The Stichting milliongenerations exists from 2009 to 2034 to make it more likely that the future is very long. In 2012, it helped to start Milliongenerations:Letters of Utrecht and, in 2022, the LTAP collaboration of Long-Term Art Projects and in 2023 supported the efforts for Intergenerational Fairness Day together with other organisations.
milliongenerations.org started with the question how there could be most happiness. That requires existence of sentient beings, knowledge and that there actually will be many generations of beings alive on this planet for as long as the sun shines. There is no agenda for any particular outcome nor answers it intends to promote, except for the hope that civilization(s) will continue and let individuals realize the wonder of being alive and pass on knowledge while life is possible.
Little so far prevents us from endangering future beings. We, who enjoy the fruits of progress, must protect the interests of those who do not yet exist and expand their possibilities. We must reduce risks that threaten the existence of civilisation (such as unaligned artificial intelligence, man-made pandemics, conflicts and runaway climate change) with a joint and formidable effort to make it likely that we and our – common – descendants continue to survive progress. Our political and economic models must become able to develop forever and work primarily for the vast majority: those who are still to come. We should not want to predict the future, but we should make it possible. Let us be good ancestors.
milliongenerations.org is small volunteer effort around a formally organized not-for-profit foundation based in The Netherlands: Stichting milliongenerations. The site exists to enable the exploration of the perspective created by the assumption that civilization(s) continue for very long periods on this planet. This need not be static and unchanging.
On this website users can discuss topics that hope to add a new perspective to the discussion such as the rights of future generations, existential risks and surviving progress. This wiki site strives to be an open source think tank that invites to think about how civilization can last on this planet. To explore the conditions required for knowledge to be shared while life is possible on the earth i.e., while the sun provides a suitable environment. This could help identify requirements for lasting civilizations. This knowledge would make it easier to find ways to create the right conditions. Various organizations dedicated to influencing the here and now in one way or another already exist. The focus on this site should firmly remain in the long term, no matter how (or if) we believe it can or should be reached. If you're looking to do something else, you could check out initiatives listed here or actions discussed here.
The perspective invites to think out of the box and look from a different perspective i.e., to look back from an assumption of a desired future rather than to predict the future or change the present. To leave pressing and important issues such as climate change, resources, inequality, and conflicts for what they are for a while and to focus here exclusively on the constraints placed by the assumption that civilization(s) continue for millions of generations. It is extremely important to reduce existential risks, and yet the debate here also hopes to add other perspectives that might be helpful in securing a long-term survival of progress. To develop positive concepts for possible futures and create ideas for sustainability, resilience and existential security rather than reducing unsustainability or just hoping everything is going to be all right. If this perspective helps some of us to come up with viable visions or inspiring ideas, we may expect beneficial feedback to current affairs. In 2023 it is fair to say that the original ambition of a broad discussion that started this site in 2008 and 2009 has not been achieved, but other surprising developments have been helped into existence. It is hard to predict which ideas and actions will be relevant, so casting a wide net and exploring unusual perspectives seems beneficial. The milliongeneration foundation will continue to look for ways to make it more likely that the future will be very long, to help add Saturdays.
The plan to organize a prize to go to the most positively cited contributions no longer seems viable. The Wiki approach is not be ideal for the purpose and the website should look a lot better. We are, however, very grateful to the Wikimedia Foundation for providing the MediaWiki environment. We plan to use it until we have and can implement a concept that is more suitable to a focused discussion. We are especially grateful to Wikipedia for changing the way we share and access information. And for giving us hope that inspiring things can come from this initiative.
If you have ideas on how to arrange any aspect of a model that could work, if you want to support us in any way or help to better define and communicate our questions, please share your thoughts in the community or check out what needs to be done most urgently.