Ignorance goes beyond illiteracy and innumeracy. It manifests itself in a lack of knowledge and an inability to process information. It affects the way we perceive reality, interact with and distinguish facts from opinions, and how we make decisions. It is one of the major root causes of uncomfortable human conditions, such as poor health, poverty, gender inequality and disregard for our environment. Every day it keeps reproducing behaviour models that led to it. Ignorance has become a source of disasters with planetary reach such as the Macondo oil spill, Monsanto pesticides, chemically developed nutrition supplements. Eradicating it is not just about producing new knowledge but about sharing it in a way that reaches the minds of people, about finding alternative ways of education. Through our initiatives and campaigns, we hope to bring knowledge and a fact-based approach back to various spheres of life, all ages, and countries.
It contributes to SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 3: Good Health, SDG 4: Quality Education
Think Tank AlterContacts, being a neutral body, has gathered tens of unique experts around the World to lead the way of opening access to knowledge, sharing fact-based findings, demystifying health, environmental and technological breakthroughs. Think Tank Experts donate their time and knowledge to run an ongoing online and offline collaboration. There are regular group and bilateral meetings to align our way forward. Every expert represents themselves and their own opinion.
We are working on building sustainable partnerships with local communities, municipalities, NGOs, foundations, educational institutions and sustainable, socially responsible businesses that will enable eradicating ignorance.
The Think Tank is not financially dependent on any entity which allows unbiased view and freedom of speech. At the moment it is run out of the savings of the Co-founders.
Our mission to Eradicate Ignorance will be implemented through multiple campaigns tackling different facets of ignorance. We want to change the current situation where the fact-based knowledge is produced but for various reasons it is not accessible to a wider audience or it is shared in a way they cannot interact with. It has already become the reason why a large part of the population cannot distinguish between a smart argument and a real & valid argument based on true facts. We plan to address the key factors that hold back the knowledge from humanity:
Lack of Intergenerational learning. The medium of information for the youth is Social Media and Mass Entertainment. But it does not transmit the useful lessons that older generations can share with them. The youngsters end up reinventing the wheel and making the same mistakes that could have been avoided. In turn that creates intergenerational amnesia.
Academic world that increased the complexity of the language they use to the point where it is more important than the content of the research. It made knowledge inaccessible: by keeping their papers, articles and books under safe access, open only to other academic or registered institutions, or accessible after a payment.
Powerful entities which use logic with non-validated fact to portray scenarios that influence the human population for purposes such as gaining power or wealth, through intentional ignorance.
Companies that have in-house research and even breakthrough discoveries and keep them secret, in the hope that someday they can use it for the economic advantage. The result is a structural slowdown of progress.
Business-funded research where research is funded only if there is a discovery that may generate money and does not impair the possibility of monetizing; and that is shared publicly only up to a point where the business looks good in the public eye or can generate better sales or return of investments.
Massimo Mercuri, Julia Skupchenko, Alejandro Kantun
In January 2020 we tested a new campaign #MyFirstJob #TenYearsIn. In this campaign, we ask people with over ten years of experience to share, in a short video, what is the reality of the job like. It is aimed at children who are deciding which profession or education path to choose. In most cases, it will define their lives, ability to support themselves financially and find fulfillment in what they do. We make this choice early on, often having an illusion of how the work-life is going to be. The more people contribute with their videos, the more children will have an idea of what is right for their future. Right now we are planning to make it an international campaign in multiple languages.
It contributes to SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Economic Growth, SDG 17 Partnerships
Shared Access to Intellectual Property
HEPHESTOS.io is a consortium proposal. The goal is to set up a transparently governed organisation to work on a shared and open set of standards and protocols to connect the dots of design, specifications, hackers, repairers, manufacturers, to unbind in the material world the same kind of transformation that the World Wide Web brought to the information ecosystem. The approach is based on the success stories of other initiatives like the Wold Wide Web consortium and LINUX, among others.
It contributes to SDG 7: Clean Energy, SDG 8: Economic Growth, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities, SDG 17 Partnerships