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About us

The old ways of sensemaking have broken down as traditional media seem less committed to seeking the truth and have become partisan gatekeepers of a particular moral worldview. While claiming to save liberal democracy, Western governments are increasingly undermining the principle of free speech without which democracy cannot exist. Using so-called hate speech laws, disinformation experts, fact checkers and online content moderation, they are creating an increasingly totalitarian atmosphere where people cannot speak the truth about reality for fear of consequences.

 

Protopia Lab is an independent think tank and social innovation lab based in Barcelona, Spain, that fosters a new pluralistic and non-dogmatic conversation to rebuild our sensemaking mechanisms. We bring together open-minded people from across the Western world, synthesising ideas from different bodies of wisdom without falling into the trap of creating a new ideological bubble.

We believe that in order to have a chance of a peaceful and self-determined future, we need to break out of the current impasse and have honest and plural conversations about the causes of our cultural crisis and how we can creatively use the crisis to take steps towards genuine human flourishing. The default direction of more authoritarianism and digital surveillance that the world seems to be taking will not achieve this.

 

We aim to stimulate fresh, open and non-dogmatic debates in Western societies about what we have lost and gained in the last decades of the liberal world order, and how our culture can evolve in ways that are more conducive to human flourishing.

We create awareness about our own cognitive biases and build capacity for seeing issues from multiple perspectives. We put emphasis on the psychological processes that can help us step back from our ideological frames. We challenge our preconceptions in order to open up new ways of seeing.

 

We exemplify non-dogmatic and constructive dialogue and explore how we can regain trust between different tribes. Only a deep and empathic understanding of the dynamics that led us to the current societal divide will allow us to lay the foundations for renewed trust and a new social contract.

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Micha Narberhaus

Founder and strategic lead

Collaborators

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Alexander Beiner

Facilitator and process designer

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Viki Lafarga

Project manager and editor

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