Introducing a new way of doing things is never an easy task, especially when it comes to the development, planning, design and implementation of major Infrastructure Projects. “New and Improved” may be great at the supermarket but when it comes to resources such as energy, housing, food production and other social necessities, people are hesitant to introduce any major changes even on the best of days. For some however, the passion is not so much about the introduction of new and improved technologies and principles, but the idea of introducing fully sustainable, adaptive and integrated systemic solutions for society as a whole.
While some of the opinions may vary on the best way to do this, such is the adaptive nature of these systems that they can be changed on certain levels as may be needed so as to better fit the needs of the individual circumstances of each development. What all of the conceptualized designs and plans have in common is the introduction of a more sustainable method of sociological and environmental interaction creating a more wholly symbiotic relationship not only among people, but between humans and the environment as well.
Somehow or another, it seems almost farcical if not blatantly hypocritical to be using technologies that are hundreds or even thousands of years old during a period of intellectual and technological enlightenment such as the age we are living in now. How does one even begin to start such a complex and new undertaking however?
“Let the buyer beware!” is an old adage, brought about by good cause. Still, slap a discounted price on a bar of soap and call it new and improved and people will buy into the idea easily. If someone is disappointed for whatever reason, they are not very likely to complain too terribly much about a dollar or two that the bar of soap cost them out of pocket.
The same cannot be said for major infrastructure projects. If a new technology is introduced on a mass scale and for any reason at all, it fails to perform, the consequences can be dire. Add in a few new social constructs and whether or not the technology is proven, governments and large organizations and corporate investors all get extremely nervous. Add in a mix of proven and new technologies … and the difficulties tend to spread out in an exponential pattern of growth.
Still, there are not only governments, but also a great many corporate investors and even large organizations that are not only interested in funding such operations, but also in making full use of the adaptive and integrated approach so as to allow for the maximum results, testing, research, analysis and other data that will help to improve these community developments over the course of time.
The introduction of new, more efficient, or perhaps even only more sustainable and beneficial technologies (with minor consolations for slightly reduced efficiency in some cases) is actively being pursued around the globe. There are literally tens of thousands of energy companies, some experienced and many sprouting up seemingly overnight, that are actively introducing technologies to new markets. Granted, there are both good and bad concepts and people at play here, but that debate merits its own article and is far too lengthy to discuss in great detail here.
The key point of focus however, is being entirely lost in far too many of these scenarios. The introduction of even an equally efficient but “green” energy system is not in and of itself any real kind of solution. Rather, it is like putting the proverbial band-aid on the bullet-hole. It may cover up one aspect of a problem but it is not going to solve anything in and of itself.
Rather than introducing new technologies, the focus needs to be on the introduction of integrated and adaptive, systemic solutions that directly address the root causes of all the issues while at the same time providing for the needs of the here and now without adversely impacting future generations. The difficulty is in the establishment of such a concept as mainstream and the ability to open initial markets wherein the overall concept can be tested and proven in “real world” environments.
While there are many proposals currently in circulation, finding funding and takers has been difficult. It seems that generally, the overall project demands are for singular solutions … band-aids in essence … that do nothing to address the larger issues of concern and the ongoing root of the problems faced by a vast portion of the world today. Thus, a(n) RFP for a green energy solution may frown upon or be hesitant to accept the humanitarian and environmental aspects of a larger project, etc. etc. et al ad infinitum.
While these individual projects are mostly profitable in and of themselves, the ultimate goal is the introduction of an integrated and adaptive systemic approach that resolves the entirety of the problem while at the same time, providing for the needs of today without any detrimental impact to future generations. Granted, this is a much more expansive approach, but one that is necessary if humanity is to move past this troubled stage of our evolution. The question most have initially, is how does such a system function and how is it managed? This is where differences of opinion come in.
While both of the primary means of the function are sufficiently equatable to make the differences and variations inconsequential to the overall operation. This is especially true given the adaptive nature of these developments and their ability to integrate new systems and technologies and to adapt to societal and cultural norms, environmental restrictions and limitations and even to function as semi-autonomous economic, financial and social systems in some cases where it seems to be necessary.
Thus, the truly relevant question becomes that of the management and organizational structure for the entity that will oversee and operate such a community development. One proposal is for an incorporated structure and the other proposal is for the establishment of a Community Land Trust for the organizational and community oversight and … management … for lack of a better word.
Both of the proposed solutions have their merits and will be tested in those circumstances which best suit their nature. Questions regarding the nature of these structures are thoroughly welcomed here … as are any and all questions in truth. However, the responses will be subject to the respective experts for each means of organizational structuring.
The idea here is only to convey some of the strengths of the Incorporated Structure proposal in the hopes that people who are considering building such operations will be more well informed and capable of locating the proper people to develop, plan, design and implement such an organizational structure. The reason that this is the structure being highlighted, is simply because the author is the major proponent of the Incorporated Structure.
The Incorporated Structure is a means to ensure community “ownership” and oversight of the entire series of operations. In actuality though, both systems are designed in such a fashion, though the process for accomplishing the tasks are different in nature. With the Incorporated Structure, both the functions of governance and the corporate entities included are run by professionals in their respective fields. The purpose of course is that there is no room in the (current or proposed) corporate environment for an inexperienced and/or unskilled leader to manage a corporate entity with any real hopes of success.
The ownership of the corporate entities would be held in a community trust fund with a direct system of accountability to the citizens and/or residents of the community. The success of the corporate entities would fund the community, its operations, utilities and other normal societal functions of the community and in return, it is hoped that the community residents would be willing and capable of opening up their skills and talents, not only for their personal gain, but for the benefit of the community as well.
The Community Land Trust functions in somewhat the same way, though the primary differences are substantial enough to merit its placement in a separate classification of systemic approach. The Community Land Trust in this case, would be the organizational structure responsible for the oversight and operations of the community development. In much the same way as the Incorporated Structure, the Community Land Trust would maintain complete ownership of everything but solely within the confines of the trust. This would avoid any and all potential for the corporate entities and/or any community property to be bought, sold or otherwise influenced outside of the desires of the organizational structure and the citizen oversights as would be put in place under such a system.
The funds returned to the community under both organizational structures, would pay for reduced health care costs, housing, education, the production of large-scale agricultural production through environmentally friendly and sustainable means, the introduction of green energy solutions into the community developments and ideally, most of the basic needs of life including venues for public entertainment. The homes would be “owned” by the people who selected them, but could not be bought or sold on the open markets.
As is the case in “Special Economic Zones” around the world, these homes would be leased out for a term of ninety-nine or perhaps only fifty years, though “ownership” could continue on through direct descendants. The minutia and details are far too complex and numerous to include in any single volume, much less a single article, but in essence, the Organizational Structure overseeing and operating the community development would be owned by the people even if indirectly.
If there is any real headache involved in such a concept, it is overcoming the economic and financial system that this world has functioned under since somewhere around the 1640s. Under the strictest definitions of the current economic and financial systems currently in place, people are quick to cry “Communist” or “Socialist” under such a program. The fact is that such systems are neither wholly capitalist and certainly not communist or socialist in nature. Though they may bear resemblance to the casual observer which appears to match them to one or the other, the fact remains that the overall system is a much more “free-market” system than the communist, socialist and/or (crony or faux) capitalist systems currently in place around the globe.
This concept is not meant to start a philosophical debate on the merits of Marx as an Economist without the political diatribe included … or the essence of the current crony or faux capitalist system currently in place in the US and through much of Europe, but such debates are indeed very enlightening and often entertaining in the right venues, and a great many have taken place … as will a great many more it is hoped. The fact remains however, that the overall system is one of free markets, with professional leadership in place that is directly accountable to the people themselves, such accountability to be enforced, not just some proverbial paper tiger to make the issues and problems public in nature.
No system can be fully addressed until it is in place … thus, the adaptive nature of these community developments, as change is inevitable. However, it is always refreshing to hear reasoned debate and discussion and to have one’s systems of belief challenged. (Discussin’ without the cussin’ is always preferred … as is debate over argument) It is absolutely imperative however, that such debate be conducted with an open mind to new ideas and suggestions on all sides.
If one is dragged into an argument, one has already lost. The whole point of this article is not only to begin the introduction of these concepts into the “norms” of societal discussion, but to have the entire system pulled apart and inspected piece by piece. The current system has allowed for nearly half the population of the world to be dragged into poverty, many for multiple generations, with the results being impoverished conditions that only serve to increase the impoverishment and hopelessness of the situations for the poor and underclass citizens of the world.
Still, for real, lasting, long-term and meaningful solutions, it remains imperative that a wholly systemic, adaptive and integrated approach be implemented that kills the root causes of poverty and not just slapping another band aid on a broken bone. (Yes, that was intentional)
Currently, negotiations are under way in Central America, Australia, the Philippines, two locations in Africa and other areas around the globe to implement such a system. When laid out in detail, the plans have all been very well received. These negotiations are substantially easier with larger, government infrastructure projects but are also being developed on a smaller scale for more direct funding opportunities. Oddly enough, unlike most systems in place, this entire system is fully sustainable … including economically and financially.
Thus, once the initial funding has been settled, there should actually be a substantial positive ROI on larger projects and economic stability and self-sufficiency for all of these projects once the construction and the introduction of the new agricultural procedures are complete. Excess current can be generated and sold on open markets, as can water and agricultural goods. Social support programs and other social offerings provide further benefit not only to the community developments, but for sale on open markets around the globe.
If there is any major objection that has been received to date, it is only that everyone spoken to up until now, wishes to see an entire community development in action and fully operational before they will commit the initial funding for such an undertaking in their country. (We are working on that as well, though on a much smaller scale at this time)