A spark of hope?
A new vision for the world?
A community of humans committed to working together for a better future?
Last year on this same day, our 2020 newsletter opened with those three questions, aimed at defining our movement in the coming year. I am glad to share that Atlas has progressed significantly across all three dimensions despite a very rocky and difficult year for all of us. And we did even more!
But first things first: 🥳 Happy New Year 🥳. We wish you and your loved ones a year of happiness, health, and meaning.
Please take 5 minutes to read about our work, our plans for the future, and how YOU can "help & grow" as part of this movement. And if you want to go the extra mile, see…
2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣ IN A NUTSHELL
Let’s start with the key milestones we hit as a movement in the last 365 days!
First and foremost, despite the great difficulties in organizing people on the ground and building teams because of COVID-19, our community grew from 8,000 to 22,000 people 🚀! And within this group, a few trailblazers dedicated their free time to helping us conduct incredible campaigns, including:
- Democratic equity, by organizing #FridaysForFreedom protests that reached more than five million people online, events with Presidents and Leaders, and recently by launching an initiative for creation of a Government in Exile for Hong Kong.
- Vaccine equity, after convincing the WHO to promote priority vaccination for health workers across the globe, the movement organized a pressure campaign to push pharma companies to share IP & Tech with peers in low-income countries.
- Institutional equity, as with the Forward campaign, we brought the first people-backed candidate for the post of Secretary-General to the United Nations General Assembly. More than 7,000 people voted in this effort alone.
- Climate equity, by driving a significant effort at COP26 and beyond to ban fossil fuel subsidies.
- Rights equity, by demanding that NATO provide safe passage for women's rights advocates stranded in Afghanistan.
The world needs much more than this, but we are confident that we are forging ahead in the right direction.
⭕ As you can see, our work evolved around the concept of "Equitism." This year, we rebranded from NOW! to Atlas because we believe that a new vision is needed to represent the global work and goals we want to achieve. Energized by this new vision, the movement also tackled the monstrous task of organizing the first in-person event since its inception, the Freedom Marathon in London! After three days of online workshops and events, around 100 people gathered in a civil rights headquarters in Notting Hill. They reflected on the situation of the democratic struggle across the world. From that interactive convention, the idea of creating a Digital State was brought to life too!
And much more happened: we launched the idea of Equitism as the new philosophy for our movement, opened several teams of volunteers to grow our global operations, and successfully incorporated a legal Atlas entity in India and have started a similar process in Tunisia… Well, clearly it was a busy and productive year!
So, what does the future hold for us?
2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣2️⃣ WILL BE NUTS!
A couple of weeks ago, we shared our 2022-25 strategy with you. In this coming year, we aim to grow and strengthen our movement and establish it as a key actor in re-thinking the post-pandemic world!
What do we mean? Let’s return to our three original questions to explain it best:
A spark of hope
Two years into a pandemic, with democracy backsliding and countless issues arising around the planet, how can we bring hope for a brighter future into 2022? Well, by doing what Atlas does best: rolling up our sleeves and working to stand up for what we believe in, through:
✊ Advocacy: In 2022, we will launch at least 12 new global campaigns (following our new monthly, decentralized campaign cycle process where members can bring forward any idea). Additionally, our national teams will start campaigning on their own, increasing our "firepower” exponentially.
🗳️ Politics: Yes, it's time. This year we will start running for elections as Atlas, either by filing our own candidates or supporting/partnering with parties representing our values in certain countries. We cannot wait to have Atlas members in leadership roles, from the Japanese National Diet to the London Assembly. No one has ever tried to make politics global: we will!
💻 Digital State: Last but not least, we are working to create a digital state where people from all over the world can become citizens, to prove that humans can unite, have a voice, and collaborate to tackle climate change and many other global issues. Almost impossible? Yes. If not, someone else would have done it already!
The boldness of our actions is matched only by one thing: the audacity of our new vision, Equitism.
A new vision
🥁🥁🥁 OOOOHHH Yes!
This is perhaps the thing we are most proud of. While many others say "we need something new," we took the risk of actually defining what "something new" could look like: the Equitist ideology.
Equitism is our effort to imagine a better society, one where people are treated fairly, where individual, collective, and future well-being are society's priority. A place where each one of us has equitable access to opportunities and rights, a future where differences make us stronger, instead of dividing us. An economic system that rewards those working to benefit society, that strives to diminish systemic inequities. And much, much more.
Equitism is a new ideology for a new decade. It will guide Atlas' political and social work, and hopefully will soon be adopted by more organizations and individuals.
We came up with this idea because:
💥 The current systems aren’t working: Capitalism, socialism, and others are failing or are under attack (democracy), and the alternatives are grim (authoritarianism).
🔭 A long-term vision is needed: Great people are pushing for change in specific areas (many politicians & social movements, including ourselves at Atlas), but what’s next? Without a long-term vision of society, the public focus will be only on specific problems and miss many opportunities (like space exploration, already monopolized by the ultra-rich).
⭕ This is why we created the new vision, Equitism: It will be open, decentralized, and accessible for any person or group to use in their social, political, or institutional work.
Exciting, right? But what's more exciting is who's behind this…
A community of humans
A team of everyday citizens, dedicating their free time to a dream bigger than themselves: the one of a united, equitable, and free world.
In the last 365 days, Atlas has been built brick-by-brick by our team leaders and volunteers, a group of remarkable people doing their best to grow this project even in the face of the strictest, most depressing lockdowns. From the 🇺🇸 foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where our Editorial Leader Linda makes our words sharp as blades and organizes all our community meetings, to the futurist 🇯🇵 Tokyo, where Peerada never fails to translate our communication to make them accessible to our Asian audience. From 🇳🇱 Amsterdam, where Francesco onboards new volunteers twice a week, every week since June, to 🇦🇺 Sydney, where Daniel works to organize an Atlas music festival, our people are simply incredible. There are too many to mention here, but the bottom line: humans can come together and work for a better world, even without any concrete return, even under challenging conditions. Passion is all it takes, and in 2022 we will keep growing our team exponentially.
To get to know our people better, here you can read the stories of our members Mohamed, Sara, and Rey!
💡 SPOTLIGHT ON YOU: "HELP & GROW" WITH ATLAS!
So what's your role in all of this? Well, if you like what you read, there are two essential elements for you here…
🤝 HELP the movement…
The world will continue to be a difficult place until we succeed. So, if you wish to commit to doing something for the common good in 2022, perhaps you could:
- Become an Atlas member! This is the best way to support us. We have three new membership options for you to explore and wonderful members-only perks, including a Podcast and a newsletter. In addition, as an Atlas member, you will be able to vote at our Equitist convention, propose and choose campaigns, and much more…
- Donate! You don't want to join formally? You can still help us with a donation. As a grassroots organization, we survive on small donations. If you can, please include us in your end-of-year gift list :)
And/or be creative! Any help is appreciated and welcomed: do you know cool people? Connect us! Do you have spare space in your shop? Reach out, and we might make it our local campaign headquarters! The sky's the limit :)
🛫 … and GROW your understanding of reality!
Your help will be rewarded: we will do our best to provide you with a guide to understanding the world and our surroundings better. In 2021, many of us felt lost - it's challenging to make sense of events happening around us, from inconclusive climate talks to new leaders making the same mistakes again (i.e., Biden closing its Southern borders).
At Atlas, we want to give a hand: we will provide analysis and knowledge to understand what the heck is going on and how we can turn things around. This lens will permeate all our work and be present in our newsletter, podcast, social media, and beyond. We hope that together we can help each other see through the dark towards a bright future.
Well, this is it! We hope you will enter 2022 with the same hopeful and energetic mood that we have here at Atlas.
Happy New Year, Atlassians!
Andrea & Colombe
On behalf of the Atlas team