Fast transitions to resilient communities that offer energy independence, food security, and thriving local economies will require a new approach. Resilient communities need to be sold as an investment (there's tens of trillions in investment capital currently on the sidelines). An investment package that makes it more attractive than the alternatives. That shouldn't be hard, the alternatives are in terrible shape:
- The financial markets are now casinos, a place where only inveterate gamblers feel at home. Rampant uncertainty and distrust have turned investments in stocks, bonds, and real-estate into the equivalent of lottery tickets.
- Existing economic security is evaporating. Our governments are approaching default, and with them the viability of the social safety nets they provide. Real estate is in ongoing free fall. Incomes are in decline, caught in the buzz-saw of global outsourcing. Pensions and benefits are vanishing through fraud, organizational bankruptcy or forced shifts to contract work.
- Worse, the social decay, corruption, crime, and widespread violence experienced by other countries in economic circumstances similar to our own, looms on the horizon. We will all soon live in corrupt hollow states.
How to package the RC as an investment
There are three ways to package resilient communities as investments that will attract significant capital. These are:
- Consortiums, businesses, and co-opts that retrofit existing communities with resilient systems. Typically, this is focused on existing residents. As in, make it possible for people to shift their retirement funds or buy into something that they can immediately benefit from. The Mondragon model should work well here.
- Resilient community technologies. Businesses that focus on enabling local production of everything from energy to food to products. Think in terms of collaborative finance from places like kickstarter.
- New developments that build resilient communities from the ground up, designed with last mover advantage to survive future dislocation. Sell this as a hedge against the future, a speculative play in future economic failure, or a way to personally escape potential chaos.
These investments may become the only investments worth having as the developed world declines. Package them correctly, and people will invest.