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Call-for-Collaborators : OpenBump (Database of High Value Problems Worth Solving)

Hi all,

Anyone interested in teaming up to build the following?

Project Codename: OpenBump

Vision
Imagine if all the key information about the world most valuable problems were easily accessible to everyone anywhere (transparent, open, etc). Now imagine if you could view this list (by impact, location, progress, difficulty, etc). Image if you find out all the important information about any problem and discover opportunities for collaborating on them. Imagine if this database resulted in accelerated problem solving and the impact that would have on global progress.

Mission
Build the undisputed single point of truth (knowledge base) of “Big UnSolved Meaningful Problems worth Solving” (BUMPs) and provide this as a service. Think of it as a potential marketplace for problems and their solutions.

Why do this?
If we can define the problems (local, nationally, globally) in such a way that enables effective action to be taken then we can accelerate problem solving globally.

Doesn’t this already exist?
Not that I can find*. There are some databases out there and there are snippets of lists created by various institutions - but there is no globally recognised (actively managed list) that is open to access (to create, read, update, delete) information by the global crowd. I am already talking to the owners of this one about collaboration…and I hope to meet with them again soon.

(*Naturally - if you know of something out there I should know about please shout! )

Current Status
I have the start of a website here. Eventually I need to map this to www.openbump.org (also have the .com, .net). I have trademarked the word mark "OpenBump"in the benelux region.

I am actively seeking out collaborators (individuals & organisations) who want to work together to build this. I am also seeking out funding leads e.g. EU, various accelerators, private investors, etc.

The Bigger Vision
OpenBump is one component - but ideally I would like this to be a key enabler in a grand plan to create a collaborative problem solving platform (something I’m calling a bumpConductor)…I always think of a ‘flux capacitor’ when I say ‘BumpConductor’…maybe it is an equally crazy concept :slight_smile:

2 Likes

What kind of support and collaboration do you need most at the moment, or in general? What tasks are there to do to get this OpenBump thing started?

I’m certainly willing to give general feedback and advice regarding the online infrastructure. And of course, you can use the humble resources of the Fractal Future Network for your purposes.

What’s the current roadmap for establishing OpenBump?

this is a great idea and very ambitious. but i think you will need great thinkers, philosophers and psychologists to help you finding that truth, one could work with.

I am not sure whether the “undisputed” is actually the best idea. A “controversial” list of BUMPs would still be quite valuable and may even attract more attention than an “undisputed” one.

Also, I think there is an opportunity to work together with the Effective Altruism movement on this. While OpenBump may collect problems, effective altruist organizations may look for the organizations best suited for solving those problems most effectively and evaluate them in detail.

There’s also Leverage Research which possibly might be willing to collaborate with the OpenBump project. There may be some potential for synergy, at least.

You are right with the undisputed - does sound too pretentious now when I look at it.

Any suggestions about who to contact in the Effective Altruism movement?

Leverage Research looks interesting - but their website has very minimal info about them. Where are they based?

First of all: I’ve thought about how OpenBump could fit together with the Fractal Future Network and my reputation system Quantified Prestige.

It seems that OpenBump and the Fractal Future Network are relatively similar:

  • They are both supposed to be online communities
  • They both want to help solve the bigger problems of the world

Different approaches

What’s different is the approach: The Fractal Future Network a target audience of “futurists”, while the target audience of OpenBump would be “problem solvers”. The overlap is certainly not small: Many futurists want to be problems solvers, and good problems solvers should also be at least somewhat futuristic.

The second difference is that the FFN is project-centric, while OpenBump is problem-centric. Other potential alternatives could be “solution-centric”, “mission-centric”, “vision-centric”, or “community-centric”. All of these approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. And perhaps we need specific platforms for all of these approaches, even though that might seem to create a splintering of the community and a multiplicity of efforts. My reasoning is that we can’t know a priori which approach is actually the best, so I’m in favour of letting a thousand flowers bloom – once we actually have the resources for that. At this early stage it may actually be the best to focus on one or two approaches, but not more.

Evaluation of different approaches

Perhaps some evaluation of the different approaches might be in order now. What I have experienced a lot is the “community-centric” approach in online communities. I’ve been in self-improvement forums, anarchist forums, transhumanist mailing lists, and more. While a lot of very interesting talk is going on there, and one may find friends via those paths, these communities don’t seem to produce tangible results (apart from difficult to measure personal growth) – on rare occasions they do. This is most visible on Facebook: Lots of talk, no results.

Out of my unhappiness with that situation, I decided to give the Fractal Future Network a project-based orientation. This actually seems to work slightly better. Of course, it’s hard to evaluate this meaningfully, because the FFN hasn’t taken off as much as I would have hoped to.

At around the same time that I founded the FFN, David Wood created the Transpolitica think-tank, which I would classify more as “mission-based”. This approach worked relatively well, as can be measured by more than a dozen contributors working together to release two ebooks within few months! A lot of this could be attributed to David Wood being relatively well connected within the futurist community and also being skilled at leading people towards actually delivering tangible results (deadlines seemed to have helped quite a lot).

How would solution-centric, vision-centric, or problem-centric approaches work out? My intuition says that a vision-centric approach would be about the same as a community-centric approach, but with a clearer goal in mind, which should make it at least somewhat more effective. Now to the solution-centric and problem-centric approaches: My intuition tells me that they should go hand-in-hand. One problem can have multiple solutions. On the other hand, one “thing” can be a solution for multiple problems (though these problems really need to be defined to be able to see that). A solution-based approach without being based on a problem-based approach doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense: At least you need to mention a problem to even frame your “thing” as solution for anything. Now, I think a problem-centric approach is not enough: You might create a community that eagerly discusses problems, but that doesn’t imply that people are getting closer to any real solution. Really solving problems is hard. So, you need to remind people again and again that we need to come up with actual solutions and being actually constructive (otherwise people tend to have the negative tendency just to shoot down the proposed solutions of others, without having any solutions themselves).

Is that actually the best way to move towards a better future? It could be. At the very least, when combined with project-based approaches, and mission-based approaches, a problem-solution platform might be very effective at catalysing real effective change.

Gamification

So, you want to crowd-source solutions for the BUMPs that are in our way. That’s an excellent approach! To be actually attractive for the crowd, the platform must be actually engaging, fun, stimulating. Otherwise people will prefer to hang around on Facebook, instead of interacting with that platform. Gamification can help a platform become more engaging. Awarding badges to users for certain achievements is a component of gamification, but it’s a very basic one, and far from being sufficient. For example, this forum uses badges, but I doubt that this is the reason why anyone joins this forum, or stays active in it.

Quantified Prestige

This is where Quantified Prestige comes into play. One of the motivating insights behind QP is that our monetary system can be seen as some kind of game. People often treat money as “points” and want to increase their “high score”. This is especially true for a lot of millionaires. However, it is known that money is not an optimal motivator for humans. But people want scores. They want to beat their personal best, and beat others. A quantified prestige score gives you that: It’s a score that people can use to measure their success, while at the same time, this mechanism evades some of the problems of the monetary system. QP can be used as gamification / rewarding layer for online communities, including the FFN, OpenBump, Transpolitica, or whatever. If it works right, the reward mechanisms of QP will attract people and keep them active and constructive in the community.

Repuation-coupled monetary rewards

Now let’s think a bit further. Imagine that people actually start using OpenBump and the BumpConductor to actually solve BUMPs. This turns them into actually useful and valuable platforms. But because they use QP as reward layer, the contributions of individual users are rewarded with Prestige points. That’s cool in its own right, but it becomes better: If a company uses OpenBump and pledges to use a certain percentage of their profits to share with the OpenBump community, then this money can be split up among the OpenBump users who have contributed to solving the BUMPs according to their Prestige points!

There are actually multiple ways in which that can work. One possibility is to treat the OpenBump community as a single QP network in which any people with Prestige points are rewarded whenever a company shares its profits with the OpenBump community.
Another alternative is to limit the payment of profit shares to those users who actually contributed to the BUMP in question that the company works on. This can still work with the Prestige scores of the users in question, or the company itself grants its own Esteem points to those users, based on its own evaluations of the contributions of the users.
I’m not sure which system is better. They can both be combined. Or each company decides which system to use.

Thinking even more long-term this mechanism could be replaced or complemented with payments in a global decentralized reputation-based currency (which I call Fluido). But it’s still a long time until that gets viable.

Different Approaches

I also see them as complementary. Problems are obstacles that are most relevant when you are headed somewhere - futurists can help frame the possible, probable, and preferable. This can help identify problems, whether current or anticipated.

I think of it like this. Problems become relevant when you are taking action (on a mission) headed to a better place (vision). To overcome the problems you’ll need resources (community) to create solutions - this community will most likely work together when the vision is compelling enough to overcome the friction necessary to achieve momentum. Maybe all the approaches are necessary to come together to achieve success?

Gamification
I too see this as an important element in achieving engagement. This will help create network effects to build the user base. Regarding badges etc - have been thinking about a concept called BUMPSTARS (Where STARS = ‘Someone They’ll Always Remember’’). These can be awarded to individuals and organisations. Could imagine these being used to promote organisations that are recognised for achievements in solving BUMPS by the wider community.

Repuation-coupled monetary rewards
Nice. Wouldn’t it be great if we managed to achieve this! I can also imagine a means called ‘BumpFunding’ - which acts as an exchange between current monetary systems and bump based rewards. This would be a means whereby investors (organisations or individuals) can choose to invest in problems they want resolving. Members of the BUMP ecosystem can exchange their points for money or for services from others in the bump ecosystem e.g. a hotel chain may allow bump ecosystem members to use their prestige points (or bump-points) to buy hotel nights!!! :slight_smile:

Seems we have no shortage of ideas - we just need to build momentum and make things happen now. We have lots to do :slight_smile:

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I like that integrated perspective! You tell a convincing story why need all of these component approaches. To get the best use on an integrated perspective, we would need to create a unified ontology and language, and ideally flowcharts and infographics, which explain those. Something like this:

==M=I=[BUMP]=S=S=I=[BUMP]=O=N=> VISION :smiley:

Now add in projects, solutions and overlapping communities to the picture and you get an interesting picture that integrates all approaches. How can this influence the BUMP ontology and language? We probably need a fancy name for solution approaches that attack BUMPs. Implementing these approaches is the work of projects. Supporting those projects is the task of communities.

There are certainly plenty of different possibilities to include gamification elements into the BUMP ecosystem. But it could also become too much, so that people could actually get distracted by the gamification rewards instead of letting them focus on the BUMPs. The BUMPSTARS you mention have about the same role as Prestige points in my Quantified Prestige system. So, it would make a lot of sense to identify them in the BUMP ecosystem and just say that BUMPSTARS represent the reputation metric of the platform (while they are internally treated as Prestige in the QP system).

I see. Now I realize how perfectly that would fit together with an internal Fluido currency in the BUMP ecosystem. The BUMP ecosystem would be actually the ideal place to test out the Fluido as centralized token system within an online platform. Now for some very much needed explanation. Actually, the Fluido currency is an optional part of the Quantified Prestige system. It’s actually surprisingly advanced and sophisticated! So, the Fluido is an electronic currency that is generated by Prestige points – continuously. This means, the more Prestige points you have, the higher your income in Fluido. Fluido can also be transferred continuously, which is a totally cool feature of this innovative electronic currency. There is even a protection against monetary inflation, which works by conditional elimination of Fluido, if someone has a lot of them on his account.

Why would it make sense to use such a complicated currency / token system on the BUMP ecosystem? Because it would totally fit the purpose of the platform! People with lots of BUMPSTARS would get lots of Fluido (or whatever it’s called in the BUMP ecosystem). Alternatively, investors could invest in the BUMP ecosystem and get Fluido in return. The Fluido can be used as internal currency of the BUMP ecosystem. The more partners the ecosystem has, the more attractive it becomes to get Fluido either by investing in the BUMP ecosystem, or by contributing to the solution to BUMPs, which gives you BUMPSTARS, which gives you Fluido over time. Having Fluido would signal to the world that you are an effective problem-solver. And you can use that currency to buy goods and services within the ecosystem, from other problem-solvers of course :smile:

This may look complicated, but it’s a good way to reward all contributors appropriately. This is the beauty of the reputation income economy that is made possible with QP.

Building momentum is indeed very important. You are already doing a good job with your presentation websites and reaching out to others. Getting more people interested and invested in this project could be a big step forward. I’ve mentioned the Effective Altruism movement and Leverage Research to which I can some loose connections. I will contact them in due time, if you allow me to present your idea to them. If you prefer to speak for yourself, I will pass you the relevant contact data and tell them that you are a friend of mine with a great idea with great synergy potential. :smiley:

There’s also the option to use the Fractal Future Blog to write a presentation post about OpenBump / the BumpConductor. I would write that, if you want me to, or you could write it on your own. Both options are fine. You can register on the Fractal Future Blog if you like, but that’s not a necessity. The point of this exercise is to demonstrate that we are collaborating on this. People actively collaborating on something makes a better impression than a single person trying to implement some personal idea (though that can be very powerful, too, sometimes).

Am expecting to hear something back on Saturday whether the grant funding application to this USA based accelerator (y-combinator) has been rejected or not. They’ve had 6500 applicants apparently, and I’ve read somewhere that they are only accepting around 20 for funding! So let’s hold off contacting Effective Altruism or Leverage Research at the moment until we know the outcome of the grant application.

In the meantime I’m continuing to research into various funding options. For instance am planning on contacting this organisation to see what they offer (https://www.ashoka.org/about).

I’ll be away this weekend with the family - back on Sunday.

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Oh, wow. They fund 20 out of 6500 applicants. That’s extreme! Well, this indicates to me that we need a quite diversified funding strategy. I would especially also consider crowd funding. And contacting rich philanthropists and angel investors.

As you wish.

Oh, Ashoka looks like a really awesome organisation! Perhaps it might even be worth considering working together with them on a deeper level, for example as their BUMP-oriented arm. Of course, that might be as unlikely as getting a 20 out of 6500 grant, but it may well be worth trying anyway :smile:

Ok, have fun :smile: