We’re launching a fellowship program to bring together mission-driven people working on projects to strengthen civil society and rethink public goods. This is part 2 of 3 giving more details on the upcoming Radicalxchange fellowship program. Read part one to find out about the projects we are looking for. First published on https://blog.radicalxchange.org.
We know the market does an efficient job at creating private (rivalrous and excludable) and club goods (non-rivalrous and excludable). We also know it does a poor job with non-excludable goods like common property resources (rivalrous and non-excludable) or pure public goods (non-rivalrous and non-excludable).
We have a rich entrepreneurship ecosystem for private goods for which excludability is possible. But because the Government is responsible for public goods, we lack a similarly rich ecosystem. There is lots of Government funding for R&D with associated positive externalities. But where is the Y Combinator if an entrepreneur wants to develop a public good? Where is the guidance for changemakers focused on value creation not value capture? Where is the advice for teams that don’t want to pursue a growth-at-all costs VC-backed business but still make an impact?
The RadicalxChange Fellowship program is designed to fill that gap. The fellowship is a forum for exploring radical ideas asking: do we now have the tools and technologies to create public goods in new ways? Does software mean economic excludability is no longer binary in the traditional competitive model? And how can we sustainably finance public goods without Government or traditional capital markets?
In creating a program to address these big questions, we have scoped down the focus to 12 goals which we call the RadicalxChange Development Goals. While not comprehensive, we believe these goals form a blueprint for fixing the public and market institutions we need to create a fairer future.
Theme 1: Governance
By governance, we mean to increase the inclusiveness, transparency, and participation in collective decision-making processes. Public institutions need to address the chronic lack of trust and shared facts that continue to erode the social contract between state and citizen. **Private companies need decision-making and governance tools to build more sustainable, participatory and inclusive organisations to attract customers, employees and investors. **We’ve identified three high-level goals to achieve this:
RxC Goal 1 (RxC1): Increase participation in public and private sector decision-making
RxC2: Increase transparency of public and private sector decision-making
RxC3: Increase quality and precision of public and private sector decision-making
Theme 2: Property
Under the property theme, we see a need to increase the digitisation of property systems to allow for more flexible, agile, programmatic rules for ownership and transfer. We believe upgrading property rights for the digital world has the potential for more flexible and inclusive forms of private and public ownership models. Three goals will help make this happen:
RxC4: Digitize and increase transparency of property rights
RxC5: Improve efficiency of cooperative and more equitable corporate structures
RxC6: Advance SALSA or other partial common ownership systems
Theme 3: Data
By data, we are specifically referring to the control and access over data. One of the fundamental market and social imbalances of the digital age is between data creators and data processors. We are undergoing something like a 50 year project of acknowledging socially, politically and legally that data is property. Our technology and legal systems need updating to reflect this. Projects looking to tackle of the following goals would be a good starting point:
RxC7: Reduce information asymmetry of data usage between consumers and firms
RxC8: Advance self-sovereign and self-custodial identity solutions
RxC9: Advance collective control and bargaining solutions for data
Theme 4: Competition
Finally, and related to governance, property and data rights, is competition. We want to see a decrease in market concentration in digital goods but more importantly for long-term sustainability will be tools to more equitably share economic profits across society. Solutions based in software that benefit from network effects inherent in information and communication technologies should be designed in terms of ownership and governance with these dynamics in mind.
RxC10: Advance “exit to community” and related equity systems
RxC11: Advance meaningful, thoughtful stakeholder control systems
RxC12: Address monopolized markets with solutions designed to limit remonopolization
If you are working to address any of these 12 goals, we want you to apply. Please send the following before December 13, 2020 to email@example.com:
Send us a 1000-word essay explaining how your project contributes to the RadicalxChange movement and pushes the vision forward.
Share a brief personal statement describing what you care about and what drives you.
Optionally, share a selection of your previous work or research.