#36 A Republic, If You Can Keep It with Daniel Schmachtenberger


Today my guest is Daniel Schmachtenberger.

Daniel’s central interest is comprehensive civilization (re)design: developing adequate capacities for collective values generation, sense-making, and choice-making, in service to coordinated conscious sustainable evolution…towards a world commensurate with our higher ideals and potentials.

He has an eclectic educational background, mostly from outside of institutional settings, in the natural sciences, social sciences, and philosophy…with an emphasis in the epistemics needed to better approach ‘wicked’ problems, and the ethical considerations to inform the design criteria for adequate solutions.

Daniel has participated in projects to survey the landscape of existential and catastrophic risks, advance forecasting and mitigation strategies, and develop capacities for the kinds of multi-agent coordination needed to implement sufficient solutions. Associated work has been done to synthesize and advance civilizational collapse and institutional decay models, insofar as they are useful in both scenario modeling and designing more resilient systems.

That body of work also explored the social architectures that give rise to the coordination failures underneath and driving all catastrophic risk scenarios, and identified a finite set of generator functions (believed to be a complete set). Categorical solutions to those generator functions would solve for the class of collapse obsoleting the need for focus on isolated instances. Such solutions are believed to be achievable and would represent the kernel for a new and robust civilizational model…that has the capacity for enduring antifragility in the presence of the (destabilizing) power conferred by decentralized exponential technology.

Advancing those models for long term viability, along with advancing the capacities for sense-making, design, and coordination needed to support the necessary nearer-term transitional and protective work, is Daniel’s mission and focus.

Some of this thinking on these topics can be found here (mostly in podcasts):


He has also done work in functional medicine and biotech, education and human development, and consulted local and global organizations on how to solve complex problems across many sectors.

Buckle up. This one’s a long time coming.