At Anatha, we approach the world systemically, identifying the structures that produce the effects we all see and experience. We believe that these structures are not just the way things are, that new structures — new ways of doing things — are possible. That by beginning with a different set of beliefs we can build different kinds of systems that, in turn, will create different, and better, ways of being.

That may sound like equal parts naiveté and hubris. But this is precisely what excites us about decentralized technology: practically speaking, it makes new models of governance imminently possible, creating new ways that entities such as corporations can be structured, fundamentally shifting the relationships between owners and users — and hence shifting the very way wealth is generated.

Here, then, are some things we believe that guide us as we build new systems.

It’s not just the way things are.

The systems in which we live — the structures of corporations and governments, the mechanisms of the economy — are not natural. They are historical constructions that can be constructed differently. The corporation, for instance, is a 20th century creation that, due to specific legislation, has become the dominant form of capital creation — centralizing capital accumulation. While some might consider this naive hubris, we consider it practical optimism. We are not dreamers; we’re builders.

Self-actualization benefits all.

When people have to scramble for food and shelter; when they have to worry about making their next rent check to keep a roof over their kids’ heads; when they’re constantly anxious and tired from not sleeping; then we are not getting the best from these people. This is wasteful from every perspective — economically, culturally, spiritually. Remove these obstacles and, suddenly, the world is brimming with contributions from every corner of the world. This benefits everyone.

Scarcity is not pervasive.

Sure, scarcity helps create value for currencies. But that doesn’t mean scarcity is a fundamental condition of existence! It seems to us there is more than enough food, medicine, shelter, and work to go around. But that means creating systems with specific mechanisms that foster collective prosperity, not competition for resources.

People are partners and participants, not products and consumers.

In today’s world, people no longer even flinch at the word “consumer” used to describe themselves. But, at Anatha, we do! We choose not to reduce people to consumers; we choose not to make them products. Unlike present corporate models, in distributed systems people are partners who participate in the success of the community.

Sovereignty of the individual is paramount.

We are, frankly, disturbed at how people’s personal information has become a commodity for centralized corporations to sell — without the individual seeing any profit. We believe you and your information are yours to do with what you will.

Win-win structures (not zero-sum) benefit all.

A zero-sum game is one in which the winning of one person is the losing of another. Our legacy corporate economy is a zero-sum game: we give up our money and information so that a centralized few can prosper. It strikes us as a bit insane. So, at Anatha, we’re building incentives and structures in which use of our products benefit everyone in the ecosystem.

Collectivity (rather than atomization) breeds societal and economic health.

Despite the prevalence of social network media, technology has in fact atomized people: each individual is an atom who can be sold — and sold to. Which is why, at Anatha, we build decentralized systems in which everyone is a participant sharing a collective fate. As the ecosystem thrives, we all thrive.

Systems interoperability is essential.

Just as collective structures breed collective health, the systems themselves should breed collectivity, not competitive atomism. No single blockchain, product, service, or team can build these new structures alone. That is the old, centralized, monopolistic system. Rather, we must all build with interoperability in mind, creating systems that communicate with each other, fostering freedom of choice and collective prosperity.

Beauty matters.

This may seem incongruous with everything else we’re saying. But we see it as continuous: a beautiful world is a world we all want to live in, participate in, thrive in. Beauty is not the surface of things; it pervades things. This is why, at Anatha, we focus on how things look and feel. Because life for everyone should look and feel great.

Originally published by Edward DeLeon Hickman on