The ideas inspiring the RadicalxChange movement have their roots in the book Radical Markets – but they are by no means limited to them. Instead, they grow and evolve, based on new research, feedback from the community, and what we learn from trying these ideas out in the real world.
To give you a sense, below we have listed some of the most important concepts driving RadicalxChange today. While you don’t have to share our enthusiasm for all or any of these to participate – indeed, we encourage you to be critical – it’s a good idea to be aware of them. But keep in mind, this list will change over time. So come back often, and let us know what you think.
Democracy, whether in a country, community or local club, is about giving each individual a say. But current voting methods miss a lot of what people really think. Quadratic Voting is a new twist on voting that allows individuals to express not just their choice, but also how strongly they feel about it. It can be applied to almost any situation where a group needs to make a decision or prioritize options. And in fact, in places like Colorado, it already is.
To get up to speed on quadratic voting, we recommend the following:
Funding public goods, like shared infrastructure or open-source software, is a key challenge for democratic communities – among other things because of the natural incentive for individuals to “free ride” on the funding others provide. Matching funds, where individual donations are matched by those from government or a philanthropic institution, are a great way to address the problem. But traditional matching approaches based on centralized actors often don’t reflect the real needs of a community. Quadratic Finance solves this by prioritizing projects based on the number of individual donations, not their size. Like quadratic voting, the aim is to better capture true sentiment and turn it into action. Here too, experience is showing just how. Check out the Reviews of Gitcoin Grants Round 3 and 4.
To get up to speed on quadratic finance, some good places to start are:
Self Assessed Licenses Sold via Auction (SALSA)
Private property is at the core of the capitalist system and has many advantages, not the least in incentivizing investment. But private ownership often puts owning before exchanging as well as profit before community. On the other hand, some socialists believe all property should be put to the most productive common purpose. But they struggle to identify what the most productive purpose is and to motivate people to pursue it. At RadicalxChange we think it’s possible to get the best of both approaches to property using a system called SALSA (Self-Assessed Licenses Sold via Auction). Under SALSA, everyone pays a tax on their property based on what they think it is worth – but must also agree to sell it to anyone willing to offer their self-assessed price. While it sounds radical at first, SALSA is a more coherent and sustainable way to govern the rights to possess finite resources. Its implications include a much more efficient use of resources, a better way of sharing common property, a fair wealth tax, and deeper economic equality.
For more on SALSA, we recommend:
Data has become perhaps the most valuable commodity in the world – yet every day we give it away for free to large corporations and others who reap most of the rewards. We believe it’s time for a rethink. For us, generating data as we go through our daily lives is a kind of labor. Not only should it be compensated, but we should be able to collectively bargain for a fair data wage. That’s why we advocate for radically new data policies that both reflect this new environment and try to strike a better balance between the needs of a data economy and the interests of data producers.
For more on data dignity, see:
Intersectional Social Data
In a highly digital world, data has a value not only in terms of information but also in terms of identity. Yet identity on the Internet is today largely in the hands of tech companies and others. This problem is well known and has spurred a lot of research in decentralized, or user-controlled, digital identity. At RadicalxChange we welcome this work, but also want to take it further. We believe the identity of individuals, whether in the real or virtual world, is made up of the intersection of a person’s social, business and other relationships. Such Intersectional Social Data could be the key to developing new knowledge and trust networks that don’t rely on governments or tech companies, but rather grow and evolve organically as we go through our lives.
For more on ISD, good places to start include:
Most of us can agree that monopolies are not healthy for society. That’s why we have antitrust laws. But modern monopolies are often hidden, even from the monopolists themselves. Research has shown how large institutional investors in the US, who are the largest shareholders and hence owners of US corporations, often engage in harmful monopoly practices without realizing what they are doing. We think now is a good time for some radical new antitrust ideas: not to put a corset on markets, but rather to use market forces as a natural buffer against monopolistic distortions.
For more on radical antitrust, see: