Post-scarcity organizations?
July 26, 2011 8:25 AM   Subscribe

There are organizations that are palliative (e.g. the Red Cross). There are organizations that are arguably transformative on a societal level (e.g. Kiva). Are there organizations in which global post-scarcity is an explicit goal and overarching value?

These organizations could still be working on a single puzzle piece (renewable energy, artificial intelligence, nanotech, childhood and adult education, etc.) of course, but they still explicitly are a post-scarcity (however they define it and however they phrase it) organization. I'm looking for actual organizations that exist today.
posted by zeek321 to Work & Money (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Interestingly, from that wikipedia article you link, I discovered the Zeitgeist Movement:
The Zeitgeist Movement is a Global Sustainability Advocacy Group with roughly 500,000 members across virtually all countries, currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters. Each group works to spread awareness about new economic & socially progressive ideas which seek to reform our methods and perceptions in the interest to create a truly progressive, sustainable, peaceful, global society. The core interest is to bring about a more responsible, humane and sustainable socio-economic system, known as a "Resource- Based Economy".
posted by londonmark at 9:02 AM on July 26, 2011

Humanity+ is "an international nonprofit membership organization which advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities." Their about page mentions some related transhumanist organizations like the Extropy Institute and the World Transhumanist Association.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:38 AM on July 26, 2011

Mining the same transhumanist vein... Ray Kurzweil's Singularity Institute focuses on the possibilities of powerful artificial intelligence.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:43 AM on July 26, 2011

Your linked definition of post-scarcity sets a very high-bar:
Although some argue that already there exists enough energy, raw materials and biological resources to provide a comfortable lifestyle for every person on Earth, this would generally not be termed a "post-scarcity society" unless the production of goods was sufficiently automated that virtually no labor was required by anyone.
I was going to suggest the Hunger Project as an organization founded on the fundamental vision that there is no need for food scarcity and no need for hunger. While the Hunger Project has that vision, it doesn't aspire to having "the production of goods...sufficiently automated that virtually no labor [is] required by anyone."

Is that really part of what you're looking for? Frankly, it makes me think of The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, or more recently, Wall-E. I would be surprised if there were any significant organizations that had that goal. It sounds more like religious fringe.
posted by alms at 10:00 AM on July 26, 2011

Here's another one: The Foresight Institute focuses on nanotechnology. Their vision document (PDF) includes self-replicating nanotech factories, abundant energy through new solar techonology, cures for serious diseases, space travel, supplying clean water globally, and healing the environment.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:25 AM on July 26, 2011

(Sorry to derail, but given the strong criticisms of the Hunger Project and Est founder Werner Erhard's early involvement (noted at Wikipedia), I'm not sure I would give much credence to the Hunger Project's stated goals.)
posted by kristi at 10:34 AM on July 27, 2011

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