The below is a brain dump and provocation – as always in Beta.
Note: originally this post referenced to Parallel Economies, but I feel resilient futures is more pertinent.
By Resilient Futures I refer to potential shared ecosystems that can and will evolve from the primordial pool of emerging memes and movements. Whether you choose to call it Peer2peer, Commons, Transition, Emergence, Sharism, Kopimism, Open Source, Carbon Communities, Occupy or Slow – I don’t care – we’re all exploring new paradigms of living so let’s not get hooked on rhetoric, and keep exploring.
However its good to identify some worthwhile directions, and share some ideas.
Avoid intellectualisation and focus on the benefits of alternative systems
Try to avoid ‘why the existing economic paradigm is fucked’ type conversations – it’s a waste of time, plus you may be branded as a mental or radical.
Share what you learn in a way that’s easy to understand and replicated.
Focus on opportunity
Be aware of your own well being, look after your mental, physical and, financial emotional well being.
Support your fellow explorers, make sure they also look after themselves.
Engage with Markets
Until any parallel economy is strong enough, we must use the resources of the existing one. Engage with markets where necessary, use the leverage that you can derive in terms of resources from our shared intellectual, physical commons, and resources. When you have secured enough for your own needs, then support projects which benefit everyone and help us build a resilient parallel economy.
Support each other, look to the essentials
Encourage and make it easy for people to support projects which increase community benefit, both globally and locally. Begin with the raw essentials for a sustainable future. Look at overlapping interests rather than philosophical points of difference.
Make collaboration easy
If people can help you without talking to you, or collaborate without meeting you, or build on your ideas and compliment your actions then more people will help you. Clearly communicate what you need, and why.
Encourage donation (or better still donate it) of land and space (both permanent and for limited periods) to projects that address the following issues in a manner that is focused on maximising net community benefit. For example:
Energy – Production, Distributed systems, Storage, Reduction of Requirements
Waste – Handling, treatment, reduction, reuse, repair
Production and Manufacturing – Skills sharing, local manufacturing
Communication – resilient and distributed communications systems
Knowledge transfer and citizen journalism
Social Entrepreneurship – Support entrepreneurs who can create further value and net benefit to further support parallel structures.
Note: This can be land/space for any purpose. We all need it, removing the cost of land for those who are working towards our shared interests reduces their need to compromise their efforts.
When you share resources, we need less resources. You have access to more, but own less. When you share information, your own knowledge and influence grows. When you share your ideas they can develop without your input. Sharing is awesome.
Accept what’s already been offered, take the ideas that have been shared already and use them, stop starting from scratch.
Use existing networks rather than building new ones, cross promote, use each others organisations and businesses to achieve shared objectives. Don’t form an organisation unless you absolutely have to. Keep it lean.
Do it together
A parallel economic system involves you and other people. A community is easy, if people see the benefit to be a part of it they will join in.
Always look at what value you create for everyone, or what value they can derive from collaboration. Understanding your community’s motivations will hep to ensure that you can deliver on their expectations.
Just build it small, test and reiterate.
Have visions that people want to be a part of
We have to move beyond dystopian social stories. Stories of how messed up we are do not inspire change or hope. Stories of reduction, moderation or austerity do not create desire. We must build visions of a world worth sharing. Intelligent ways to better living, and when we demonstrate that these are possible, then we can expect others to copy us and join in.
I’m not going to expand this further in fact I would be tempted to contract it. But feel free to comment, add and augment.