Community

Podcast

Sebastian Junger: Our Evolutionary Need For Community

Tribal solidarity is in our genetic programming
Sunday, June 26, 2016, 11:35 AM

Peabody award-winning author Sebastian Junger joins our podcast this week. Junger is well-known for his NYT-bestselling books The Perfect Storm and War, the latter of which was written after a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. 

Based on his observations while in Afghanistan, Junger noted how much troops in combat valued the social solidarity of their units. In fact, he noted that the loss of this cohesive community, with its sense of purpose and shared responsibility, created prodigious psychological strife when these soldiers returned and tried to re-integrate into civilian life. This dynamic is not just limited to the military; any collection of humans working in tight-knit groups under stress, united in purpose, evidences similar behavior (Peace Corps volunteers, trauma care physicians, etc).

In his latest book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Junger explores our evolutionary wiring for community, and paradoxically, how our modern aspirations for "success" and "wealth" attempt to distance ourselves from it -- making us unhappier and emotionally unhealthier in the pursuit. » Read more

Podcast

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Francis Koster: Rescuing Your Local Economy

Success stories for sustainable communities
Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 11:12 AM

"Locally there are lots of nice, tidy, quarter-of-a-million-dollar investments sitting there that the large companies will not do because their overhead is too high. So one of my themes is look in your own backyard -- focus on fiscally-conservative, sound investments and focus on local employment. You will be surprised at the opportunity that just leaps out at you."

So says Francis Koster, author of the new books Rescuing Your Local Economy and Rescuing School Kids who specializes in identifying community investment opportunities that offer attractive returns for the capital provider as well as long-term benefits for the local residents.

In this podcast, Francis highlights a number of the case studies he's collected at his website, The Optimistic Futurist, where motivated individuals have improved their local schools, roads, food, water supply, etc. while earning double-digit returns. These models can be adopted in nearly any community, which is the purpose behind Francis' work. » Read more

Featured Discussion

How To Build Community

How To Build Community

Time to revisit the gems in this classic post

Blog

Peak Prosperity

What Should I Do? - Crash Course Chapter 26

Take prudent steps NOW, while there's still time
Saturday, January 10, 2015, 11:43 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

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Finca Las Nubes

An Opportunity To Live Resiliently

A sustainable community seeks a few good members
Thursday, December 25, 2014, 4:54 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?

 
video

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:

Blog

isak55/Shutterstock

The Rise of New Models of Community

Why they're emerging & what they need to succeed
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 12:14 PM

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

Insider

Creativa/Shutterstock

Promising Emerging Community Models

Real-world examples of success
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 12:13 PM

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 PP.com members are curious to know

Insider

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Off the Cuff: Preparing To Ride Camels

Life at the bottom of the energy cliff
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 8:44 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