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Idea machines

Last updated May 14, 2022 Edit Source

Post by Nadia Asparouhova (she got married!)

Idea Machine: a network of operators, thinkers, and funders, centered around an ideology, that’s designed to turn ideas into outcomes.

Related: funding, research institutions

An Idea Machine is a self-sustaining organism that contains all the parts needed to turn ideas into outcomes:

Idea machines are different from movements, which are focused on achieving a specific outcome and are therefore self-limiting (if they succeed, the movement winds down). On the other end of specificity, idea machines are less broad than paradigm shifts, which are widespread, headless, decentralized shifts in cultural norms and attitudes due to changes in systemic conditions.


  1. Ideology: a mimetic engine that drives the formation of a community
  2. Agenda: articulates how the ideology will be brought into the world
  3. Funders: presence ensures the community’s ideas can move from theory to practice
  4. Scene builder: sustain the community, develop the agenda, attract new members
  5. Operators: driver operating initiatives which lead to real outcomes
  6. Support organizations: infrastructural organizations whose purpose is to strengthen the values and best practices of the idea machine