How Do We Get To An Uncrowded World?

How Do We Get To An Uncrowded World?

At Uncrowded we believe that everyone cares about the children who are being born into the world today.

We all care whether those children will be loved, provided for, and raised in the best possible ways. We all care.We all care about the number of children people are having, and about the impact those children will have on the environment and the people around them, especially as those children grow into adults. We care about the people our children will share the world with.

But we don’t know how to talk about these things publicly. A wall of silence surrounds the decision to have children.

WrapUpThat wall creates real problems. It stops us from coming together to cooperate or coordinate what we do when it comes to having kids, and from creating a system that works. It stops us from coming up with a plan, a mutual agreement, for all having kids in a way that will ensure the best possible world for them.

And that means that parents who are trying to make the future the best it can be are in some ways wasting their time and energy because others aren’t doing the same. It also means that people who would make good parents refuse to have children because they care enough not to entrust any child to what appears to be an increasingly bleak future.

That’s not fair, and it needs to change. Some people should not have to forgo having children because others choose to have large families.

Systems start with the people in them, and people start becoming who they are the day they are born.We all get the best results by coordinating our behavior, whether it’s coming up with plans to promote free speech, share the roads, regulate markets, or make great schools. We believe the only way for all of us to truly become invested in the future is for each of us to play a role in every person’s decision to parent

It’s time to start the conversation. One way to do that and end the wall of silence is by coming up with a model, or suggested best practice, for people to publicly discuss, improve upon, and use. At Uncrowded we offer a model, a product, called Responsible Parenting from shared values. We symbolize it as a move from O to X. O to X means changing the world’s vision from a short-term view of parenting as a bubble O insulated against the outside world of other people, to a long-term view where we see that parenting creates the outside world of other people, and where less ↘ becomes more ↗.

bhutan-Rick_RayWe believe it is the best way to build an uncrowded world where every child born is loved and provided for, where nature flourishes around us, and where everyone has meaningful say over what their government does.

But the most important thing about the model, and about any model, is that it allows us to start publicly discussing the decision to have children and deciding what it is we all really value and want for the future.

Uncrowded promotes our product, the Responsible Parenting model, through three different services: legal reform, corporate and nonprofit reform, and grassroots campaigns.

Legal reform

greek-ruin-in-spain-Rick_RayAt Uncrowded we use the model of Responsible Parenting to reform outdated domestic and international legal systems. We combine the idea of responsible parenting with a behavioral theory called legal expressivism, developed by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler in the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. We then replace the current model, isolation, with ours. For example, we design model laws and develop litigation to make sure that parents who are convicted of abusing and neglecting children do not have more children who will be put at risk, and we promote tax reforms that encourage responsible parenting from shared values, like cutting off child tax credits for families over a certain income after their first or second child, and investing that money in less fortunate families’ first child.

Corporate and nonprofit reform

CarterUncrowded also campaigns to reform both for-profit corporate and nonprofit culture. We identify for-profit corporations, like fertility clinics and infant product retailers, that are intentionally or unintentionally promoting irresponsible parenting and work with them to change course. We integrate human rights, environmentalism, and child advocacy by working with leading nonprofit organizations in these areas to make sure they are not undoing their own efforts by ignoring the long term role people’s decision to have children plays in all their work. We believe we can be most effective by helping steer existing corporate and nonprofit organizations, at both the national and international level, in the right direction.

The Grassroots

file2421264480998Uncrowded also engages in grassroots campaigns designed to reach people who want to become parents or have more children. For example, in our Fair Start program we work with the many existing groups of parents and people who want to become parents to develop agreements between their members designed around the responsible parenting model, like scholarship trusts that invest families in each other’s children. . While legal systems, corporations, and nonprofits play a huge role in our lives, the Responsible Parenting model inherently relies on people to recreate an actual social contract between themselves, in the true spirit of democracy, that builds and ensures a future filled with values we all share: continuity, well-being, nature, fairness, and democracy. In the end it’s up to us.

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Sometimes less is more.