A Possible New Jersey: The Vision

Under the heading of “A Possible New Jersey” we’ve been discussing a number of things:

  • A framework for raising questions, examining possibilities, revisioning our future / a possible future for a flourishing Garden State
  • An event bringing together thought leaders to recreate NJ’s “Story of Place” (see attachment)
  • A fund-raising campaign
  • A vehicle for inviting essays, proposals, and submissions for (a) revisioning the future, and (b) using the complementary currency to make these visions possible
  • A design, development, and consulting practice
  • A collaborative/competitive game using the currency
  • An extensive network of web sites, organizations, and individuals devoted to societal change
  • Building on and going beyond Sustainable Jersey, facilitating the development of regenerative and thriving eco-communities

Those of us who work in the field of sustainability and regenerative design see our society as undergoing a profound transformation, and needing to accelerate that transformation at every level — the local level, the regional level, the state level, the national level, and the global level. Our mission is, essentially, to bring new models, practices, and resources to communities to help them deal with the impacts of climate change — both to adapt to, and to mitigate the causes of, global warming, habitat destruction, and toxic accumulation that we face as a society today.

We have worked, for the past four years, on the establishment of a foundation for a multi-billion-dollar PACE industry in NJ, and this goal now appears to be in sight. If the law passes and is signed by the Governor this summer or fall, we will be reaching out to every municipality in the state to share with them the opportunity that PACE represents. This opportunity is not just to provide the business community with a financing vehicle for making energy and resiliency improvements; it’s also an opportunity to create local businesses and local jobs, to train a new generation of technicians and installers in the clean energy industry, and to leverage these investments into additional sustainable community development solutions, using a broad range of similar and related tools and approaches that we have access to.

Ultimately, it’s about creating more self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-generating communities of all kinds — urban, suburban, and rural; communities of place and of interest and cultural diversity; biophilic communities; conscious and ecologically-conscious communities — great places to live, work, invest, and play. It’s about making all corporations community corporations. It’s about encouraging innovation, post-materialism, and post-partisan solutions, through community engagement, civic action, and community reinvestment. It’s about getting foundations to invest in local solutions, not simply in private wealth funds in order to make small, marginal grants to worthy causes. It’s about growing food, and jobs, and capital, and meaning. 

To provide vehicles for investment in the new economy, for local investment, and for social-impact investing, we are launching a series of DPOs, local and statewide investment funds accessible to everyone and offering benefits to everyone. These funds can kickstart community creation and revitalization, provide funds for smaller clean-energy and resiliency investments, and support local self-sufficiency. Municipalities that agree to support the funds will also be the focus of the investments, returning benefits to local residents, businesses, and institutions.

We invite collaboration and partnership from local and global corporations, from local governments and community development organizations, and from individuals who want to make a difference. We plan to demonstrate “Life, Working” — in teams, communities, and families. Using the volleyball analogy, we can organize ourselves in teams that seek to engage in friendly competition with the status quo — passing the ball to each other, taking our best shots, and scoring points against those elements of society that are decisive, regressive, and in decline. 

CRCS is a catalyst in this effort. We connect people, initiatives, and organizations. We put deals together. We create vehicles and platforms and playing fields for developing the local economy and the local ecology. And finally, we celebrate life on Earth and in the universe as a source of unending invention, evolution, and differentiation. We may ultimately try to populate the universe, but will only succeed if we learn to be at home on the Earth, right in our own backyard.

(For the Story of Place™ attachment, you’ll find it here: http://www.regenesisgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Story_of_Place.pdf.)

Last updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2016