Centraliseret
Samfundsdrevet

Vi hører sammen,
lige her.

Velkommen til Beta
— en centraliseret, samfundsdrevet verden.

Systemiske problemer ødelagde planeten og dannede grundlag for en voldsom ulighed — men ikke længere. Folket har valgt at stole på en politisk løsning: Store monolitiske strukturer med styrken til ikke blot at stå imod, men rent faktisk kæmpe tilbage. Regeringer er blevet givet et tydeligt mandat, der giver dem mulighed for at regulere samfundet og sikre en udvikling der er socialt og miljømæssigt regenerativ. Det offentlige gode — men hvem er offentligheden og hvad er et gode?

De geopolitiske indsatser er hævet i takt med at stater tager kontrollen over strategiske ressourcer. ‘Os og dem’ retorikken tager til. Aftaler forhandles — og hvis ikke det kan lade sig gøre at lande en aftale, så er der andre måder at sikre sig adgang til det man har brug for. Samfund, nationer, byer og fællesskaber er defineret af deres arv, historie, kultur, værdier og det land, de er grundlagt på. Det binder dem sammen og giver dem styrke. Og du er nødt til at være stærk, for der er andre derude, som vil have det, som du har, og de er ikke bange for at kæmpe for det.

Hvordan er vi organiseret?

Centraliseret
Stater konsoliderer deres indflydelse omkring magtcentre. De systemer og mekanismer, der holder samfundet i balance, vedligeholdes, gentænkes og udvides.

Hvad driver værdiskabelsen?

Samfundet
Societies are centred on their regenerative responsibility, security, cultural heritage, and mechanics for systemic prevention to ensure the best conditions for all its citizens — now and in the future.

At gøre det rigtige kan komme med en pris — politiske institutioner har magten til at bringe den slags ofre.

Vi er frie, men vi har ikke råd til opstand. I stilhed fjerner vi ekstremister, der forgifter deres omgangskreds.

Fremmede magter vil gribe en hver mulighed for at ramme os. Vi er nødt til at have øjne alle steder, for at undgå det sker.

Vores historie, kunst og traditioner er uvurderlige. Det er grundlaget for hvem vi er, og ingen former for materiel rigdom kan erstatte det.

Vi er født her. Vi er formet af landet, og vi har formet landet.

I årenes løb er vi rykket tættere sammen. Nogle områder har vi været nødt til at opgive for at sikre vores allesammens trivsel i vores storslåede byer.

Der er altid en ny konflikt på vej.

Stemningsmusik

Lyt til stemningsmusikken mens du hører fortællingerne. Musikken looper indtil du stopper den.

Introduktion

A few dry leaves swirls across as you make your way down the paved path through the park. The gravel grinds between your shoes and the uneven limestone. Looking between two branches on the olive tree from this particular point of view in this particular patch of sunlight, you get a serene and perfectly framed view of the pond. A solitary drake quacks as it floats among the waterlilies.

One of your friends working with government told you that they started the process of ‘naturalising’ — as they prefer to call it — autonomous security units into the cityscape a few years ago. So who knows, the duck in the pond might actually be dressed up drone playing charades. It look real though.

The pond, part of a system of twelve similar reservoirs, was constructed more than a decade ago as part of the efforts to protect against the storm floods. It’s impressive how nature seems to have adopted it as its own so quickly.

Would you imagine how all of this used to be part of a corporate campus? Just last week the national conservatoire hosted a classical music festival and next weekend there is a new exhibition of autonomous sculptures opening at the pavilion. It’s nice how they designed the park as a place of beauty and life even as it is dedicated to the memory of the lives lost to that tragic event.

Another gust of wind breaks the silence and rustles the trees arching over you. The tall walls around the memorial park leaves only the sound of the birds — if they are birds and the occasional passersby. The park is shielded from the outside noise much like the city is.

All around the world, states have consolidated their influence and efforts around centres of power — large cities with the solidity and strength to withstand the challenges of the outside world. Be it nature or geopolitics. It was necessary to move closer together, grab hold of each other, and stand fast. It wasn’t easy and we had to make sacrifices to get here: To lead more balanced lives, of course, but ultimately it was a matter of survival.

Since then, we’ve empowered the systems that keeps the balance as we want it. They minimise the risks, they provide and fight for us, and they keep us safe and well. They protect us, what we stand for, and the land that we live on. Of course, once in a while, there are unfortunate hick-ups, resistance, and even attacks but the kinks are quickly ironed out. They aren’t as fortunate in other parts of the world, you’ve heard.*

Fortællinger

Dominic
Dominic har for nylig fået et nyt job inden for produktion.

For et par måneder siden blev jeg rekrutteret til et nyt job som tilsynsførende i en A+ certificeret sensorvirksomhed. De ledte efter en med erfaring og et ry for at være stabil, og så fandt de altså mig. Det føles godt at blive headhunted på den måde.

Lige nu arbejder vi på at forbedre belysningen i byens parker. Der skal være pænt og trygt, men uden det forstyrrer dyrelivet i området. Det er faktisk en ret interessant – og kompleks – problemstilling. Vi udvikler og producerer selv lyssensorerne, men vi samarbejder også med en lang række leverandører, designere, kommuner og foreninger. Ind imellem mødes vi fysisk, for eksempel til åbne møder på rådhuset, eller når vi skal foretage undersøgelser af parkerne. Selv med vores nyeste teknologi… Det er altså bare noget andet at mødes i virkeligheden.

Alle vores systemer anvender åbne standarder. Derfor er de fuldt ud integreret med både vores partneres systemer og de offentlige systemer, så vi kan være 100% transparente omkring ressourceforbrug, medarbejdertrivsel og så videre. Vi kan spore, hvor selv den mindste del af en sensor kommer fra, hvem der tidligere har håndteret den, og om den gennem sin levetid leverer de resultater, vi lover. Fordi vi er A+ producent skal vi tracke alt, bogstavelig talt, så vi kan bevise at vi efterlever de officielle krav til A+ producenter. At vores produktion har en positiv social og miljømæssig effekt, for eksempel. Som A+ producent har myndighederne “realtime” adgang til at overvåge alle aspekter af vores forretning. Uden den adgang ville vi vi blive nedgraderet til i hvert fald B+, og så ville vi miste adgangen til alle vores bedste kontrakter.

Olga
Olga arbejder med distribution på tværs af grænser.

Jeg arbejder som distributions-manager for WMO – The World Mobility Organisation. Vi samarbejder med andre teams verden over om at organisere og kontrollere alle de private operatørers forsendelser. Vi sikrer at ingen fartøjer tager afsted med halvtomme lastrum, at vigtige forsendelser prioriteres, og at alle forsendelser lever op til Nairobi-aftalen for Lokal Produktion og Etisk Fragt.

Vores kontor ligger lige her i byen. Mit team fungerer som koordinatorer for hele regionen, så vi er i daglig kontakt med ledere fra de andre lande. De seneste par måneder har nogle af vores nabolande haft problemer med cyberangreb: For eksempel livsnødvendig medicin, der ender det forkerte sted. Eller millioner af ikke-eksisterende forsendelser, der får systemet til at crashe – den slags. Man kan vist roligt sige at sikkerhed er vores topprioritet lige nu.

En del af mit arbejde består også i at planlægge vores vagter. Selvom systemet er automatiseret bliver der nødt til at være nogle her døgnet rundt, da de fleste forsendelser bliver håndteret om natten. Det er jo de færreste der er glade for natarbejde, men nogen skal gøre det. Vi gør vores yderste for at fordele de upopulære nattevagter ligeligt imellem os alle. Her løfter vi altså i samlet flok.

Som offentlig organisation følger vi de højeste standarder for et sundt arbejdsmiljø. Vi gør vores bedste, men det kan være udfordrende. Natarbejde, som er klassificeret som en helbredsrisiko, er én ting. Den infrastruktur, vi leverer, er kritisk for at vores samfund fungerer. Så ansvarsniveauet for næsten alle vores stillinger er klassificeret som “meget højt”. Det betyder at vi skal passe ekstra godt på vores medarbejdere, da de vurderes at være ekstra modtagelige overfor stress.

Imaani
Imaani evaluerer risici og rejser meget.

I’m a high-risk evaluator for the regional Industrial Risk and Impact Evaluation Agency. We review the various risks introduced by- or affecting the local industries.

Our work is two-sided. We look at how companies affect the world around them and how the outside world affects the companies. We mostly focus on three areas: environmental, social, and political risks. I work exclusively with high-risk companies. In our region, that means mostly manufacturers working within the areas of biomedical-, security-, and chemical research and production. They work with dangerous materials and their products hold a high strategic value. They are among the most vulnerable in the country and pretty much tick all the boxes, which means on-site armed security forces, detailed disaster relief plans, and close coordination with the national intelligence community. The workers at the sites hold a big responsibility, are sometimes under a lot of stress, and are obvious targets for foreign interests. Therefore, we need some quite elaborate systems and precautions to make sure that no one person knows too much, that they and their families are well-taken care of to not give foreign agents any leverage, and that they’re vetted thoroughly.

I travel a lot for site inspections. Mostly, I just use the public transportation grid. The high-speed rail is fast, easy, and covers most areas both nationally and internationally. As a public servant, I can travel for free outside of work as well. Otherwise, I’d probably use some of the other options more. I haven’t used it much but a lot of people tend to use the publicly coordinated travel platform for longer journeys. It’s one of the results of the “No Empty Seat” policy, mandating all companies to bring passengers if they have empty space. Both parties can save a lot of money that way although the transition was hard on the companies.

Hitomi
Hitomi leads the production of welfare technology.

Jeg er leder i en virksomhed, der producerer komponenter til velfærdsteknologi. Vi er A certificerede, men arbejder på at gøre os fortjent til A+ indenfor det næste halve år. Vores hovedaktionær er en non-profit organisation, der hjælper sårbare unge. De ser gerne, at vi bliver A+ så snart som muligt.

Industrien har ændret sig fuldstændig, siden jeg grundlagde virksomheden for 30 år siden. Dengang havde vores brugere helt konkrete sundhedsmæssige behov, og det var vores job at opfylde dem. Vi brugte det meste af vores tid på at udvikle prototyper i laboratoriet. Det er helt anderledes nu, og jeg er blevet nødt til at tilegne mig helt nogle nye kompetencer. Jeg har skulle lære, hvordan man bygger en forretning på kunstig intelligens, men faktisk har politik været mindst lige så vigtigt. Jeg har været nødt til at lære, hvordan jeg får indflydelse på politiske beslutninger. Derudover har det været enormt vigtigt, at vi har investeret i at opbygge nære partnerskaber. I dag kan vi ikke længere klare os med kontrakter, da vi er afhængige af vores underleverandører og samarbejdspartnere i langt højere grad. Tillid har aldrig været vigtigere.

Vi har lært på den hårde måde, hvad der sker, når et partnerskab fejler. For et par år siden havde vi en underleverandør, der viste sig at have fiflet med deres medarbejderes biometri. Vi blev nedgraderet til en B- certifikation, fordi de var en del af vores værdikæde. Vores mission er at skabe social lighed og socialpsykologisk bæredygtighed. Det er fuldstændig kritisk for os at vores samarbejdspartnere har det på samme måde. Hele vores værdikæde bliver nødt til at leve op til ikke kun vores idealer, men også statens retningslinjer for regenerativ produktion. Vi vil være med til at skabe et retfærdigt samfund, og jeg er glad for den model, vi arbejder efter nu. Men man kommer ikke udenom det politiske, og her har flertallet altid en fordel. Jeg er bekymret for, at minoriteter og folk med sjældne lidelser ikke bliver hørt, sådan som systemet er nu.

Jeg er godt klar over, at jeg er endt i en magtfuld position, fordi jeg har lært at spille det politiske spil. Men i det mindste er den politiske verden helt anderledes nu, end da jeg var barn. Alting handler om transparens og ansvar. Mine forældre er blevet gamle, og systemet tager sig virkelig af dem. Mine børn har haft adgang til gode uddannelser, uafhængigt af min succes. Vi kan fokusere på at være en familie. I gamle dage havde min succes givet min familie et forspring i samfundet. Sådan er det ikke længere, og det er jeg faktisk virkelig taknemmelig for.

Henry
Henry oplever hvad byen har at tilbyde.

What do you think, do you like it? — I’ll have to cover every inch of my body once I get on the train but… It really ended up much better than I expected. Just a cheap pill and every vein in my body are glowing bright orange. I honestly didn’t expect it to work.

If you’ve met me any other day of the month you would’ve forgotten me in an instant. I dare you to find a more average-looking middle-aged dude than me. Even if it doesn’t look like it right now, I usually lead a quiet life. Being recently single can have that effect on you, you know. Tonight is different, though.

There’s a party tonight! Normally I don’t go out much, nor do I travel, but this weekend I’m doing both. I’m meeting up with an old friend, who emigrated a few years ago. I’m going by the hyper rail. It’s impressive how today you can go thousands of kilometers in just a few hours. I normally can’t afford travel tickets but with the new regional cultural exchange programme, everyone gets a number of travel credits. It’s awesome!

So, it’s not like parties are outright outlawed but with the new rules, they might as well be. The changes are part of the so-called “cultural redesign” that politicians have been advocating for the last few years. The basic idea was for people to come together to challenge the idea of who we are and to rethink what we want to be. I honestly thought the whole process sounded interesting until I found out that the most popular concept was, and I kid you not, “The Quiet City”. No fun seems to be the new guiding principle. I’m not sure it works as they intended, though, it only seems to have ignited a counter-culture of illegal underground parties. With all the abandoned buildings outside the cities, it’s quite easy to find a secret location.

This whole situation might be the greatest paradox of our society. We pride ourselves on our intellectual freedom and cultural values but political factions are constantly fighting for the rights to interpret what those values actually mean and to get rid of all that which doesn’t fit the template. Anyway, the train leaves in 40 minutes and I have to clear security so I better get going.

Karen
Karen dyrker fritidsaktiviteter.

I’m on my way to a yoga class down at the pavilion in Memorial Park. I love it. I can’t imagine a week without it.

So, I’ve been taking this class for… Maybe three years now? It’s — believe it or not — offered for free by the municipality as part of the National Nature Appreciation Program. To celebrate our natural heritage and so on. Anyway, I’m usually there around three times a week. Every Sunday and a few times during the week. It’s where I’ve met some of my best friends actually!

We meet up super early in the morning, we settle in quietly, and get started — often without anyone speaking a single word. There’s something really special about slowly waking up along with the park. The animals, the morning dew, the fog slowly disappearing down by the ponds as the sun rises. When the weather allows it the glass walls of the pavilion slide down into the ground and you get to hear the birds chirping and feel the fresh breeze against your skin. It makes me feel alive and part of nature.

Some Sundays, my friends and I have breakfast in the park afterward. Many of the shops get their weekly delivery of fresh produce in those same early hours — so the timing is perfect. Other times we go for a walk, waste some time, and wait for the food stalls in front of the memorial to open. You can get all sorts of traditional dishes.

People love to debate Memorial Park. Personally, I like it but I get the criticism. It used to be a corporate campus but after the bombings, the previous mayor wanted to commemorate the victims in a big way. The critics say she just wanted to leave a big mark on the city but I think it turned out beautifully.

Tom
Tom drømmer om et andet samfund.

Oh no, this isn’t facepaint — it’s just mud. I’ve been in the marshes beyond the walls. I don’t have clearance for leaving the city, so I have to sneak out through the wetlands. You know, I’m not just doing this for fun, I’m part of a group. It’s serious. We’ve been meeting in one of the ghost towns for a few years now, slowly building a little refuge in an old school. I spent most of this weekend hauling parts for a 4d printer. The project is inspired by the international space station and how they tried to make stuff in space.

We have to be careful not to be seen, though, as city security is currently upholding a ban on all outside travel due to the recent attacks. On top of the risks of leaving, we also have to be careful not to get caught outside of the city when the flood gates close.

One of the others, Martha, has printed cloaking devices for all of us. They fool the surveillance AIs by scrambling our IDs, faces, and so on, so we can sneak in and out. She designed the masks herself and printed them in her basement. Apparently, she somehow managed to trick her way into one of the CITISEC data centers and stole a list of encryption keys. Martha is crazy. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if she got caught.

So, we’re part of an international movement. We’re trying to build a global network of free havens outside of the control of the big cities. Small communities where everyone can come and go. Freedom of movement.

Today, the system is all about enforcing fairness, regeneration, and security. All the councils, committees, and agencies. They decide everything! It’s like they forgot people aren’t inherently evil nor stupid. If you want to do something that is against the official guidelines… You… I don’t know, it’s just tough luck, I guess. When my grandmother almost died, two years ago, we only had enough C02 credits for my father to visit. The rest of us had to stay home because the documentation from her country wasn’t good enough to unlock emergency travel.

Wojciech
Wojciech interagerer med sundhedssystemet.

I’m constantly getting enrolled in a new public health program. Tomorrow, I’ll even have to get surgery. Something with my liver. It’s not like I’m sick or anything. “It’s all preventative”, Olaf, my current carer, says. My kids say the same thing. They say it’s voluntary but I’ve heard rumours. One of my friends who used to work in the system told me, that not playing along lowers some kind of rating.

Something they use to decide what kind of services you’re offered. However, at this point, I’m not sure whether they’re trying to keep me alive or bother me to death. All people my age are monitored and screened for all sorts of ailments. It is supposedly cheaper to maintain bodies than to fix them once they break. But surgery, really?
Olaf has arranged for me to be picked up in the morning and to be brought home later in the afternoon in time for the big game. I’ve made plans to watch it with my friend, Benny.

The people down at the hospital are nice and all, but… The kindness feels almost calculated. I mean, I shouldn’t be complaining about this but I feel like I’d appreciate it more if it didn’t seem like a routine. It’s clear that they’re busy. Once you’ve got the exact same questions, smiles, nods a hundred times you start to recognise the patterns. Seems like they got someone to write a manual on sincerity and they just enter autopilot.

The procedure itself is fairly simple and I’ll be awake throughout the whole thing. If it’s anything like the typical visit I’ll get a scan, have a chat with the doctor before and after, get some juice and a bunch of recommendations from the nurse, a goodbye, and I’ll get on with my day. Benny and I have made bets on how many suggestions for new treatments and programmes I’ll get this time.

Jamal
Jamal hjælper folk med at finde arbejde. Han er enlig far til et barn med angst.

I’m a job consultant. When people are unemployed we direct them towards open positions, and when they are employed we make sure their work is good work. We need people to work for society to function and people need meaningful work to feel like they are contributing to something. Both are equally important and equally regulated. Most of the actual work is carried out by municipal offices but their work is subjected to the current policies and standards we make here in the National Employment Authority.

Our jobs can either give us meaning or be really detrimental to our wellbeing if not managed carefully. Being a single dad to a child with anxiety, I know first hand how important it is to have the right support and flexibility. It’s great we’ve built a system that recognises my contribution and makes sure that no employer is able to discriminate against someone like me. We’ve come along way towards the system actually recognising that people are different.

I still remember seeing people spend all their energy fighting a complex system just to get the right boxes ticked when they should’ve been fighting something else. The service research and design units have done a good job redesigning many of our public services and processes. It has become more mindful of the humans living within it. Maybe even a little too mindful according to some activists. Few people know what data feeds the AIs are connected to. It’s considered critical infrastructure so they keep most of it confidential to protect it from foreign interests. Or so they say.

Rita
Rita er en del af et lille øsamfund og arbejder på distancen som landmåler.

Gården her har været i min familie i generationer. Jeg har kortvarigt forsøgt mig med at bo i byen, men jeg savnede mit barndomshjem for meget. Det her jeg hører til, uanset hvor besværligt — og sommetider endda farligt — livet her på øen kan være.

Jeg arbejder som landinspektør for den nationale miljøkontrol. Det er os, der håndhæver de gældende standarder indenfor landbrug, skovbrug, byggeri osv. De fleste af vores arbejdsdage består i at gennemse droneoptagelser og sensordata, foretage stikprøver, og i ny og næ følge op på et tip fra en bekymret borger. Før i tiden havde vi været nødt til at besøge områderne fysisk, så at sige, men nu klarer vi det hele via droner og satellitter. Det var faktisk det, der gjorde mig interesseret i uddannelsen til at starte med.

Øen her – vores hjem – er indtil videre fredet, fordi den anses for at have historisk værdi. Men de seneste par år har politikerne inde i byen forsøgt at få fredningen annulleret. Hvis det lykkes for dem, mister vi de få offentlige services, vi har i dag, og kystsikringen vil få lov til at gå i forfald. Sagt med andre ord vil vi i realiteten blive tvunget til at flytte. Altså, det er ikke fordi jeg ikke kan se, at det er smartere – og billigere – at samle os alle sammen bag byens store dæmninger, kanaler og mure. Men det her er vores hjem. Var det måske os, der smadrede klimaet i en sådan grad at vores planet nu er ved at slå os ihjel? Nej. Det var de store virksomheder og politikerne selv. Så hvorfor skal vi betale prisen? Vi har tænkt os at beskytte vores ø uanset hvor mange regninger, høringer og masterplaner vi skal kæmpe os igennem. Vi giver ikke op så let.

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