Featured Discussion

How To Build Community

How To Build Community

Time to revisit the gems in this classic post


Peak Prosperity

What Should I Do? - Crash Course Chapter 26

Take prudent steps NOW, while there's still time
Saturday, January 10, 2015, 10:43 AM

If there’s one message to take away from this newly-updated Crash Course video series, it’s this:  It’s time for you to become more resilient and more engaged. Things are changing quickly and nobody knows how much time we have before the next economic, ecological or energy related crisis erupts.  Nobody knows when, but we do have a pretty good idea of what is coming.

And it is within your control to enter the coming future with a higher degree of security, prosperity and fulfillment than you enjoy now. » Read more


Finca Las Nubes

An Opportunity To Live Resiliently

A sustainable community seeks a few good members
Thursday, December 25, 2014, 3:54 PM

After watching the Crash Course, who among us hasn't felt insecure with where we live?

The idea of a sustainable community has a powerful allure. Imagine a resource-rich property mapped out with a plan for sustainable self-sufficiency, populated with a community of like-minded folks that already "get" the importance of cultivating resilience....  Sounds pretty good, right?

But what exactly is a "sustainable community" anyways? How do you find one? What's it like to live there? How do you know if it's all going to work out in the long run?


This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 21)

If you don't want to wait, you can:



The Rise of New Models of Community

Why they're emerging & what they need to succeed
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 11:14 AM

In my previous series on the erosion of community, I surveyed a number of conventional explanations for this decades-long trend and discussed 10 other potential factors in the decline of social capital. I concluded that economic need would likely be the driver of a resurgence of community—a need that will only become apparent when the Central State and the debt-based, consumerist-corporate system are no longer able to fulfill their implicit promises of welfare, subsidies, endless credit and secure jobs. In this next installment on community, we look at the possibility that new models are arising beneath the mainstream media’s master narratives that Everything’s fine and The Status Quo is both good and eternal. » Read more



Promising Emerging Community Models

Real-world examples of success
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 11:13 AM

Executive Summary

  • The "half farmer, half X" model
  • The "no middleman" model
  • The "15% commission" model
  • The key features of successful new community models

If you have not yet read The Rise of New Models of Community, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we discussed the potential for new models of collaboration and community enabled by the Web and social media. I proposed a simple metric for differentiating between simulacrum community and the real deal: a community is only a “real community” if the collective actions of its members push the envelope of the material world.

In Part 2, we’ll examine some models that have arisen as people either abandon or are cut out of the Central State/Corporate Consumerism Status Quo and must create new social and economic arrangements to earn a livelihood.  This requires structures that enable self-organizing, voluntary communities to endure and grow.

As Zeus noted in Part 1, The new price of entry is production, meaning that parasitic layers of middlemen have no role in these new arrangements. To participate, one must be productive. i.e. create or add value.

As I mentioned earlier, social media doesn’t change a system’s incentives/benefits and costs/disincentives; the Web is a powerful tool for community building, once the incentives for participating far outweigh the costs.

Let’s start our survey with an example from... » Read more

Featured Discussion

Open to An Intentional, Farm-Centered Community?

Open to An Intentional, Farm-Centered Community?

Other members are curious to know


George Cleminte/Shutterstock

Off the Cuff: Preparing To Ride Camels

Life at the bottom of the energy cliff
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7:44 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

  • Preparing To Ride Camels
    • What less net energy looks like for future generations
  • Energetic Insanity
    • We're going to make more bad choices before we make good ones
  • Communicating Hard Truths
    • What works and what doesn't
  • Community As The Master Asset
    • Your best bet if you could only pick one

"My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."

~ Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum

The above quote comes from a former Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates who was also the Emir of Dubai and is credited with making that that small settlement into a regional commerce hub. Sheikh Rashid realized even back in the 1970's, that the region's massive oil supplies would last only a few generations.

In this week's Off the Cuff, Chris and Charles discuss the implications of... » Read more



Michael Shuman: The Benefits of Deploying Investment Capital Locally Vs Wall Street

Better returns, stronger communities
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 5:01 AM

The Federal Reserve and other central planners have worked overtime to lead the world back to "recovery" from the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. Using one of their main signaling indicators, they've succeeded: stock market indices are hovering near all-time highs.

But, as has been often discussed here, are we really better off for it?

Recent survey data from Bloomberg show that 4 out of 5 Americans don't feel any more financially secure as a result of the stock market rescue. 62% believe the country is headed in the wrong direction: » Read more


Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock

The Erosion of Community

We're losing the bonds that once made our society thrive
Monday, February 17, 2014, 11:58 AM

In an age which seems abundantly well-served by individualism, consumerism, the central state and global corporations, why does this erosion of community matter? After all, aren’t we doing rather splendidly despite a declining sense of community? » Read more