Welcome to a new New Jersey

newjerseyWe’re talking about a transformed New Jersey, where all of us begin to recognize that we are the ones creating the state in which we live.

Imagine a state that’s increasingly prosperous, increasingly sustainable, socially more just, and still affordable. What it takes, first of all, is being willing to create and give voice to a new possibility — a possibility that is designed to work for all — and is the canvas for a new New Jersey, a New Jersey that is “environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling.”

We intend to make A Possible NJ a vehicle for the best ideas, visions, and possibilities for transforming our state into the most energy-efficient and resilient economy, one that is attracting significant new private investment, and is creating greater prosperity for a majority of New Jerseyans. Keep reading for some of our surprising ideas.

To begin with, we envision a new kind of community, fostered by new social and economic institutions, and powered by a renewed sense of innovation in the Garden State. Solar panels were invented and perfected in New Jersey. The first great industrial city was founded by Alexander Hamilton near the Great Falls. Edison dominated the 19th century with the phonograph, the light bulb, and an entire invention factory in West Orange.

New Jersey is also home to some important social innovations and new business models, ranging from utopian communities to, most recently, the development of the solar power purchase agreement or PPA, which has resulted in a very significant expansion in the adoption of rooftop solar electricity generation.

 Our organization, the Center for Regenerative Community Solutions (CRCS), is very much situated in this context and in this tradition. Our specific mission is to help local communities adapt to and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Our overall purpose, however, is to build a world that, in the classic sense, “works for everyone, with no one and nothing left out.” Of course this is in some ways an impossibly tall order, but at another level, it opens up all kinds of new possibilities. In fact, it “frames” a series of new pathways to the future, the way a new paradigm in science opens up new questions and leads to new knowledge. It does not make the old reality necessarily “wrong”; it simply makes it obsolete by moving on to new questions.

The central question we ask (and discuss extensively elsewhere) is, what if we could define a world that works for everyone? What if each person could define a world that works for them as an individual, and also for the community and the species as a whole? What would that look like? Does everyone have the capacity to imagine such a world and describe it, and if so what principles should govern the process of bringing it into being?

Our goal is not to provide the answer, but an answer, one among many, and specifically also to share the framework and the opportunities it opens up for New Jerseyans of all walks of life, to create a new, more self-aware, and more responsible future, for ourselves and for our children. That’s what A Possible New Jersey is all about. We invite you to explore, propose, comment, debate, and otherwise engage with us through this web site and a number of others.

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