Here's an interesting "in system" method for building resilient communities in the US (I think of this as a "soft" launch). It leverages two forms of investment capital: IRA/401K and student debt. Here's a little bit more on "resilient communities" if you are unfamiliar with the concept. In essence, its a community that is able to generate everything it needs locally, can trade with the global economy, and support modern lifestyle quality.
In order to build out resilient communities there needs to be a business mechanism that can financially power the initial roll-out. Here are some markets that may be serviced by resilient community formation:
- An already large and growing group of people that are looking for a resilient community within which to live if the global or US system breaks down (ala the collapse of the USSR/Argentina or worse). Frankly, a viable place to live is a lot better than investing in gold that may not be valuable (gold assumes people are willing to part with what they have).
- A larger and growing number of prospective students that want to learn how to build and operate resilient communities (rather than campus experiments and standard classroom blather).
- A large and growing group of young people that want to work and live within a resilient community. A real job after school ends.
Triangulating these markets yields the following business opportunity:
- The ability of prospective residents of resilient communities to invest a portion of their IRA/401K and/or ongoing contributions in the construction and operation of a resilient community in exchange for home and connections to resilient systems (food, energy, local manufacturing, etc.) within that community.
- An educational program, like Gaia University's collaboration with Factor e Farm, that allows students to get a degree while building out a resilient community (active permaculture/acquaculture plots, micro manufactories, local energy production, etc.). This allows access to government sponsored student debt.
- A work study program that allows students of the University to pay off their student debt and make a living doing over a 5 year (flexible) period. IF they want to do that.
I suspect there is a good way to construct a legal business framework that allows this to happen. What would make this even more interesting would be to combine this with a "Freedom" network/darknet that allows ideas to flow freely via an open source approach between active resilient communities on the network. The network would also allow goods and services to flow between sites (via an internal trading mechanism) and also allow these goods and intellectual property (protected by phalanxes of lawyers) to be sold to the outside world (via an Ali Baba approach). At some point, if it is designed correctly, this network could become self-sustaining and able to generate the income necessary to continue a global roll-out by itself.