The Consilience Project publishes novel research at the leading edges of global risk mitigation, governance design and culture. Our content explores the key challenges and existential threats facing humanity, and the underlying problems with current approaches for addressing them. We outline how our social systems and institutions need to be redesigned if free, open, non-authoritarian societies are to survive.
At no other point in history has humanity faced such a wide range of novel catastrophic risks. Our civilization has never been more vast, complicated, and fragile. This systemic fragility is exacerbated by new technologies, geopolitical instability, an ecological crisis and a reliance on global economic supply chains. These interlocking, interrelated problems are known collectively as the metacrisis. The Consilience Project’s primary aim is to clarify and reveal the nature of the metacrisis to enable comprehensive solutions to global problems. Our work recognizes the interconnectedness of humanity’s challenges: any solution must factor the underlying drivers of each one.
We publish research and analysis to help guide decision-makers and leaders towards the critical paths necessary to address the unique challenges of our time. The content published here is for any individual, group or institution trying to innovate around global coordination challenges, catastrophic risks and social technologies.
The Consilience Project is a publication of the Civilization Research Institute (CRI), a charitable think tank focused on reducing systemic fragility and advancing new forms of governance and coordination. CRI seeks to inform the next era of human collaboration and collective intelligence to ensure human and ecological thriving.
The Consilience Project consists of a core team of passionate people from a wide range of disciplines.
Social philosophy, collective intelligence, risk mitigation.
Geopolitical Intelligence Founder, Bismarck Analysis, Research Fellow, Long Now Foundation.
Psychometrics & Education Expert in psychology and philosophy, previous Co-Founder at Lectica Inc.
Social Network Intelligence, Founder, Aizle Analytics, Former All Source Intelligence, JSOC, NSWDG.
Senior Researcher at Bismarck Analysis, focus on industrial economics.
Award-winning urbanist, architect, and futurist, Skoll Fellow, Fellow at Singularity Institute.
Project management, software, finance, operations.
Scheduling, administration, and back office.
Strategic communications & Partnerships
Outreach and campaign specialist, Founder of Hylo, former CBC Radio journalist.
Visual Design & Brand
Founder of Red & Grey design and brand agency. Partner at Adaptive cultures design strategy firm.
Branding, Design, Innovation
Strategic Director, Adaptive Cultures design strategy firm.
Editorial & Policy
Public policy, defence & security, neuroscience, art. Former UK Government, Cambridge Fellow.
Philosophy & Social Theory
Governance, catastrophic risk, humane tech, cognitive science, logic, metaphysics
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Author, speaker, and researcher on systemic racism and the advancement of women of color in corporate America.
Co-Founder at the Center for Humane Technology. Technology ethicist, philosopher, systems thinker.
Natural Resource Economics and Risk
Focuses on the interrelationship between debt-based financial markets and natural resources.
Intelligence & National Security
CEO of Ergo, Fmr Director at the White House National Security Council, Senior Diplomat. Economics, natl. security and geo-politics. Investor. Best selling author.
Lecturer and Author on Indigenous Knowledge, academic, researcher, educator, art critic.
Geospatial Intelligence Analyst
Director, Center for Geospatial Information Technology. Complex systems, resilience, regenerative systems.
Business & Supply Chain Intelligence
Cofounder and Chair of 09 Solutions. Supply chain management, artificial intelligence.
National Security Policy
Research experience employing qualitative and quantitative methods for clients in national security, education and public policy.
Game Theory & Existential Risk
Science Broadcaster, Astrophysics, game theory, existential risk.
Executive Director of the Flow Genome Project and Co-Author of the Global Bestseller Stealing Fire.
Applies behavioral economics insights in product design, with a focus on technology.
Complexity and Technology
Chairman, Santa Fe Institute. Former CEO of Network solutions. Complexity science, politics, economics.
President at Robinson Global Strategies, Founder at Princeton Review, Chess Master, Top Financial Advisor.
Co-Founder of Undercurrent, COMMON, and Fearless; former Chief Digital Advisor, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.
Economics, currency design, organizational architecture, regenerative culture.
Directed product strategy across Apple Media Divisions.
Former Chief Medical Information Officer and Associate CMO at Kaiser Permanente.
Technology and Governance
Co-founder of Asana, programmer of software, organizations, cultures, & systems in service of love. Co-Founder, One Project.
Founder, Investment Banking Partners AB, Chairman, EFG Investment Bank. Member, Club of Rome.
Technology & Data
Innovation, product development, and product management. Data science, IoT, global utilities, information technology.
Director of research at the Bateson Institute, transcontextual research, in ecology, economy, social change, health, education, and art.
Chief Strategy Officer at Human Rights Foundation. Faculty at Singularity University. Advisor at Blockchain Capital.
CTO & CIO Obama campaign. Chief strategist, Harmony Labs. Technology, politics, and impact strategies.
Professor, Financial Centre Expert, Economist, Diplomat, Historian, Author.
Air Force, Special Ops, Military Intelligence. Expertise in counterterrorism and unconventional warfare.
Medicine & Biosciences
Integrative physician and medical researcher in the areas of longevity and human potential.
Founder at DivX, Founder of Game B,trustee, Santa Fe Institute.
Research & Strategy
Ret. Colonel, Associate Surgeon General of the US Air Force, fighter pilot. Director of NFIM.
Peer-to-Peer Social Dynamics & Technology
Founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives, and the Peer-to-Peer Cooperative.
Cybersecurity and biosecurity; Existential risk expert.
Tenured Professor of Neurology at Stanford Medical School; brain dev., brain plasticity, and neural regeneration.
Decentralization & Democratic Practice
Decentralization, distributed governance, horizontal practices. Collaborative and transparent decision-making and financing.
XFellow, CEO of #WeThePlanet, impact entrepreneur, disruptive innovator & curator.
Founder Current TV, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Investor.
Ret. Colonel, Director of US Air Force Research, nanotech, bioweapons containment.
CEO Jazz Leadership Project, Senior Fellow at Institute for Cultural Evolution, author, educator.
Founder, Dent. Public policy, philanthropy, design, technology, behavioral economics, design methodology, and venture capital.
Co-Founder of Pachamama, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.
Senior scientist at the Human Genome Project; leader in molecular biology.
Journalism & Media
Channel 4 News (UK), BBC Newsnight, Guardian, Buzzfeed. Founder, Rebel Wisdom.
Future of Cities
Founder, Board Member, and former CEO of Oceanix: Sustainable Floating Cities. Former Minister of Tourism for French Polynesia.
Former Chief Content Officer of Univision and Televisa.
Cognitive Psychology and Science
Professor of cognitive psychology and science at the University of Toronto.
Former VP of Advertising at Facebook.
Cognitive Psychologist, Professor at Columbia University, author, Former Scientific Director at The Imagination Institute.
Diplomacy & International Security
Hoover Institution, Stanford. Associate Editor, Palladium. Advisor, Bismarck Analysis.
Technology and Economics
Founder and CEO of CyberCash. Founder of VeriFone, Inc. Former Board Member of the Santa Fe Institute.
Philosophy and Strategy
Co-founder and Director at Perspectiva, Chess Grandmaster, 1999. Author.
Co-Author of Futurica Trilogy, Music Producer, Co-founder of Stockholm Record.
Intelligent Systems & Organic Governance
Founder of the International Industrial Informatics, President of IMPACT Institute for the Digital Economy, Technology Alchemist Innovating at the nexus of AI/IoT/Blockchain.
Economics & Systems
Co-founder of Holochain, Software Architect, decentralized social and technological systems.
Author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man; Former Advisor to the World Bank, United Nations, U.S. Treasury Department. Founding member of The Pachamama Alliance; Activist and lecturer.
Economic and International Intelligence
Founder and CEO at Voyaj, US State Department “Engage America” Ambassador, and Researcher at Harvard University; Blogger and speaker at international conferences.
Clinical Psychology & Human Systems
Director of Health and Human Performance at Stanford’s Flourishing Project, Co-founder of At The Core.
Director of Development
Civilization Research Institute
Working Pattern: Full-time
Location: Remote, U.S.
The Civilization Research Institute (CRI) is a think tank focused on preventing global catastrophic risks and advancing new forms of governance and coordination. We are a relatively small nonprofit organization, although we work in close collaboration with several other nonprofits, including the Center for Humane Technology and Helena. CRI does not have a public-facing presence at the moment; our main public initiative is the Consilience Project. We are currently delivering a range of high-impact projects across our focus areas of catastrophic risk mitigation, collective intelligence, and improving institutions. CRI will soon launch a new public entity focused on generating novel solutions within these domains.
We are seeking an experienced Director of Development who will lead all of our fundraising activity from foundations. The right person will feel deeply aligned with our mission and be able to communicate its purpose and goals with passion. As Director of Development, you will secure funding both in support of our current activity and for the founding of new start-up nonprofit organizations within our network.
You will be responsible for raising funds from foundations known to you through your previous experience fundraising for nonprofit organizations. You will be responsible for identifying and building relationships with potential donor foundations, as well as grant writing, communications, relationship management, and the closing of funds. Where necessary, you will engage closely with the senior leaders at CRI, bringing them into conversations to open and close funding opportunities. You will lead and manage all activity relating to fundraising from foundations on behalf of the Institute.
Skills, Qualities and Attributes
Our ideal candidate will have a current list of contacts and connections at relevant funding institutions. It is likely that their experience will be US-centric, given that CRI is US-based and will primarily seek funds from domestic sources.
Importantly, our ideal candidate will understand that CRI does not fit easily into any established nonprofit category. CRI’s work is relevant to many other groups in the sector, in that it is seeking to address challenges upstream of their interests. Our active projects span a wide range of specific nonprofit domains of interest. For example, the right candidate will have the ability to raise funds for our work on biosecurity from foundations funding biorisk proposals; at the same time, they will be comfortable communicating with conviction on projects related to climate and the environment in raising funds from foundations with interests specifically within these domains.
The right person for this role will know what matters to us on the basis of our mission, and will be familiar with CRI’s general thesis on the metacrisis (summarized here). They will have experience working for aligned nonprofit organizations, including (for example) those within the fields of democracy, journalism, public health or education. They will be a strong bipartisan operator, with the ability to build relationships with foundations across the political spectrum. Importantly, the right person will be a skilled communicator with the ability to draft and present bespoke funding pitches based upon our existing work.
Our ideal Director of Development is:
Note: If an interested candidate has a demonstrable record of raising funds for nonprofits from alternative sources (i.e. beyond foundations alone) and believes that their experience would suit an organization like CRI, we would like to hear from them. We are interested in effective fundraising from any source.
This role reports to CRI’s founder and executive director. You will interface regularly with others involved in communications regarding our content and activity, particularly when they can assist with fundraising opportunities. You will report feedback from donors to CRI leadership, and ensure the expectations of donors are managed, producing updates and wider communications packages as necessary.
Compensation for this role will be commensurate with experience.
How to Apply
To apply, please send a CV and a brief cover letter describing your suitability and alignment to [email protected]. Please write “Application: Director of Development” in the subject line of your email. Cover letters should be no more than 500 words.
Applications close at midnight, 22 Feb 23.
Chief of Staff to the Executive Director
Civilization Research Institute
Working Pattern: Full-time
Start: Right away
The Civilization Research Institute (CRI) is a think tank focused on preventing global catastrophic risks, addressing global wicked problems, and advancing new forms of governance and coordination. We are a small nonprofit organization that works in close collaboration with several other nonprofits, including the Center for Humane Technology, Helena, ISEOF, and others. CRI does not have a public-facing presence currently. Over the last two years, CRI has produced the Consilience Project as its primary publication, which has focused mostly on issues of public sensemaking. We are currently working on a range of high-impact projects across our focus areas of catastrophic risk mitigation, collective intelligence, and improving institutions. CRI will soon launch a new public entity focused on generating novel solutions within these domains.
Daniel Schmachtenberger is the Founder and Executive Director of the Civilization Research Institute. His work in the organization spans research, strategy, institutional relationships, new projects, and training.
We are seeking a Chief of Staff to support the Founder in the prioritization, management, and execution of all his activities across these multiple organizations and domains of work. The right person will already be familiar with Daniel’s publicly available work, feel deep alignment with our mission, and have experience working as a Chief of Staff or in a related position. The right person will have a clear sense of the requirements and abilities of a great Chief of Staff, and feel that they are a natural fit for this role.
Regular Project and Task Management
Our ideal candidate will find that their values are closely aligned with those of the organization, the Executive Director and the wider team. We are seeking a proactive, thoughtful, and generally competent person, with high emotional, logical, political, and interpersonal intelligence. From CRI’s perspective, attitude and personality fit are the most important features of an effective Chief of Staff.
The right person for this role should have some previous relevant experience. Ideally, they will have served as a Chief of Staff or equivalent, but they could also have worked as an XO, senior secretary, liaison or ambassador, or department or program lead.
Ideally, the right person for this role should have a wide range of interests, with a natural affinity for learning and development. Their educational background may include university or self-directed/career experience. We are keen to find an individual with some experience working with or in government agencies and institutions, and with formal procedures, sensitive information, and high profile relationships. Experience in startups, disaster work, or other fast moving and unstructured environments is also valued.
Reporting, Compensation, and Location
This role reports to CRI’s founder and Executive Director. You will engage primarily with Daniel, along with the Executive Assistant, the COO, and the other project leads. During the onboarding period, you will be primarily trained by and reporting to Daniel’s previous Chief of Staff (who is transitioning into COO as the organization’s growth requires). Once your onboarding is complete, you will transition to the reporting structure explained above.
Physical proximity is important for this role. Our ideal candidate will be open to relocating alongside Daniel and joining for occasional travel. We are open to hiring someone to start remotely and financing and/or organizing relocation for the right candidate. Hours for this role are likely to be unstructured and unpredictable, as requirements will depend on a range of urgent projects and activities. Also, the ability to sync and co-work happens best outside of the overful hours other people are available for meetings, ie, late nights and weekends.
Compensation for this role will be commensurate with experience.
How to Apply
To apply, please send a CV and a brief cover letter describing your suitability and alignment to [email protected]. Please write “Application: Chief of Staff” in the subject line of your email.
The Consilience project team would like to thank the those who have directly supported the creation of the Project over the years, and whose time, knowledge and support have been invaluable.
Biological Research Microbiology, interdisciplinary biosciences, epistemics.
Culture, News & Journalism Editor-in-chief of Culturekiosque, journalist for Le Monde & Wall Street Journal Europe.
Web3 Researcher at curvelabs.eu, Director at meaning.systems
Collaboration & Coordination
Executive Director of Civana, Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum.
Theoretical physics, string theory, machine learning, data science, deep learning, adaptive learning.
Aligned with the principle of Consilience and the mission of this project, we seek earnest and well-considered perspectives on topics from all sides of an issue and through the lens of different disciplines. Our advisors all support the project’s central aim of better public education and dialogue: that does not mean they agree with or endorse every perspective in each article we write, nor does the Consilience Project necessarily agree with or endorse all the perspectives on issues each of them may have shared in other places.
Similarly, while everyone on the team contributes to the project and is aligned with the mission as a whole, that does not mean each piece represents the view of each team member, nor that the personal posts of team members elsewhere online represent the views of the project.
The views expressed in the articles are those of The Consilience Project as an organization, which assumes full responsibility for the content.
In an effort to address the erosion of trust in the media and guard against the biasing forces that arise from perverse incentives and human fallibility, we have implemented the following commitments:
Universal access to information is foundational to a functioning open society. For the duration of this project, none of our content will ever be behind a paywall.
This is a purely donation-supported endeavor, with no competing agendas beyond the stated mission. Neither the content nor its host site will serve as an income stream for the project in any way. To eliminate the possibility of manipulation or preference modification of our content, we will never sell our readers’ data or display paid advertisements of any kind.
As a US 501c3 non-profit organization, our finances are reported transparently to the federal government and publicly available on the FCC website.
To protect our content from influence, we will not accept funds from any person or organization that seeks to influence content through their support. Moreover, we will consider any actor that even suggests a conditionalized donation as a potential source of harm to the information commons and investigate accordingly.
Our commitments regarding freedom from financial influence present real limitations to our ability to fund the team. If we are limited in what we can raise with these commitments in place, then we will simply be smaller and do less with full integrity. We will not rationalize compromise for scale.
With the exception of possible occasional guest posts by specific individuals, we will attribute all articles to the collective authorship of the House. This serves both our readers and our writers in a variety of ways:
We will continue to seek out team members and advisors from across the spectrum of political perspectives, industries, epistemic disciplines, as well as cultures and regions of the world. This multiplicity of viewpoints provides a more complete picture of any given issue. It also serves as a mitigating factor against our own human susceptibility to bias and group reinforcement.
In our “Under the Hood” sections, we will show the evidence and methods of analysis we used to arrive at our conclusions. Rather than guarding our methods like trade secrets in a competitive environment, we will open-source all of our resources and processes in the hope that others will replicate, adapt and improve upon our methods of sensemaking and reporting.
We will be filing and publishing our 2020 990 form in November of 2021 on our website and GuideStar. You can view our federal extension application here.
© 2021 by the Civilization Research Initiative The Civilization Research Initiative owns all copyrights to the work of The Consilience Project.
The articles on this web site may be redistributed in other media and non-commercial publications as long as the following conditions are met. The redistributed article may not be abridged, edited or altered in any way without the express consent of The Consilience Project. The redistributed article may not be sold for a profit or included in another media or publication that is sold for a profit without the express consent of The Consilience Project.