Imagine a family tree. For the entire world.
A UK-based Kickstarter project has just launched with the ambitious, perhaps totally unfeasible aim of drawing a diagram of every human currently living, and how they are connected to each other.
The team, led by Oliver Reichardt, director of Fellowship at the RSA, is looking for £18,000 to fund the idea. And it's a simple and beguiling enough concept. Everyone would simply log on, register their family, and watch as each branch of the tree grows and overlaps until everyone on Earth is covered. Theoretically, as the Kickstarter points out, you could even see how closely you're related to the Queen, or your best friend.
It's not hard to foresee problems either. What about privacy? What about people inputting false data? And what about the practical implications of trying to get six billion people to use the same website when many other ancestry websites already exist?
Still, you can't help but admire the team's ambition. The team says it has a marketing plan in place, and also some privacy settings "so you can choose what to reveal, and ways to handle those tricky twigs of the tree".
"Helping to create what has never been done before is what life is all about – doing extraordinary things and coming together to create something bigger than ourselves.
Back this project because, for a small amount of money, you can create something huge. We’ll also let you know when it goes live so you can be among the first to kick this adventure off and be one of the founding family trees."
If you're interested, head over to their Kickstarter page and either pitch in a few quid, or ask a question of the founders to find out more info.Suggest a correction