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SuperStruct 2019 Awards (verbatim text)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:03 am    Post subject: SuperStruct 2019 Awards (verbatim text) Reply with quote


The Best of 2019: Superstruct Honors and Awards are Announced!

On November 17, 2008 the Institute for the Future announced the winners of the Superstruct Awards in a live webcast. Each winner received a personal fan letter from one of the honorary game masters, including Bruce Sterling, Warren Ellis, Tara Hunt, and Tim O'Reilly.

You can watch the complete one-hour recording of the Superstruct Celebration on Ustream, or scroll down to read the results.

Congratulations to all of the honored Super-Empowered Human Individuals!


Our first Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Tim Kring, the creator of the NBC TV series HEROES.

Fittingly, this is the Most Heroic Award--for the superstructure that best reveals our hidden potential to save the world.

The most heroic award goes to the members of Lifeliners, a superstructure for embedded tech-savvy humanitarians, who would go to countries where the social safety net usually provided by governments has broken down and bootstrap high-tech solutions.


This is a remarkably strong Idea with practical applications that could benefit the world immediately. The only problem I can see is the availability of the resources needed to provide to the refugees, prisoners or poverty stricken in the most remote locale. I applaud this concept and hope that this one day it is a reality the world over.

Your fan,

Tim Kring


Our next Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Jimmy Wales, founder of WIKIPEDIA and WIKIA.

It’s the Most Collaborative Award--for the superstructure that invents the best new way of working together.

The most collaborative award goes to the members of TRUSTNET, a superstructure that would empower people to trust strangers by creating a bottom-up RFID-based system for vastly extending your trusted social network.

Dear Antisocial Hermit and allies,

I loved this idea and the way you fleshed it out!

What I particularly like about it i that you have proposed a structure for finding solutions, rather than proposing the solutions directly.

Once I have my trustnet tag, and once my friends have theirs, we might end up using them in all kinds of innovative ways that none of us can think of today.

Right now we already have unique identifiers (names, well, they aren't perfectly unique but are suitable enough) and various levels of certification of trust - a Harvard degree, a LinkedIn endorsement, etc.

But these are limited and nonstandard.

By moving that kind of thing in the direction of RFID tags, requiring real-world contact to get started, you push things in an interesting new direction.

I have a lot of doubts and questions... and I feel like jumping in to discuss. But... that's at the heart of what collaboration is about, and you've therefore won the prize for Most Collaborative!

Your fan,

Jimmy Wales


Our next Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Tara Hunt, co-founder of CITIZEN AGENCY and author of THE WHUFFIE FACTOR.

It’s The Most Whuffie Award--for the superstructure that encourages the most positive

Tara has selected three superstructures to receive a Most Whuffie honor.

First up, the bronze most whuffie award goes to the members of Educycle, a superstructure that open sources education by helping anyone, anywhere “freecycle” what they know.

Dear MUDMAMA and allies,

I've been a longtime fan of Freecycle and Educycle is a wonderfully innovative way to make this model into something else meaningful. I believe this ties nicely into the idea of gift economies creating community connection through the exchange of a very valuable favor: the gift of education. What a great way to encourage the spread of social capital and knowledge! The only thing I would push back on is the use of Yahoo!Groups...mainly because, to me, that has been the most challenging part of the Freecycle structure. Otherwise, awesome and incredible Whuffie making!

Your fan,

Tara Hunt

The silver most whuffie award goes to the members of Community Currency, a superstructure that would redefine the global economy by encouraging both macro and micro economies to develop and trade in alternative and locally relevant currencies.

Dear PAMELA CASH and allies,

Redefining currency is what Whuffie is all about - bringing to light the value of social capital and other less 'tangible' forms of currency. I've been a long supporter of the idea of the GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) replacing the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). What you measure matters In My Opinion. And I think you are bang on here. Much of the direction the world is currently moving in is our focus on money as the only true currency. Bravo to this group for taking to task the worldwide examination of currency, credit and economies. Loads of Whuffie points to you!

Your fan,

Tara Hunt

And finally, the gold most whuffie award goes to the members of THE EXCHANGE, a superstructure that creates new gift economies through social networking.

Dear PlatonicJensen and allies,

What I heart most about this idea is that it taps into the oldest and most essential economy, the gift economy. I agree with the authors that it has been forgotten and buried beneath the everyday. I also give a gold star to the authors for really thinking out this issue: including the oft desire to game these systems. The exchange of favors and the basic needs of people is an incredible way to unite community and ensure collaboration towards a better future. Great use, also, of geo-tagging and mesh networks. HUGE Whuffie points to you!

Your #1 fan,

Tara Hunt


Our next Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Bruce Sterling, science fiction author and founder of the VIRIDIAN MOVEMENT for sustainable design.

It’s The Viridian Design Award--for the superstructure that creates the most irresistible demand for sustainable, or "green", design.

Mr. Sterling has decided to honor three superstructures in this category, with a gold, a silver, and a bronze Viridian award. He has written a fan letter to the founders of each.

THE BRONZE VIRIDIAN DESIGN AWARD GOES TO the members of Valuing the Environment, an economic plan that would require countries to back their monetary currencies with environmental assets.

Dear XauriEL,

This idea would have been insane eight months ago and now seems like a headspinning breath of pure oxygen. A sci-fi writer's fave. Write me after you make your first world-saving billion. I know some African cellphone bankers who would love to talk to you.

Your fan,

Bruce Sterling

THE SILVER VIRIDIAN DESIGN AWARD GOES TO the members of the Open Fab Initiative, a project that would help struggling local economies switch to a system of open source fabrication.

Dear Captain Hazard,

My heart is with you. I would join this fabbing craftsman's guild in a hot second. I'm keen to kick in some cogent manufacturing ideas from Torino, Italia. When it comes to beating rising seas and black skies into submission, however, fabbing is a somewhat indirect approach.

Your fan,

Bruce Sterling

AND THE GOLD VIRIDIAN DESIGN AWARD GOES TO the members of Terra Perma, a proposal for a massive virtual world that would tracks real-time weather, climate and species data, in order to empower players to coordinate global sustainable food economies.

Dear the99th,

Among a crowd of "grow your own food" notions, this is the scheme that is both the most visionary and the most practical. Forget the ancient "think global, act local:" Terra Perma is the digital-native glo-cal initiative. Redeem the planet by becoming inherently planetary. Map the change you want to see. Way to go, Terra Perma. I love your name, too.

Your #1 fan, Bruce Sterling


Our next Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Warren Ellis, the acclaimed comic book writer and author of CROOKED LITTLE VEIN.

It’s the STRANGESTRUCT AWARD, for the superstructure that takes the most off-the-wall, unexpected, and left-field approach.

The award goes to the members of Insects4Food, a superstructure that would help solve the "peak protein" dilemma by mass manufacturing insect protein for food.

Dear AZAMPAGNA and allies,

Insects4food is the most blatantly obvious and yet completely mental idea I've seen in Superstruct. Yet another industrialised process runs counter to... pretty much everything on the general green futurist agenda, if not the current track of production economics in specific.

On the other hand, if these factories are going to be laying empty anyway, we don't want a bunch of hippies turning them into gardens or sex boxes or something. Why shouldn't they be making healthy food out of bugs that would ordinarily be crawling into toilets or babies' cribs in the crumbling inner cities of our doomed future? If this had been around twenty years ago, I probably wouldn't have Creutzfeld-Jakob today.

In any case, any process that helps to stop food from becoming a conflict flashpoint is a good thing. I'm writing this on a day when the United Nations is telling Zimbabwe that it's essentially run out of food to help keep four million of its citizens alive. I imagine you see where I'm going there.

Just don't tell people it's made from soy and lentils. That doesn't always end well.

Also, cockroaches are crunchy.

Your fan,
Warren Ellis


Our next Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Chris DiBona, Open Source program manager for GOOGLE.

It’s The Pandora Award--for the superstructure that is such a brilliant idea, once you hear about it, you can't NOT do it.

Mr. DiBona has selected three superstructures to receive Pandora Honors.

The Bronze Pandora Award goes to the members of The Society for Creative Breaking of Shit, a superstructure designed to harness the talents of griefers and hackers for good.

Dear infrarad and allies,

It is likely that the chaos that will visit the world of 2019's will lead to remarkable innovation. Unfortunately that innovation could be self interested to the point of despotic villainy. One counter would be roving bands of chaoticians which disrupt the actions of the evil.

The trick is, of course, deciding who is to be the target of the well meaning mob? The line between good and evil isn't clear when we're talking about directed griefer mobs …

Your fan,

Chris DiBona

The Silver Pandora Award goes to the members of Farm Golf and More, a superstructure designed to invent sustainable sports and create food-producing athletic grounds.

Dear Empiricus, Phil Jones, and allies

Since in the world of 2019 true golf courses will be in severely short supply, those that will remain may lie fallow and tend to return to native flora. To hasten this or to convert these prepared fields to productive use, a golf club. For those pools that were chlorinated pools of summer fun, now abandoned due to the issues surrounding global health, they would make fantastic raceways for populations of fish. With the chorine removed, and protected from predatory birds with netting or the enclosed nature of many such pools, they would be ideal resources for replenishing demolished aquacultures while the worlds oceans recover.

Your fan,

Chris DiBona

And finally the Gold Pandora Award goes to The Global Village, a superstructure that aims to provide a “third space” for women refugees and to engage them as caretakers for the local community.

Dear copystar,

In the event of a global crisis that limits food (necessitating food pooling) or transportation (limiting work and commercial options) we will likely be faced with a high percentage of women who end up at the short end of the global stick. A matriarchally focused superstructure that allows women to care for each other could help society from backsliding to the days of women as chattel forced into inequality because of the unique demands of motherhood and the interruptive nature of child rearing.

Even today, with women in conflict regions and undeveloped countries being forced into dire circumstances, this is the superstruct that, if adopted today, could make a huge difference for women worldwide.

Your #1 fan,

Chris DiBona


Our next Superstruct honor was created and awarded by Ze Frank, comic genius and creator of THE ZE FRANK SHOW.

It’s The Wonderfully Absurd Award--for the superstructure that does good by celebrating absurdity at its finest.

The Wonderfully Absurd Award goes to Las Vegas Pinata, a superstructure that would take over and transform the city of Las Vegas in order to provide a refuge city for the forced migrants of generation exile.

Dear Fangotang and allies,

I was charged with honoring a "wonderfully absurd" superstructure. In this project I found something terrifying, almost cruel, and certainly worth honoring.

I go to the Vegas Strip quite often for work, and I will admit that I admire it in a perverse way. It is the only place I have ever been that is haunted by the living. It's true, there are thousands of rooms that no one calls home.

But who would want to live there? This would be an apocalyptic quarantine of the poor to a place designed to be transient.
Visually stunning, but hellishly so.

The blackjack tables could be made into dinner tables, as you say, and the crap's tables transformed into cribs. If the power grid failed (and of course it would) there would be a month or so to wash clothes in the Bellagio fountain before it was a putrid swamp. Without the gambling there would be no industry, no infrastructure to hold back a desert that is only ever at harmony with itself.

Deserts magnify contrast. Toss a coin on the sand and it looks like a totem. Awesome. That is why I think this superstructure deserves an award.

Your fan.

Ze Frank


Our next Superstruct honor was created by Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O'REILLY MEDIA, and awarded by Tim O’Reilly and Brady Forrest, a member of the O’Reilly Radar team and chief puppetmaster for the amazing Emerging Technologies conference.

It’s the The Greatest Amount of Soul Award, for the superstructure that goes the farthest beyond practical solutions to really lift the human spirit.

The Winner is One-A-Day Introductions, a superstructure designed to build local social safety nets through casual face-to-face interaction.

Dear sockiboo and allies,

This superstructure had the most soul by far.

We know that smiles are contagious. A simple, shared smile can transform a meaningless, bland interaction like receiving change into one that brightens two days (and more as the smiles spread).

But introductions have more potential. Smiles are fleeting, while introductions are a gift of time, an imparting of knowledge and a show of caring. By introducing yourself to a stranger you are extending your reach and building a network. If you make an intro a day for a year some of those people will remain in your life. And during a time of crisis and in the face of superthreats, we all need more people in our lives as part of our social and emergency support system.

We write this as two people who have been practicing One-A-Day Introductions for years and think that it has added to our amount of soul.

Your fans,

Brady and Tim


Next up is a Creator Award, designed and awarded by Jane McGonigal, game director for Superstruct.

It’s the REALITY IS FIXED award, for the superstructure that would most dramatically raise global quality of life with the least amount of resources consumed.

The REALITY IS FIXED award goes to members of THE LONG GAME, a superstructure that would organize a 1000-year-long game to give individuals the chance to be a part of something truly epic, and which would bring society together through infinite play.

Dear Ubik2019,

You are awesome.

I will be contacting you shortly to begin developing The Long Game.

Love, your biggest fan,

Jane McGonigal


Next is the WORLD-BUILDER award, created by Jamais Cascio, going to the player who most impressed him with his or her contribution to the creation of the world of 2019.


The creation of the Democratic Central African Republic, and its struggle to provide an example of sustainable development in a post- collapse region, was one of the best pieces of player world-building in the game. It wasn't the only good example: A R K told another great story throughout. But Hexayurt's DCAR really stood out as offering a new vision of political organization and institutions of the 21st century. It wasn't just interesting, it was plausibly surreal -- my highest compliment for world-building creativity.

Good work, Vinay. Good work.

Your Fan,

Jamais Cascio


The next honor was designed and awarded by Stuart Candy, one of our Ravenous super-guides.

It’s "Transreality's Most Wanted" Award – for the superstructure that will most help encourage the continuation of what's been started during the six-week Superstruct experiment.

And the award goes to the members of The Museum of Impossible Things, a superstructure that would inspire designers engineers to work on truly breakthrough projects by creating a community space for displaying seemingly impossible things.

Dear Marco Antonio and allies,

Superstructers everywhere need to be inspired, perplexed, and enlightened as they wrestle with the supposedly impossible task of saving the world. As John Lennon said, "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination": it would be fantastic -- literally -- to see a collection of imaginary artifacts given tangible expression in "reality". Go do it!

Your fan,

Stuart Candy


The next honor was designed and awarded by RJ Eskow, one of our Quarantine super-guides.

It’s the “Of Course! The Future Needs a Soul! Award” for the superstructures that most passionately proposed non-technological solutions that are completely necessary for a truly human future. (Note: The prize-giver is supposed to smack his own forehead when reading this award name out loud.)

And the winners is RevsSparker, for his work on the superstructures “Everyday Heroes” and “Dinners for 12” stories, your “Everyday Heroes”.

Dear RevsSparker,

Thank you! I was struck by the haunting image of you going from home to home in a troubled world, asking “How is it with your soul?” Great image – Wild West itinerant preacher meets Mad Max. And for your reminder that superstructs should have “soul,” the same way (for example) that the Grameen Bank does. Clerics are storytellers. You wove one that included hope for humanity. You became the game’s cleric, our “spiritual friend” (as the Theravadan Buddhists say), and our keeper of faith and hope of spirituality – without the need to impose belief (or disbelief) in the Supernatural.

Your fan,

RJ Eskow


The next Superstruct honor is the MindStruct Award, created and awarded by Jane McGonigal and Kiyash Monsef, lead producer/editor at Current TV and the producer of our Superthreat videos. It’s for the superstructure that provides the most delicious and satisfying food for thought.

And the award goes to the members of Quantum Governance, a superstructure that set up a complex thought experiment to re-imagine the workings of democratic government through principles of quantum physics. Here is your fan letter.


Quantum Governance is the most fulfilling thought experiments we’ve witnessed in ages. You took a strange little seed of an idea and you played and played and played with it, until you turned it into a feast, with the help of many other SEHIs.

We will be re-reading the notes you’ve aggregated many times over. It’s the kind of reading that your dream about afterwards, while your brain tries to make sense of the big, new ideas it’s consumed. We love it.

Your fans,

Jane McGonigal and Kiyash Monsef


The next honors were designed and awarded by Phil Jones, one of our Outlaw Planet super-guides.

The first award is the Imaginative Pragmatism award, for the player who best balances
inventiveness and creativity with believable and pragmatic

The award goes to Empiricus

Dear Empiricus,

I'm giving this award to Particularly in your superstructures : Catalog of
Feedback failures, Subtractive Architecture, Stop Being in the Wrong
Place all of which at first confused me, then entertained me and
finally made me think "of course!"

Your fan,

Phil Jones

The second award is the Responsiveness Award, for the player who was best learning and adapting their thinking during the game.

The award goes to Platonic Jensen :

Dear Platonic,

I was looking for an example of brilliant adaptation, and think it's hard to get a better example than this :

Your fan

Phil Jones

The third award is the Escape Artist award, for the players who helped take Superstruct beyond the main site.

The award goes to IneffaBelle, for Reconstruct ( ) etc. and jorgeguberte, for Superstruct Classifieds ( )

Finally, the Taking it Seriously award goes to Hexayurt Projects :

Hi Vinay, I can't not give you my "taking it seriously" award, for being the player who seems most likely to be doing this stuff for real by 2019. An impressive body of thinking and video production during the game. Very, very cool.

Your fan,

Phil Jones


The next honors were designed and awarded by Justin Pickard, one of our Outlaw Planet super-guides.

First, it's the "OMG, did he actually just do that?, which goes to Infrarad.

Hey infrarad!

I tried, but I just couldn't let it go. This award is for that video. From the poster in the background, right down to the pacing of your statement and the audaciously smug conclusion, for those five minutes, you were the very embodiment of Superstruct. This is one of those moments that will stay with me, for you - good sir - are all kinds of crazyawesome. Smile

Your fan,

Justin Pickard

Next, it's The Strossian Reveal award, which goes to ARK (Art Replacing Knowledge):

Hey there, ARK.

I have literally no clue as to the character or nature of the individual(s) behind your alias, but I'm giving you this award in recognition of the whole Republican Bank of Malaysia scandal. You picked up on a plot point from the initial videos, and - from the initial interview - you ran with it. And ran a bit further. And a little bit further than that. You were flexible enough to deal with other people's contributions, and were responsible for a *coherent* ongoing saga that reminded me of nothing quite as much as a Charles Stross novel. The 'follow the money' video actually blew my tiny little mind, and I can only hope that I brought the whole thing to a (relatively) satisfying conclusion with Activision-Blizzard's decision to suspend the Starcraft MMORPG.

It's been a pleasure to play alongside you, and - for future reference - you had me from "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Very Happy

Your fan,

Justin Pickard


The next honor is presented by Joshua Judkins, one of our Ravenous SuperGuides. It's the Dynamic Opposition Award--for the SEHI who most productively challenged other SEHI's ideas.

The winner is Ruud Dirven.

Dear Ruud Driven,

With a project like Superstruct we're naturally thankful to those who encourage others, but I would also like to acknowledge the role of antagonists. The way that Ruud passionately rallied against certain ideas and solutions (culminating in a 21-page in-depth pdf) and the particularly dark picture he painted of 2019 prompted other SEHIs to not only stop and question their own ideas, but also debate the issues at hand with even more passion and consideration. For your inspiration through opposition, Ruud, I salute you.

Your fan,

Josh Judkins


The next awards are presented by Laura Hall, one of our quarantine superguides.

First up, it's "The Thomas Pynchon" award for the most inventive underground system. The award goe to PonyXpress's "The New Pony Express".

Dear PonyXpress,

The New Pony Express reminds me of the W.A.S.T.E. system from Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" - a hand-delivered, community-sourced, person-to-person mail system, it avoids censorship, government interference and griefing by putting the travel in the hands of the people who are writing it. I am really excited to put this into practice in real-life and am looking forward to working on it beyond the span of the official game period.

Your fan,

Laura Hall

Next, it's the "Down the Rabbit Hole" award, for the most engaging introduction to the game. The award goes to theweatherproject's "2019 Weather Project".

Dear theweatherproject,

The 2019 Weather Project is the first superstructure I encountered, because the people behind it sent a weather sample jar to the Institute For The Future way before the game even started. I was really intrigued by the idea of capturing a moment in time and space in a jar, then collecting and indexing them. Does the jar contain a ReDS-contaminated cough? A bio-engineered speck of pollen? Some new toxic pollutant? Or the last remnants of clean rural air? A beautiful idea, beautifully executed.

Your fan,

Laura Hall


And finally... THE SEHI 19 AWARDS are for the SEHIs who most embodied the modus operandi of the Super-Empowered Human Individual. These are SEHIs who turned the superstruct community is a true, working engine of ideas and who made it possible for all of us to imagine a better future.

* jorgeguberte
* IneffaBelle
* PlatonicJensen
* infrarad
* mudmama
* PonyXpress
* spinnerin
* Tony Fisk
* rtgarden2019
* Elizabeth Merritt
* 2019Beverly
* ubik2019
* PlaNetweaver
* Prophessor Bedlam
* Suzanne
* Foundation
* MarcoAntonio
* Empiricus
* copystar
* Hexayurt Project

Dear SEHI ’19,

If we wake up in the real 2019, and the world is a better place than the chaotic future imagined by this Superstruct experiment, you will have helped make that better world possible.

Your fans and collaborators,

The Superstruct Creators and the Superthreat Guides
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