The resilient community movement, like what we see with Transition Towns and a plethora of other efforts, relies on a global network of participants. This network is quickly evolving from narrow peer-to-peer conversations into a vast, diverse, and vibrant ecosystem capable of solving nearly every obstacle in the way of success. While much of this ecosystem operates on an open source basis, in that the evolutionary advances and insights on the common approach are shared with everyone, there is still room for the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur, extends an open source process, by providing it with the ability of the ecosystem to branch out into unexplored areas and build structures/systems/products that won't and can't develop organically. Here's more detail on entrepreneurs:
- An ability to generate radical breakthroughs and solutions to difficult and commonly held problems. Entrepreneurs can also fork or branch the standard process into new areas that wouldn't have been explored otherwise. Typically, this involves obsession with an idea -- sleepless nights thinking, tireless work habits, an ability to shrug off criticism from the entrenched/luddite establishment -- to drive it to fruition.
- A person that is willing to form organizations, run systems, and turn ideas into products that provide critical functions in the ecosystem on a full time basis. This typically means a full time commitment, at risk of financial ruin. Also, since entrepreneurs fail more than they succeed, this is tough.
- A need for enough remuneration to both allow them to continue to break boundaries. This isn't the corrupt Wall Street/Silicon Valley idea of entrepreneurial remuneration -- transcendent money that turns productive people into grotesque versions of their previous selves -- but rather enough to live day-to-day without the specter of financial ruin as a constant companion.
Here's an Example
Here's an example of an RC entrepreneur. Joel, from Australia, began with a passion for the idea of aquaponics*. Here's his experience in his own words:
I first came across the concept of aquaponics while surfing the web looking for information on organic growing back in early 2000. The idea of being able to grow fish in my backyard captivated me. I already had chooks and veggie gardens as well as numerous fruit and nut trees, but I could see that aquaponics would help close the circle and provide a wider variety of food. My passionate love of permaculture, and trade certificate in horticulture were a stable launching pad to understand that aquaponics was an invaluable growing method. That started me on a quest for information about aquaponics, but back in those days there wasn't a great deal around.
*Aquaponics: Aquaponics by definition is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. The beauty of aquaponics is that in the combining of the two they equal out the negative aspects in each of them. Nutrient rich fish water is pumped from the fish tank into gravel beds, where plants growing in the gravel extract the nutrients from the water. The water then drains back into the fish tank cleaned of excess nutrients and freshly oxygenated.
NOTE: A common conceptual error is to award CEOs of large companies, financiers, etc. with the title of entrepreneur. They aren't entrepreneurs. They are better termed rentiers. Essentially, a rentier is a manager that is tasked with extracting the most out of existing accumulated capital.