The HUMAN Project
Erika Ilves & Anna Stillwell
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iPad, and with iTunes on your computer. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iPad. Books with interactive features may work best on an iPad. iBooks on your Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later.
What should our generation do to advance the ongoing human project? The Human Project eBook is an intellectual adventure into the future of our species and an invitation to reach for the stars. Literally.
Think of the ongoing human project as an inter-generational relay. How is our generation—all of us living at the beginning of the 21st century—doing in our leg of the journey? Today we can’t give a good answer. We are just making it up as we go.
It’s time to get organized! Our unprecedented connectivity and access to knowledge makes it easier than ever. So let’s look as far into the future as our knowledge allows. Let’s lay out all the known challenges to our existence and opportunities for our evolution. Then, let’s step back and think: Where do we want to take the human project and why? What are the most important contributions our generation can make during our brief window of existence? And how do we get going?
We (the authors) take these questions head on in the HUMAN project iBook. Our answers are based on 3 years of research spanning fields from cosmology to biology, Big History to science fiction. We’ve studied scores of the global challenge lists put together by inter-governmental organizations, global fora, billionaire philanthropists, and former presidents. We’ve immersed ourselves in public debates on issues that are now well-understood and sought out lonely voices speaking about issues that have yet to register in the public’s awareness. We offer our answers as a conversation starter.
If you are a concerned member of the human race wondering where to place all of your life’s energy or just your cognitive or financial surplus, the HUMAN project eBook is a great place to start.
1. Watch, read & think.
Watch short-form videos that take on big existential questions: Who are we? What should be our purpose as a species going forward? What can one human life mean?
Read concise articles that unpack the challenges that could impact our collective survival and ascent both here on Earth and beyond—from pandemics and changing climate to cosmic radiation and the heat death of our universe. What’s the challenge really about? What’s at stake for us as a species? What ultimate goals should we aim for? What should our generation accomplish by 2050?
What would it take to turn the metaphor of the ongoing human project into an actual project?
2. Connect with like-minded people.
Reach out and connect with the authors, composer, graphic designers, coders and a growing group of volunteers. Find other like-minded readers through our Facebook group. How else will we get organized in the 21st century?
About the team
The idea behind the human project started as a spark between the two authors, Erika Ilves and Anna Stillwell, and then quickly evolved into collaboration among hundreds around the globe. 150 of us came together to run a crowd funding campaign. We attracted 261 backers and raised twice our funding goal, allowing us to turn what was going to be a free digital book into a multimedia adventure with video, original music scores and graphic design produced by a growing team of volunteers working across 4 continents.
The *really* big picture for humanity
If you want to understand the *really* big picture - the challenges facing humanity and how we should address them - this is the book for you. Opens with a series of compelling short videos to get you in the right frame of mind, and then dives into the material. One day in the future when we finally do think of ourselves as a unified species on an epic quest rather than a bunch of squabbling nationalities or political parties, history will trace the beginnings of that movement here. Highly recommended.