Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?
— Robert F. Kennedy
“When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
For us, A Possible New Jersey is many things:
- a rubric* or conceptual framework
- a campaign
- a challenge
- a game
- a community
- a call to action
- a metaphor
- a body of work and thought,
- a local investment program, and
- an ongoing exploration of a regenerative future for the Garden State.
*”A statement of purpose or function” (which is one of the online definitions of “rubric”).
And an opportunity for community self-governance and citizen participation.
A Possible New Jersey is a project of CRCS and its cosponsors. We seek to foster a conversation that leads to the transformation of New Jersey, in reality as well as in the way that the state exists in our minds. What we associate with “New Jersey” is actually the conversation within a society of nearly nine million of the most highly educated, most environmentally-conscious, and most innovative people in the country.
Our goal is to reinvent that conversation in the context of the real challenges our society faces: climate change, species extinction, and the accumulation of toxic wastes. To the extent that we start addressing these problems today, invest in creating a cleaner and better world for everyone, and put people to work on these solutions, our own economy will prosper; to the extent we hold back it will falter.
We’re also interested in fostering this conversation because it ties together all of our nonprofit initiatives, and provides a platform for introducing JerseyBucks™, a local form of the global Commons Credits. The goal of JerseyBucks™ is to foster business activity, put people to work, and rebuild our communities. Like other “complementary currencies” or “community currencies,” JerseyBucks™ play a role in supplementing, complementing, and reforming the financial system that has produced greater wealth but also greater inequality. A robust economy requires a greater distribution of wealth so that people can obtain what they need to live, fully — to realize themselves and make their own unique contribution.
The development and implementation of JerseyBucks™ will also support other CRCS initiatives, from regenerative cohousing, to the Coalition for PACE in NJ, the Global4C proposal, and the contribution economy more broadly.
Essentially, the Possible Jersey project is one of co-creating our future, a future that’s not only sustainable but flourishing, a future in which New Jersey once again plays a leading role in innovation and in contribution to societal health and wellbeing. We have, as a state, a significant number of assets; and we have a remarkable history of innovation in a very wide range of fields, from industry to pharmaceuticals to renewable energy.
Our biggest challenge today is to invent new business models, along with new businesses, organizations, and institutions, that will bring about the future we want for our children and for future generations. While our first priority is to fix what’s wrong — what’s destructive of the environment, of the economy, and of the human spirit — our more important role is to discern and foster what’s possible. Our most important role is make Earth awareness, human collaboration, and moral evolution integral to that future.
Our experience in a wide range of fields — renewable energy, green building, entrepreneurship, sustainability, financial permaculture, policy research and analysis, among others — has led us to the conclusion that, as a society, we are in the midst of a “great transition” to a more peaceful, prosperous, and humane society, that is in tune with nature and with our own larger potentialities as a species. Our goal is to foster this, by bringing mainstream capital and other financial resources to bear on solving some of our state’s biggest problems, dealing with our local ecosystems, increasing education and social mobility, and reducing social injustice and conflict.
We have specific tools for accomplishing some of these objectives: PACE financing for renewable, conservation, and resiliency improvements; a complementary currency for recognizing contributions to the common interest; a series of Direct Public Offerings to foster local investing; the development of eco-communities, and more. But we need to grow our resources, our capabilities, and our impact, and the only way to do that is in collaboration with others. We are therefore launching Possible Jersey as a vehicle for supporting our projects, and those of others that are aimed at bringing about a better future for everyone.
To see how this works, take look at our Program Guidelines and submit your ideas and proposals for a more prosperous and sustainable New Jersey. And contact us if you think you can contribute to the program or its objectives in any way.