The Manifesto [Feb 2021]


Humanity has entered a critical moment in its history. The coming decade is a time of great historical significance, and the decisions humanity collectively makes in the next 10 years may well determine whether our future is bright and prosperous, or whether it leads to misery and perhaps even our eventual demise as a species. 

The good news is that while our challenges are urgent, we are not yet too late. The future is better than many tend to think, but only if we make the right decisions, here and now, and in this coming decade. We must keep asking ourselves this fundamental question: What kind of world do we want to leave our children and succeeding generations?

The great thinker, designer and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller (‘Bucky’) wrote several seminal books describing this pivotal moment in history, which he called the Fork in the Road.  In “Utopia or Oblivion: Prospects for Humanity,” published in 1969 (!), Fuller stated,

Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment… Humanity is in a final exam as to whether or not it qualifies for continuance in the Universe.”

The Fork in the Road Project takes its name from this vision. The moment Fuller forecast is here: Humanity has entered the decisive decade and stands at perhaps the greatest, most monumental junction in the history of our species.

While many forces challenge the future, we recognize these 4 overarching issues

  1. Dealing with the Climate Crisis so that humans and all life can continue to flourish on Earth
  2. Designing New Economic and Political Frameworks, based on sustainable principles such as “People, Planet, Purpose & Prosperity”
  3. Managing Exponential Scientific and Technological Progress
  4. Governing Human Enhancement, Longevity, and Human Genome Editing so that progress continues while consequences are carefully considered

The initiators and initial signatories of this manifesto agree and hereby declare the urgent need to raise global awareness, to engage in wide education and debate, and to take decisive actions on these key issues in order to bring about fundamental shifts in all areas of human endeavour. 

Historically, humans have been largely reactive to threats and crisis, as evidenced by Covid-19. This approach will clearly not work for tackling climate change or controlling technological super intelligence. We must start acting based on solid science, deep foresight, collective ethics and practical wisdom, and ask not what the future may bring but what future we want, and how we will create it. Rather than tacitly agreeing to our seemingly inevitable future, we must actively create our preferred future.

The Fork In The Road Project commits to dramatically raising awareness at this critical moment in history, and to influencing decision makers around the globe to make the necessary changes needed so that humanity will flourish going forward. 

We commit to elevating the discourse and decision making of all to this vision of urgency, and the opportunity we have in this decade to ensure humanity’s future. We commit to telling stories about the urgency of this decade in assuring a long-term future for humanity and all life. We urge all who agree to step up, to sign and share this manifesto to redirect humanity toward a positive future. 

“As we see our future, so we act. As we act, so we become.”

Barbara Marx Hubbard,  protégé and devotee of Buckminster Fuller

February 24, 2021

David Houle, Sarasota
Gerd Leonhard, Zurich
Glen Hiemstra, Seattle

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We will have all the tools
– but will we have the wisdom?