In order to understand the structure of the project its purpose must be defined so the book “Toward Self Sufficiency” and further blogs have more meaning to the reader. The main purpose was to provide a way that a community can be used to make the world a better place now and in the future. Our present forms of governance and economic development cannot last because we are not replenishing the natural resources we are consuming at rates higher than any time in history. To save ourselves new ideas have to acknowledge what is happening, so they can allow us to be aware of the consequences of doing little to save the environment and our civilization. The Planned Development Project (PDP) is an example of how a community can be built to be sustainable and yet adaptable to the changing conditions that will be happening in the future. It provides educational and training facilities as well as many other facilities that are needed so that people living in the community do not have to leave it to get food and other necessities (even water and energy) that are found in large urban areas. It becomes a demonstration community leading us into living simpler and hopefully happier.
Another purpose of the community is for people living there to be able to develop a sense of purpose for their own lives. This is though the sharing and collaboration that prevails within its structure of helping others. Many people go through life without a sense of purpose that is fulling to them. This leads to anxiety, depression and other health problems. The community demonstrates how we can simplify our lives by not striving endlessly for money and status of being wealthy. This is living comfortably in what “stuff” you have both physically and mentally. This allows for people to believe in what you can do no matter what physical trappings you have. The community will show people how natural systems work to sustain yourself and the environment. This becomes a way toward a healthier life. This means that you cannot have lots of money, but what you do with it to help other besides yourself. Knowledge itself can be shared and this can be an attribute that everyone has.
The plan for the community is shown in blogs 1 and 2, but it was not discussed in detail. The book provides two options for community uses. The plan is open for changes and ideas from everyone. Some of my best ideas came from people living in the communities where I was working. They knew what they needed better than anyone else that had been living in different living conditions. Understanding cultures becomes primary for any person working with people from different offices, areas or countries. An example of one of the concepts forth community is as follows:
Goals and Objectives—Innovative Study Centers
The following goals and objectives represent the first concepts for the center and will be expanded during the planning stages to meet additional criteria. There will be a location in one or more houses constructed (mainly triplexes) for workshops, or houses will rented to persons in order for them to have a space to develop ideas. Each house will be designed with different features to allow for this to happen for different types of businesses. Leaders in the field of teaching creative thinking will be consulted in the planning stages. This study center will adapt ideas from the Nearly Free University and EarthEd.
- There will also be a spiritual and wellness center in one of the buildings in the PDP. This will help people who are lonely or unhappy and could be part of the anti-depression program. There can be one to four innovative centers in each project, each one emphasizing different areas of expertise.
- There will also be IT linkage from the IT center to individual homes in the development.
- One of the main purposes is to have a facility that allows people to live in the project and still work by themselves in independent businesses or with other community or cooperative businesses.
- Some of the homes in the project could be mutually owned by several persons or businesses (fractured housing ownership), and this would allow business executives and managers to live here for short periods and have the opportunity to participate in creative thinking, innovative workshops.
- The workshops would be given by experts in the field of innovation, and there would be many case studies presented to show how innovations have led to new technology and inventions. Videos would be taken of each workshop and used as examples, if agreed to by the participants. Some workshops may have to be private due to sensitivity of the material or concepts involved.
- Student housing would also be available on-site for students who want to pursue independent study in the field of innovation and creative thinking. Tuition and fees would be charged for the training and workshops. The management of the nonprofit may allow for free or reduced tuition for first ideas or ideas that would be useful in developing a new business. The nonprofit could be a joint venture partner.
- The center would be involved with major corporations that recognize and support PDP goals to show the potential of the workshops to their personnel as well as exposing the development as a place where families and personnel could retire.
- Participants in the workshops could also use the facilities in the project during their stay there. The fees for this would have to be determined. These could be in the units designated for Airbnb use.
- Business or personnel living in the cooperative would have reduced fees for the workshops or training.
- Management of the centers would try to obtain funding sources for the development of new ideas. There would also be contacts with legal experts for consultation to help workshop members. The nonprofit would show members how to obtain grants.
- Special workshops would be presented for the sole purpose of developing technology for persons living in poverty throughout the world. Small sustainable agricultural plots would be tested to determine the most feasible methods of agricultural production for subsistence farmers.
- Special volunteer programs for high school students will be available as well as demonstration programs for students in the elementary schools.
- One of the main objectives is to provide exposure of the project to many people and businesses and to show the scope of the complete facilities, including the many special opportunities for working with the homeless and elderly.
- These centers will provide a service that is not offered anywhere else in this type of setting.
- The workshops could also include classes in art, music, and photography, as these fields are compatible with innovative thinking and are useful for marketing purposes. They would focus mainly on business development and skills. The people living in the community could also set up their own workshop programs.
- Included on this site or another site in the area would be an environmental training center so people could understand the methods of sustainability that will be used in the development of the project and can continue using these concepts later. This also could be part of a workshop program.
- Other ideas are sure to be developed as this subject is explored, but it could be a venture that would help the world understands itself better without the frustrations of some government agencies.
Innovation takes many forms and can be the lifeblood for helping humanity sustains itself in a world that is slowly trying to eliminate itself. Innovation can happen anywhere and by anyone who will let their mind see things that others overlook.