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Zeitgeist Movement chapters need to balance activity in at least 3 main areas, which include Activism, Learning and Relations. These activities can take the form of various types of projects and meetings, and ways in which to allocate time and resources.

Activism – Zeitgeist Movement chapters generally have two forms of activism, helping with the mindset change and physical activism/labour. The mindset activism is usually in the form of handing out DVDs, running film screenings, and town hall meetings. It is also one of the more important processes for gathering new members and affecting the culture and community around the chapter(s). The main mindset change happens when people understand the different values, definition of success and change in the defaults that we want to achieve. Many of the newer ZM members get annoyed at the lack of physical activism. As a movement we are only just starting to reach the point at which creating tangible change is an option. Some great examples would be converting existing people’s lawn area into gardens, creating eco-village style setups which run on renewable energy and are progressively automated to the point they are creating an abundance of produce. An important requirement for the price of zero transition.

Learning – Furthering our understanding of the ZM but also the world around us. From the latest in science, to the history of economics, to current news. It also covers research and analysis, particularly with regard to how to do things more efficiently and effectively or in other ways.  Learning is divided into two main sections: personal learning and chapter learning. Personal learning is particularly focused on reaching an understanding of how the world works, the issues with the current system, and the solutions (the RBE). This is usually done through watching movies, being a part of a mailing list, reading articles, creating newsletters, and attending or giving presentations.

Relations – This is about internal chapter relationships and relations with other organisations. A very important motivator for continuous membership is the social aspect of being surrounded by other people who care about and understand them. This sense of community is fostered by holding social meetups, like BBQs, or casually meeting up at a bar. The relations between chapters and with other organisations are also very important. The potential for the Zeitgeist Movement to foster a transition to a Resource Based Economy is facilitated by creating strong ties with other RBE advocating groups and organisations such as Beyond Zero Emissions (in Australia).

A basic outline of the sub-points is below

Activism -> Mindset -> Physical
Learning  -> Individual -> Chapter -> Global
Relations -> Chapter members
            |-> Other RBE advocating groups
               |-> Groups advocating similar ends

 

As an example, the table below lists of some projects being undertaken or planned in Australian ZM chapters. Some projects are listed twice as they have pronounced secondary effects, which are coloured in grey.

Activism Learning Relations
  1. Giving out ZM DVDs
  2. Projector Project
  3. Beyond Zero Emissions promotion
  4. ZDay
  5. Zeitgeist Media Festival
  6. Greening Parties (turning lawns into gardens)
  1. Newsletter
  2. Zeitgeist-Info website
  3. Introduction meetings
  4. Zeitgeist Movies
  5. YouTube videos
  6. TED talks
  1. State Conference (with other orgs)
  2. National Conference (for chapter organisers)
  3. Chapter Mailing lists
  4. Facebook pages
  5. Atrium (chapters)
  6. Transition Towns
  7. Permaculture
  8. Zeitgeist Media Festival
  9. Beyond Zero Emissions promotion
Review and Admin

On top of the three different buckets that need to be balanced is the almost constant review and admin work.

The regular review process could for example involve reading your posts, emails, and behaviour for the last week and allow you to both fix up mistakes and give you feedback regarding how to do thing better next time. A group review process should also be on the agenda of the next ZM meetup after an event (e.g Zday, ZMedia Festival).

The admin work involves general organisation work and maintenance. From maintaining mailing lists and websites to doing checks and balances, etc…

I thought I knew a decent amount about energy and renewables, but still learnt a lot from this.

Energy Knowledge

It’s only 19mins long and well worth watching.

IT IS NOT THE STRONGEST SPECIES THAT SURVIVE, NOR THE MOST INTELLIGENT, BUT THE ONES MOST RESPONSIVE TO CHANGE. — Charles Darwin

Survival of the Fittest

This is a great video which explains the true meaning of ‘Survival of the Fittest’. It also does a great job of explaining some of the issues between Tournament and Pair Bonding Species.

This is a MUST WATCH video of Derrick Jensen talking about the premises of our Civilisation and why it is not sustainable.

 

In the talk he does a great job of explaining the premises, although if you enjoyed the video, or if you didn’t fully understand it then you should probably read the book. (NB : ZInfo is not associated with Derrick and does not receive any money for any form of advertising, in any way).

Premises :

  1. Civilisation is not, and can never be sustainable.
  2. In a city your life must be based on violence (due to the required importation of resources).
  3. Our way of living-industrial civilisation, is based on, requires and would collapse without persistent and wide spread violence.
  4. This civilisation is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted, unarticulated hierarchy. Violence is only acceptable from the top down [a very interesting point].
  5. The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above  to increase the amount of property they control (make more money) by destroying or taking the lives of those below (this is called production). If those below damage the property of those above then those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below (this is called justice).
  6. This culture is not redeemable. It won’t undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane, sustainable way of living.
  7. The longer we wait for the crash of civilisation, or the longer we wait before we bring it down, the messier the crash will be, and the worse it will be for humans and the environment who live during it and for those who come after.
  8. The needs of the natural world are more important the needs of the economic system.
  9. Although there will someday be far less humans than at present, there are many ways in which this population reduction could occur. NB : Population is actually a tertiary problem, resource use is the primary problem.
  10. The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. It’s driven by a death urge and an urge to destroy life.
  11. From the beginning, this Civilisation has been a civilisation of occupation, and the government is the government of occupation.
  12. There are no rich people in the world; there are no poor people. There’s just people. Money is just a concept.
  13. Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of the illusions to the contrary the sooner we can begin to make reasonable decisions about resistance.
  14. Love does not imply passivism.

There are some points that I think could be debated or slightly tweaked. Especially premise 6. I agree that whilst civilisation won’t go voluntarily, you don’t have to have a Price of Infinity (enviro, energy, economic) collapse. We can guide civilisation through a Price of Zero collapse (using abundance, sustainability, automation and education).

As you’ll see in the next post (about changing the value system), I think that point 8 needs to be pointed out to people. They know it, but don’t realise that the economic system is given priority over nature, life, and human wellbeing. The Sydney, Australia chapter is currently editing some vox-pop/street interviews which show this mentality in action.

Regarding point 9. It’s possible that if we were to be efficient and effective with the natural resources, we would likely be able to keep similar numbers of people or even raise the population whilst maintaining a stable equilibrium with the environment. But we would need to be net positive not net destructive to the environment. Humanity would also expand in numbers as we colonise other planets. But would shouldn’t and likely won’t do such a thing under the current culture and system. If we did it wouldn’t be pretty for anything that got in our way.

This is a quick announcement of the creation of the Transition Ideas Team (TIT) a new ZM team that Scott Wrampler and Michael Kubler are currently helping kick start.

For those who are interested here’s a recent Blog Talk Radio show regarding the team which talks about the organisational structure and some of the initial teams. It’s only 30mins long.

Listen to internet radio with IZM Radio on Blog Talk Radio

The team will be split into 3 main groups :

  1. Admin
  2. Transition Proposals
  3. Proposal Analysts

The Admin staff will be a small group who run the website, organise the tools and help co-ordinate the other two groups.

The Transition Proposals group will be a collection of people who, working alone or together, come up with various transition models then propose them.

The Proposal Analysts are those who are knowledgeable within their field and as a group can analyse the proposal and undertake useful critical analysis and highlight potential issues and also make suggestions or reccomendations.

 

The process of submitting, analysing and refining a proposal will itself need to be developed and refined over time. One of the hardest parts of the process will be removing human bias, especially those which are predictable. An example may be that proposals are to be made anonymous before being presented to the proposal analysts. Once the analysts have provided feedback and the proposal refined the proposal can then be presented on the website for further analysis and discussions with the wider public.

It’s possible that the team may itself change from being about transition ideas, to be a Transition Implementation team (or more likely, a group of teams).

If you have any transition ideas or suggestions then feel free to comment or email transition@zeitgeist-info.com

Thank you

The change from the current monetary system to a Resource Based Economy requires changes to what we value, what the cultural and personal definition of success is, and the defaults.

The Definition of Success

According to Western media plus the types of people the average person would say has ‘made it’ or aspire to be, the current definition of success is how much financial wealth, power, control and fame a person has acquired.

What we would like to see is people valuing themselves according to their contributions to humanity and the environment.

Only then can a real change be made to the way humanity is going. When we value ourselves because of how much we’ve helped other people, our culture will no longer tolerate those who are greed driven nor corporations priority of profit above all else. We will enjoy working with nature, animals, trees and the environment, instead of destroying it to power our outdated fossil fuel powered trucks.

Contributions can be a wide range of things. Everything from helping someone up the stairs with their bags to curing cancer, planting 10,000 trees or organising a mission to the bottom of the oceans.

 

What values do you use to determine how successful you are in life?

As part of my previous post regarding the Constellation Model, I put out a call to find the various groups and organisations advocating a Resource Based Economy. Either directly or indirectly.
Having done so I no longer classify myself as a Zeitgeist Movement member, but an advocate for the RBE.

Here is the primary list which is still being actively updated (if you have a great description or know where to find a logo, do or don’t think an org should be listed then please comment at the bottom or email contact@zeitgeist-info.com). Thank you.

 

Here is the current list :

  1. The Venus Project
  2. The Zeitgeist Movement
  3. Resource Based Economy Foundation
  4. Free world charter
  5. Tromsite
  6. Technate
  7. European Organization for Sustainability (EOS)
  8. Atlas Initiative Group
  9. We World Technologies
  10. RBOSE
  11. Planetary Skin

A detailed explanation of the organisations is below.
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The Zeitgeist-Info (shortened to ZInfo), website is a resource of useful Zeitgeist Movement related posts, aimed at existing Zeitgeist Movement members. It was created to inform ZM members of advanced concepts and useful news and information.

New to the Zeitgeist Movement or don’t even know what it is?

The term Zeitgeist refers to the intellectual, cultural and moral Spirit of the Times and we want to change that for the betterment of all humanity. Currently people define success by how much financial wealth, power, control or fame they have acquired.  However we want to change it so we value people by how much they’ve contributed to humanity and the environment.

Check out the TEDx talk below for a quick introduction, or watch Zeitgeist Moving Forward, the 2.5 hour documentary/movie.

An Introduction to a Resource-Based Economy [ TEDx – Peter Joseph ]

Once you have watched the TED talk or Zeitgeist Moving Forward then find and  join your local ZM chapter.
Don’t forget to come back here for the latest in ZM information and concepts.

As Zeitgeist Movement chapters around the world are increasing in size there are a number of them growing beyond the size that a single co-ordinator can handle. On top of this, the Venus Project is feeling like it has lost control. As this happens there becomes questions about information flow, decision making, and how to prevent the bickering and in-fighting which will prevent humanity from taking the correct path and is far more likely that civilisation will spiral out of control, instead of finding itself at the veritable oasis that is the Resource Based Economy.

What is needed now is a defined governance structure which allows everyone to have a say, but with weighting given to those who have a greater understanding. The two main models are the Constellation model, and the decentralised Starfish model.

The Constellation Model of Collaborative Social Change

 

“The Constellation model is a governance framework for multi-organisational collaboration. It is a way of organising a group of interested parties to meet a need without having to create a new organisation to ‘hold’ the issue.

It is a tool to help us recognise and become conscious designers in a complex ecosystem of organisational collaboration. This constellation model emerged out of a need to support a tight partnership of 11 organisations – the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment. It has been emerging and serving since 2001 and is in constant flux as we iteratively adapt the structure to serve our vision and to expand our reach and more effectively engage our ecosystem.” — http://www.socialinnovationexchange.org/node/169

————-=============================================—-

In mid 2010 I attended a Social Innovator Dialogues talk by Tonya Surman about the Constellation model of collaborative social change.

The concept is a hybrid centralised/decentralised approach to helping and handling bundles of self-organising teams based around a common ‘magnetic attractor’.

In this case that magnetic attractor would be a better future for all humanity and the vision statement is the Resource Based Economy.

Using this model the Venus Project, Zeitgeist Movement, Resource Based Economy Foundation, Free world charter, Tromsite, Humanity test.org and other such groups would form different constellations. With representatives from each being a part of the ‘Stewardship Group‘. [Refer to the the framework diagram below]

Each group could focus on what they do best. For example The Venus Project can work on the technical/engineering answers. The Zeitgeist Movement is good at spreading the word and helping change peoples mindset, the RBEF has a more resource gathering focus, and Tromsite is a great educational resource.

I like to think of the framework as an expandable net around the group. If the casing is made of steel then whilst it is hard to break, it can’t expand and adjust very easily. In this example the steel box would be a large corporation with all its policies, procedures and legalities.

On the other spectrum, completely unmanaged groups have nothing to tie them together so they fly off in various directions very easily and can’t push humanity towards the magnetic attractor (the RBE). It is hard to keep such groups focused. Think of it like this, Boiling water will turn into steam, but without being directed and focused it won’t be able to turn the turbines that create electricity.

The Constellation model allows the right level of rigidity and flexibility for the current stage of RBE transition. It allows all the groups to work synergistically. To work together collaboratively and co-operatively, just as everyone is advocating the rest of humanity do.

For those that need more convincing that everyone can’t go it alone, realise that it is hard to gather the resources required. 100 groups individually trying to raise enough time, money, members and physical resources to implement a transition will mean that none of them will properly succeed, but 100 groups working together certainly can. We need a certain threshold of resources before we can really start. Something far easier if there is 1 main group which is gathering the resources for 100 chapters/sub-groups. An example is that a government or corporation can donate time, money and resources to a registered non-profit, but can’t easily contribute to 20 groups of ad-hoc members who meet every couple of weeks. On the flip side, the 20 ad-hoc groups can get a lot of work done, especially when they are action focused teams.

 

 

[Diagram] The Constellation Model Framework

Constellation Model Framework

For more information, and an explanation of what the wacky diagram means, check out the PDF.

 

I personally think ZM is already using something very close to this setup with its chapter structure, so it is not a very big leap. We are really just expanding who we regard as friends.

The other ‘non-pyramid’ based governance model’s I’ve come across are the Starfish (vs the Spider) model explained below, and also the Geodesic dome principal that World Mind posted a lot about.

Moving forward we should aim to use the most effective governance model for the situation. The Constellation model could be perfect for the moment, but later on we will likely transition to a more Starfish, decentralised basis, and maybe after the transition we can use the Geodisic Structure. Note also that different constellations will likely have different structures internally. Some projects may themselves use a constellation model.

Please, do read the PDF and discuss.

Links :

 

The Starfish : Decentralised Governance

Summary

One thing that business, institutions, governments and key individuals will have to realise is that spiders and starfish may look alike, but starfish have a miraculous quality to them. Cut off the leg of a spider, and you have a seven-legged creature on your hands; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new arm. Not only that, but the severed arm can grow into an entirely new body. Starfish can achieve this feat because, unlike spiders, they are decentralized; every major organ is replicated across each arm.

But starfish don’t just exist in the animal kingdom. Starfish organizations are taking society and the business world by storm, and are changing the rules of strategy and competition. Like starfish in the sea, starfish organizations are organized on very different principles than we are used to seeing in traditional organizations. Spider organizations are centralized and have clear organs and structure. You know who is in charge. You see them coming.

Starfish organizations, on the other hand, are based on completely different principles. They tend to organize around a shared ideology or a simple platform for communication- around ideologies like al Qaeda or Alcoholics Anonymous. They arise rapidly around the simplest ideas or platforms. Ideas or platforms that can be easily duplicated. Once they arrive they can be massively disruptive and are here to stay, for good or bad. And the Internet can help them flourish.

So in today’s world starfish are starting to gain the upper hand.

How did tiny Napster cripple the global music industry? Why is free, community based Wikipedia crushing Encyclopaedia Britannica almost overnight? Why is tiny Craigslist crippling the global newspaper industry? Why is Al Qaeda flourishing and even growing stronger? In today’s world to answer this it is essential to understand the potential strength of a starfish organization.

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, explores the phenomenal and unstoppable new power of the starfish organizations and will change the way you look at the world.

Links/Resources :

In somewhat unfortunate news, Peter Joseph, the creator of the Zeitgeist film trilogy and The Zeitgeist Movement is stepping down as the public figurehead of The Zeitgeist Movement.

He announced this in response to a post on the International Forum (3rd post on the 2nd page). The in which Jacque Fresco (most say misguidedly) condemns Peter Joseph and says that The Zeitgeist Movement doesn’t know anything and have no plan.

Update : There’s been an interview with Roxanne Meadows regarding The Venus Projects perspective

Video of Jacque which triggered the stepdown

PJ’s post :

So, in consideration of this, with respect to Jacque – I will no longer be actively publicly representing TZM or TVP.
I could address his hasty statements directly, but I am not going to do that to myself as it’s simply sad.

This falls on the heels of a level of personal exhaustion and general life frustration which requires personal time anyway.

I will continue to orient a radio show rotation of new speakers, content and help with event days and the many other project based issues in the background… I will also continue to personally finance the global movement’s work…but I want everyone to know that I am removing myself as a forefront spokesman… a figure I never wanted to be, in fact. A position which has neg affected my personal and mental health a great deal, to be frank.

So, this is good grounds to see how many out there can lift themselves to high levels of communication. I have also informed TVP that all major press will be turned over to them so they can make sure “their” message is “accurate”… as apparently mine isn’t.

At the end of the day, let it be known that I don’t care about TZM or TVP or “Jacque Fresco” or “Peter Joseph” as entities to be perpetuated.

I care about a new, working social system only and I will not stop with that pursuit in the long run.
~peter

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