating the transformative power of aligning community aspirations with innovative financial mechanisms.In a world anchored in the stewardship of LIFE, care becomes the core currency of economic transactions, transforming competition into a cycle of mutual well-being and regenerative growth. It's an ecosystem of mutually assured thriving, where success is gauged by holistic wellness rather than mere GDP.
Just as the mind serves as the integrative force that coordinates the diverse, and sometimes conflicting, fitness functions of a biological organism, culture plays a similar role for individual minds within a society. Yet, while a biological organism is fundamentally hardwired for survival—expressed through its instinctual drive towards life—culture lacks such a built-in compass. By embedding the stewardship of LIFE as a central, shared objective, we can elevate our collective existence from being a rudderless culture subject to mere emergent forces, to an agentic civilization with a clear and life-affirming mission.
The Manhattan Project, which fundamentally reshaped global politics and social paradigms on a budget of $34 billion in today's money, laid the groundwork for a world precariously balanced on the principles of mutually assured destruction. As we confront the limitations of that legacy, it begs the question: What financial commitment are we willing to make to reframe the world around the concept of mutually assured thriving?While a comprehensive shift toward a thriving world demands multi-pronged efforts in areas like education, governance, and healthcare, Project MIRACLE hones its focus on laying the groundwork for a transformative material economy. This targeted approach aims to create not just sustainable but also regenerative economic structures, setting the stage for broader changes in mindset and soulset as a basis for societal values necessary for universal thrivability.
Heliogenesis is not a recognized scientific discipline; rather, it serves as an overarching term that encompasses a range of sub-fields. These areas of study aim to harness natural principles—often solar-powered—to develop innovative materials and technologies. Below is a snapshot of the current scientific landscape in these related domains.Biomimicry: This interdisciplinary field draws from biology, engineering, and materials science to mimic nature's designs for solving complex human challenges. Applications range from medical devices that replicate gecko adhesive qualities, to wind turbines inspired by whale flippers for improved efficiency. Progress in this domain continues to expand as more researchers focus on leveraging nature's time-tested solutions.Biomineralization: In this field, researchers study how living organisms produce minerals to harden tissues or fulfill specific functions. Applications include developing new materials for construction and understanding natural carbon capture mechanisms. For instance, the process by which coral reefs form through calcium carbonate deposition offers insights into sustainable construction and carbon sequestration.Biofabrication: This involves utilizing biological systems as manufacturing agents for chemicals, materials, or structures. Bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms can be engineered to produce advanced materials, such as spider silk for textiles or bioplastics as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.Photosynthetic Technologies and Microbial Engineering: Besides traditional efforts to mimic natural photosynthesis for energy conversion, innovative approaches seek to bioengineer systems that combine photosynthesis with bacterial activity. For example, some researchers are exploring the fusion of E. coli bacteria with photosynthetic processes to convert sugars—products of photosynthesis—into different forms of chemical energy. This synthetic biology approach opens the door to new ways of harnessing solar energy for various applications.
The evolution toward a heliogenic civilization, as envisioned by Project MIRACLE, will unfold through phased advancements and multiple, concurrently evolving pathways. This approach allows for adaptability and resilience, enabling the project to navigate complexities and uncertainties while staying aligned with its transformative objectives.PATHWAYS
Science - The bedrock of Project MIRACLE lies in advancing the existing science of heliogenic principles and materials, setting the stage for technologies that echo nature's own wisdom.
Engineering - This phase translates the scientific discoveries into actionable heliogenic technologies and infrastructure, creating tangible, sustainable solutions for real-world challenges.
Governance - A vital component focuses on establishing a legal framework that safeguards heliogenic principles and resources as a shared commons, preventing misappropriation by narrow interests.
Distribution - The final phase is committed to the equitable dissemination of heliogenic solutions, ensuring that every human being benefits from this revolutionary shift towards a sun-powered civilization.PHASES
Connect - This initial phase aims to identify and engage with scientists, engineers, and builders already laying the groundwork for a heliogenic civilization. The focus is on understanding the current trajectory, state of development, and resource needs for both individual contributors and the pathways as a whole. This phase primarily targets pathways 1, 2, and 3.
Attract - The next step is to secure the financial, physical, and legal resources required to draw these pioneering actors into the Project MIRACLE ecosystem. The goal is to create a structure that not only integrates existing efforts but also magnetizes new individuals and collectives to join. This phase concentrates on fortifying pathways 1, 2, and 3.
Orchestrate - This phase takes on the task of coordinating activities and resources among various stakeholders. It ensures focused, efficient utilization of resources while maintaining alignment with the project’s objectives. Pathway 4, focused on distribution, is introduced at this juncture.
Grow - The final phase aims to amplify efforts across all pathways, elevating the levels of activity, precision, and speed. This sets the stage for the heliogenic civilization to mature and thrive.
Estimating the exact cost of an endeavor as ambitious as Project MIRACLE is impractical. Rather than attempting to pin down a specific figure, we opt for a workforce-centric budgeting approach. We estimate the headcount needed for each phase of the project, as well as the projected duration of the phase and base our budget on this figure. Each person involved is accounted for at an average full-cost annual income of 100,000 EUR, with an additional 25% allocated for operational overhead. This approach provides a scalable and realistic framework for financial planning, enabling us to adapt as the project evolves.1) Connect - We believe that a team of 20 individuals should be able to fully map the required field within one year, leading to a total cost of 2.5 Million EUR
2) Attract - This phase not only includes the individuals directly involved in the operations of Project MIRACLE but also the scientists, engineers, builders who choose to join during this phase. While the Phase starts at 20 individuals, it is likely to grow to 2000 over the course of three years. We assume superlinear growth, leading to 370 Million EUR.
3) During phases 3 and 4 we assume a headcount of 10000 individuals and a duration of 10 years leading to a total of 12.5 Billion EUR.
Creating the bedrock of a new material economy—which could not only alleviate the suffering of billions but also set the stage for a thriving planetary ecosystem, all while boosting economic potential by 10,000-fold compared to current levels—is an undeniable imperative. Particularly when its estimated cost is just a fraction of what was spent on the Manhattan Project.If this vision resonates with you and you're among the fortunate few with both the liberty and resources to catalyze Phase 1 of Project MIRACLE, we invite you to join this groundbreaking initiative. Your active involvement could serve as the keystone for realizing a heliogenic civilization, fundamentally transforming our collective relationship with LIFE itself.Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org