2 min read

WFW?: Principles

WFW?: Principles

Here we outline what WFW? stands for. Why we are here, what we believe in, and how we operate as a community.


To create a better future world.

Direct objective

To develop a detailed vision of an ideal future world and the strategy for achieving it.

Guiding Principle

Act as you would in the future. (I'll be writing a post on this very soon)


These are the principles that our organisation stands for that guide how we conduct ourselves and determine what is right or wrong.


Act with empathy. In a virtual community it is easy to act on impulse. Take a moment to think where the other person might be coming from. For example, many people will be sharing their thoughts on areas they are not expert in, and while we encourage everyone to share their epistemic status, we need compassion to allow people to learn in public. We're all working towards the same goal.


The future will impact everybody, so everybody should get a say in designing it. This extends to inclusivity of ideas. We will only develop the best possible vision and strategy if we entertain all ideas (hateful ideas non-permitting), even if the majority will be discarded.


While our envisioning exercise will be deliberately unconstrained, we will constantly balance this with efforts to build our strategy and progress our research agenda. Imagining a future that we cannot possibly achieve is a largely futile exercise.


A breadth of ideas only gets us so far. We need a high tolerance for experimentation to test and learn as quickly as possible. That goes for our strategy just as much as how we develop our community. The world is changing at an accelerating rate, it behooves us all to develop our capacity for experimentation and rapid change.


We learn best when all information is shared, even in work in progress form. You will often encounter 'work in progress' pages on WFW?, always with an opportunity to provide input and develop the thinking. All posts are open and likely to be frequently updated as new information comes to light. You can find seemingly irrelevant information such as our style guide. Our intention is to share everything in real time, drawing the line at information hazards.


There is enough doom and gloom in the world. Research shows that people are more likely to take action to create positive change when they have hope and feel empowered. The same research shows that a clear positive vision of the future can provide this - hence the primary focus of this project - but we will also ensure an optimistic (yet realistic) tone in our writing to keep the hope alive.

Who is it for?

In short, WFW? is for everybody, hence our value of inclusion. If you disagree with our core values then we encourage you to share your feedback. If we have values differences then this will not be the community for you - it is unlikely you will be able to positively contribute to our mission if we have a fundamental difference in values. If you agree with our values yet disagree with anything else you encounter on WFW?, this is good! We need healthy disagreement to stand the best chance of achieving our mission.

Community Rules and Norms

This is important enough that we've created a separate post. Until I put more thought into it, we'll be following the very thoughtful Rules and Norms of the Effective Altruism forum.

Please share your thoughts if you have any feedback on our principles.