Weekend Edition: Resilience or BUST!

Last week, I did a short, but intense interview with the author Jon Evans for the popular technology e-zine TechCrunch.  The section of the interview on the necessity of networked resilient communities is a great place to start today’s letter.

Networked resilient communities is the topic where I spend most of my time.

Why? There are two globally systemic threats we can’t solve. Finance and the environment. Both systems are deeply broken and they are going to do considerable damage to all of us over the next decades. The only way to get ready for that is to build networked resilient communities. Resilient Communities efficiently produce most (not all) of the food, energy, water, and products we use daily. These communities 1) reduce our vulnerabilities to the future’s inevitable disruptions (disruptions that will damage/impoverish those that don’t transition to local production), 2) reduce complexity to a human scale, and 3) improve the quality of our lives.

Since these communities network with the global system economically and socially, they don’t lose any of the complexity/value we enjoy in the current intellectual environment.  My bet, and it is the reason I started the resilient community newsletter, is that the most successful, happiest people on the planet in twenty years will be living in resilient communities.

That last phrase worth discussing today.  The statement that the most successful, happiest people on the planet will be living in resilient communities.


Resilience or BUST!

Why will people living in networked resilient communities be the most successful and happiest people on the planet???

It’s simple.

The most immediate reason is that a resilient life, home, and community provides you protection.

Protection against an increasingly dire global financial and environmental catastrophe that our broken political system can’t (and won’t even attempt to) avoid.

  • In personal terms, resilience is what will keep you in your home, feed your family, protect you, and provide you an income when the economic and political situation gets rough.
  • In financial terms, resilience is the ultimate hedge.   A hedge that increases in value as the global economic system shrinks and political systems run amok trying to catch up.

However, the protection resilience provides isn’t the source of my serene optimism.   Instead, my optimism is based on the steadfast conviction that networked resilient communities — communities that produce everything they can locally and virtualize the rest — will out-compete the existing, centrally mismanaged global economic and social system.

Do you see this too?

Your thinking big thoughts on a sunny Sunday analyst,




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  • http://www.flowxrg.com Tyler Disney

    “….will out-compete the existing, centrally mismanaged global economic and social system.”

    As Buckminster Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    I actually think there is value in explicitly fighting the existing reality, but building a new model – a new vision – is SO important and crucial. The other thing about building something, I think, is that it is an activity that *builds* hope rather than depleting it. Fighting destructive systems day after day can be soul-crushing.

    • johnrobb

      Tyler, Exactly. You don’t try to change something that can’t be changed. You put it out of business with something better. JR

      • Anthony

        I don’t think they will be able to put them out of business directly. The reality of farming is that some places are simply better suited for it than others. While you can say there’s merit to having your own farming everywhere, they still probably won’t be able to put the more efficiently located farms out of business.

        Honestly though, it seems like a bad investment to use your scarce monetary funds on creating many less efficient farms. Why not just stock up on stock-able food and start farming if your better located farms go under?

  • http://www.buckybox.com Sam from Bucky Box

    Agreed! We definitely see this, and we see the need for a networked food system too… decentralised and controlled by the farmers & consumers.

    Would love to hear more of your thinking specifically on the food side John, but also how it could be meshed with other parts of our society & networked communities. Does the local box scheme also deliver other vital services for example? Or how can we gain greater freedom & flexibility in our working lives to enable us to invest more time in creating this resilience? Where do we start?

    So many questions, but such belief that this is our future. We’ve started where we know the rules of engagement best – software & food.

    Key areas which are missing innovation & resilience for you at the moment John?

    • johnrobb

      Sam, Working on that. JR

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