Our firm’s first publication, Dear Machine, serves as both and investment thesis and mental model for guiding our resource allocation decisions. Using this lens we look for companies or initiatives that are undervalued by the markets, scalable and have the potential to solve humanity’s most vexing issues. We invest exclusively in “supersystemic” innovations - those that strategically increase diversity and complexity in natural, manmade or “idea” ecosystems because, as we explain in our publication “Dear Machine”, we see it as the most effective problem solving strategy available. While this may seem like an abstract way of making investments, it is actually a simple mental model to employ. Below is a discussion of the investments we have already made using this investment thesis, followed by a bit about the nonprofits we support.
For-profit companies in which we have invested:
Compass Pathways - A UK-based firm running large clinical trials of psilocybin in Europe and USA for the remediation treatment-resistance depression. Based on emerging research and new theories of the mind we believe psilocybin, and psychedelics more generally, will have a massive positive impact on society. Aside from treating depression, studies have shown promise for these medicines to treat opioid, alcohol and tobacco addiction, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety while increasing empathy, and breaking down the illusion of a self and separateness from others in healthy people. We see the expanded use of psychedelics as a key tool to unlocking human potential and facilitating a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of Earth’s natural and man-made systems, so that we may appropriately prepare for the emergence of superintelligent entities.
Asia Microbiota Bank - A Hong Kong based firm using human microbiome transplantation from healthy individuals to re-mediate disease in sick and dying patients. In the past few years there has been an explosion of research demonstrating that the restoration of the microbial ecosystems of the human gut may treat or cure deadly and debilitating diseases like bacterial infections, inflammatory bowel syndrome, autoimmune disease and, while evidence is still preliminary, maybe even autism, leukemia, malnourishment and schizophrenia. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the “mechanism of action” at play with microbiome transplantation lies in its ability to permanently increase the diversity and complexity of gut microbial ecosystems of sick patients.
Nonprofits we support:
Eden Reforestation - Tree planting and alleviating extreme poverty in Madagascar and Mozambique
Cool Effect - Carbon off-sets. Makira Rainforest reforestation (Madagascar), Mangrove restoration (Myanmar)
Insight Gardens - Development of “inner” and “outer” gardening skills to shift prisoner perspectives.
Ecosystem Restoration Camps - Founding member. Builds research, training and innovation centers for ecological restoration.
MAPS - Developing medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.
We have just begun. To understand what other types of innovations we are interested supporting, take a look at this.