Long Form Text #2: Draft

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6 Steps to regenerate local and regional economies

Ecosystems are not designed: they evolve. Do not start from scratch. Focus on accelerating the evolution of the ecosystem of already existing movements, social innovations, businesses and policies.

  1. Start with “viable mutants”. Identify suitable initiatives that have achieved tangible initial progress. Many are already known to us through our extended networks.
  2. Provide conditions for expansion. Fund scaled-up deployment of each initiative.
  3. Speed up the rates of adaptation. We push initiatives out in the field early, encouraging prototyping and rapid learning. Knowledge sharing practices borrowed from open source developers enable initiatives to imitate each other’s tactics, further speeding up adaptation.
  4. Promote niche discovery and colonization. Knowledge sharing institutions are a natural venue for initiatives to trade with each other. This promotes specialization into emerging niches in the ecosystem and enriches it.
  5. Enforce natural selection. Initiatives that fail to complete any step of the process are dropped. Initiatives are encouraged and supported to become self-supporting by the end of the process.
  6. Document and disseminate the results widely, seeking to challenge the prevailing narrative of how successful business ventures and ecosystems are born and sustained.

This event brings together individuals with hands on experience of building ecosystems of resilient livelihoods.