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Reimagining a new political framework for global cooperation

Amidst political turmoil around the world, changes in the power balance between East and West, and the rise of nationalism; the issues of war, famine, climate change and poverty persist. The existing global governance structures that dominate were established in the 20th century, at a time when the world was very different. There is no doubt that these institutions still play crucial roles including feeding those in poverty and protecting people in war-torn regions. However, many are not best suited to address new challenges that have arisen from the fourth industrial revolution.

We need a new institution that is capable of developing new solutions to new problems created by technological advancements — and so we are asking: can we develop a framework of global governance which provides legitimacy, accountability, transparency, flexibility, and impact, for the fast changing world that we live in?

Throughout history, new ideas and institutions were born out of new issues. On the hilltops of ancient Greece, we saw the genesis of Western democracy that came in response to the need of tackling urban problems of a growing city, Athens. In 17th Century England, political parties were born to organise through assembly politics. After the Second World War, the United Nations was born out of the need to build peace and prosperity, and to bring together previously warring nations. Today, the fourth industrial revolution brings new challenges and opportunities, which is why The Fourth Group believes that we are at the cusp of the creation of a new type of political institution.

This is by no means an easy task. But if you have the ideas, experience and time to be part of our Global Challenge Team this is an opportunity to be part of a coalition of people and organisations from around the world seeking to tackle some of the biggest challenges that humanity faces. Over the next five months we will be putting together an application to the Global Challenges Foundation who are offering a $5m prize to the organisations with ideas to address these issues. We want people like you to share their ideas and expertise for the Fourth Group bid.

You can do this by:

  • Submitting written responses to the essay questions (deadline 23:59 BST, 22 June 2017)
  • Engaging with our online conversations through the Fourth Group’s online forums on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #NewShapePrize
  • Joining our Global Challenge Conference in London on 24th June where we will invite members of our community to consider issues in more detail. (If you want to be part of the Global Challenge Conference please send an email to join@fourth.group providing a couple of sentences on the expertise you bring and why you want to be involved.)
  • Spreading the word and telling others to get involved too!

For further information, go to: http://thefourthgroup.org/challenge/.

We look forward to building a new politics with you.

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Introducing The Fourth Group team

Dear The Fourth Group,

Creating a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution is no easy task. However, with the right people we believe it is not only possible, but achievable. Today we would like to introduce you to the team that has been working to drive our efforts since we were established in the summer of 2016.

COMMUNITY ORGANISERS

Community Organisers lead the building of our community in cities worldwide. Their primary objective is to find, recruit, and develop community leaders who work together to create a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

  • Leah Bae, Lead Community Organiser (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Hannah Polly-Williams, Community Organiser (London, United Kingdom)
  • Qayum Mannan, Community Organiser (London, United Kingdom)
  • Minh, Lead Community Organiser (Paris, France)
  • Jerome Sinpaseuth, Community Organiser (Paris, France)

OPERATIONS

Our operations team are focused on building our organisation to help us achieve our mission.

  • Alvin Carpio, Founder and Chief Executive
  • Abhas, Head of Growth
  • Sarah Webster, Head of Partnerships
  • Ravi Patel, Head of Operations
  • Nitesh Srivastava, Operations Manager

ADVISORS

Our advisory team is made up of a stellar cast of experienced change-makers, thought-leaders, and experts ranging from Chief Executive Officers of non-profits to leaders in global organisations. Each bring wisdom, talent, and a track-record of making a difference. Our advisors provide ongoing advice to the team. They provide guidance during our start-up phase and help us achieve our vision of creating a new political institution fit for our world today.

  • Alveena Malik (expertise: non-profit start-up growth)
  • Simon Anholt (expertise: international)
  • Patricia Kempff (expertise: private and public sector engagement)
  • Alex Harrison (expertise: social impact and PR)
  • Brie Rogers Lowery (expertise: digital campaigning)
  • Lajuanda Asemota (expertise: technological innovation and diversity)

JOIN THE TEAM

We are looking for dynamic, politically astute, and entrepreneurial volunteers with a global mindset who would like to take up the challenge of creating a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution. As we expand, we’re now looking for the following people to join the volunteer team. To apply, send your CV and a one-page cover letter to join@fourth.group. Deadline: 12:00 GMT, Friday 10th February 2017.

Editor, Blog

  • Main responsibilities: Curate online written, photo, and video content on issues related to politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution
  • Skills: Editorial experience; political independence; experience in curating high-quality and thought-provoking content

Head of Essay Prize

  • Main responsibilities: Execute the Essay Prize in search of a new political philosophy for our age; work with academic partners worldwide to get high quality entries from people; secure sponsorship for the prize; create engaging context to help build our global community
  • Skills: Experience in managing global partnerships; securing sponsorship; understanding of political philosophy

Head of Politech

  • Main responsibilities: Develop and execute strategic plan to create political technology/’politech’ to improve politics; undertake politech hackathons worldwide
  • Skills: Experience in developing technologies for change; understands technology’s impact on politics

Head of Digital

  • Main responsibilities: In charge of online digital content including our website and our presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Skills: Digital strategy, marketing, and design

Head of Campaigns

  • Main responsibilities: Design our campaigns strategy to ensure The Fourth Group delivers real change
  • Skills: Campaigning, digital campaigning, and lobbying

Lead Organisers (cities worldwide)

  • Main responsibilities: Build a powerful community in global cities worldwide
  • Skills: Ability to find, recruit, and develop community leaders; work with a diverse group of people to create political change

Let 2017 be a year when citizens around the world united to create a new politics to improve the state of the world.

The Fourth Group Team

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Our plans for 2017

2016 was monumental. 2017 will be bigger. In response, we are creating a new politics, together.

This year is shaping up to be yet another significant year in global politics: The fourth industrial revolution continues to impact our economies and societies, the UN has a new General Secretary, Britain continues its Brexit negotiations, the US will inaugurate Donald Trump as its 45th President, and 55 elections are scheduled. (Ones to watch include France, Germany, Iran, South Korea, and Hong Kong. China will also hold a Communist Party congress.) Meanwhile wars rage on in the Middle East, climate change is questioned, Russia has been accused of hacking, and the refugee crisis continues.

Our role in all of this is to organise and create a new politics, one that is led by citizens in every continent driven by a global mindset, with the mission to improve the state of the world.

To do so, we will carry on building the four pillars of a new politics:

  1. Community — Build a global group of people who want to improve the state of the world
  2. Philosophy — Create a new political philosophy fit for our age
  3. Education — Educate each other about current and future politics
  4. Politech — Develop political technologies to improve politics

Here’s what’s coming up on The Fourth Group calendar:

  • January 28th, 1–3pm: Community Meetup (Paris)
  • February 8th, 6.30–9pm: Cyber Security Workshop (London)— get your discounted early bird tickets before 15 Jan here
  • March: Conversation — How can we brand a new politics? (London)
  • Q2 2017: Politech Hackathon (Paris)
  • Q3 2017: Launch of the Essay Prize 2017
  • Q4 2017: Inaugural Annual Global Summit — The Future of Politics

Excited much? We definitely are.

Actions:

  • Invite your friends to join our Facebook group – the bigger we are the stronger we are.
  • Share this link on your Facebook and Twitter: “I’ve joined @thefourthgroup to create a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution. Join me. https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefourthgroup/.”

We look forward to creating a new politics with you, together.

If you have any questions, email us join@fourth.group.

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What a year

We all know it. 2016 has been a year of political earthquakes that upended the status quo. Change has happened. Amidst all this change, a small group of people — us — came together to create a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.

In six months we have built a growing community of over 1,000 people and have reached over 30,000 people through our community-building, events, online discussions, and social media activity. We have built a team of organisers and advisors who have guided the way through our start-up phase. We have received in-kind support from amazing individuals and organisations from the tech, politics, civic, media, and creative sectors.

Here are some highlights:

Members of The Fourth Group who attended our first meetup
(Left) The winning team of our Politech Hackathon, HonestGov, with judges Kirsty Styles (New Statesman Tech) and Matt Clifford (Entrepreneur First). (Right) Poster for our offline event.
Members of the community devising a plan to create a new politics together
(Left) Volunteer Organiser Hannah-Polly Williams chairing our event on climate change, and (Right) Nick Davis from the World Economic Forum explaining the fourth industrial revolution and its implications for politics

Thank you for your engagement, enthusiasm, support, leadership, and optimism thus far.

Next year, it continues.

Creating a new political organisation with the mission of improving the state of the world is no easy task. But with you and our fellow community members, it is possible. Change is always sparked by a small group of people coming together through shared values, a clear vision, and an action plan.

Here’s some of what’s coming up in 2017:

  • We will hold our first event outside of London, a meet-up in Paris
  • Run events on cyber-security, and branding a new politics
  • Launch our Essay Prize
  • Official launch of The Fourth Group
  • Continue building the four pillars of a new politics

We look forward to building a new politics with you, together.

Have a wonderful festive season,

The Fourth Group Team

P.S. If you haven’t already, sign up to our mailing list by clicking here. You can also continue the discussion in our Facebook group.

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6 articles about the impact of tech on the US election

Here are links to six articles detailing the link between technologies of the fourth industrial revolution and the 2016 US Presidential election.

Enjoy!

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Why do we want to create a new politics?

Our world is changing. We are now at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, a new stage of global progress driven by exponential technological advancements. The revolution is shifting the way we live, work, and play. It is expanding our understanding of what is possible.

Artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, big data, the Internet of Things, mixed reality, and cyber-physical systems are all fundamentally reshaping society and the global economy. This brings many challenges and opportunities. The world can be more open, fairer, and more prosperous, but it could also become more unequal and exclusionary.

Throughout history, each age and every industrial revolution has generated new power structures, classes, and political thought. Given the state of politics today, we believe that there is an urgent need for a new politics in the context of the age of the fourth industrial revolution, that there is a need to transcend traditional political ideologies, and think beyond old ways.

What is the point of politics?

The purpose of politics is to enable the members of a society to collectively achieve important human goals they cannot otherwise achieve individually. Through negotiation, debate, legislation and other political structures, politics procures safety, order and general welfare within the state. The question of the precise ends of politics is one of the greatest, and most inconclusive, in philosophy, as manifested by the divisive, heated debates among political parties.

Politics is often involved in prescribing the rules that govern interhuman relationships. It determines laws regarding marriage, parenting, businesses and contracts. It creates laws regulating educational institutions and civil associations. Money always plays a big role in politics. Much time goes into deciding where public money will come from and how resources will be spent. (Source)

If the purpose of politics is to achieve societal goals and determine the rules we live by, how can politics be upgraded to improve our ability to decide the nature and extent of our laws and regulation? How can politics’ processes and institutions and actors be updated? And how can politics be made fit for the world we’re in today?

Why do we need a new politics?

There is an ideas-gap in the age of fourth industrial revolution

Since the global financial crisis that began in 2007 we have seen the rise of populism, far-right movements across Europe, extremism and terrorism, hard-man Presidencies in Asia, and anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant rhetoric across the Western world. The last decade has seen a return to old ideas, rather than a wholesale rethink of what politics can offer and how it can adapt to the modern world. It is our belief that there is an ideas-gap to fill. The work of Plato, Marx, Burke, Hayek, Weber, Hegel, Gramsci, Hume, and Friedman are seminal because they reimagined how politics could adapt to changing economies. What must politics do to adapt today?

Power is shifting

There is a new section of power concentrated, for example, in monolithic technology companies and leaders, disrupting age-old industries. Brexit, in part, showed how in Europe many people felt dislodged from the gains of current political socioeconomic models, that power was concentrated elsewhere.

Technology is fundamentally reshaping the way we live, work, and play

Technologies — whether they be digital, bio, or nano — are dramatically affecting our lives.We live longer due to advancements in health technologies; we can communicate with anyone in the world instantly; the cost of travelling the world has gone down; robots are taking over jobs previously held by humans; VR is creating new worlds for humans to exist in. What do political systems need to do to respond, and how can tech innovations be used to improve political engagement, processes, and structures?

Democracy in need of improvement?

Democracy in its current form isn’t working for all. Many do not feel represented and democratically elected politicians are ironically unpopular. We have low democratic participation and there is an underrepresentation of women, ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in positions of power.

Public debate based on untruths

The quality of debate in politics often depends on what the most powerful voices say. But, there are many influential figures who do not speak to evidence or facts. There is a need to educate people and inform them of research, evidence, and facts, in order to keep influential people accountable.

The labour market is changing and new social classes are emerging

Global competition, the growth of workers in the gig economy, the rise of robotisation, capital replacing labour, and the need for new skills — the fourth industrial revolution is fundamentally reshaping the economy and the labour market. There is a growing precariat whose experience of the labour market is unstable and low-paid. There are millions of people who do not have access to the internet, the disconnected. How can a new politics respond to challenges these new groups face and to the changing labour market?

Globalization has created a borderless society divided by nation states

People are more connected than ever before: We can tweet a message to thousands of people and communicate with our family and friends all over the world over a live video call. What opportunities does this give us to bring people together in unity rather than division?

White noise

We live in an world where information is available in abundance. It has been said that the shopkeeper now has access to more information and data accessed through a phone than previous US Presidents had only a few decades ago. How can this be utilised to educate and inform people in their political choices in a neutral and unbiased manner, rather than drown people in white noise?

People are frustrated by the lack of progress

Many people are poor, inequality is rising, there are many who are social immobile — no matter who is in power, for some nothing changes.

Why do we need a new group?

  • There is an absence of a global and diverse group of people focused on creating a new politics in response to the technological changes bequested upon us.
  • There is space for bringing together the world of politics and the world of technology.
  • Political institutions and organisations have not figured out how best to thrive in the global and digital world.
  • In the past, theories and ideas of political systems and social organisation have been written by a person, a small group of people, or the elite. We want to create a new politics, together.
  • There is a need to reimagine politics.
  • A new politics cannot come from the current establishment. We need an external, super partes movement, to determine a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
  • There is an appetite for something different.
  • We believe that we are about to see the advent of a new politics.

That’s why we’re working together to create a new politics.

That’s why we’re a part of the Fourth Group.

Join us.

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We want to create a new politics. Now. Together.

We believe that there is an urgent need for a new politics.

We believe that there is a need to transcend traditional political ideologies and think beyond old ways, in the content of an uncertain, fast-moving, global, digital, and ever-changing world.

We believe that political institutions and political ideas are in need of a systematic update.

Our mission is to rethink politics to improve the state of the world.

This new politics can only be created by all of us.

We believe that the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution represents the inevitable advent of a new politics.

That is why we set up The Fourth Group.

We are an independent and diverse group of people working together to create a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution. Political people, activists, technologists, philosophers, academics, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, artists, young and old, from around the world. We are a member-driven organisation where people organise meetups and hackathons, collaborate and share ideas, write articles and use and build the latest tech to improve politics.

The fourth industrial revolution represents a new stage of global progress driven by exponential technological advancements. Artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, the Internet of Things, mixed reality and cyber-physical systems are fundamentally changing our society, our economies, and our politics. The revolution is shifting the way we live and work, and it is expanding our understanding of what is possible.

This brings many challenges and opportunities.

Throughout history, each age and every industrial revolution has generated new movements and political ideas.

The immediate purpose of this is a space to reflect together on the EU Referendum and its impact on the world, and think together about how we can respond practically. Longer term, the purpose of this group is to answer the big question: What should a new politics in the context of the fourth industrial revolution look like?

Our first major project will be a Global Listening Campaign. We will reach out to as many people as possible to ask what they believe the new politics should be. Using contributions from Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, and a survey, we’ll create a shared vision for a new politics, together. More details to follow soon, including information about our next meeting.

Let us come together, now, to create the new politics.

Join us.

Let us know what you think the new politics should be: join@fourth.group.