Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Economic Renewal

There is the idea that has been seeded in me for about 10 years, mostly dormant. At times it surfaces with brilliant clarity. Lately, I think about it a lot. Now-a-days, I am thinking about who I need to talk to and who I will invite to a first gathering of social innovators in my area.

I had an idea like this before, about 15 years ago; right around the time the Internet began to unfurl. I was obsessed with a social media site. (That was "web-soap" for those of you that knew me then.) This time the seed idea is about economics. It is hydrological idea. Like a watershed flows with various input and outputs in a both simple and complex, this idea is about producing and delivering what sustains life. It is not apolitical but it is not about routing resources and power to a few.

Typically we intervene in watersheds, influencing water flow and accumulation. We trap it, channel it, pollute it, play on it and depend on it. We are not very intentional about it, meaning we don't think about the system so much. In fact aquifers are drying up! (By the way we need to dig holes to replenish them, a lot of holes.)

See, I have an image of the US slipping way back, kinda like Little House On The Prairie meets extreme poverty, fascism and climate change. Americans have so much farther to backslide than say a "third world" (dieing paradigm) country. This concerns me, but I am not scared.

The political climate in the US is gross, most people would agree. It is also symptomatic of a social system that is without boundaries, purpose, feedback or capacity for adaptation. The people (subsystems) in it are looking for a savior instead of being of use themselves, or bullying others out of fear that their needs will not be met. I believe passionately we are resilient adaptive! I am O.K not knowing what the outcome will be.

What is stirring in me could quell the current political rivalry, and stun the special interests frankly, long enough for real (not promised, but practiced) change to happen. Economic renewal has to be highly participatory, regionally contained and aimed at putting footholds and ropes in place, so that the backslide is more like a rigorous climb. (I am an idealist.)

I envision an economic renewal and social innovation path centered on food systems. (Control over food is the only way people can have sovereignty.) Heath care and elder care (insurance), and investment would follow. Also, interfaces for bi regional exchange (currency), would emerge, not to replace federal tender but to define regional systems. Ultimately, I see a reorganization of the economic system in entirety, one behavior at a time.

People making money on the current systems are not going to like renewal, initially. They'll probably call people terrorist, and charge the media up with lies, but that won't stop it. We can't blame them; change is hard. Harder still, if you have a gold spoon in your mouth and control of the International Monetary Fund and the military-industrial complex. Change is easier when we are not expecting someone (politicians or officials) to do it for us, and not clinging to the status quo. I have not believed in our political system for a long time, but I do believe in people.

Just thinking....

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