Funding and Is planet Earth a stakeholder in every business?

HI all.
I have been reading through threads on this forum and followed up various links and suggestions offered to me in my last post…

There seems to be a lot of work going on and a lot of people suffer from a lack of funding. Had funding been available a lot more could have been done - is my impression. And my experience too. This is to be expected, as funds that might normally be available come from people or organisations who want to maintain the status quo, because THEY are ok in the status quo. So, obviously, they wouldn’t fund anybody who wants to change it… The funding then has to come from people who want changes - and they want changes because they are not OK in the status quo. This often means that they have less available surplus with which to fund anything… but still it has to be done that way. Crowdfunding in all its shapes and forms. Do you see another way?

However, another thing that I noticed in visiting many websites of many coops… usually the Earth being a stakeholder is not mentioned. Much as it provides us with the very air we breathe, and we may or may not need the redistribution of wealth, but we certainly need air. And if the planet’s living systems are largely killed off, then the supply of breathable air and drinkable water may be in question - in which case all our redistribution of wealth will not be able to sustain us.

As I see it - the Earth isthe FIRST stakeholder in all our activities. Therefore it should be the first beneficiary too. But, it doesn’t really get a mention in any rules on coops’ stakeholders. Usually it is just the workers, customers and investors…

Do you agree that the Earth should have a rightful place in division of any profits?

If yes, then maybe we could together think through what it all actually means in practice, or what it could mean, and what the Earth could do with its own share of profits and how to go about facilitating that.

If not,why not? Do you think that sharing of the profits with customers/workers wlll see us through the destruction of living systems around us? Or maybe you see something that I don’t see from my angle?

Looking forward to your thoughts

Ivana

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Thanks for the thoughts.

Earth is not a business entity but I totally understand the problem that arises. I therefore don’t agree in your solutional question. Earth is all, everything to humankind. If Earth becomes a business entity or co-operator, it can be acquired. This is dangerous.

There must however be an irony in pathway to a total solution as you say.

Earth is no stakeholder but in all co-operation must be mentioned as an inclusive part of co-operative strategy for the sake of all you have mentioned.

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That earth can be acquired is a living practice for many centuries. Land is owned,isn’t it? As are beaches, stretches of rivers, lakes, mountains, you name it. So that is no news.
But I disagree that there are some kind of ‘rights to acquire’ by default - because other stakeholders cannot be ‘acquired’, can they?
But what I meant is that some (important) part of profits of all our activities has to be returned to the Earth, just as it gets returned to investors or customers or workers. This is the way to fund the projects that the Earth, and therefore us really needs: reforestation, regeneration, restoration, cleaning and greening. This would be the way to create those kind of jobs so people who currently work in polluting and destructive/extractive jobs can begin to shift to the cleaning/greening jobs.
Somehow, this will need to be done and on the scale that means that we clean up much more than we pollute in any given period of time.
If we are serious about having a planet to live on, that is…
So, I still think that Earth is a stakeholder. How this is formulated in rules is just a matter of convention…

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I understand that Planet Earth is the ULTIMATE stakeholder. However stakeholders can be acquired. Believe me, it’s dangerous ground. Montaso’s corporation acquired the earth’s water supply very easily.

These are dangers we all face when legislating. I completely understand your concerns and there must be no single ownership of the Planet. We are owned by the Earth absolutely.

Your plan is wonderful and the “reforestation, regeneration, restoration, cleaning and greening” will happen if we demand it en masse.

I am on your side.

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I guess you’ve seen things like 1% for the planet?

So, I guess what you’re saying is why don’t more co-ops so such stuff?

Good question!

Yes but it’s coming out in force! Read the posts by @earthling they are virulent.

see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQGHJa4Im4A for related to our conversation. It’s a start to conventional un-economics.

Aha… so I am not alone… very nice… Thanks for the link. He has more than one related video, so will check them out…
It is obvious to all who want to look that there is a disconnect between ecology and economy - other than the ‘eco’ part… But how to create a connect, and how to maintain it over a time and make sure no return to the disconnect is possible.

I have heard of it before, but am not familiar with details. Will check it out - thanks for the link. But if it means 1% to regenerate things, and 99% to destroy and pollute? I suspect it ain’t enough… What do you think?
I think that one of the reasons we all together, whether coops or not, are not doing more is that nobody tells us to… sounds prosaic, and it is. There is no vision, currently, that invites us, rather just bad news after bad news - which does not inspire. We are so subsumed into the current way of doing things, that it simply doesn’t occur to us to do differently. Plus - threading water also inthe current setup. Plus - lack of funding to actually be able to sit aside and think and work out how things could be done… Plus… who knows… But… be that as it may, it simply must change.
The first thing, it seems to me, is a vision. What could it be like? How do we maintain some of the current industrial activities so we continue to benefit form them (for example: internet) at the same time as replenish and restore planetary resources - air, water, soil, creatures…

@earthling my sentiment exactly. 1% schemes are never enough because the earth is being destroyed daily and the atmosphere will never recover from carbon emissions because it’s encased in a vacuum we call outer space.

From my android phone.

OK, so we agree, but where do we go from here?
How do we create a vision that will invite all, be clear to all, be self evident, be able to stand no matter what rubbish anybody throws at it?
How do we invite, and where to invite them to, all the people willing to take part in creating vision? That would be those who actually want change as opposed to those who are doing very nicely now and therefore would like it to reain the same.
My perosnal vision, what I would like to see on this planet in this lifetime, is: oceans brimming with fish. Once I read a book called History of Salt where they describe the time when Europeans were sailing to the ‘new world’ and were finding the oceans so full of fish, they were able to fish with buckets. Just drop the bucket into the water, and pull it up full of fish. That image stayed with me - as you can tell. And that is what I want for all of us - once again.
If we achieve that one thing, it will mean we achieved a lot - because everything we do, one way or the other, ends up in the oceans. If we heal oceans it will necessarily mean we healed everything else too. Including ourselves.
I thinkmany people are faced with the same ‘where do we start’ question. The cryptocurrency people decide that the best thing is to invent your own money, and just generate it as and when you need it. I don’t know enough about it to be able to judge if this is a valid way forward for humanity. But even that will only make any difference if more than half of our human activity on this planet is dedicated to restoring and regenerating it, and due to the power of current destroyers who are able to destroy vast areas of living systems very fast, we probably need far less than half of human activity to be dedicated to destroying it.
So… how about those oceans full of fish again?
Or - what is your vision?

I think this is a lovely vision, Ivana @earthling – feel a bit like “the promised land”. The question people come up with is always, how do we achieve this in practice? There may be a temptation to try to offer an actual answer, where my belief is that the challenges are much too complex for any answer we come up with to be viable.

What we can do, maybe, is to work in the light of that kind of vision to try to discern what each person’s unique contribution may be, or where the unique contribution of a group of people may be. To do what we can, and in collaboration with others try to make what we do relevant to a whole range of possible futures that might go in a good direction. We need some kind of very connected collective intelligence to do that. And I would say there is great value in keeping in touch with others inspired by similar visions, so that we can avoid both doing things that work against each other, and doing things that have already been done or are competing with other similar activities. We need to strive to be unique and to serve the whole.

The question which really interests me at present, and where maybe I can participate in some unique contribution, is something like, what tools, techniques and practices do we need to support the quality of collaboration that I have just mentioned? Hopefully this may appeal to people with approaches that are “meta”, and we can collaborate?

You might find this link interesting. I don’t have enough vocabulary to understand fully what is discussed :sweat_smile: but there’s a lot of philosophical discussions here.

HI Simon. What can I say? Yes. To many things you said. Thank you for ‘talking’ to me - I’ll need some time to reflect on what you said and then may be able to add something, or substract for that matter.

I’ll take a look, thanks for the pointer.

It’s a very good question Ivana. And some good replies.

I couldn’t answer whether the “earth as a stakeholder” is a useful and powerful enough concept to change things, but we certainly need something.

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Don’t we just… The kinds of projects this planet really needs are to do with regenerating its living systems. Those projects are slow, long lasting, and will almost certainly give no monetary returns during a long time, and some maybe never. Yet - somehow we need to do them.
If planet were a stakeholder, then it would be entitled to a share of profits, to which we could give a nice name like Earth Fund or whatever… and then with that we could be reforesting or doing other things that we need to do Without funding, though, it simply ain’t gonna happen.
If declaring the planet a stakeholder is not the best way, then what is a better way? And it doesn’t have to be just the one correct way wanyway - we can have many vehicles serving more or less the same purpose.
According to the IPCC report from 2018 - weurgently need to reforest a surface of the approx size of Canada, and then change ‘the land use purpose’ or another chunk of the size of Australia, plus many many other things…
There has to be a way… In many places that I visit online, I witness a lot of brilliant human energy, concern, will, … how to liberate them all and allow them to do their best?
Thanks for your kind thoughts… keep at it… Something’s got to be possible. Some people say - everything is.

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The reason I jot down these thoughts here is because I feel that tech can be in service of planet quite easily - by producing tools that would be useful in all sorts of different situations, from organising to project planning and fundraising and sharing knowledge and tools, to reporting of project updates, asking for help, networking, probem solving… all run as coops or similar so that there is no major extraction of capital from any of the current or future planet regeneration initiatives.

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I’m an engineer that works on hardware for the primary industry sectors, and most of my kin are fishers and farmers.

While i can see the beauty in the natural world, i tend towards the functionalist point-of-view.

I often describe the Planet Earth as the Biological Infrastructure that is necessary for our species to survive.

The way that i see things, is that the price-point of digital-fabrication/digital-manufacturing has dropped through the floor over the last 20 years.

This means that it is possible for small-scale organisations to get the same economies-of-scale, and, the same Force-Multiplier Effects, that previously only larger organisations could achieve.

Using the mapping systems from here,

we can see where the gaps are, between what we need, and what is currently available.

This is where the sweet spot for Utility Co-operatives can be found,

One of the problems that i keep coming across is that there are really effective engineering solutions that work well, and last for ages, that are not being used, as they are not profitable to Manufacture-To-Sell, but they are profitable if you Manufacture-To-Use.

So starting and running a Digital-Manufacturing Co-operative to make the tools that are necessary for the local Utility Co-operatives is a good first step.

As they are being made locally, and used locally, then the side-effects of the manufacturing will be present in the place where they are being used, so the obvious action is to do things as cleanly as possible.

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Hi Billy. Thanks for your response. Resilience maps do look very interesting. One could play with various scenarios on them… For example toilets are connected to water - but what if there is no water available - because of the severe drought, or perhaps there is too much water because of the flood, which would then spread the sewage over a large area (and which happens as well)… Perhaps toilets are one thing that we need to rethink to achieve a bit better resilience. And I see that both heating and cooling are connected to the powerstation… That too seems a bit risky to me… in the era of frequent extreme weather conditons… Cities don’t have reserves of food to last them more than days, … at least in Europe they don’t tend to. Reserves of food are kept somewhere else, where storage is cheaper than in the cities. One could play around with a lot of things to see how it might be possible to increase resilience on the personal or communal level. But imagine if we put the planet’s biosphere on the centre stage - there is no cooling available to it, nor heating, there are no toilets to flush the waste to somewhere else, there is no military to take care of ‘injury’…What is biosphere supposed to do when facing a danger or when its own survival is at stake? We are part of that biosphere, of course…Lots of things to ponder upon.

As to manufacturing locally… It did cross my mind before There is a lot to think about in that area too. As an engineer, what do you think would be doable?

I had one small idea for this kind of thing… And that is to wash bottles and jars and reuse them for locally produced and packaged food and drink. Now, what happens is that they are usually imported form some distance away, used once, and then broken in the recycling containers, then taken again who knows where, glass is smelted again, and what can be reused is reused to manufacture new bottles and the cycle starts again. But that seems crazy expensive in terms of energy used. What could be done instead is: install bottle washing plants, that would use non-toxic soaps to wash bottles, that would reuse the grey water, perhaps use solar panels for heating water, compost the labels, create some local jobs, reduce transport of bottles over large distances, etc. Local manufacturers of drinks or food items could then buy their bottles there, instead of importing them from who knows where. It is a simple thing. Machines exist. Some solution could be found for storing the bottles, et voila!
There could be knowledge and experience sharing, some digital tools for connecting people who have bottles with people who need them, people who run machines and people who repair them, parts could be manufactured locally…All doable…
What do you say? Prosaic on the one hand, but perhaps there is some poetry in there too…

:smiley: We were discussing this very topic yesterday. :smiley:

We started talking about glass making, and ended up looking at the designs for bottle-washing machines used in the dairy industry. :smiley:

Have a look at this for a base set-up for digital fabrication,

that can then be used to build the next layer of tooling.

Build an effective process flow first.

A good manual system will beat a poorly-built digital system most days, and once you have an effective work-flow, it becomes easier to extend it by adding in a new tool-set. :smiley:

The resilience maps were originally designed to provide a quick solution to the Goat Rodeo problem, by getting all actors in a situation to work from the same base map of assumptions.

https://www.northatlanticbooks.com/blog/of-warlords-and-rodeos-why-nothing-works/ :slight_smile:

This will help make sure that everyone’s energy is focussed on the specific problems, and reduces in-fighting by making it obvious when an actor is behaving poorly.