John Clippinger

Dr John Henry Clippinger is a co-founder of The Token Commons Foundation, and Executive Director of ID3 (Institute for Innovation & Data Driven Design), formed to develop and test legal and software trust frameworks for identity, personal data, data-driven services, infrastructures, and organizations. He is also Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab. He is also an Advisor to Bancor, Evident, Decentralized Pictures, Cashaa, and partner in CryptoAsset Design Group. Previously, he was founder and Co-Director of The Law Lab ( at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School. Dr. Clippinger is a contributor and co-editor From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond; The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in Digital Society, (2014), the author of A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity (Perseus, Public Affairs, 2007, and The Biology of Business, Natural Laws of Enterprise Josey Bass, 1998). Previously, he was Director of Intellectual Capital, Coopers & Lybrand, advisor to DOD CCRP (Command and Control Research Program (CCRP), DARPA, and the founder of four artificial intelligence software companies. He has been a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council, Santa Fe Institute, Aspen Institute, Highlands Forum, Yale CEO Summit, Dubai Futures Forum, Aspen Italia, TII/Vanguard, and others. Dr. Clippinger is a graduate of Yale University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
5 articles written by John Clippinger


It takes a blunt existential crisis to redress systemic societal and economic failings. We are at such a moment with the epic storm of global health and economic crisis compounded by inept and regressive leadership. These failures will not be redressed by traditional means. 

These challenges also present a singular opportunity to catalyze a new ecological, social and economic contract for the 21st century.  As data are the new currency of the digital realm, there is the real prospect of resetting foundational rights and institutions through an empowering and secure data infrastructure that protects privacy, ensures verifiability and enables authentic, resilient and equitable interactions. Through such an infrastructure the fusion of the physical and the virtual can provide rapid and robust responses to the health, ecological and economic threats before us. And it DOES NOT require either a pubic or private Surveillance State!

Economy and Health

The Nobel Laureate economist, Paul Romer, and the physician, Alan Garber, in their NYT, 3/23,20 Opinion piece – How to Prevent a Coronovirus Depression, starkly state the problem.

“To protect our way of life, we need to shift within a couple of months to a targeted approach that limits the spread of the virus but still lets most people go back to work and resume their daily activities.Read the rest “NOvid 2020: Genesis Nodes, Secure Mobile Citizen Data  And Payment Platform For Addressing Pandemic And Economic Crisis”

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John H, Clippinger, 9/10/19


The designed and encoded purpose of a Reflexive Mutual Limited Liability Company (RMLLC) is to act in the best interest of all its members to generate goods, services and assets, which singly, or in combination, achieve, stable, and measurable value exchange within an exchange network to achieve mutually agreed to outcomes. 

In contrast to a C corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which acquires investment capital to maximize shareholder value to achieve market liquidity, the RMLLC strives to reflexively generate value through internal liquidity and value generation within a mutual organization. 

The mutual organization defines the measurable outcomes it wants to achieve for different kinds of assets and services with respect to carbon emissions, affordability/equity and resilience. RMLLCs can differ widely in their selection of assets and services, rights and permissions of members and nonmembers, as well as to relative the priority of different outcomes.

To raise external capital the RMLLC sells appreciation rights to single asset classes – such as energy, housing, 5G, food, mobility, for a  competitive market rate of return, with the option to buy back those rights from external investors with a premium at the RMLLC’s discretion. Read the rest “Mutualistic Compound Value Generation And Retention”

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©John Henry Clippinger, Ph.D.


With unfettered human growth, we can expect the extinction of at least 60% of today’s species and a largely uninhabitable planet within the next fifty years. Our time to curtail these trends is less than 20 years! Nature has given us an ultimatum. It is not a future problem; it is an immediate imperative. Yet denial and paralysis persist.

But they are not an option. The transition cannot be achieved in the usual manner. No supra-multi-national agency, no UN or any nation-state can prescribe nor impose a global solution; no Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Tesla, or mega-corp or collection of same can innovate our way to a viable future. No omnipotent state – China nor the US  or coalition of same can meet the deadline.

Whatever the solution, it cannot entail the expansion of state or global governmental powers; nor the imposition of taxes, top-down regulations, entitlements, nor classic “free market” solutions. These remedies, whether democratically enacted or dictatorially imposed will not work at scale and are themselves, contributors to environmental degradation and economic inequity.


Some of the most significant and rapid changes in Western society occurred through a series of natural micro-changes in the structure of social and economic networks.Read the rest “A MANIFESTO FOR IMMEDIATE ACCELERATED TRANSITION: THE CENTRALITY OF TECH FOR A FEASIBLE AND EQUITABLE FUTURE”

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While the predictions about the immediacy of the dire and irreversible consequences about climate change keep being moved forward and while global political and economic institutions dissemble and falter, there is little discussion about how PRACTICALLY AND IMMEDIATELY – human societies can avert the consequences of climate change. 2040 and 2050 are cited as extinction dates but the effects will be felt far sooner as financial markets and global opportunists scramble and brace for the unimaginable.

In the traditional political realm, there is hand-wringing and pallid prescriptions, all premised on tinkering with existing institutions and approaches, They will not work, Their time has passed. We cannot get to the Moon with a longer ladder. We cannot do it with carbon credits, tax credits, new treaties, or by ignoring the magnitude of the challenge or the certainty of the science.

There must be total urgency, commitment now on a global scale, We must revamp our institutions, ideologies, religions, norms, and finances to transform our economies, our ways of life, and our technologies to earth and life-affirming global culture. There will be no Singularity – no Mars colonies, no “Libertanias”, no livable future for most of us. It is not a matter of future generations, It is now.… Read the rest “WELCOME TO THE INQUIRY ABOUT TECH AND THE FUTURE OF OUR FUTURE”

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One of the most cherished innovations of the early Internet was its openness. Anyone could publish and access content; anyone could be who or what they wanted to be; no permissions required. No one was in charge. The Internet knew no borders.  It was innocent.

That was then. Those very qualities of openness and freedom are now its nemesis. What was free has become fake: fake Ids, facts, content, images, videos, news;  everything is gameable. Nothing is to be trusted.  To make matters worse, major platforms such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter and others exploit those weaknesses through algorithms that amplify sensationalized and extreme user responses as a part of their business model. The platforms are agnostic as to the character or validity of the content, but extremely pious about their “freedom” to connect and to drive the volume of content. The more the better. That translates into revenue and influence.

Not So Fast

On the other hand, the IOT world of autonomous vehicles, smart cities, infrastructures, munitions and drones are not quite so sanguine about the status of their data or messages.  On the contrary, they absolutely depend upon the veracity, reliability and latency of their devices and networks being 6 Sigma.Read the rest “NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS (NFT) TOKENS OF TRUTH AND TITLE SAVING THE INTERNET FROM ITSELF”

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