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Big Changes in Small Places – Opportunities for Startup Societies



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How grassroots ventures can create self-funding communities in a changing global environment

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Big Changes in Small Places – Opportunities for Startup Societies

  1. 1. Big Changes In Small Places Opportunities to seed free and sustainable communities Mark Frazier Next Edge Conversation White Lotus Eco Spa Retreat
  2. 2. First …What is your dream community?
  3. 3. Let’s explore how we can create places that are – • Free • Inspiring • Convivial • Healthy • Secure • Sustainable
  4. 4. Overview of what we’ll cover 1. Experiences of free zones and startup communities 2. The coming disruptions 3. How new communities can flourish in a post-work economy 4. Securing reforms and land endowments 5. Next steps
  5. 5. My free zone/startup community journey 1. Discovered new country projects via Reason (1969-1970) 2. Set up a global competition to create a freeport for commercial space launches (1976-79) 3. Advised first free zones for information industries (1984- 2000) 4. Designed free zone reforms and concession agreements (1990-2004) 5. Spread microscholarships to lever land grants for market-based learning (2001 – 2007)
  6. 6. The early recipe for free zone and startup city projects 1. Introduce public and private sector leaders to opportunities for rapid growth 2. Get agreement to pilot deep reforms in limited areas 3. Attract labor intensive industries by highlighting the wage gaps This formula was fine for scarcity-driven eras
  7. 7. Why change a recipe that has worked? We’re at the cusp of exponential innovation Marginal costs are trending towards zero Demand for massive workforces is dropping As careers fade, people are seeking quality of life
  8. 8. Forecast: Two thirds of today’s jobs may disappear
  9. 9. Old kinds of work are being upended 3D Printed Houses (built in 24 hours)
  10. 10. As old jobs fade, people are turning to freelance markets 40+ million reputation- hungry freelancers have joined in global markets
  11. 11. Self-reliant living is becoming more affordable New tools for the DIY/Do It Ourselves Economy • Affordable solar • Automated microfarming • Desktop factories
  12. 12. Peter Diamandis and Steve Kotler – we’re heading into a market-created “Technological Socialism” Across industries, goods and services are moving to become: • Demonetized • Dematerizalized • Democratized “…technology – not the government or the state – will begin to take care of us. Technology will provide our healthcare for free. The best education in the world – for free.”
  13. 13. This torrent of change will disrupt old-style institutions and industries
  14. 14. What kinds of startup communities will thrive in the coming era? John Robb on the recipe for decentralized “bot-enabled Edens” 1. Relocalize production 2. Virtualize everything else Resilient communities offering radical abundance
  15. 15. What next generation startup communities will offer • Free and near-free amenities for residents • Opportunities to do what members intrinsically value • A focus on wellness and harmony with nature • Conviviality attuned to the whole person • An “experience economy” of opportunities for learning and work-as-play
  16. 16. Why EcoVillages and other intentional communities? • As jobs go away, and physical needs are met, people will have more time for intrinsically fulfilling pastimes • Land values will rise in areas that offer the best quality alternatives to a failing status quo • Offering congenial environments in these areas will attract next generation investors and entrepreneurs
  17. 17. EcoVillages in the US are growing What are EcoVillages? • Intentional Communities formed for sustainable living • Typically, 30 – 300 full time residents • Emphasize alternative energy, conservation, community gardens, sharing of tools/equipment
  18. 18. Tiny house communities are also spreading What are tiny houses? • Capable of four season living • Typically, 200 to 400 square feet • Can be built permanently on site, or kept on wheels
  19. 19. Closeup – examples in the East Coast Village of Wildflowers (NC) Coral Sands Point Recreational Village (NC)
  20. 20. How to fund the new communities? AirBnb rentals
  21. 21. How to fund the new communities? Learning experiences
  22. 22. Another funding option – personally-issued currencies? Recipient can receive either a time-based service, or another form of value Cincinnati Time Store, 1844
  23. 23. New options for personal currencies? Via cell phones, members of startup communities can issue and transfer blockchain- recorded gift certificates with “flex conversion” features. The notes could be redeemed for service hours, cryptocurrencies, or rights to visit or reside in high quality of life areas.
  24. 24. When the next financial crash comes, there will be an opportunity for a “land grab” by ecovillages and startup communities A new generation of Community Land Trusts and Endowment Zones – based on blockchain or holochain agreements – will be able to secure prime sites, awaken their value, and share benefits with all who participate.
  25. 25. Endowment Zones: policy reforms boost land values, with all community residents sharing in lease revenues Endowment Zones are Community Land Trusts benefiting from comprehensive reforms to attract inflows of entrepreneurs, investors, and residents With world class reforms, 10x – 50x rises in property values are possible Lease revenues can be shared as “Growth Dividends” directly to residents on Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau precedents
  26. 26. What kind of asset-awakening reforms? • All governance systems on the blockchain • Removal of barriers to person-to-person exchange (Airbnb, Uber/Lyft, etc) • Tax relief for entrepreneurs and self-providing neighborhood associations (next generation HOAs) • Removal of zoning and building code barriers for new communities • Green light for innovations in transport, construction, health care, on-demand learning • Freedom for next generation R&D ventures
  27. 27. The challenge – How do we obtain land endowments and asset awakening reforms? We can “lead with a gift” – offering digital catalysts to improve life in areas where people are struggling…
  28. 28. Over 3000 years ago, Phoenician traders used gifts to establish the world’s first network of free economic zones
  29. 29. Lead With a Gift Toolkits Today, we can offer digital “gifts on a beach” – toolkits & resources to spread startup communities Civic Action Kit Personal Action Kit Public Sector Action Kit For residents – microvouchers to explore and access new learning, job, and stakeholding opportunities For civic groups – steps to awaken the value of idle lands (and share in these gains) For governmental bodies – examples of how to prosper by simplifying the investment climate
  30. 30. Actions that expand resource flows for local residents “Lead With a Gift” Support for Startup Communities Individuals Success-Sharing Startup Areas Entrepreneurial Schools Neighborhood Self-help Agreement on Reform Pilots 1. EcoVillage 2. Endowment Zone 3. Full-scale World City 5x 2x Learning Circles 10x 30x 100x Digital resources can help individuals break out of poverty via new access to online markets and success-sharing free zones. The Lead With a Gift Initiative will begin by offering microvouchers for students and jobseekers to improve skills. Those who do well will be offered starter project opportunities in online freelance markets, vouchers for free telemedicine resources, and help in crowdfunding drives for projects to improve their community. Local moves to map and remove barriers to investment will unlock further Lead With a Gift resources. As barriers fall, all who live in a Lead With a Gift partnering community are automatically vested with shares in land trust revenues from a prime site developed as a special economic zone. individual in an economically challenged area affirms an interest in exploring opportunities Learning circles are created with friends to map ideas for business startups or self-help ventures Entrepreneurial schools and telecenters help learners gain skills via local and online courses, and do reputation-building projects in freelance markets such as or Public officials acknowledge and support neighborhood self-help actions, and agree to lift barriers to investment at a pilot EcoVillage site Investors develop new site in phases (residents, schools, and a local voucher system hold shares in land trust revenue) Residents form or join neighborhood self-help groups, and record arbitration pledges, agreements on land boundaries, and/or steps to improve safety and appearance of the area Resource multipliers Microvouchers and other resources will grow in step with uploads of Youtube clips on local progress
  31. 31. A “Lead with a Gift” package also can include virtual help for aligned localities, keyed to their progress in preparing conditions for startup communities Crowdfunding support for self- help projects
  32. 32. A global “Lead with a Gift” consortium can hold competitions to give special help to the best projects
  33. 33. In sum, a new era for startup communities is at hand • New entrepreneurial communities will vie to offer high quality of life experiences and havens for exponential technologies • These areas can provide free and near-free services as “club goods” for all members • These areas will likely federate in new ways, enabling members to sojourn to affiliated startup communities around the world • Such areas will flourish as people exit from political and fiscal strains fracturing today’s societies
  34. 34. Let’s go there!