Three Scenarios for the Cosmo-Local Transition

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Jose Ramos:

"So to finish here is some vision and proposals for how such a process might unfold.

Scenario 1 - Economic Transition

Imagine it is 2035 and the world economy has been transformed. The world went through traumatic shock after the second Global Financial Crisis of 2020, erasing trillions from people’s bank accounts and devastating economies. For decades wages have stagnated under neoliberal policies. After the first GFC this accelerated, but after the second it became a crisis with massive levels of unemployment. Rising from the ashes of this were new cooperative systems of economic organization. As the cooperative and platform cooperative movements matured, they became more profitable for member-workers, and a strong competitor to the corporate-capitalist incumbents. With the crisis, people flock to the cooperative form. Alternative currencies had developed, increasingly high tech, leveraging block chain and other technologies. The global knowledge and design commons had matured even more. Through open cooperativism strategies a resurgent transnational sector called ‘The Global Coop’ emerges. It helps to transnationalize value exchange. Coop currencies trade across the globe, creating a planetary sub-economy that flourishes amid the economic mess left over by neo-liberalisms GFC wreck. Institutions that support Commons Based Reciprocity Licenses (CopyFair) provide ways to maintain the strength of design and knowledge commons that underpin The Global Coop. The Global Coop, by virtue of capturing and circulating value, is able to increasingly build and maintain the open global design commons that increasingly potentiates distributed localized production.

Scenario 2 - Politics Transition

Imagine it is 2045, and world political systems have undergone fundamental transformations. From 2020 automation and robotics decimated whole industries and sectors, leaving large swaths of the population unemployed. Political oligarchy continued to drive policies that failed to redistribute wealth and create the social commons. The political movements that began in the 21st century, the World Social Forum, Occupy, the Arab Spring, Podemos, the Sunflower Movement, evolved into powerful forces for change – wisdom polities. A new generation of citizens forge a new political culture, visionary and forward thinking, highly connected, relational, experimental and active. Using new P2P practices and technologies, and founded on a new political culture of patient engagment, citizen movements are able to create new political contracts. The foundational outline for the political contracts include: a new system of taxation that draws from a commons analysis, the development of a partner state model where the state supports citizen initiated commoning, cooperative enterprises and development strategies, which includes cosmo-localization projects, and different types of progressive support systems that provide basic levels of security for all.

Scenario 3 - Culture Transition

Imagine it is 2055, and a new type of culture flourishes which values local knowledge, ecologies, resources and where most of what we produce is designed for non-obsolesce, reuse or upcycling. From 2020 major resource shocks began, with the price of oil affecting transport, and other minerals. The resource crisis deepened year by year as the world population soared and demands for resources steadily rose. As the population rose so did human impacts on ecosystems, in a steady march of degradation. Facing ecological crisis, even the most trenchant conservatives began to question their assumptions underlying societal models. The maker movement and sustainable design movement had begun to forge a new culture of ecological care in the application of technology. Products are only be made if they could be reused, or if they could be upcycled. This new culture drives policies for “true costing”. High resource costs are dealt with through circular and cosmo-localized systems of production, supported by the open design commons. The new human story is about restoration and restorative practices, how we build the health of our societies and the Earth through a deep understanding of our ecological world and self.

In conclusion there is a way through this mess! But it is neither by disowning technology, nor by believing that technology is the answer. It is by bringing together the younger brother and younger sister into a larger conversation with their older siblings, to reflect and consider and renew what it means to be human." (