Nafeez Ahmed is creating a journalism framework for inner and outer transformation
420

patrons

$1,590
per month
My story

I’m a 17-year investigative journalist, systems theorist and change strategist, formerly a Guardian environment writer with bylines across a wealth of well-known publications such as The Independent, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, New Statesman, and beyond; currently ‘system shift’ columnist at VICE, and Research Fellow at the Schumacher Institute. (Read more about my work here)

I joined Patreon in 2014, a few months after my Guardian blog, Earth insight, was terminated literally the day after I reported on the role of Gaza’s natural gas resources in motivating Israel's recent military interventions. It allowed me to establish INSURGE intelligence, an investigative journalism platform supported via this Patreon fund, where I’ve done a unique form of systems journalism that no one else in the world is doing – my journalism draws on my own systems approach developed through original peer-reviewed research such as my books A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, and Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence.

Our challenge

We are living in uniquely dangerous times. We are on the precipice of climate extinction by the end of this century if we continue business-as-usual; we face a slow-burning energy crisis; the financial system is broken, unequal, unjust and destructive; democracy as we know it is under threat from inside and out; violence, conflict and terror continues to spiral out of control; tech giants are rapidly taking over the landscape of public discourse and squeezing out legitimate dissent; meanwhile rabid far-right extremists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are on the march right in the heart of the corridors of power across the Western world.

In the face of this chaotic spiral of madness, journalism is under threat. An already compromised ‘mainstream’/traditional media system is crumbling under the combined weight of Big Data dominance and its own increasing irrelevance, while ‘alternative’ media outlets are proliferating and spewing out alternative narratives of mixed quality. All of them are frequently complicit in fake news.

We are in the midst of a fundamental civilizational transition. The old paradigm is collapsing. In its place, regressive forces of division and hatred are resurfacing with renewed vigour. The fight for a new emerging paradigm, one in which we find ways to live together in our diversity and thrive on this planet within natural limits, has taken on a new urgency.

Now is the time to empower a comprehensive vision of what's going on, and how we can work together to build alternatives.That’s where this fund comes in. We need independent journalism with real integrity: we need journalism that contributes to planetary awareness; which joins the dots across all the chaos and confusion of what’s going on; which speaks truth to power, but also empowers transformative action.

My response

I set up this fund to support my work grappling with these multiple crises. Through hundreds of articles, op-eds and investigations; through 7 books and several documentary feature films; through communications and change consultancy for numerous organisations; through a series of experiments and projects; I have established a holistic systems framework by which to make sense of these times, and respond effectively through transformation – internal and external.

So far, this project has allowed me to investigate stories that I’d otherwise not be able to investigate, and often which would never get commissioned, such as:
the CIA and NSA’s seed-funding of Google;
the covert origins of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS);
scientific forecasts of the potential collapse of civilisation before 2040 due to a convergence of climate, energy and food crises;
how microgrids can create sustainable communities;
the global regenerative agriculture revolution;
Turkey’s state-sponsorship of ISIS;
the inevitable failure of the UN’s sustainable development goals;
the Pentagon’s plans to weaponise artificial intelligence;
and many others.

These exclusive, original stories have reached millions of readers around the world. My INSURGE reporting has been covered by USA Today, Global Post, The Guardian, The Independent, Washington Post, The Metro, The Week, News Corp's news.com.au, Al-Jazeera English, Discovery News, Channel 4 News, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review, Gigaom, and FutureZone, among others.

Our response

I’m taking this to the next level, and I need your support to do that. The last few years has culminated in me now establishing a clear and decisive set of workstreams that you’ll be supporting. I’m dividing my journalism into three interlinked threads, each of which – if this fund raises enough – will culminate in a book and multimedia project:

1. System Shift: Preparing for the Post-Capitalist Paradigm

This is the age of the end of fossil fuels. This thread tracks the great transition and how the inevitable slow-burn shift away from oil, gas and coal is transforming civilisation as we know it. Drawing on systems theory, this thread throws light on the true scale of the planetary crisis, how this crisis demonstrates the inevitability of the demise of the prevailing system, and what true systems change – inside and out – looks like. This thread will track solutions, real-world projects, positive trends, and changes we need to support and empower. It will also look to develop practical tools and resources that people can take up to become creators of change in their own contexts.

2. Alt-Reich: The Resurgence of Global Fascism and the Coming Collapse of the Liberal Order

As the old order crumbles, regressive forces we thought had been vanquished after the Second World War are resurgent in a new form. We are seeing the full-blown emergence of parties and movements with historic ties to Nazism. This thread tracks the so-called ‘alt right’, and how it functions as cover for neo-Nazi ideologues who are attempting to strategically infiltrate the corridors of power. Mapping the rise of the far-right as a global networks, this thread investigates the key figures, funders, and collaborators, unearths their true vision and goals, and how this has impacted on major events such as the Trump election, Brexit, and other events – while also exposing the extent to which the ‘Resistance’ has become complicit in the very forces it thinks it is opposing.

3. Escape from the Death Machine: Overcoming the Deep Politics of Empire through Existential Liberation

This thread begins with looking at international geopolitics through the lens of ‘deep politics’ – excavating how the rise of the secretive and unaccountable military-industrial complex has occurred in tandem with the consolidation of predatory neoliberal capitalism. The thread refutes the idea that the Trump administration is outside the Deep State, showing instead that it is very much a part of it – but that the Deep State is coming apart at the seams. The thread will chronicle the origins of secretive state power and its horrendous propensity for mass violence, shining a light on the reality of empire today and its history. But it will also lay out how empire is an external extension of our inner demons, wading into psychology, spirituality and consciousness studies to break open into the light of the day how to liberate ourselves from imperial repression in the world, we must liberate our own hearts and minds.

I’m pursuing new journalism leads across these three threads, looking to break original stories, as well as offering unique systems insights into global and local events. The stories I work on will be part of discrete projects culminating in three books. I’ll also be seeking out partners and friends to work with using these journalistic resources to create high-impact multimedia content. My ultimate goal with these threads is to produce a body of work that truly empowers and enlightens people to pursue self- and system-change.

This is where I get to the 4ththread.

A systems approach to transforming how we think, engage and act

I’ll be establishing a new online platform for INSURGE where all this material can be housed for a growing membership that wants to be engaged in the making of this content. At the start, this is going to be a well-designed home for our own content, one where no one else owns and controls the data. But I’ll simultaneously be collaborating with colleagues to design and develop new approaches to how such content can be created, funded and used to empower action. Building on learnings from previous experiments, the idea will be to establish a secure online space  for constant learning, self-improvement, generative dialogue, skills sharing and building, showcasing solutions, resourcing change projects, and catalysing action. We’ll be open to building new applications as well as using existing open source tools.

I can't embark on these projects full steam ahead without your support. While I am committed, always, to doing as much as I can along these threads, your support will enable me to do so with speed, to build a team around this work, and to reach more and more people. You're indispensable to making this endeavour a success.

To get all this going, we need to inject new life into a funding model which puts you at the centre. That’s why I’m looking at bringing on subscribers at $5 a month at least – about the same price as a couple of cups of really good coffee (though you’re still free to subscribe for however little – as little as a dollar – or as much as you want).

Thank you for becoming a part of this.

Tiers
Supporter
$1 or more per month 463 patrons
You’re doing something different and transformative: you’re supporting the creation of a crowdfunded public interest journalism fund, which releases groundbreaking journalism for free. So your support doesn’t just give you access to knowledge: it makes that knowledge accessible to everyone. You’re also supporting the development of insurgeintelligence.com, the new beta INSURGE intelligence website, around which I’m building a new cutting-edge media platform and exclusive social network.
Warrior
$5 or more per month 110 patrons
I’ll give you exclusive access to early drafts of my academic work, and free electronic copies of the final published versions. Plus, of course, you’re still supporting the INSURGE journalism fund, all my public interest journalism, and will be a member of the Insurge.net platform and social network.
Jedi
$10 or more per month 11 patrons
Same as the $5 tier, except you can provide a bit more support
Revolutionary
$50 or more per month 4 of 50 patrons
All the above, plus I’ll give you access to my upcoming live crowdcasts where I’ll provide an exclusive round up of what I’m up to and what I think’s going on in the world, strategic trend analysis, commentary on major events, the occasional geopolitical forecast, and insight into my working projects. 
Seer
$100 or more per month 0 of 30 patrons
You get all of the above, plus you get personal access to me via phone. I’ll call you up to thank you personally, and you’ll have my direct number.
Goals
$1,590 of $3,000 per month
This is what I need, the equivalent of a base salary, to cover my costs and expenses, while developing the INSURGE platform and paying minimal fees to select contributors where possible.
1 of 3
My story

I’m a 17-year investigative journalist, systems theorist and change strategist, formerly a Guardian environment writer with bylines across a wealth of well-known publications such as The Independent, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, New Statesman, and beyond; currently ‘system shift’ columnist at VICE, and Research Fellow at the Schumacher Institute. (Read more about my work here)

I joined Patreon in 2014, a few months after my Guardian blog, Earth insight, was terminated literally the day after I reported on the role of Gaza’s natural gas resources in motivating Israel's recent military interventions. It allowed me to establish INSURGE intelligence, an investigative journalism platform supported via this Patreon fund, where I’ve done a unique form of systems journalism that no one else in the world is doing – my journalism draws on my own systems approach developed through original peer-reviewed research such as my books A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, and Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence.

Our challenge

We are living in uniquely dangerous times. We are on the precipice of climate extinction by the end of this century if we continue business-as-usual; we face a slow-burning energy crisis; the financial system is broken, unequal, unjust and destructive; democracy as we know it is under threat from inside and out; violence, conflict and terror continues to spiral out of control; tech giants are rapidly taking over the landscape of public discourse and squeezing out legitimate dissent; meanwhile rabid far-right extremists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are on the march right in the heart of the corridors of power across the Western world.

In the face of this chaotic spiral of madness, journalism is under threat. An already compromised ‘mainstream’/traditional media system is crumbling under the combined weight of Big Data dominance and its own increasing irrelevance, while ‘alternative’ media outlets are proliferating and spewing out alternative narratives of mixed quality. All of them are frequently complicit in fake news.

We are in the midst of a fundamental civilizational transition. The old paradigm is collapsing. In its place, regressive forces of division and hatred are resurfacing with renewed vigour. The fight for a new emerging paradigm, one in which we find ways to live together in our diversity and thrive on this planet within natural limits, has taken on a new urgency.

Now is the time to empower a comprehensive vision of what's going on, and how we can work together to build alternatives.That’s where this fund comes in. We need independent journalism with real integrity: we need journalism that contributes to planetary awareness; which joins the dots across all the chaos and confusion of what’s going on; which speaks truth to power, but also empowers transformative action.

My response

I set up this fund to support my work grappling with these multiple crises. Through hundreds of articles, op-eds and investigations; through 7 books and several documentary feature films; through communications and change consultancy for numerous organisations; through a series of experiments and projects; I have established a holistic systems framework by which to make sense of these times, and respond effectively through transformation – internal and external.

So far, this project has allowed me to investigate stories that I’d otherwise not be able to investigate, and often which would never get commissioned, such as:
the CIA and NSA’s seed-funding of Google;
the covert origins of the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS);
scientific forecasts of the potential collapse of civilisation before 2040 due to a convergence of climate, energy and food crises;
how microgrids can create sustainable communities;
the global regenerative agriculture revolution;
Turkey’s state-sponsorship of ISIS;
the inevitable failure of the UN’s sustainable development goals;
the Pentagon’s plans to weaponise artificial intelligence;
and many others.

These exclusive, original stories have reached millions of readers around the world. My INSURGE reporting has been covered by USA Today, Global Post, The Guardian, The Independent, Washington Post, The Metro, The Week, News Corp's news.com.au, Al-Jazeera English, Discovery News, Channel 4 News, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review, Gigaom, and FutureZone, among others.

Our response

I’m taking this to the next level, and I need your support to do that. The last few years has culminated in me now establishing a clear and decisive set of workstreams that you’ll be supporting. I’m dividing my journalism into three interlinked threads, each of which – if this fund raises enough – will culminate in a book and multimedia project:

1. System Shift: Preparing for the Post-Capitalist Paradigm

This is the age of the end of fossil fuels. This thread tracks the great transition and how the inevitable slow-burn shift away from oil, gas and coal is transforming civilisation as we know it. Drawing on systems theory, this thread throws light on the true scale of the planetary crisis, how this crisis demonstrates the inevitability of the demise of the prevailing system, and what true systems change – inside and out – looks like. This thread will track solutions, real-world projects, positive trends, and changes we need to support and empower. It will also look to develop practical tools and resources that people can take up to become creators of change in their own contexts.

2. Alt-Reich: The Resurgence of Global Fascism and the Coming Collapse of the Liberal Order

As the old order crumbles, regressive forces we thought had been vanquished after the Second World War are resurgent in a new form. We are seeing the full-blown emergence of parties and movements with historic ties to Nazism. This thread tracks the so-called ‘alt right’, and how it functions as cover for neo-Nazi ideologues who are attempting to strategically infiltrate the corridors of power. Mapping the rise of the far-right as a global networks, this thread investigates the key figures, funders, and collaborators, unearths their true vision and goals, and how this has impacted on major events such as the Trump election, Brexit, and other events – while also exposing the extent to which the ‘Resistance’ has become complicit in the very forces it thinks it is opposing.

3. Escape from the Death Machine: Overcoming the Deep Politics of Empire through Existential Liberation

This thread begins with looking at international geopolitics through the lens of ‘deep politics’ – excavating how the rise of the secretive and unaccountable military-industrial complex has occurred in tandem with the consolidation of predatory neoliberal capitalism. The thread refutes the idea that the Trump administration is outside the Deep State, showing instead that it is very much a part of it – but that the Deep State is coming apart at the seams. The thread will chronicle the origins of secretive state power and its horrendous propensity for mass violence, shining a light on the reality of empire today and its history. But it will also lay out how empire is an external extension of our inner demons, wading into psychology, spirituality and consciousness studies to break open into the light of the day how to liberate ourselves from imperial repression in the world, we must liberate our own hearts and minds.

I’m pursuing new journalism leads across these three threads, looking to break original stories, as well as offering unique systems insights into global and local events. The stories I work on will be part of discrete projects culminating in three books. I’ll also be seeking out partners and friends to work with using these journalistic resources to create high-impact multimedia content. My ultimate goal with these threads is to produce a body of work that truly empowers and enlightens people to pursue self- and system-change.

This is where I get to the 4ththread.

A systems approach to transforming how we think, engage and act

I’ll be establishing a new online platform for INSURGE where all this material can be housed for a growing membership that wants to be engaged in the making of this content. At the start, this is going to be a well-designed home for our own content, one where no one else owns and controls the data. But I’ll simultaneously be collaborating with colleagues to design and develop new approaches to how such content can be created, funded and used to empower action. Building on learnings from previous experiments, the idea will be to establish a secure online space  for constant learning, self-improvement, generative dialogue, skills sharing and building, showcasing solutions, resourcing change projects, and catalysing action. We’ll be open to building new applications as well as using existing open source tools.

I can't embark on these projects full steam ahead without your support. While I am committed, always, to doing as much as I can along these threads, your support will enable me to do so with speed, to build a team around this work, and to reach more and more people. You're indispensable to making this endeavour a success.

To get all this going, we need to inject new life into a funding model which puts you at the centre. That’s why I’m looking at bringing on subscribers at $5 a month at least – about the same price as a couple of cups of really good coffee (though you’re still free to subscribe for however little – as little as a dollar – or as much as you want).

Thank you for becoming a part of this.

Recent posts by Nafeez Ahmed

Tiers
Supporter
$1 or more per month 463 patrons
You’re doing something different and transformative: you’re supporting the creation of a crowdfunded public interest journalism fund, which releases groundbreaking journalism for free. So your support doesn’t just give you access to knowledge: it makes that knowledge accessible to everyone. You’re also supporting the development of insurgeintelligence.com, the new beta INSURGE intelligence website, around which I’m building a new cutting-edge media platform and exclusive social network.
Warrior
$5 or more per month 110 patrons
I’ll give you exclusive access to early drafts of my academic work, and free electronic copies of the final published versions. Plus, of course, you’re still supporting the INSURGE journalism fund, all my public interest journalism, and will be a member of the Insurge.net platform and social network.
Jedi
$10 or more per month 11 patrons
Same as the $5 tier, except you can provide a bit more support
Revolutionary
$50 or more per month 4 of 50 patrons
All the above, plus I’ll give you access to my upcoming live crowdcasts where I’ll provide an exclusive round up of what I’m up to and what I think’s going on in the world, strategic trend analysis, commentary on major events, the occasional geopolitical forecast, and insight into my working projects. 
Seer
$100 or more per month 0 of 30 patrons
You get all of the above, plus you get personal access to me via phone. I’ll call you up to thank you personally, and you’ll have my direct number.