In 2019 I gave a presentation with Cheri Honkala and The Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign at the Left Forum in Brooklyn on pay for success finance, and how it preys upon the poor. If you don’t have time to read the linked post, the steps below outline how it works. This is how tech billionaires and hedge funds extract profit from poverty. It’s quite ingenious, but those Wharton MBAs are clever when it comes to setting up synthetic debt products.
Human Capital Finance 101 – Futures Trading on The Data of Vulnerable Populations
- Implement austerity budgeting for 10-20 years.
- Cultivate Third-Way politicians, similar timeframe as above.
- Build out smart-city sensor networks, similar timeframe as above.
- Document and measure social problems in detail – unemployment, addiction, incarceration, mental illness, special education, affordable housing, etc.
- Assign fixed costs to as many problems as possible. These will be the cost-offsets against which social impact profit can be extracted.
- Build support for “accountability” and “transparency” in pay-for-performance government contracting.
- Advance e-government and open-data initiatives (optional, but helpful).
- Invite policy leaders from esteemed global academic and development institutions to advise on enabling legislation.
- Groom social welfare providers – non-profits, faith communities, municipal departments, and for-profit-prison companies in “continuum of care” transition
- Conduct pilot programs that will be promoted through “Solutions Journalism” media outlets.
- Evaluate data-warehouse and social impact dashboard options.
- Standardize “success metrics” and hire third party program evaluators.
- Identify best practices for conducting intrusive, ongoing data surveillance of all who access public benefits.
- Establish government digital identity.
- Plan transition to programmable assistance via vouchers that can be programmed using blockchain smart contracts.
- Alert investors: BlackRock et al, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, high-net worth individuals, charitable endowments, faith communities among others.
- Once sufficient deal flow is reached, begin to securitize the debt associated with the privatized social welfare “investments” (see ReadyNation and the Kaufman Foundation’s Invest in Kids Bonds for a model).
By using the Heckman Equation; Richard Layard’s “authentic happiness” framework; or Clive Belfield’s Social Emotional Learning Equation the managerial class can spin profit, like gold from straw, out of someone else’s pain. All that is needed is to capture the appropriate data on dashboards to fulfill the requirements of the deals. Each of these equations has a specified ROI (return on investment). Once the infrastructure to track and trace program beneficiaries goes live, the hedge funds can start to securitize and bet on outcomes.
The above system is how the Jack Dorseys of the world will be able to benefit from donations to build recreation centers in Rio’s favelas. Since impact metrics rely on real time data flows, this program enriches technology companies and the burgeoning data analytics field while generating fodder for AI machine learning towards the Singularity. To see how they anticipate that working, listen to this five-minute conversation between Charles Hoskinson of Cardano and Ben Goertzel of Hanson Robotics.
Adoption of digital identity and crypto currency is central to execution of this enterprise, since human capital products must be tagged and then monitored for outcomes with new rounds of predictive profiling based on past behavior. Digital ID is where all a person’s meta-data will be stored for management, see MIT’s Secret Network where queries can be made on encrypted data. This is truly Black Mirror stuff, and yet it’s really happening. Listen to Charles Hoskinson speak on Cardano’s partnerships in Ethiopia where he lays it all out. Blockchain is about the state being able to identify if you are a “good actor” and worthy of having a job.
Given Brazil’s deeply rooted revolutionary opposition to enslavement and tradition of marronage, it is not surprising that impact investors would seek to enchant the youth of the favelas during this first phase of the Metaverse campaign.
Wearables And Smart Recreation
When I first saw Glenn Greenwald’s posts about the controversy surrounding the financing of the planned youth centers, it brought me back to the critique I’d written about Zach Bush’s social impact efforts managed under the umbrella of Robert Smith’s ICV Impact fund operating out of Philadelphia, but with ties to the International Peace Institute, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and the Religions For Peace initiative, all of which have representation in Brazil.
Smith is part of the President’s Leadership Council of Jefferson University, a leader in disruptive health innovation and social impact investing linked to chronic illness management through wearable technologies and digital nudges. This same university was behind Studio Ludo’s drone / fit bit study of the “Smart Play” Kensington recrecation center renovation that consisted of little more than painted-over pavement after the community’s data had been extracted and analyzed.
Jefferson University maintains a partnership with the University of Sao Paulo Medical School. Because of the premium that James Heckman’s “equation” puts on health data, we are now seeing sensor networks installed in playgrounds and public parks. That 7-10% rate of return is not enough for investment portfolios. They really want the additional 3% that the health analytics bring into the mix. To get that they’re going to need “smart” playgrounds and “smart” athletics.
I encourage you to click through and read this patent filed by Italian intellectual property specialist Riccardo Vieri in 2017 “Systems and Methods For Using Kinetic Energy To Assign Coins Exchanged For Crypto-Currency.” It’s not that much-memed Microsoft one. Go ahead, read it all. Vieri’s LinkedIn says he’s based in Florence, but he’s also founder and CEO of Futurix Lab or Flab, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland’s “crypto-valley.”
The document describes plans for human piezo-electric energy harvest where phones and wearable sensors will monitor “healthy activity levels.” The energy captured from programmed activities would be used to power blockchain coin distribution. Beyond movement, Vieri anticipates a future where they will be able to incorporate parameters such as calories consumed, geographical terrain, food choices, time of eating, and even altitude. Users would be assigned tasks to be accomplished within a set timeframe relating to blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, and body mass index. You won’t be able to fake it, because it would be linked to personal biometric data like a heart beat.
The programming built into Vieri’s patent is such that they will attempt to literally turn us into puppets, assigning each person specific activities like dancing, mall-walking, or using renewable energy. Meta-data associated with a person’s digital identity can then be used for targeted advertising and to regulate access to in-network devices. This totalitarian control scenario will be packaged for public consumption as “green,” “renewable,” and “liberating.” Good behavior credits will be assigned in alignment with advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Token-based scrip for “good behavior” was piloted here in Philadelphia a decade ago by Recyclebank where households were “rewarded” for recycling. Bar codes were supposedly scanned at pick up and you earned points that could be redeemed for a limited number of pre-approved goods and services. Few people actually recycled to get the points and eventually the program was discontinued. It, too, had connections to the University of Pennsyvania. If you care to know more about social prescribing scrip you can watch the discussion I did on it last year.
This kinetic crypto coin exchange sounds like the very thing that could be used to enforce participant compliance in programs like Way to Wellville, a community health program piloted in Clatsop County, OR; Lake County, CA; Muskegon, MI; North Hartford, CT; and Spartanburg, SC. Rick Brush, former Cigna executive who specializes in pay for success finance and consultant on Rippel’s “Rethink Health” effort, has been working to refine a “collective impact” health innovation template that can be brought to scale with help from angel investor Esther Dyson, whose father was physicist and space colonization theorist Freeman Dyson.
Looking at Vieri’s patent and imagining how impact investing will unite blockchain identity with sensor-based activity and current harvested from textiles, shoes, and floor tiles, everyone really needs to keep energetics front and center. With that in mind, I want to encourage folks to read my friend Stephers’ most recent blogpost, “The Stench of Digital Dung: Virtual Variants, Trigger Events, and Blockchain Cults.” If I see five miles ahead, she sees twenty. After spending time with her considerable research I have come to sense that what we are dealing with is occulted (hidden from public view) energetic weapons in the hands of high-level defense interests, the mind as battlespace spoken of by James Giordano. A decentralized energy grid to harvest our bodies and minds is being laid down now, papered over with a thinly-veiled veneer of freedom, ascension, and holistic self-empowerment. That sugarcoating is meant to make the medicine go down more easily. Community health, smart materials, the Internet of Bio Nano Things, and social impact finance will run on blockchain. That decentralized ledger IS the ultimate POWER grid, and they want you to want it. The want you demand your “sovereignty” as a “self-owning enterprise” on blockchain – maybe to even remagine your mind as a DAC, decentralized autonomous corporation. The pitch is slick for the novice, but once you see through the deception you can never go back.
Countries like Brazil with socialized medicine are easy targets for this preventative care, “social prescribing” regime where health outcomes can be linked to pay for success finance deals. The one prerequisite is blockchain health data storage infrastructure. Residents of Brazil have access to universal health coverage, Sistema Unico de Saud, with a national health card. While the vast majority of health facilities have computer and broadband access, there isn’t an interoperable system for electronic health records yet. Brazilian researchers Anne Chang and Luca Forni, both of PharmOrchard at MIT’s Fintech – Future of Commerce program, co-authored a whitepaper that ended up a finalist in the US National Coordinator for Health Information Technology 2016 challenge, “Data, Privacy and Algorithms.” The paper leveraged MIT’s OPAL / Enigma protocol, which was devised to query on encrypted data to create datasets that would speed drug discovery by providing increased access for researchers to interoperable patient data. It is Sandy Pentland’s Enigma, renamed The Secret Network, that will link DID, decentralized identifier, within cyber-physical systems in the spatial web. There is irony in a public so gullible and buoyed by meritocracy and American exceptionalism that they will embrace a “Trust” architecture birthed by the war machine.
I don’t think anyone can look at this image of children being trained to accept drone surveillance and fit bits handed out on a bare, exposed playground and think this is what justice and equity look like. Keep this in mind as we consider Jack Dorsey’s interest in recreation centers targeting vulnerable kids. I imagine the ebullience of youth would be a prized energetic commodity. I direct you now to the closing scenes of Boon Joon-ho’s film “Snowpiercer,” where the South Korean-born director reveals it is children from the back of the train, poor children, who are put into the machine to fuel the eternal engine. So do you stop the train, the Metaverse, or accept a job running it?
For more information you can watch presentations I’ve done that go into this in more detail: here, here, here, and this 2018 blog post on digital nudges and wearables “Minding Our Health.”
2 thoughts on “Pay For Success Finance: How the Dorseys of the World Could Use Wearables to Profit from Poor Kids’ Prescribed “Wellness Behaviors””
This is truly terrifying! As a longtime educationist, I have long lamented the failure of our public education system to educate kids in how to think critically or, stay productively skeptical. We have had the one example of an SIB here in Oregon but it hasn’t spread very far. I’ll admit that I argued that such deals could be win-win IF the public entity knew how to structure the metrics so they had a chance of gaining from the private investment. After all, properly regulated capitalism can/should achieve a balance of benefits. Sadly, this detailed analysis makes me despair. How to mobilize the necessary constraints won’t be easy and perhaps impossible. Feeling pessimistic today.
The thing about play is that it shouldn’t be programmed. That is the whole point of play.
p.s. That playground in Kensington is awful. I think the residents themselves could design and build a better playground.
p.p.s. There is certainly something going on with Jefferson Health System. They have been going around buying everything, including Philadelphia Textile, later known as Philadelphia University and now Thomas Jefferson University. I have wondered where and how they have been getting so much funding for these investments.
Now I think I see a thread. They are big time in the data business. My only direct experience was getting approved for medical marijuana. It was clear to me that 1) this was a well funded project, and 2) all I was to them was a source of data. (I never answered any of the questionnaires which were mailed to me.)
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