If money were beautiful, we’d move from a greed-based economy to a needs-based one
A while ago I had written this article about how I went from hating & being ambivalent towards the world of business & technology respectively to loving both worlds deeply & widely.
In it, I come to the conclusion that the worlds of business & technology if used properly, proficiently, and progressively — can enhance, enable, and empower humanity towards a place of righteousness in the most scalable, sustainable, and systemic of manners.
Ever since then, I came to formulate my raison d’être — the 3 pillars of my life, that which being design + exponential + systems thinking. Within each of these pillars — the worlds of digital design, distributed computing (blockchain), and circular economics as well as social impact as a whole constitute the specifics of my passions.
Fast forward to 2018, when I first found out about Celo — a company that lies at the intersection of all those 3 worlds: design + exponential + systems thinking: design-led, academically tech-focused, and most indubitably, mission-driven. This immediately became my dream company — however sadly they had no openings for me at the time, but I kept watch. When they then announced the Celo Fellowship — I was elated, however, I was too busy at the time and still, am, what with juggling 2 jobs at the moment. But, when they announced the Celo Prosper Retreat, I jumped at the opportunity. I applied as soon as I found it and to my absolute delight — I was accepted.
What is the Prosper Retreat? Well, here’s their promotional page to which I think does a great job explaining what it is:
Prosper Retreat | Celo
Finding a setting that is true to our mission of sustainability and connection was key. We're thrilled to be hosting…
Here’s also a video recorded by one of the Retreat members:
But if I were to describe it, it would be a mix of the following
60’s and 70’s hippie culture + futurist mentalities + some of the most passionate and compassionate souls I have ever met.
I’m uber grateful for the immersion into Mother Nature, lodging, and food that was so graciously granted to me — it was simply immaculate!
Friendships & Connections
I wish I could’ve have had a photo with all the new friends and connections I made, but at least I was able to snag these photos with these amazing individuals!
The Future of Money talk delivered by Sep, one of the cofounders was extremely enlightening. The “theory of change” and “features of money” were something that resonated profoundly with me:
What’s ahead for crypto: thoughts from Naval Ravikant & Sep Kamvar
“When new technology comes out, there is a lot of hype. It takes decades to live up to hype.” — Naval
The Unconference where I participated in a couple workshops and talks, of which the one that sticks out the most is the design-thinking workshop on privacy. This was led by Elena from ZCash and despite the time constraint — twas extremely thought-provoking. Speaking of whom, I’m incredibly grateful to her for having an awesome heart-to-heart with as we hiked through the woods.
Another activity that I loved a lot was the tour of the entire “Land” campsite in the form of a “scavenger hunt”. The highlight of this was when we all sang “The Campfire Song Song” from Spongebob Squarepants all inside a public washroom. Don’t ask, haha! We also later on in the trip were able to scatter seeds in a field while we contemplated life. My conclusion from that activity was that this entire weekend was a way for me to plant seeds for my future as well as for all of us to plant seeds for our collective futures.
The unfortunate thing is that there’s no photos here, because I almost thought it would be wrong to do so — this felt like a digital detox weekend to me so everytime I brought out my phone, it just felt almost blasphemous, lol.
My only regret the entire weekend was that I missed out on the dedicated stargazing activity. However, the stars were so abundantly visible due to how there was 0 light pollution where we were, that it was undoubtedly easy to see with the upward tilt of the head.
There’s so many more things I can say, from the mediation/yoga to all the group activities, and to all the socializing, pontificating, philosophizing, intellectual banter, as well as overall synergizing — it was simply one of the most divine experiences I’ve had in 2019.
My friend and fellow Celo Prosper Retreat community member — Ed said everyone was a giver. I certainly agree with that 100%. Because of this retreat, I became galvanized to live up to the aforementioned 3 pillars of my life evermore. And if it weren’t for this retreat, my life wouldn’t be where it is today — with the professional experiences I’m juggling right now, thank you Robbie from Consensys and with all the renewed sense of hope, I’m simply grateful.
On Wednesday December 4th, 2019 I’ll be giving a talk about my experience at the Celo Prosper Retreat as well as to present on the WHY, HOW, and WHAT of Celo as a whole. This talk will be at the third DeFi Toronto meetup and I’m also going to be looking forward to hosting Celo Suppers here in Toronto as soon as that’s possible.
To everyone at Celo — I do indeed plan on doing the Celo Fellowship one day because I love everything about you as a company, team, and organization. I’m forever grateful for this retreat experience and going back to my above answer to the question of “if money were beautiful”…
It sounds so altruistic and idealistic — but I dreamt for a day where we went from “greed is good” — Capitalism 1.0 to a day where Capitalism 2.0 and all o the things we see today are in the public discourse such as Universal Basic Income and lo & behold it’s happening. As an example: I dreamt for a day where we would have a more diverse set of media, from movies and tv shows that showcased people of colour such as Indian shows/movies and Chinese shows/movies with the click of a button and now services such as Netflix do indeed do that. If this was a dream that could come true when I was but a young lad, then to dream for a day where our economies don’t just serve the 1% of 1%’s, but serve everyone equitably is not far-fetched at all.
I envision a day where the booms and busts of our economy won’t happen again — where we don’t allow for financial mistakes like the Theranos scandal and WeWork’s IPO disaster to ever occur.
Therefore, thank you all for the work you’re doing, have done, and will do and again for including me in this most wonderful community!
I look forward to more to come!