Envisioning a convivial post-corporate world requires a diversity of new/old concepts, policies, technologies, best practices, etc. that are imaginable or currently available for decentralized implementation.

This blog is intended to collate promising contributions to this vision from experts in many fields.

Participants are requested to classify each of their posts with one or more of the Category Labels (listed here).

April 29, 2010

Introducing Green Renewable Energy Money

Table: Mysteries of a failed financial system and how failure can be avoided (a)

Mysteries of an illogical and inefficient financial system 
Possible explanations of mysteries with comments

Avoiding mysteries with cost carrying “green” renewable energy e-money
1
What is the utility of money created out of nothing?
No cost of creation and no limit on amount of money created.  

Energy is essential for sustaining life. kWh is an objective unit of value.
2
Why use money to price assets when the value of money is not defined by any one or more specified commodities?
 “Orthodoxy has never been able to explain” (Wray 2004). National currencies create “Faulty feedback to Cities” (Jacobs 1985: 156).

Terms of trade and so community sustainability determined by local value of green dollars defined by local renewable electricity sources.
3
Why use prices to allocate resources when money is not based on real things?
 “…most economists have not delved deeply into this.” (Wray 2004) but non-economist Jacobs (1985) has.

Monetary unit of account is determined by value of local renewable energy that is likely to be stable over the long run.
4
Why do governments create a national monopoly of what kind of money can be legal?
Once to borrow specie currency from banks to avoid taxing. Now to protect banks creating deposits from loans.

Credit only created by those providing goods, services and investments.  Money no longer used as a store of value.
5
Why do governments control who can create bank deposits?
To protect private bankers creating a public good (money) for private profit.

Deposits in investment funds backed by securities. No fractional “Ponzi” banks
6
Why do governments provide a lender of last resort facility to private banks?
Originally to protect the duplicity of banks creating more deposit notes for specie currency than they held, later to reduce the risk of borrowing short and lending long.

Liquidity and solvency risk of traders and investors creating credit guaranteed by private insurance firms and/or their redemption to pay energy bills at a nominated time in kWh.
7
Why can money at a bank increase in value over time from earning interest when government notes do not?
To encourage individuals to give up consumption to create bank deposits.  But deposits can be created without requiring consumption foregone.

No money created by banks.  Credits used as exchange medium subject to a service fee payable to issuer and/or guarantor of their value and/or liquidity.
8
Why do governments borrow money when they can create money? Asked by chair of US Banking Committee Wright Patman (1941)
Because governments cannot be trusted to limit money creation so it is sounder (and highly profitable) for private bankers to create deposit money to finance government debts.

Government would create negotiable electronic property rights to receive future tax revenues and/or tolls to pay in kWh for deficits and/or infrastructure investments.
9
Why allow private banks to make profits from expanding the money supply that is a public good?
Private bankers have promoted a consensus that this is in the public interest and also spread a belief that they do not create money as deposits

Volume of credit determined by trade turnover and demand for investment that could be guarantee by private credit insurers.
10
Why do governments pay interest on borrowed money that they can create?
Habit from when governments needed specie currency from bankers and now reluctance to compete with banks except when they need a bail-out.

Governments would not borrow money but sell rights to future taxes and/or tolls to create a risk free future store of value defined by local kWh
11
Why do governments allow private financial organisations to grow too big to manage, regulate or fail?
Political influence and advisers who focus on economies of scale, not strategies for either promoting competition to further consumer interests or for achieving resiliency.

Financial system size and shape would be determined by local generation of renewable electricity to match size of local institutions not inflated by seigniorage or compounding interest.
12
Why don’t governments create interest free money to fund public assets?
Refer to points 8 and 10.  Interest costs can double the tax revenues required to finance public assets (Patman 1941) and/or increase the prices of any tolls.

Public assets would become self-financing as described in rows 8 and 10 above so as to liquidate the credit created to build them.

Jacobs, J. (1985), Cities and Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life, Vintage Books, New York.
Patman, J.W.W. (1941), Congressional Record of the House of Representatives, Sept. 29, pp.7582–3, Washington D.C 
Wray, L.R. (2004), ‘The Credit Money and State Money Approaches’, Working Paper No 32 available at
http://www.cfeps.org/pubs/wp-pdf/WP32-Wray.pdf;

(a) Extracted from a paper by Dr. Shann Turnbull on ‘How would the invisible hand handle electronic money’, available from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1391812.

It takes an urban village

Planning firm seeks to recast Lowell as a place where you can live without a car

By Alex Beam, Globe Columnist | April 16, 2010

As goes the Redneck Riviera, so goes Lowell.

The Lowell Plan, a nonprofit corporation responsible for charting the city’s future, has hired a leading New Urbanist planning firm, Jeff Speck and Associates, to revamp its downtown. Belmont native Speck, his wife, and their 21-month-old son have temporarily relocated to the Mill City, where they are living in a refurbished mill loft on the Merrimack River, without a car. “There is no substitute for living in a place and experiencing the daily life to see where its strengths and weaknesses are,’’ Speck says. “Living downtown without a car is what the ideal future Lowell resident should be able to do.’’

New Urbanism is an anti-suburban architectural and planning ideology that seeks to promote “livable density’’ — my buzzword, not theirs — by remaking cities in an urban village model, where people can walk to work, to shop, and to recreation. Controversial New Urbanist showcases include the Disney Co.’s planned community, Celebration, and Seaside, Fla., a huge resort on the aforementioned “Riviera.’’ (The movie “The Truman Show’’ was filmed at Seaside) The revamped Providence downtown — walkable, livable, enjoyable — epitomizes New Urbanist ideals.

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is North America's fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80 community networks with over 21,000 independent business members across the U.S. and Canada.

BALLE brings together independent business leaders, economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local living economies. We provide local, state, national, and international resources to this new model of economic development.

We´re showing that independent locally owned businesses can go beyond traditional measures of success. We're proving that these businesses are accountable to stakeholders and the environment. We're helping these businesses flourish in their local economies. And we're leveraging the power of local networks to build a web of economies that are community-based, green, and fair - local living economies.

See their website at http://www.livingeconomies.org/

April 28, 2010

Most Beautiful Fish Farm in the World

Dan Barber: "How I fell in love with a fish"
Discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised
using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

Restoring Rainforests, Village Livelihoods & Biodiversity

Orangutan conservationist Willie Smits describes a working permaculture paradigm to restore rainforests, biodiversity and local economies in devastated tropical ecosystems.

Kyoto2

Kyoto2 is a framework for a new climate agreement under the Climate Convention (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC), intended to replace the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.

It aims to be:
  • effective - to deliver the Objective of the Climate Convention: to "to achieve ... stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system ... within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."
  • efficient - using auction, open markets, targetted expenditures and appropriate regulation, while minimising accounting and compliance overheads, to provide 'the gain without the pain'.
  •  equitable - addressing the needs of poor people and poor countries, and mitigating the impacts of climate change for the benefit of both present and future generations.
See full website at http://www.kyoto2.org/

A New Way to Govern: Organisations and Society After Enron

Shann Turnbull
International Institute for Self-Governance
New Economics Foundation Pocketbook 6, 2002

Abstract:    
This pocketbook was commissioned to identify ways for avoiding the unexpected failure of large publicly traded enterprises and overcoming the shortcomings in government, and/or privatised organisations. It describes the fundamental problems of organisational hierarchies in either the public or private sectors to perform effectively and reliably with the ever-increasing complexity and dynamism in modern societies. Network organisations with multiple control centres or boards are identified as providing requisite variety of information and control channels to flexibly govern complexity. Provided self-governing network organisations are kept to human scale they reduce information overload and bounded rationality. The division of power into a number of centres introduces checks and balances to facilitate self-governance and allows individuals to act in a contrary way that are inhibited in command and control hierarchies. The ability of individuals to be competitive/cooperative, suspicious/trusting, self-interested/altruistic and so on introduces natures' check and balances to efficiently introduce self-regulation. Competition for excellence arises from contestability for control within organisations rather than between organisations through the market place to harness the self-interest of executives to further the public good. Networks of network organisations achieve economies of scale and scope, provided that no higher level network undertakes activities that are better carried out by a lower level self-governing unit.

New ways to govern enterprises with stakeholder networks

By Shann Turnbull
11 August 2003

A new approach to governing public or private-sector organisations is becoming urgent as society becomes more complex and dynamic. The command and control hierarchies governing both sectors are rapidly reaching their use-by date.

During the past few decades, efforts have been made to overcome the inefficiencies and unresponsiveness of public-sector bureaucracies. Corporatisation, privatisation and public-private partnerships are now producing mixed results and some failures. Both the public and private sectors are increasingly frustrating citizens with unresponsive telephone call centres. Serious problems have emerged in the private sector from the unexpected failure of major publicly traded corporations. These and other failures raise the fundamental question of whether private ownership and/or market forces can reliably sustain a business, let alone increase its efficiency and effectiveness.

April 22, 2010

Notes on a Reverse Entropy Utility System

Reverse Entropy Utility System


Brennan Jorgensen: Dr. Burns, I have been on a novice quest to design for a solar-powered desalination system coupled to a chloralkali industrial process. I typed up a 40-page rough draft and have not yet completed a final draft. I need to revise the chloro-alkali process per my conversation with Greg Rau. The brine wastewater leftover from desalination is used as a nutrient-rich medium for Arthrospira cyanobacteria (a means for photosynthetic carbon assimilation). After desert brine wastewater lakes evaporate, the goal is to generate convective cloud formations in the low latitude subtopics. The remaining salt fields further deflect incoming solar radiation from the sun much similar to the albedo effect of polar ice caps.

Here is an abstract:

The Reverse Entropy Utility System or REUS is a technologically reliable and economically feasible model for the capture of C02 because it is simply a novel reconfiguration of proven technologies and economic models that have performed successfully for over a quarter of a century. Namely, these technologies are parabolic solar concentrators, multi-effect desalination chambers and chloro-alkali industrial systems in addition to well known agriculture and silvaculture methodologies. The REUS model can arguably be classified as an integrated coastal desert terraforming operation that greatly expands photosynthetic capital with commercially valuable desert agriculture, forestry and algae aquaculture.

April 17, 2010

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ENERGY