Project Methodology

The Basic Theory

The theory goes something like this: Perhaps IF we can identify and verify (via mass public consensus) a common set of basic needs/desires/experiences of the human condition AND start to understand how our behavior is influenced by these needs/desires/experiences THEN we may be able to use the wisdom inherent within these observations as a basis from which to reevaluate our economic systems, social systems, governmental systems, environmental regulations and legal systems etc.. In short, we need to develop some rational and intuitively understandable context or basis from which a sustainable social re-evaluation can occur.

The Ultimate goal of the UHNA project is to get people to focus on the idea of exploring what it is that makes each of us tick; to develop a common sense contextual framework that is intuitively understandable and practically applicable, a resource which can be globally disseminated allowing the people of the world to evaluate and alter their own state of happiness and security in a sustainable and self determinate fashion. We want to mobilize a community with the shared compassion for understanding what it means to live humanely.

Most projects and research in this field conclude by identifying the basic categories of human needs. An appropriate analogy might be like identifying the basic categories of the periodic table such as the ‘solids’, ‘metal’ and ‘liquids’, whereas the UHNA project seeks to define the individual elements like ‘carbon’, ‘hydrogen’ and ‘oxygen’. The UHNA project may very well be able to catalyze the development of an intuitively understandable and comprehensively verifiable ‘map’ or ‘loose periodic table’ describing the elements that influence human behavior. Hopefully, the project can also catalyze the development of social movements that can motivate the common person into self-reflective consciousness relative to;

• understanding what fundamental motivations/needs drive their behavior.

• acknowledging that there are a set of motivations/needs that are common to the vast majority of humanity.

• understanding how to achieve a balanced fulfillment of motivations/needs which yield a satisfying and humane experience.

• understanding that engaging in collaborative efforts towards fulfilling common motivations/needs will have positive impacts on self and community.

The UHNA project differs from some other social/human needs projects and research in that it addresses the topic from a ‘bottom up’ and ‘middle outward’ perspective simultaneously to discover and report its comprehensive findings directly to the participants of the project as opposed to a ‘top down’ strategy. This will enable the project to be flexibly organic and able to develop at it’s own appropriate ‘human scaled’ rate since it is a communications project based on developing a common fundamental understanding through consensus; it is a widely accessible and continuous feedback loop.

The question then becomes; how is it possible to stimulate such a set of scenarios and others with similar goals of creating a balanced and humane world?  

More than likely, it will require the energy of highly motivated mass movement towards creating an informed and active citizenry. The key to achieving this is by utilizing a set of motivations/needs common to each individual from which ‘the masses’ are comprised, an ego-centric but mutually benevolent commonly shared compassion… the need to live humanely.  Gaining satisfaction through collaboratively understanding and fulfilling the motivations/needs of self and others.

The basic methodology of the project will center around gathering empirical data from individuals on a global scale to create the worlds largest signatory list. Visitors to the UHNA site will be asked whether or not they agree with each statement of need on the signatory list as it relates directly to them personally. The responses will be used to assess the relative universality of each of the ‘elements’ on the initial list of humane needs.

The project will be translated into multiple languages and will be designed in a modular format that will allow organizers to explain the project and gather signatories locally to add to the global database. The project will be launched locally via appropriate cultural events and promoted by high-profile signatories.

Visitors to the UHNA site will be able to review graphical statistics to compare respondent answers with a broad range of basic demographic information. This will allow people to see who thinks like them.

Currently, the UHNA project is hold while a project team is assembled and a book is being written.  We are now settling into a physical home base of operations in Berlin Germany called “Das Baumhaus“, the German translation for “The Tree House”.   Das Baumhaus will play host to many other collaborative projects seeking to make the world a better place.


20 Responses to “Project Methodology”

  1. This is what we humans are good at. Talking, discussing, analyzing.
    In the meantime the world is going down the drain.
    It can be argued that ants are smarter than humans, because they just instinctively re-act to threats to their environment. They might not know why, but their coordinated action either solves their problems, or the ants all die.
    Or problem is, I hate to say it, ourselves. We are increasing in numbers at such an alarming rate, that it is just a matter of mathematics to predict where the graph will end. Soon.
    One solution is as simple as it is insane:
    Every woman on earth should castrate one man – or get him to do it himself.
    No one would die, no more rapes will occur and women will stand a chance to become the leaders of the world as there would be no more testosterone in politics and religion (another form of politics). Men have prooven that they’ve failed miserably in trying to make the world a better place.
    And one thing is certain: If we don’t reduce the human population before we consumed our entire planet, we will end together with this incredible natural world we managed to destroy. It already started, and we all know it.
    If we stop reproducing now, we might have a chance. That’s a fact, cracy as it might be.
    And btw, I am a man.

    • universallyhumane Says:

      JP, I think that your plan is a bit radical… i think that its possible to get people to change without castration. besides, i think carry out your plan would cause so much unrest and crazyness that it would make the chaos we have right now seem like complete harmony. additionally, i think there are plenty of ultra conservative right wing agressive women out there in politics and business screwing things up just as good as the men; one need look no farther than the current crew of politicians and business people in the USA and isreal. however, if you really believe in your idea then become the change you want to see, and see if you can convince people by example….. i can only speak for myself and i don’t think i’ll be joining your revolution anytime too soon because i don’t think i need to be castrated to be a good person and do good things in the world.

    • I get so angry with this neo-Malthusian dogma. The Earth is not a closed system. The Sun shines upon it. There is energy enough. People are not the problem at this point. Get out of the city. There is plenty of room out there. People and our ability to see clearly and envision solutions are a part of the solution. Intelligence is out there. Maybe we are more like ants than you notice. We have just recently realized that we are one people on one planet. With global communication networks and realtime information sharing it is like we have just been born as a planet. Of course our first emotional response as a consciousness is fear. Evolutionarily that has always been the first emotion in life forms. Maybe that why we survive. But we do survive. At the heart of all of this is a consciousness that is inherent in all life, intelligent, conscious of itself as one. Don’t worry. This life keeps going. The dimensions of time and space are multiplying to accomodate our wildest fantasies. The universe is expanding. The conditions that allow us to experience what we know of as our qualitative subjective experience are expanding. Don’t worry. Open to it. There is plenty. This attitude of scarcity is ruining your experience. Enjoy life. It is abundant. Love is essential. Freedom is inherent. Love. Be Free. See and be the world as you would have it.

  2. svetsky Says:

    More views on Basic Income:
    People often fear giving 1000 Euro to the alcoholic, the un-ambitious, or those that may wither their portion away (among other examples). There’s a reason people are drug addicts, alcoholics etc. There will always be the ambitious and the less ambitious. Everyone may not actually need 1000 Euros but everyone will get it, which serves to connect all. Those that want to work to generate more can, those that don’t want to or can’t don’t have to with out the stigma of social or welfare benefits. A stigma that serves no purpose other than to oppress, separate and control, turning people against each other.

    A 1000 Euro has the potential to help restore the human condition at a soul level. When taking away the daily struggle one has a chance to get back on track, back to their “inner truth”. Imagine the single mother who now can stay home and take care of her children, or a person in an unsatisfying job that can take time to study or Volunteer to help others in greater need.
    Or, to simply make a much needed change that utilizes unrealized potentials or passions, OR, support for Artists at any point in their lives, regardless of recognized achievements, age or any other constraints that block human development. The possibilities are endless and People are exhausted.

    Give people the freedom, space and a chance to find their way back to their inner truth and humanity; back to before it was doused in drugs, alcohol, apathy or a dead end job, rather than judge it as an impossibility. I believe there would be positive results along with the pains of change. Stepping off my pulpit now-

  3. Hello,

    I’m relieved to find interest in this subject, and in Berlin as I’ve been looking to be a part of a conscious community. When I was an active Slam Poet, I had one poem that wasn’t even written well about this subject that got some attention.
    In any case, I feel that what is being proposed is an interesting movement yet it does sound a bit like it’s being approached in a “market analysis” fashion as one post put it. Simply put, when human needs are pared down to their most basic, the focus can shift from following out moded societal constraints that are fast falling. These simple fundaments are nothing new. Eat, Water, Sleep, Shelter, Livelihood, Purpose and “perchance to dream”.
    When the focus shifts to how humanity really connects rather than how it differs, as a basic humanistic code to abide by- that would be a huge change. Everyone knows that conflict only arises due to a focus on differences.
    Of late I’ve become very interested in the idea of “Basic Income”, also not a new concept. In Germany, there are two movements in favor of this. I wrote to this organization for more information.
    or “The Abolition of the Unemployed” by Katrin Pinetzki.
    I must admit I’ve thought about this long before I had heard about it and have my own version, (differs slightly).
    While the topic on this forum isn’t targeting “The Unemployed”, from my perspective it is an interesting way to handle the topic concerns. Even if this movement were put into effect, it most likely would not be a global change, however a constructive beginning.
    In short, if one agrees that all humans share the common needs above, then this movement offers a solution as it would provide all citizens 1000 Euro to everyone regardless. Basic income is a holistic approach, as it would wipe out all government, social funding, wiping the slate clean, by distributing funds based on fundamental human needs as priority. This would obviously help many in various economic levels.
    In order to make change, one must be open to a complete change of existing forms, without which progress is not possible. Most people aren’t willing to even imagine such change is possible. Change is hard when the mindset is at the societal level. In Dabrowski’s “Theory of Positive Disintegration”, The Tao, (among many others) one can see how this level is more destructive than constructive and that it is human nature to fight the indignities just as it is to follow it blindly.

    I don’t want to take up more space so please Google “Basic Income” for information.

  4. There is a simple, elegant model described in Marshall Rosenthal, Ph.D. book, Nonviolent Communication. It is based on the premise that everything each of us does is an effort to get our needs (he includes list of universal needs) met. Our feelings are triggered by needs met or not. If our strategies are successful, needs are met. If not, needs go unmet and in extreme cases, can cause great harm to self and others.

    I’ve been a student, practitioner, coach and trainer of the method for years. And I highly recommend the book.

  5. Chris Wroth Says:

    A simple way to make your assessment is to just ask thousands of people around the world, “What do you want for yourself and your family?” The World Game Institute did this and released their findings in 1991. It turns out that all people want essentially the same things, and coordinated international effort could easily provide those things for all if the cooperative will existed to do it. Google “What the World Wants” and click on “I’m feeling lucky”. Research done 20 years ago and still true today.

  6. World Peace one person at a time, It’s a bit far fetched, yet I think with effort ,We as a people can accomplish this.
    Basic needs of food and shelter are a must for every person on this planet We as a race are going in to extinction
    by our own hand. It’s time to put a stop to the greed and distruction that is our planitary out look, Time to think Planitery not monitary. What this Earth offers , We can not duplicate any where in the Universe as we know it.
    Be a kinder more tender planet dweller, Hug a neigbour not a tree,then plant one togther. Feed a hungry soul, feed your own,trust in the plan of salvation and become a greater moving cog in the wheel of things. Write that long awaited letter to a goverment offical. Call a friend, call a stranger. Put your shoulder to the wheel and work it for what its worth the effort.

    The planet is the smallest place to start if your heart is the biggest contributer.


  7. Oops… Thought your event was on Yorckstrasse in Berlin. Won’t see you this evening afer all.


  8. This all sounds rather interesting, and I’m heartened by the explicit intent.

    But… Your “theory” is a stated as a hypothesis (…IF…THEN…).

    Nature has provided each of us with a squeeky enough wheel to get our basic needs met, particularly those of us with access to the internet.

    When it comes to less basic and obvious needs, it seems that it is incumbent on each one of us to find that out for ourselves because the bidder and the provider are one.

    When those more subtle desires (and I say desires because if you are hook up to the internet you probably have food, clothing, shelter, and are looking for connection, and esteem gratification which I consider more in the realm of desires which make the world go around in an interesting way) are known and met, then we can enter the world with a sense of presence which allows us the compassion. The kind of compassion which is excerised willingly with out resentment or martyrdom.

    This is why I find the periodic table of your proposal (sounds more like a marketing analysis) interesting, humans due interact and satisfy needs. Compassion and love are interesting concepts. How people fit together like (the long out dated) periodic table of elements could be interesting to see.

    Good luck with that…

    See you tonight.

  9. universallyhumane Says:

    Try copy and pasting the text into a MS Word document or any other software that can print text; that should solve the issue in a jiffy.

  10. Sally Oesterling Says:

    I very much like this site, and the idea of a universal humane needs assessment. Unfortunately, a printout of the Project Methodology is not readable, whereas the comments are. Can you help?

  11. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  12. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  13. William Eon Says:

    We must reaffirm our positive Ideals and Goals
    The Creator
    Endowed us with!

    The Ideals

    Peace, Patience, Compassion, Friendship, Helpfulness, Generosity, Brotherly and Sisterly Love, Cooperation and Harmony+

    The Goals

    To Live in Peace and Harmony with other Human Beings, Species and the Environment.
    Imitate the Creator by living in a renewable, sustainable manner+

    ADD your own.

    Join the Micro-Democracy Revolution

    Self contained Communities providing local
    Manufacturing, Education, Organic Food, Capital, Health Care, Media and Entertainment.


    All the possibilities exist!

    Chose wisely and pick the right path.

  14. In response to Mark’s point I would say that from my perspective living a humane life has nothing to do with ‘helping’ others. Simply put, given the scarcity of good information, living humanly is causing as little damage to others while pursuing what I determine to be what is best for me. However, it is commonly forgotten that what is best for me includes the success my community. In today’s global economy ‘my community’ should be correctly recognized as profoundly large an interconnected.

    I don’t want to get stuck on semantics but I think ‘helping’ necessarily involves a judgment of what is right or wrong for someone else’s life that you may or may not know anything about. Do you help by giving a little money to a homeless drug addict? Is it helpful to give work and economic opportunity to people living in extremely impoverished areas on the other side of the globe? What if that work is dangerous, unhealthy and the economic opportunity ultimately unsustainable?

    Well, I just don’t know the answers. What is the homeless drug addict going to do with the money? How dangerous and unhealthy is the work? How extreme is the poverty? What is a sustainable economy after all? If you are helping in order to actually improve someone else’s life, you need to know the answers to these questions. The problem is that these questions are often simply answerable given the reliability of information from a drug addict or global media. And if you don’t bother to answers these questions before helping then I suggest you read JoAnne’s comment about shame at the top of this thread and ask yourself another question: Why are you trying to help someone when you don’t actually know the consequences of your actions?

    The process of compiling an elemental list of humanity may make it easier to answer difficult questions and allow us to better ‘help’ others. However, from my perspective, the value of such a list is its ability to inform us about how to peruse our own goals in harmony with those around us. We are really only able to make truly informed decisions about the direction of only one person’s life — our own.

    Perusing goals for only our own personal benefit may seem on the surface to be selfish. However, if you insulate yourself from the world of marketing and forget about notions of success promoted in the popular culture, the fact remains that the vast majority or our fundamental personal goals are shared by billions of people around the world. It is the discovery of these fundamental common goals and acknowledging them across social/political/economic boundaries that will ultimately allow us to harmonize our actions, live humanly and better the quality of life for everyone.

    Interestingly, many of those things that I have broadly labeled here as fundamental personal goals tend to be called basic human rights in situations when resources are under threat. Conversely, resource rich post-industrial places in North America, Western Europe and — I suspect — East Asia are suffering a humanitarian crisis. There is little shortage of food and shelter for the body but savage scarcity of metaphysical food and shelter for the ‘soul’ (for lack of a better word). This hidden humanitarian crisis of the first world may play out to be equally devastating. It appears that in an attempt to fill a hole in our ‘soul’ with stuff produced by burning carbon and other unsustainable processes we are threatening the stability of our biosphere in its entirety.

    This situation is not caused by a lack of ‘help’ but a lack of good information about the total lifecycle of the products consumers are buying, a lack of good information about what satisfies our ‘soul’, and the lack of an easily digestible plan to coordinate action across massively complex networks to make our local and global communities more efficient and more humane. From this perspective a feasible project to: define, verify and utilize a universal set of elements fundamental to living humanely is long overdue.

  15. universallyhumane Says:

    Mark, a list may not be necessary for you because you may be a more conscious and compassionate individual who can act of your own free will to do some good in the world. The real question you should be asking is, if there were a list could it inspire more conscious compassion in more people? I think the answer is yes. I definitely don’t think that the creation of this signatory list will make anything worse…sb

  16. why is a list necessary when all you have to do is look around and find someone who needs help…….then give it to them. In your household, in your community, in your city, in your state, in your country and in our world. we need to come together and realize, we could be living in harmony, everywhere, all the time.

  17. Alan Smith Says:

    Coming up with a list of fundamental needs can be as easy or as difficult as we want to make it.

    It can be a short, one-off list of succinct bullet points, a la the Ten Commandments. At the other extreme, it could be a finely nuanced list that captures every need of every individual on the planet, constantly updated to reflect new needs as they are identified, anywhere, any time.

    But is making a list really the point? Is getting an agreed (!!) definitive NEW list of what constitutes a fundamental set of human needs really going to achieve anything?

    Aren’t there many such lists available already?

    Don’t we all, as individual members of this global community know what our own personal needs are?

    Is agreement even possible at this relatively early stage of human evolution? For instance, how long will it be before no one on the planet includes the need for a gun in their personal list of can’t-live-withouts? (I don’t need one, but you might).

    Rather, is it about finding a way to unlock the recognition of our shared humanity in those that don’t have it?
    Is it about finding a way for that shared sense of humanity to actually mean something to us ALL?
    Is it about finding a way for that sense of shared humanity to manifest in day to day life in all corners of the planet?
    Is it about finding a way for that sense of common humanity to prevail over powers and systems that are currently sustained by emphasising differences and separation by imposing and/or marketing a myriad of ‘us and thems’ such as inter- and intra- national borders, gender, race, religion, culture…even the football team of choice.

    Is part of the contribution of initiatives such as the Universal Humane Needs Assessment in providing support for individuals such as myself who subscribe to Gandhi’s view that we must BE the change we want to see in the world.

    I can not directly change you, him or her wherever you may be. But by learning to live a life based upon a personal sense of shared humanity, I can hopefully contribute to a global movement in that direction.

    Think globally, act personally?

  18. JoAnne krieger Says:

    We must look, not at the positive, but come to terms with the negative: our Shame. Shame is the trickiest all the emotions, also the least mentioned, because speaking of shame causes shame. It’s ether -ike quality stullifies and mutes the brighest , it objectives others and those they deal with, it causes people to become greedy in an indirect attempt to cover one’s dark sides, it causes rage as repressed issues are let out of the closet, it’s the cause of distractions and exceses of all kinds, the direct or indirect cause of most crimes, wars. How much more to we need to know about shame to come to our senses and began to tell our stories to listening ears in communties the must organize, if only for that purpose.. There is much more to say on shame and what it’s been doing for ever.

    And shame has the ability to entrap itself within us by coming around our back side, where it creates more of it in a strangehold. The way to get over it is through it, by naming the events in our lives that have had a shame hold on us. Then we can begin to achieve equanimity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: