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Vishal Bhavsar

Jun 11, 2014
10:54

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Hi Johnboik, Thanks for your proposal. Few thoughts from my side on the proposal. 1. The LEDDA framework is one of novel concept of building resilience through promoting/boosting local economy. It is true that concepts like these will help deal with larger issues that rapid urbanization is throwing at humanity. 2. It would be really great if you could bring one example lets say a town and one activity like buying local grocery or furniture rather than buying these products from other countries or far off places. If you could elaborate any one example of this kind and link it LEDDA framework than it would bring more clarity to the reader of this proposal 3. In the proposal cost you will need to give further details of total cost and break up for year wise investment. In the proposal you have not dealt with operating or running cost after the system or framework is operational. 4. One more good example to relate will be urban farming or creating more urban-rural linkages to deal with rapid urbanization and building more resilience in the system. All the best! Look forward to see updated proposal from you.

John Boik

Jun 11, 2014
11:42

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Hello vishalbhavsar: Thanks for the comments. I will try to address each one briefly, but I should mention that all of your comments are addressed in some detail in my book "Economic Direct Democracy." A free PDF version of the book is available at http://www.PrincipledSocietiesProject.org. To address item #2, suppose that a group of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits in your city decided to start a LEDDA. Perhaps one of these businesses is a bakery (an example that I use in Chapter 3 of the book). As a member of the LEDDA, you could help support this bakery in two ways. First, you could purchase goods from it using a combination of tokens (the local currency) and dollars. By purchasing from this bakery, rather than from a non-local one, you help to keep dollars and tokens circulating in the local economy. If that bakery also purchased products (such as grains) from a local supplier, then your support for the bakery is even more potent. Second, you could support the bakery via financing. Most businesses need some type of financing from time to time. The LEDDA framework has a built-in financial system called the Crowd-Based Financial System (CBFS). This is a type of mandatory crowdfunding operation---all members must contribute tokens and dollars to the CBFS, and can choose how their contributions will be used. That is, members decide which businesses and nonprofits they will support with their CBFS contributions. The system is designed so that in spite of mandatory contributions, the take-home income of each member increases. If the bakery applies for CBFS funds, members could support it via interest-free loans and subsidies, if the bakery is a for-profit business. If it is a nonprofit organization, members could support the bakery via interest-free loans and donations. The flow of tokens and dollars is described in detail via a computer simulation model. Some results are included in the book, and a paper on the model can be downloaded from our website. Graphs of simulation results are also available on the website. To address item #3, the system pays for itself once it is established. A small portion of CBFS contributions are earmarked to support the LEDDA as an organization. Thus, a LEDDA is self-financing, once established. To address item #4, urban farming and urban-rural agricultural links are discussed at some length in Chapter 10 of the book. Just as with the bakery example, members could support farmers through purchasing decisions and through CBFS funding decisions. The importance of supporting local agriculture, and ways to support it, are highlighted in the book.

Tomas Brage

Jun 13, 2014
06:53

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Hello John! Thank you very much for submitting your proposal! Financial tools are a powerful means of producing change, in our case to urban resiliency. I would like to comment on the content and structure of your proposal: You are welcome to re-direct the reader onto further information and in-depth knowledge of your project -maybe also by using references-, but, as vishalbhavsar suggests, the proposal must be self-contained. That means that it should offer enough information to be understood entirely from what you have published on the Climate CoLab website. In that sense I would recommend you adapt the text to the proposal you are writing, and provide some background information to your proposal. Please note that the size of a proposal like this differs greatly from that of a book, and therefore all concepts and ideas ought to be introduced, described and explained briefly and simply, yet concisely. The impact of your proposal as a urban adaptation one, would be enhanced, in my view, from reffering directly to urban issues, distinct from rural ones, and to adaptation to climate change, narrowing the scope from general sustainability matters to on the ground climate resilience for urban communities. Try to address each chapter separately and answer to the question precisely. If there are several answers, for instance, several stakeholders to undertake actions, explain their roles or how would they do things. In this case I would recommend to select the most important actor, the most important action, the most imprtant outcome, etc. Do not leave subjects unexplained. Good luck. looking forward to seeing your proposal progress!

Felipe De Leon

Jun 17, 2014
05:59

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Hi johnboik, Thank you for your Proposal. The concept of deep transformational change like the one you describe is extremely interesting. In addition to the very good suggestions that you have already received, here are a couple of additional questions you might want to consider: I noticed that your cost estimate only covers the period your timeline describes as “continued development”. How would the project be funded through the rest of the stages described in the timeline? Seeing as the software seems to be at the core of your proposal, could you share some details on what it will do? Good luck!

Mukesh Gupta

Jun 18, 2014
01:29

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Thanks for your proposal. The proposal provides a visionary idea however it's implementation on current world setting is remain to be seen. One thing which is not clarified (perhaps the book deals it with more detail) is that how local economy can be sustained fully if all the avenues of production are not present withing the boundaries of say a town or country. How cross-country or inter-cities trades are accounted in the model. How does this radical idea could fit in the current worldview of shorttermism to increase political and societal buy-ins? Of course these are big issues and perhaps why we need to experiment with such models. Best of luck!

Mukesh Gupta

Jun 18, 2014
01:13

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Thanks for your proposal. The proposal provides a visionary idea however it's implementation on current world setting is remain to be seen. One thing which is not clarified (perhaps the book deals it with more detail) is that how local economy can be sustained fully if all the avenues of production are not present withing the boundaries of say a town or country. How cross-country or inter-cities trades are accounted in the model. How does this radical idea could fit in the current worldview of shorttermism to increase political and societal buy-ins? Of course these are big issues and perhaps why we need to experiment with such models. Best of luck!

John Boik

Jun 18, 2014
05:48

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Thanks grnsavvy, felipe_deleon, and tomasbrage: I appreciate the interest. I have now updated the proposal to reflect some of your comments and suggestions. It is difficult to explain a complex proposal in a limited number of words, so again I refer the reader to the free book Economic Direct Democracy. For example grnsavvy, you wonder how a LEDDA token--dollar economy can be sustained if all avenues of production are not within its boundaries. This is an issue discussed at some length in the book. Briefly, it is not necessary that all production be local or that all money be spent locally. In fact, the simulation shows that a good amount of trade occurs with outside regions. Further, the percentage of income received as tokens starts quite small in the simulation (5 percent) and grows from there to a modest level (35 percent). Trade remains an important part of economic activity. Indeed, over time, trade would become very important among LEDDAs.

Abigail Derby Lewis

Jun 19, 2014
11:14

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This proposal offers much food for thought. I think the timeframe for simulation model development is important and well-planned. My question is about how to couple the data generated from the models with messaging and meaningful public engagement. We can have the best plans in the world, but unless they resonate with communities, they won't take hold. Economic incentives are of course one way to gain interest, but interfacing the LEDDA philosophy with the cultural values of different communities will be key. Best of luck!

John Boik

Jun 20, 2014
08:29

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Hello Abigail: You raise an important issue. The project offers a new and distinct approach to economic decision-making. As such, LEDDA concepts will initially be foreign to many in the public and a good amount of education and public relations work will be necessary. A new vision for an economic system and way-of-doing-business must be communicated. Further, comments and suggestions by the public must be taken into account when designing the system. I have given these issues thought, but they are only lightly touched upon in the book. These issues pertain to the strategies employed by the Principled Societies Project as it moves forward in developing the LEDDA framework. I can say that strategies are now under discussion internally. I also want to mention that the LEDDA framework will not be a one-size-fits-all package. It is expected that each community and LEDDA implementation will be somewhat different. Communities have different needs, cultures, desires, and resources, especially in the developed vs. developing world. Thus, the intention is to design a flexible framework that can fit to conditions on the ground. The open-source approach is part of this. Once the core software infrastructure of the LEDDA framework has been constructed and tested in a scientific pilot trial in a host city, it will be made available to the public under an open-source license. This means that any LEDDA can alter the code as it sees fit. Once multiple LEDDAs form, an association of LEDDAs will also form to set standards and facilitate inter-LEDDA trade and agreements. Lastly, I would like to say that the LEDDA framework is not an all-or-nothing package. For example, a community or group of individuals in a community could operate various types of buy-local and local-currency initiatives as complements to the LEDDA framework. And some such initiatives could be formally incorporated into the LEDDA framework. In this case, the framework would act as an umbrella or unifying structure.

Carolina Collaro

Jun 20, 2014
02:41

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hi, I would like to say that, generally, I agree, me too, with the comment of the catalyst Abigail. I find your proposition a very attractive one, as it is proposed in a new way, even if fairly predictable, to work with communities. In a climate of uncertainty about climate change work with communities to build resilience, your proposition is great. It seems to me: what best means of communication, if not the computer? I will read with pleasure this book, but I must say that in a climate like CoLab, where there are so many proposals, you do not have much time to read books .. So how do we do? If I were in your place, I would have written a presentation of guidelines, with a little abstract for each chapter. So all of us would be able to judge in a more immediate and shared way your work, definitely excellent. I would also like to express my point of view, more European, and snobbish: why don't you tell us how you came up with this idea? what the cultural backgrounds, which have supported yourself while writing the book? my best whishes

John Boik

Jun 20, 2014
05:01

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Hello carolinacollaro: Thanks for your interest, and I hope you find the book interesting. There is not much room here to describe a complex proposal, and I appreciate that you plan to take time to look at the book. Regarding the genesis of the idea, several years ago I was running a small medical research nonprofit in the United States that was in need of additional funding. I have always been a progressive thinker, but at that time I began to question deeply how money flows in our society. One day, I experienced an electrifying flood of inspiration and ideas, and for the next week or so I was beside myself with energy. Those ideas became the starting point for my journey, and were the initial inspiration for what became this book. Other than that, I am a biologist by training and I tend to view problems from a systems perspective. In some respect, I have applied a systems perspective to the wider economic system. I mention some of this in the Preface to the book.

Climate Colab

Aug 6, 2014
12:32

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Specific revisions requested: 1) More money doesn't automatically translate into more climate actions. Need to be more specific about how this money will be used to fund adaptation actions. Judges Comments: "The proposal does not meet the criteria laid out in the contest, ie., does not describe how it will reduce vulnerability and build resilience to climate change. It does make the case that more money at the local scale can lead to more money available for "climate action" but I think this connection is tenuous if there is not mechanism to specifically direct the money towards climate resilience. I think this proposal could help communities be more economically stable, which is a component of resilience, but I don't think the climate connection here is clear enough."

John Boik

Aug 21, 2014
11:32

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The August 16 revised proposal better addresses the relationship between a LEDDA and funding for climate action and resilience. In some respects, the relationship is similar to that between smart cities and climate action, only with additional strength provided by deeper democracy; participatory budgeting (via CBFS funding decisions); a focus on informed consumer purchasing; enhanced planning; data collection and modeling of social, economic, physical, and environmental well-being; and a clearly defined purpose (to demonstrably improve well-being, as measured via indexes). Local, state, and national governments could play numerous roles during the development and testing phases, and the global partnership would seek to involve governments of every level. For example, governments could help by providing grants or other funding, and could offer comments and expertise. Local governments, in particular, could assist in academic studies and pilot trials. For example, they could assist local business surveys and supply chain assessments. And they could help assess the benefits and risks of hosting a pilot trial in their community. In those communities who do host a pilot trial, local governments could play important supportive roles. Once the pilot trials are completed and the framework begins to spread, governments of every level would have new opportunities to engage. They could help assess benefits and risks of specific LEDDA implementations, and could continue to offer input and expertise to guide framework evolution. Local governments especially could work as partners with implemented LEDDAs to maximize mutual benefits and achieve shared aims. Indeed, a local government can participate as a LEDDA member, and in so doing play a direct role. Moreover, local governments can engage through data sharing and analysis, facilitating a bridge between smart-LEDDA and smart-city. Governments at all levels could benefit from LEDDA implementations. For example, as incomes rise and become more equal, tax revenues for most local governments would rise. Further, LEDDA members, acting through the CBFS, might choose to help fund certain public services and government agencies. And a LEDDA contains its own social welfare system that eliminates poverty, which could greatly reduce the burden now placed on governments. Similarly, by improving well-being, a LEDDA reduces the burden now placed on governments. Note one correction to the revised proposal. In the section “What actions do you propose?” the phrase “community commons license” should have been “creative commons license.”

Victor Blanco

Aug 26, 2014
03:42

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I wish you the best! Please, check my proposal in Waste Management Contest, named "REACC: Recycled Debris for Adaptation to Climate Change"; and I would apreciate your support as I supported your proposal.

Climate Colab

Sep 3, 2014
12:21

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Your proposal has improved a lot, adding much more detail and information. The proposal is thoughtful and well written. Our biggest concern is the scope which is massive. It is a huge project — $55M -. The proposal does not make clear how a small award like this contest would help the project. Would a pilot project proposal had been the answer?