Integrated Solutions are necessary at every level of project implementation for the community developments to be successful. While the concept may be difficult to comprehend at first, integration is actually a very important part of isolation or segregation. The Perma-Culture community designs for example, allow for the segregation of residential, commercial and environmental areas by integrating them all into a systemic developmental solution.
In regards to the physical infrastructure and actual development of the community, this integrated approach to isolating unique systems is pertinent and necessary for their individual success. Perhaps one of the best examples of this would be to look at the natural environment. In any given location there are general “ecological systems” or ecosystems inside of each unique environment. Dotted throughout the landscape however, are many individual, unique and segregated ecosystems which blend seamlessly into one another to create the total or complete environment as a more singular whole. While each one may be individual and unique, they are integrated together to form a sustainable whole system.
From a sociological standing however, a more complete integration is necessary even if people will naturally (as can be historically documented) segregate themselves to some degree. Unfortunately, this is the same approach that has been taken in far too many social assistance and welfare programs with truly devastating results.
In such cases, isolation or segregation are taken to a socially unsustainable level wherein troubled individuals are gathered together in large numbers. Living on “that side of town” or on “the wrong side of the tracks” leads to social stigmas that pervade entire sections of society, schools and even pervade the realm of job applications and other avenues of self-improvement.
Drug addicts, alcoholics and others with mental, physical and/or socially debilitating issues, are grouped together without any viable means of support or encouragement and often financially punished for trying to improve their lives while their bad behaviors are rewarded financially. It is not viable … though some would say it is blatantly foolish and even cruel … to place large numbers of drug addicts or other seriously debilitated individuals together and expecting them to work without the proper support, to free themselves of enervating conditions which are often a direct result of abject poverty and the resultant hopelessness that comes along with it as a rule. These problems are exacerbated even further by the large number of youth growing up in such environments.
These young, impressionable minds are reduced to growing up impoverished and facing the worst ills of society daily. How is it possible for them to grow up believing that this is anything other than “normal”? The result of such societal isolationism has historically shown a complete degradation of the society wherein multiple generations of families are wholly dependent, rewarded for bad behavior, punished for trying to improve themselves and worse still, in an environment where very little if anything has any real, tangible value. Indeed, even life itself becomes “cheap”, as is evidenced by the high crime rates including violent rapes and murder. This does not even begin to approach the issues and concerns from the penal systemsi in place globally.
The amount of recidivism and the lack of assistance and/or support for those who are incarcerated merely because they were born on the wrong side of the tracks in a world without any real hope is indicative of a flawed system in need of replacement, not mere reform. The Integrated Nature of the community developments, allows for the integration of people back into “normal” society and not in isolated locations, meaning there is no longer any stigma associated with social assistance programs. Furthermore, additional social programs allow for the assistance needed to help these people to become more productive, contributing members of society. However, social assistance and integration also includes the corporate realm within the community developments.
Corporate Social Responsibility is often preached but rarely practiced. In the case of the community developments, Corporate Social Responsibility is seen as an integral part of the communityii. The Corporate Structure within the Community Developments is not based on a traditional “Profit-Based” model. The key to the success of this program is in how Corporate Entities are established and integrated into the social fabric itself.
The Foundation(s) in charge will fully fund the establishment of the corporation. The developers of the corporate interest will receive a percentage of profits from the proceeds of the corporation. The net proceeds from the corporations will then be invested in private hedge funds and ultimately, the gains will be distributed among the citizenry through social benefits and even social assistance programs. In addition to providing for the community development(s) financially and economically, the Corporate Social Responsibility of the corporate entities will also extend into the provision of technical and vocational training by and for the general citizenry.
Since the Corporate Model does not have to rely solely on the traditional “for-profit” structure, the corporate entities also provide for an ideal, real-world training ground for vocational and technical pursuits. The educational needs of all students will be tailored to their individual needs based on advanced aptitude batteriesiii.
All students will need a certain level of scholastic education, but many students will learn better in other areas also. Each student will be given a selection of fields to choose from based on their aptitude batteries. They will then be given a list of available opportunities in those fields and allowed to select from their personal preferences.
i Rather than a more traditional Penal System, the focus on such institutions within the Adaptive and Integrated Community Developments will be placed on rehabilitation programs to include education, training and even job placement programs upon release from the system. Furthermore, the same programs offering the sociological support (and to a limited degree, psychological and/or psychiatric support) to assist these individuals into reintegrating into society. Addictions and/or other debilitating diseases will be addressed and a concentrated effort put in place to provide the support necessary to break the cycles of addiction and provide treatment rather than punishment. More traditional prisons will be established, but only insofar as is needed to protect the social structure and the individuals from such persons as may be deemed to be incorrigible or incapable of reform.
ii It is important to note that these projects will be wholly funded by the Foundations that own and/or operate the Community Development(s)
iii One of the very few remaining proprietary concerns is one of the basic foundations for the educational system that is being established. The educational institutions will be based on variants of the Rudolf Steiner model with more of an emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving in addition to a philosophical approach to understanding and a stronger focus on directed scholastic studies in relation to the selected field(s) of study. The curriculum will be fully and individually tailored to meet the needs of each and every student individually. While there will be some overlapping by necessity, given the incredible number of students being worked with, the actual curriculum package will be designed individually and uniquely with the interests of and options for the student that will provide their best opportunity to become established in fields wherein they will have a higher probability of becoming and remaining successful not only in their educational pursuits, but throughout their lives. Additional options will be added for the individual as their skills, interests and abilities mature.