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NFP Workers Coop to transition towns to resource-based economies
  • Greetings! I have been an avid supporter of OSE for almost two years now, and have devoted all my energy to using the GVCS as a platform to help small communities that have been disrupted by global entities like WalMart transition over time to a local resource-based economy. I now have a roadmap to get there, but I need help. I am now hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to bring attention, and hopefully funds, to do the following:

    Here is the initial plan:

    Step 1- Fundraising enough money to create the cooperative business structure and keep Ecophoenix
    Rising fed as he climbs mountains. We will do this by making contacts
    with small business and soliciting donations. All finances will be kept
    completely transparent. If you would like to donate, please do so at
    either of these two links.
    donations/thetransitionteamcooperative or

    Step 2- Recruit the subject matter experts, and when we reach enough
    funding, have an Open Space Technology meeting to formalize the
    arrangement, by consensus.

    Step 3- Recruit the ground team. These individuals will approach community organizations, local businesses, and lo
    cal municipal officials about how we can help their community.

    Step 4- Find depositors in these communities and form the local credit
    union with the following features. It will have a dual currency system;
    US dollars and a local currency based on a composite of locally-produced
    goods, preferably the products of the next step. It will also be a not
    for profit entity, and preferably a cooperative. The dealings of this
    institution will be completely transparent, and any excess funds at the
    end of the fiscal year will be given to other not for profit entities in
    the following way. Depositors will get to choose 5 organizations
    meeting the not for profit criteria, and whatever percentage of the
    current holdings of the CU they own will be distributed to those 5
    entities. For example, if someone owns 1% of the current holdings, the 5
    entities they choose will get.2% of the excess funds each, totaling 1%.

    Step 5- Local business and municipal officials will be approached and
    will be offered the opportunity to participate in the local currency
    program. If they accept, any purchases using the local currency will be
    exempt from sales tax, or at least a significant discount. The purpose
    of this will be to provide an incentive for the use of the local

    Step 6- When the credit union is formed, we
    will find members of the local community that want a stake in the
    ownership of the vertical farm, based on the toolkit being developed at

    The preferred format for this business will be a workers cooperative,
    but other structures may be allowed, dependent on what is decided in
    step 2. The construction of the vertical farm will also be accomplished
    using local resources and open source technology from the Global Village
    Construction Set being developed by Open Source Ecology, were possible.
    For more details about the GVCS, visit

    Step 7- The goods produced by the vertical farms will be sold at
    farmer's markets and premium grocers in the 100 mile area surrounding
    the community first in order to reduce food miles. After that, it will be sold at 125, then 150, and so on miles out until all the products are sold.

    Step 8- As the funds that were used for the loan for the vertical farm
    come back to the credit union, it will be added to a local microloan
    funding pool administered by the credit union, with the goal of
    increasing the funding the pool by 20% per year, adjusted for inflation.
    Local businesses in need of construction services will be given
    preference if they choose to use a builder that uses GVCS tools in the
    construction process.

    Step 9- When the GVCS approaches
    completion, a loan will be made available for a local fabrication shop
    and a retail location for locally-made durable goods.

    This is
    by no means formalized, but is a good starting point for the consensus
    that will occur at Step 2. Thanks for reading! Feedback is always

  • 6 Comments sorted by
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    December 2012
    This idea will suffer from the same desease our present economic system suffers from: Currency and money, credits and loans, debt and financial obligations.

    Just do it without money. You don't need it at all. When you create a community which will be able to feed itself, to cloth itself, to house itself, to care itself for its infants, sick or injured and elderly, you don't need money. The only thing you will need is the acceptance of the principle of cooperation and the insight that "needs" and not "wants" are to govern what must be produced and provided.

    Money is nothing but a tool to control and enslave people. Those who control the money, control the people. Get rid of money, and you can't be controlled anymore, you will become free.

    What of course, is only half of the truth, because it only addresses the economic part of enslavement. You need a political governance as well, which will not work for the powerful, but for the powerless. As best within a society, where political or economical power ist structurally insignificant.

    Not possible? Of course this is possible!
  • Local currency, as designed in this program, is a transitioning feature that is immune to financial rigging like LIBOR, hedging, and other financial schemes, by design. In other words, it addresses what you have grievances about.  Eventually this will lead to a moneyless, access based society, pretty similar to what the Zeitgeist folks and The Venus Project folks talk about. Let's take small steps. Radical change has its own problems. When we say local currency, what we are actually describing is a way of tracking how people contribute. In a meritocratic and transparent system, we can think of money as a way of tracking how much a person contributes to their local community. Those that contribute more, get more, that simple. I personally don't see anything wrong with that. Communism doesn't work, but it has some good ideas. Corporatism does not work but it has good ideas as well. Same with Socialism, and all the other -ism. Let's take the best features of all of the past -isms, mix them together and see if we can raise the only currency that should matter, which is happiness.

    To address your other point, governance should occur at a local level, by consensus of the whole community. If you do not like the way that the community in which you resides creates its social and governmental structures, either you can express your opinion and build consensus, or go with the community's judgment, or create your own system, and if it has merit, it will attract others and then you will have a community that feels the same about how it chooses to be governed as well. That is true freedom, and that is what this system creates.
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    December 2012
    That is true freedom, and that is what this system creates.

    I don't think so, because this system is based on distrust. If you need a tool to control people, you need to have a system to sanctionize people, because you assume that people need to be controlled. Those who design and use those tools and those who apply the sanctions are those who are in control. You make an assumption which in the end leads to dominance of some over many. This is just the contrary of freedom, and not very much different from what we have now. There is no need in contribution of "more", when fullfilling need is the goal. What is required is equal distribution of workload to produce what the needs require. "More" is just as contraproductive and bad as "less".

    You are in fact coming from the correct direction. You just need to think things through and to the end. When a local community cooperates on the basis of supplying each other with things and services needed, they will do so. No work, no extraction of lifetime from labour slaves, to produce for other peoples profit or to use up our planets resources for useless things and surplus. Those who get their food from the local fields earn their right to that because they contribute to this or other production or service for this local community in a similar way. If someone develops the mindest of a freeloader, to take but not to give, within a local community this will be seen. You don't need a control system, when you have neighbours, friends and colleagues, who work together and live together. Peer pressure is control enough. Those who will not contribute, will not be allowed to benefit, and in the end expelled.

    The critical aspect and strategic challenge of political governance is not consensus of a majority, but protection of the minorities. It is ok that the majority rules, but there need to be limits on forcing the opinion of the majority to the minorities. Even in a meritocracy the geniuses and masters of crafts are a minority. For me, this is the biggest challenge in creating a fair and just society. Compared to this, creating a meaningful and responsible economic system is cakewalk.
  • Vote Up0Vote Down December 2012
    Those that contribute more, get more, that simple. I personally don't see anything wrong with that.

    Then you need to read more, because rewards and productivity have an inverse relationship.  The more someone is rewarded, the more poorly they perform.  This excludes only the most rudimentary, purely mechanical tasks.

    I also don't think this constitutes a transition to an RBE.  Maybe to an off-grid community, but that is not the same thing.  For one thing, you haven't mentioned any of the mechanisms that make a resource-based economy resource-based.  Your plan seems to include currency all the way through.  It's not really even open-source, since you plan to use the means of production you obtained through open-source efforts for personal profit.

    How is this an RBE, again?
  • We need transitioning structures, and I should say that this is not just my personal view, but the things that have been decided by a large volume of people who I have spoken with. That being said, These are transitioning features with the end goal of having a moneyless, resource-based economy. To get there, first we need access to things. In order to make the things that will be the foundation of the access-based society, we need people to create them. The people that create these things have needs that cannot be provided by a RBE, as it is not complete, will have to depend on the current system, which requires currency. When the RBE is complete, then the transition to a moneyless, access-based system can occur. Additionally, the development of the GVCS requires currency to be completed, so until it is complete, we cannot make that shift.

    The desire to contribute is a tricky thing. I agree with Dan Pink's view on being self-directed and doing things for the self-driven desire to do them. However, the very act of contributing more burns more calories. Calories cost money, until such a point where food can be provided from the land. To ensure that the food has all of the nutrients it needs to provide those nutrients, the soil needs to remain amended, plants need to be to be irrigated, and farm implements need fuel. All of this costs money. That is, until the true RBE is in place.

    The innovation that a RBE requires is a state of the art environmental accounting and logistical framework. A major challenge will be to create that system. Fuel from oil-bearing plants, foods, medicines, meat, minerals, energy, water, etc. We will need to know where everything comes from, where it goes, how long it will be tied up in its current use, when it will be available for recycling, etc. I predict there will be an extensive trial and error period until it works fluidly. Until we get to that point, going moneyless will be very difficult. However, as we approach that point, money will become increasingly less important. We are not there yet though.

    As far as it not being open-source, I do not see how that is the case. All innovations will be CC by SA, etc.

    One of the subtleties of consensus as I was speaking about it is that it includes the minority view in the creation of a solution. There are no winners and losers, majority and minority. The issue is discussed and negotiated until all, or in some models, 90% agree on a solution. 
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    December 2012
    When the RBE is complete, then the transition to a moneyless, access-based system can occur.

    That, by the way, is my main problem with RBE as far as I understood it. RBE is a global concept, requiring a radical transition of economic and political systems and structures on a global scale, which simply will not take place anytime in the forseeable future, since those who profit from the present system are exactly those who would need to support their own demise. I cannot see that happen anytime soon, or even at all. However, if we want to save our culture, civilization and billions of people, we need this change sometime this century. So, RBE is all good and well in theory, but not able to help in due time in practical terms.

    To not reiterate what was already discussed here, you may want to look at those two threads, which are discussing this aspects of OSE and GVCS and transition already:


    Please be warned, that the second link leads to the by far longest discussion on this board. You will need some time to read it.

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