If we’re being honest, we weren’t sure how this report would play out. In true web3 fashion, we’re building the plane as we fly it.
With ~170 members, about 50 active daily, and over half of those committed to support a five-member project team in both independent and multiplayer research, this was going to be a true community experiment.
But we immediately started to see the magic unfold in real time.
RADAR is a global community of once-strangers; an unlikely mix of researchers new to Discord; web3 natives introduced to futures through a new and yet-unproven server; and a host of curious humans seeking digital camaraderie — those who would stoke their interests and passions, and maybe teach them something interesting along the way.
- Curated hundreds of Signals over the course of months
- Collectively decided upon a single topic to investigate, in line with RADAR’s values and vision
- Came together in Caves and Campfires, learning and leveraging new tools for collaboration
- Collected and connected dots across space and time, bringing their own unique backgrounds and perspectives to the table
- Converged on a narrative of the present, and map of the future as a community, rallying behind a center of gravity that would propel us into what’s next (you’ll see ✨)
It all started back in May. One Signal, in one channel, about a hospital building trying to figure out how to help its patients feel more in sync — eventually spawning an outpouring of Signals and ideas that sparked this massive, collective endeavor. That’s what makes me love it so much. It’s a proof-point for not only how this community works, but this industry, too. Facilitating and expanding collective wisdom through dot connection and pattern recognition in its purest sense.
Together we set out to explore an expansive brief, charting a path toward A Future In Sync:
These days, it’s hard to feel like we’re on the same page: with each other, with the world around us, even with ourselves. In response, it feels like we’re seeking the solid ground of synchrony: reaching out to the collective, reaching back to our roots, and reconsidering our relationship with space and time to find our footing yet again. Exploring these ideas, what sits behind them, and what kind of future trajectories they inspire will be the basis for RADAR’s first Futures Report.
Over eight weeks (give or take 😅) we explored far and wide. Questioning our questions. Mining for unexpected signals. Digging deep across horizontal and vertical context to bring texture, color, and depth to a topic we came to feel so passionate about. Pushing, pulling, and plotting our way to the kind of better future we each signed up to nurture when we joined RADAR.
I’m reminded of Paul Ford’s commentary on the obstacles to seeing what’s ahead. “You can’t predict the future. You can only better understand the layers and let your mind wander over them until you find a connection worth making and a new thing worth building, even if you’re the only one who sees it. You can give it a name and believe in it, and try to make it come true. That’s progress.” The piece’s subhead sums it up well: “People tend to make predictions while looking through their own narrow lens. The real vision lies in seeing connections.”
What he didn’t count on was what could happen when you brought together dozens of perspectives from around the world… and threw them into the chaos of a Discord server to let them work it out so that a team of thinkers, makers, and creators could take the baton from there (if you’re asking yourself what that is, have a look at our plans for next month’s Futurethon).
Frankly, we can’t wait to see what happens next.
But in the meantime we hope you enjoy the fruits of our collective labor.
Because we think we’re onto something special.
You’ll want to keep us on your radar.
— Keely Adler, er, @keels223
Research Instigator & Future In Sync Project Lead
If you’re trying to read this RADAR report on mobile, don’t. Just don’t.
Grab a water, grab a seat, and cozy up in front of a bigger screen — because you’re in for a wild ride