The following is a work in progress draft and notes for the presentation at ZDay in Brisbane in March 2017.
Slide: The RBE10K Project
What is The RBE10K Project?
Slide: The RBE10K Project - Meta Project
It isn't just a project, it is a meta-project. So what does this mean?
A meta-project is a project for creating projects. A sort of project template, where the projects that spin off from this meta-project share some elements in common, such as the general objectives, and key values and principles.
Slide: The RBE10K Project is about creating, proposing, discussing, documenting and planning minimalist RBE implementation strategies that aim at global adoption.
(read the slide)
Slide: Minimalist Resource-based Economy: mRBE
What is a minimalist RBE? Or an m-RBE for short?
Slide: * RBE = global, hi-tech, futuristic -- * mRBE = local, available-tech, contemporary, within the constraints of local laws and regulations
Whilst an RBE is generally thought as a hi-tech global economy some time in the future, an mRBE's focus is on a community (a city or town), that chiefly adopts the principles and values of an RBE.
Slide: mRBE is not: an ecovillage, permaculture, a kibbutz, a transition town, a hippie commune, a share-house, communism
An mRBE town is not-for-profit. That rules out a kibbutz. It is essentially voluntary. That rules out communism. It is cybernetic, which pretty much rules out a hippy commune. It is fully owned by the community, and there's no ownership of resources, which rules out an ecovillage. It has a minimal engagement with the monetary system, as little as necessary for sustainability and conformance with laws and regulations. That rules out a transition town.
 Meta-project Objectives
Slide: (back) The RBE10K Project is about creating, proposing, discussing, documenting and planning minimalist RBE implementation strategies that aim at global adoption.
 Off-grid (1')
Off-grid (slide: word in capitals). Something many of us dream about. Earthships and strawbale buildings (pic slide), solar and wind power (pic slide), growing our own food (pic slide). Many of us even associate Natural Law/RBE with off-grid, even though The Zeitgeist Movement advocates raising awareness within our communities, and that going off-grid is pointless in the end because when the system collapses, our homesteads will be the first targets of hungry mobs.
However, the situation is not that simple. It can be argued that the system has been collapsing for the last thirty years, and even if the collapse is actually accelerating, people are also adapting and adjusting at an accelerating rate along with technology advances. Climate change is likely to be greater and more imminent impact globally, which, just like war, is likely to assist Capitalism rather than challenge it.
 Circular city (2')
(* brief pause *)
(slide: circular city). Who here hasn't been inspired by this image? Who among us wouldn't join one if we get a chance? (slide: TVP city close-up image) Would you compromise on your current lifestyle? Give up on some degree of convenience or comfort? What would you sacrifice? How much would we be willing to work for the opportunity to inhabit in a city like this? (slide: TVP science-fictiony image) These designs have certainly sparked our imagination and given us hope for a decade now. But, how viable are they? How feasible to be built in and along with the current mainstream socio-economic system?
(slide: circular city again) Let's say this is a generic concept design for an average city once the world had largely adopted a post-scarcity socio-economic system. Building one today would require trillions of dollars, and while it would provide comfort and possibly a high degree of self-sufficiency, some needed resources would become scarce, requiring some degree of trade with the outside world. But in any case, how would building one city like this, an impossibly expensive one-of-a-kind, help the rest of the world transitioning to Natural Law/RBE? And if we don't do something like this, what can we do other than continue to raise awareness in the hope that at some point this idea will go viral?
I think there's a lot we can do, and that we must begin trialing this new socio-economic system. Not as a way to escape the current system, but rather to strengthen and solidify our proposal, to put it to test, evaluate pros and cons, moving from a realm of philosophy and speculation and into a realm of empirical data, with convincing and irrefutable arguments. We're a tiny minority of dreamers, with very limited financial resources and time availability. Capturing people's attention and winning their hearts will require much more than designs and philosophic arguments. Most people want to see before they try, want positive reviews from people they trust before committing to anything. If we're to seduce them, we have to show them.
 The RBE10K Project (5')
(slide: RBE10K logo) RBE ten thousand is a project that aims at creating the blueprints for self-sufficient, sustainable, affordable, viable and realistic types of settlement that adopting the core tenets of Natural Law/RBE.
- (slide: M-RBE bullet point) The task of designing a socioeconomic system from scratch is mindbogglingly complex. It is intended to supersede all currently surviving socioeconomic systems, which emerged through hundreds or event thousands of years of gradual change and cultural evolution. Just like the waterfall software design approach, Minimalist-RBE aims at beginning small, simple, practical and experimental, initially requiring being implemented by volunteers and activists willing to live in an experimental setting and with minimal resources, and allowing the system to evolve through practice. The initial design would be limited to key goals and values for the community, most of which we're familiar with, such as access rather than ownership, cooperation instead of competition, automated production and intelligent management. And of course, no money and no trade.
- (slide: self-sufficiency bullet point) Self-sufficiency can only be achieved to a degree in today's globalised world. This project seeks an acceptable, minimalist, degree of self-sufficiency, such as producing its own energy, water and food, a population large enough to cater for a variety of knowledge and skills, and the ability to repair, reuse and recycle most of its goods and resources for at least a few years.
- (slide: sustainability bullet point) Sustainability is the capacity to endure, that is, achieving dynamic equilibrium with the environment in all four realms: personal, interpersonal, social and environmental.
- (slide: affordability bullet point) Implementing this project will require resources that by and large can only be obtained with money. We propose that it be self financed by those involved, and with a budget set to a level that allows the project to be replicated by other people, and aiming at gradually reducing costs in subsequent implementations, and thus increasing affordability.
- (slide: viability bullet point) Any settlement requires complying with local and regional laws and regulations for housing, social organisation, legal and health protections, etc. Our settlements would not only be required to comply with all this, but also do so with the minimal resources intended, and without participating in the formal economy. This is probably the most difficult obstacle for this project, so it must be strategic in terms of format and location.
- (slide: realistic bullet point) To succeed, Minimalist RBE settlement must provide a lifestyle that is, in practice and despite material limitations, desirable enough for its population to remain and for others to seek replicating it.
 The RBE10K Project's format and strategy 10'
(slide: RBE10K logo - Format: 10,000 x 10,000) The RBE ten thousand Project intends to create a variety of models, or recipes, for implementation of Minimalistic RBE settlements. The project's name derives from the initial proposed combination of population and funding goals: ten thousand people, each contributing ten thousand US dollars. The RBE ten thousand Project is not tied to this specific combination, however, each combination choice defines the scale and the budget required for its implementation. Work on alternative combinations can provide valuable insights in terms of pros and cons for each strategy.
The default population goal aims at a balance between manageability and a capability for self-sufficiency, as well as capable of providing a sense of belonging and relatedness without feeling insular, and provide rich in variety of activities and entertainment without the alienation and the social unaccountability that results from anonymity. And the default funding goal is an amount that can deliver a workable lifestyle, and affordable for a significant number of RBE supporters would would love to pilot the project.
The project doesn't just aim at creating one Minimalistic RBE settlement: it defines a clear path for global adoption. It proposes that RBE ten thousand settlements, rather than being adopted in existing populations, be built always from scratch and in isolation. They must be designed from the ground up for consistency with the core values and principles of Natural Law/RBE, and as a way to opt-out from the monetary system in a way that is legal and achievable. Since no society would happily enable people to opt-out from the formal economy, it is required that these settlements are very rapidly adopted everywhere, faster than governments could deal with or try to fight off.
(slide: RBE10K logo - Strategy: exponential adoption) This implementation strategy, capable of reaching global adoption in just forty years, is inspired in simple biological processes. (slide: video of a cell growing) Just like living cells, each settlement would focus at first on securing reasonable degree of workability, sustainability and self-sufficiency, ideally a period no longer than twelve months. (slide: video of a cell splitting) Once established, every settlement's goal shifts focus to sponsoring a sister settlement elsewhere in the world, organising it, providing assistance, know-how, resources and materials for its initial set-up. Just like living cells grow and split into two (a process called mitosis), no settlement other than the very first one would start from scratch.
(slides: relevant images) The first ones to adopt MRBE would be mainly enthusiasts from all over the world, and later followed by those attracted by videos of the first or second settlements shared in social media. As the number of settlements grow, implementation costs would go down and become accessible to impoverished or warn-torn populations, increasingly absorbing the slave-wage workforce from industry, mining, agriculture and services, and that way start to destabilise the system and weaken the system. RBEM settlements would grow more more attractive to those at the bottom of the hierarchy of social privileges, until the top one percent, no longer supported by cheap labour and unable to sustain their lifestyle, would finally relinquish their useless property.
(slide: video of the world with random green dots growing exponentially as a year counter ticks) If, on average, each settlement goes through mitosis every two years, the population of MRBE settlements would then double every two years, reaching eighty thousand in six years, one million in fourteen, ten million in twenty, one hundred million in eight years later, one billion before 2050, and finally the whole population six years later. As these settlements spread and absorb population opting-out from the monetary system, total land use for human activities would rapidly decline, and by 2060 we could allow ecosystems and wildlife to reclaim ninety-nine percent of land used today, securing the biodiversity we depend on for our long-term survival. The whole of humanity would live within its means, sustainably, without polluting or degrading the environment any longer.
 Peritia School
(slide: Peritia School logo - Peritia: A proof of concept)
(Slide: Ziggy -> Sydney -> Aspie) Hi, I'm Ziggy, I coordinate The Zeitgeist Movement's Sydney Chapter, and I'm an Aspie.
Aspie is short for Asperger Syndrome, a form of high functioning Autism. When I was a child, I was odd, and I didn't get people. Everybody seemed so weird to me, with their religious beliefs, their competitiveness, the desire to take advantage or get ahead, the pursuit of profit. There was one person I could relate quite well, though. (Slide: Spock) Spock made sense: it was logical, consequential, direct, straight, had his priorities right, his ego in check, and his emotions rarely interfered. We all love Star Trek here, right? (Slide: Picard meme about money - short pause) I liked Captain Kirk too. Although he was unpredictable and erratic, he seemed to get people, something I really desired to be able to do myself. (Slide: Kirk and Spock) I was able to appreciate how well these two worked together, how much they needed each other. And I realised that there was so much grief in this world because there are so many Kirks and barely any Spock to balance out.
As a child I learned about Kibbutzim (slide: kibbuzim population). A Kibbutz is an Israeli invention, little known around the world. It's a merger of a company owned by its employees (slide: kibbutz factory), located in a private neighbourhood (slide: kibbutz neighbourhood) where all the employees live. There's no money there (slide: kibbutz no money), and the employees have a yearly salary intended for use in holidays. (slide: kibbutz store) The company buys everything its employees need: there's a supermarket without cashier, (slide: kibbutz laundry) chores like laundry and cooking are done communally through a roster system (slide: kibbutz cafeteria). A relative of mine spent a few months in one and came back full of stories. My dream as a child was creating a Kibbutz in my home country, Argentina. But then I became a father and got trapped in the daily grind, and the dreams of setting up a Kibbutz were left behind.
One day, however, in 2009, I bumped into this (slide: TVP circular city), the circular city of The Venus Project, what to me looked like a Star Trek-ish Kibbutz! It was love at first sight, thank you Peter for your sublime introductions to the marvellous world of a Resource-Based Economy in Zeitgeist Addendum and Moving Forward! I started doing street activism straight away, leafleting, giving DVDs away in the streets and Universities, projecting documentaries and clips in the street to grab people's attention, and finally, participating in the Occupy Movement, promoting RBE. By then, The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project had sadly broken up. After Occupy Sydney failed and Z-Day in Sydney that year had a very low turnout, the chapter became inactive and I decided to take a break and heal. I was disillusioned, but still committed, looking for avenues to get anything done, and soon after developed an idea for an implementation strategy.