Share your thoughts. Interact with other members. Your comments can inspire and contribute to actions making a real difference.
Hello fellow members! I just joined and am excited to be a member as this is in alignment with my values for our global community. I wanted to ask what suggestions the members have in order to get a building similar to the one in Linkoping built in my city and country, Calgary, Alberta Canada? Also, is there any work that I'm able to do here on behalf of Plantagon? What roles are available? I've also had an idea for a number of years, that I'd like to open up a school k - 12, where children are taught differently (i.e. learning about sustainable vertical farming, compassion for the earth and animals that we're guardians of (I'm vegan!), how to be loving kindness and coming from that place in all decisions and actions, emotional intelligence and not just brain intelligence, all the research on how to have healthy brains = healthy people, relationship intelligence, being creative, active, meditative, etc.) since they're the future leaders of our world (I think I read it from the Dalai Lama, if everyone under the age of 8 meditated, there would be peace in the future). Thank you in advance for any feedback, I'm excited to see where Plantagon goes! Best, Marianne
Some time ago, I wrote a piece titled "Changing business as usual through an active, engaged membership, and with the Companization." In that time, I've been tossing a few ideas around about how to do this. One of those ideas is developing an equity crowdfunding platform/business accelerator for social enterprises. I will go over how I think this could work in this post. I seek your comments, insight, critique, and inevitably your support.
In my piece, I detailed ways to use the Companization model. In his book, Business as usual is over, Hans details ways companies could use the Companization to experiment in creating new, more socially ethical businesses. Beyond developing greenhouses that produce ecological, function food delivered directly and daily to consumers, Plantagon's innovation is in creating a new, better way of doing business. It shows via the Companization, how others can do this and use the influence it affords one, to do as entrepreneurs do: disrupt the market.
Let's say, that like myself, members of the Association (PNA) or others generally interested in how to use the Companization, subscribed to the model and created companizations. So let's say there are all these companizations created. What else? What happens? How are these new social entrepreneurs as they would be called, be able to grow in a way that shows the model is a success? How in effect, does one make this scalable and replicable in such a way, that they can grow rapidly. What are the steps that could make this happen?
I think equity crowdfunding in conjunction with a business accelerator could be a viable answer to these questions. Combining the business development needs for social entrepreneurs by aiding them in the development of companizations with connecting these new enterprises with a network to fund their ventures would be the way to go. This would be done via equity crowdfunding rather than just the normal, rewards based crowdfunding, though that too could be employed. Sharing equity means we're in this together, and could also serve as a way to bring revenue back into PNA. This will be what I will spend the remainder of this and upcoming posts detailing this.
The idea is perhaps simple: 1. Members of the Plantagon Community would participate on the platform, pitching an idea to the community. 2. The Community, would vote on the ideas they feel are most viable and that they believe they'd be willing to give backing to. The voting can be done via the accumulation of Plantapoints. 3. Once a threshold is achieved (and that threshold should be discussed), the member would be seeded funding to bring that idea to fruition. Before receiving the funding, the recipient would have to go through an incubation period of 30, 60, or 90 days. During this period, they'd learn about Companization, become certified, and whatever else business development would be necessary to bring their innovation to potential investors. This is the rewards based crowdfunding phase. The end result of course, is a viable Companization.
After the incubation, the entrepreneur could opt to go through an accelerator. The accelerator like most others, is purposed with connecting the entrepreneur with additional resources to grow their innovation. The periods are ideal to correspond with the above intervals of 30, 60, or 90 days. It is my belief that 90 days is the best time period for both phases so to call it. Both give the entrepreneur and their a real opportunity to build up the support and network to bring their innovation to market. The second, accelerator phase is interesting because after the 90 days (or 30 or 60) the entrepreneur could have another 30, 60, or 90 days to raise funds through the network. This is where our equity crowdfunding platform would come into play.
Coming from Arabic for love, Project Hubb exists to create this equity crowdfunding platform directed at growing social enterprises. Helping them design their business in a way that achieves the desired end of the Association, we'd help spread the companization model as an alternative corporate structure. Project Hubb as I call it, would connect social entrepreneurs with investors that want to divest out of less ethical, socially or environmentally companies, and invest in these companies coming out of the accelerator. As an equity crowdfunding platform, investors are able to choose which investments they feel are worth taking the risk in investing in. Moreover, they are assured that these new entities share in their values, effectively creating that market for a human face Hans and we all talk about.
This would benefit the association in other ways. Seeding the venture, the association does this in exchange for equity. Like Y Combinator, that equity comes with training and support/mentorship. Post mentorship, the Association's stake would be sold initially to members, and then perhaps, during the crowdfunding campaign (the equity one). This would in effect, share the risk of the association and ensure that it is generating income on its own.
This idea was first pitched in Silicon Valley at the Muslim Public Affairs Council's Young Leaders' Summit in Silicon Valley, to thought leaders, serial entrepreneurs, and representatives of the Muslim Community in Silicon Valley. The team there spent about a week at Google Headquarters, LinkedIn, Plug and Play, The Stanford D School, learning from industry insiders including former BP Solar CEO Reyad Fezzani and Elixir Capital's Managing Director Abrar Hussain. Upon returning to NY, I was determined to launch Hubb and in November of 2013, myself and co-founder Bushra Kabir launched The Hubb Syracuse at Startup Weekend 2013 as one of the 15 companies launched that weekend.
The idea needs work of course, from support to critique, and I look forward to hearing what your impressions are as I begin to bring this idea into action. This weekend, I pitched this at Startup Weeked Syracuse after having spent 54 hours developing it. We were well received and peeked interest. I think this can be viable and am going to keep working on making it happen as part of the work I do with my own startup, which I'm working on creating as a Companization. But, what do you think?
Join the Conversation. Follow me on Twitter: @YusufAQ or @TheHubbSyracuse
People are the essence of a community. Of course the infrastructure, natural environment, and the systems that keep the community going are all important. But, it is the people, that are the heart and soul of the community.
Similarly, members of an association are important for that association to grow, be self-sufficient, and engage with other networks of communities. Particularly for associations seeking to use their "crowd" to have an influence in the world, members who are active and engaged become a necessary component if that influence is going to be achieved, sustained, and used properly.
The Plantagon Member Project is one of those opportunities to achieve this end. By showing members what the return on their investments are, it helps engage and keep them engaged. Moreover, it helps Plantagon grow. In my ideas section, I will begin to articulate one project and outline future ones, that can be used to grow Plantagon, make it economically self-sufficient, grow its influence, and create an active, engaged community of members. I hope you will join and support me and my colleagues Justine Clerc and Liz Mariani amongst the other voices, in our efforts to achieve these and other ends.
What I've now come to realise is that I would like to volunteer abroad for the good of Plantagon.
Is there a way? How amazing it would be if it was!
If it isn't there should be a way... and perhaps someone reading this knows of another way of helping out in a similar way. If so, please let me know. I wanna do more, for the world.
I am a Closure Right Member of Plantagon and I’m very much against greed. I’m also a poet so I truly feel the essence and effect of even the word, greed, in my bones. I just don’t see how the current approach to the Earth’s resources works for promoting health, balance, peace. I believe that sharing anything: food, expertise, humor, compassion, open source software and obviously, innovative ideas - leads to the promotion of what I understand to be an active peace (different from an absence of violence known as nonviolence).
What I like best about my experience about being a Plantagon Ambassador is the acceptance I feel to be my natural self. At first, arriving in Stockholm, I found the people in Sweden to be extremely kind and supportive, especially when I was lost trying to find my way from street to street with their beautifully long words and dangling umlauts. After engaging Plantagon for over a year, I find that virtually and in-person, the mode at Plantagon HQ is ‘Be Yourself’ and ‘Take Risks’ and ‘Say The Difficult Thing’.
Plantagon attracts members who know their purpose in life and those who seek to actualize their best selves. I’m speaking from experience. This work with Plantagon, this gift of experiencing the companization grow and the promise of the greenhouses really fill me up. I feel, with the staff, fellow members, Ambassadors and even, new members, a strong sense of camaraderie and respect.
For those of us familiar with Plantagon, we know that there is a strong need for changing what corporations value if we are indeed going to sustain ourselves and life on this planet. Plantagon was created to show the world what good corporate citizenship is, and how average people can influence a large company from the inside without being an employee, a manager or an investor, but by being socially engaged in supporting its mission. This may be the first company to show that sharing rather than greed leads to financial success in the future.
If you believe as we do, then join us in crowdfunding for change, by sharing and contributing here: http://igg.me/at/plantagon/x/5118007 Your contributions help generate more members and engage the market with what Plantagon is doing and how they can be a part of this change.
Business as usual is over (><)
I understand there was a massive clean up of the waters in and around Stockholm. Perhaps, Sweden could lend some expertise to the areas in Canada and the US regarding clean up of the Great Lakes waters and watersheds. Many people leave the ‘rust belt’ areas for the NW of the USA or larger cities on the West Coast. A shift into a greener economy for rust belt cities in the NE like Rochester, Buffalo and Detroit could churn a rebirth. Movement (greenhouses and companization education and implementation) like this could also empower other areas of the US and Canada. How do you see the bridge being built between Plantagon and cities in the NE USA or even the Southern Ontario region of Canada? Toronto should be part of the conversation, as well. Thoughts?
From one perspective, it could be said that what we do for the future generations should really include these future generations in the conversation regardless of the lack of conventional expertise. They have visions, ideas, concerns and they are smart. If there is any way possible, they should have their own summit, maybe a 10-25 speaker age cap. Maybe a portion of the upcoming summit could include the voices, ideas and contributions of youth. Thoughts?
Companization can be taught to children as young as 10 or 11, the equivalent of 5th or 6th grade in the US. Teaching ethics, collaboration, a healthy exchange of ideas and an evolved model for business to youth is essential for laying the groundwork and literally feeding the roots of the generations we are working for. For example, Model United Nations in high schools throughout the US are quite popular. Because school funding is based on property taxes in the States, some schools have more money for clubs and programs than others.
Another way to inspire youth to feel confident about their knowledge of companization would be to find a way to have underserved schools or districts receive the funding to run such a program, a class or a club centered around the companization model. Perhaps another way to bring companization to youth would be through community center-based initiatives perhaps worked into after school activity models. What are your thoughts on this?
At some point, the documentary could be pitched to film festivals supporting green movements, future-thought, etc. A great way to gain a trusted viewership and reviews can result from a powerful distribution company which may have scouts at the festivals looking to shop films. When the film is primed and fine-tuned enough, this may be a consideration. A prominent chain-reaction could be triggered that will lead to greater influence and increased membership. Thoughts?
On a smaller scale, a magazine in San Francisco called Asterisk hosted a green short film contest. Anything that implores conscious creative individuals to activate their best selves in groups or singularly, really can do great things.
On a larger scale, the GFFIS Green Film Festival In Soeul could be a target for the doc or the next doc. What do you think about this approach?
The Wild Idea
Good ideas stick. Could it be possible to simultaneously solve the obesity epidemic in the States and provide an additional source of energy for the Plantagon greenhouses? I know it sounds crazy and I know it’s a risk to drop such lofty ideas but risks beg, they beg to be taken. Would it, could it be possible to inspire a cultural shift towards self-sustainability while putting a dent in the obesity and depression epidemics in the States while exemplifying true companization and providing an alternative food-to-consumer path? As you can tell I like to ask questions. I believe the answers are all Yes.
What find inspiring about the Plantagon greenhouse structure, as with the Companization model is the zany capacity for these structures, in material and ideological form, to hold a presence in both our present and future realities. As Karin Hassle emotionally connects in the documentary, this is really about the children, the world we are leaving them. Developing this, the world we are re-imagining, and literally, thanks to Plantagon and other forward-thinking companizations, the world we are currently building for them (in their name), will have room for innovations previously thought of as lofty, unattainable and literally too futuristic to be part of the current reality. Luckily, bravery is increasing. Perhaps, the urgency is felt more intensely by those awake enough to see.
Many believe we are in the midst of a buoyant paradigm change. What better a way to ride this lifting surf than dropping, speaking and communicating all our wild ideas concerning Plantagon, the greenhouse and the Companization.
The Kinetic Lowdown
Kinetic energy, sourced from children and/or adults could produce an alternative sustainable energy in order to assist in the powering of the greenhouse and/or annexed or adjacent structures. Not only could this type of energy assist in the powering of the recently mentioned entities but the act of participating in the maintenance of a sustainable structure could have a positive ripple effect.
This ripple effect could include increased cultural-value (relating to the Plantagon brand, the greenhouse product and the companization model) experienced by citizens and families of a participating city. Perhaps a direct-to-consumer discount could apply to families that work out in the charging station/gym/playground. Participation in kinetic energy-sourced exercise programs could also increase the mental, physical, and spiritual health of families participating. This could be doubly effective for those in areas where Seasonal Affective Disorder takes a strong hold during winter months. All the more reason to inspire community-sourced energy.
Obesity is a problem in the U.S. and increasing in many other places where U.S. culture has a strong influence (like El Salvador). In many places, the food desert (see Ron Finley’s Ted Talk details ) only promotes the consumption of processed foods, addictive foods and and addictive substances like alcohol.
Nada Es Imposible - Nothing Is Impossible
Click here for an example of an organization which has kinetic energy-based playgrounds in mind. Perhaps Plantagon should take a look or take notes for future consideration and discussion. It’s officially fashionable to take risks, speak your mind, imagine the impossible .
How Companization Fits In
Companization could influence the creation of a model whereby sourcing community-based kinetic energy could be a form of solidarity (not charity) directly reaching the consumer. It could be university, college, junior or community college based. Companization could engage stand-out departments, professors and most importantly, students in all stages of academia to research and develop the most efficient form or supportive model.
This is an idea that another idea sprouted. I believe it’s good to think forward and remain in the present with an evolving perspective. I’d love to know what wild, crazy, formerly impossible ideas the Plantagon Greenhouse and the Companization inspired on your end. Let’s discuss. I look forward to your posts.
Thank you for taking time out to read this.
Change is happening.
Business as Usual is thankfully Over.
I've been thinking for some time (a year perhaps) about the relationship between the Association changing how business operates with the Companization as a model, and balancing that with its mandate to develop its own independent income. How does an organization which is supposed to be not for profit, do good work, and make profit? I played around with the idea a bit, read the Business As Usual Book probably 100 times by now, and looked at how current social entrepreneurship and crowdfunding (or other forms of microfinancing) groups propelled their missions, while financially benefiting.
Here is my attempt:
1. Membership, and more specifically Closure Right members. With more members who have Closure Right, there is a longer term commitment to the viability of the Association. This isn't to disregard the value placed on 1, 2, or members who are associated for years in between. The right though of a Closure Right member is different (review the Closure Right link for more information).
Further, paying the dues of 10 years upfront, gives immediate income to the Association. Income, which will be needed in the future phases which I will begin to develop and detail here.
2. Let's take an arbitrary number, 1,000 for instance. Assume there are 1,000 Closure Right members. Assume further that the yearly membership fees stay at the current price of 10 Euros/year (roughly 13 USD). A Closure Right member, upon fully paying their dues, would have contributed 100 Euros (130 USD) to the Association. Multiply that by the 1,000 Closure Right members, and the Association now has 100,000 Euros (130,000 USD). The more Closure Right members there are, the more that value increases. Note: there is a current limit of 100,000 Closure Right members. If this were maxed out, that would bring 10,000,000 Euros or 13,000,000 USD into the coffers of the Association. I hope this is beginning to make sense.
3. Statute 3: "The Association's activities shall include...risk projects..." The purpose of the association is to maximize its social influence through....a strong economy of its own and an activity that contributes to a long-term sustainable development of society....The association shall manifest the evident possibilities of a company has to be of benefit to society and through this activity contribute to the development of profit-making organizations..." (Business as Usual is Over)
So what the hell does that have to do with anything? Particularly, with what was mentioned above? For me, its rather simple.
If one of the purposes of the Association is to engage in risk projects, why couldn't a share of the Association's funds from Closure Right members be used to help create and propel new for profit enterprises which the Association would have a stake in? Using the for profit company's network and business relations, the Association could seed the project and once it reaches maturity, sell its shares in the new venture to this network or other interested parties. A stipulation though, would be to create this new entity as a Companization. And this is where I believe influence and a strong economy would coalesce. Further, it fulfills the obligations and purpose of the Association as articulated in Statute 3 as best as I can understand it.
4. Crowdfunding and new companizations: This is where I begin to get really excited. The prospects of using Association's funds as risk capital to propel and develop other Companizations begins to make perfect, logical sense to me. As a crowdfunding platform, the Association could perhaps present a challenge to which there is a call to submissions for solutions. Upon review of the solutions, and the development of a business plan (a business plan competition), the Association would either seed the money as a grant, a loan, or some other funding tool.
The winner(s) would have to go through training on the companization model, mentorship with members of the network of the for-profit and nonprofit. This would be the business incubation stage. I propose, as articulated in Business As Usual is Over (Appendix 3) to seed the funds in exchange for equity in the new Companization. A Shareholders agreement would articulate that 50% ownership would be for the innovator, 50% for PNA. Further, it would stipulate that each would have to donate 5% ownership to creating a new nonprofit association, which would have 10% ownership and 50% determination of the Board of Directors in the new for profit. In other words, they would be creating a new Companization.
Once the new Companization has created this nonprofit association with these stipulations, PNA would begin to sell its stake in the new Companization. Ownership would go from 45% (after the development and sharing with the new nonprofit), to perhaps 35% or less. It would be wise though, to keep a large enough stake to earn profit, but small enough to reduce risk. I would guess 10% would be suffice. But this of course depends on the new business model.
5. Keep doing this. If done enough times, with enough viable business solutions, the Association as a risk capitalist, would have the potential to create a significant number of Companizations, fulfilling both the mandate to influence society and doing so while making profit. Business as usual my friends, would be over, as there would be a new type of company in the world. A company with a different set of values. This would have to be constitutionalized in their bylaws and statutes of course, but theoretically, it has the potential to make significant, long-term impact.
6. Why members are so important. This cannot be done without committed, informed, and engaged members. Having a Closure Right assumes that you have the long term interest and stake in the Association and Plantagon in general. This shouldn't just be a privilege or responsibility. It should have benefits and create opportunities for normal, average people, to make lasting impacts on the world. That is how it has always been done. This is how I see it happening. But what do you think?
A World Bank report last week highlighted the need for one of the last league of nations to become independent in it's new light of freedom.
What took precedence in the report was the 'rush of help' that was forth-coming from the well-placed developed nations of the world.
Myanmar ( aka Burma ) is the nation that the Globe is watching as it begins to take some baby-steps towards Global Economic existence.
Global investments are pouring in to help create a nation.
Basic living, standard roads, rudimentary infrastructure for trade, water accessibility, health standards and distributions systems, agriculture etc are amongst the many links that are being scanned by various global and domestic organisations and agencies currently.
When it comes to food systems and agricultural output to meet the current needs and also to ensure that equivalent distribution of foods across the country is maintained - many experts in the World Bank believe that technology needs to play a larger role in the creation of this last breed of countries left on earth.
The real question remains
Can technology help a budding nation 'leap-frog' the time-scale ?
Can the mistakes of the past few decades in the field of agriculture be eliminated in this case. ?
Will global knowledge transform agricultural and food systems for this nation.
Children food ambassadors, role model chefs, cooking classes...
Do you have your own idea on how we could raise kids' awareness of the benefits of fresh food?
World Environment Day 5th of May. The theme for this year’s celebrations is Think.Eat.Save.
Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This year’s campaign rallies you to take action from your home and then witness the power of collective decisions you and others have made to reduce food waste, save money, minimise the environmental impact of food production and force food production processes to become more efficient.
Boardroom conversations are usually assumed to be of high intellectual calibre apart from being futuristic in nature.
There is also a lot of number crunching that a set of highly placed black suits usually use to mesmerize the global audience.
With soo much effort, time & thought-process involved - it seems flatteringly funny that we have ignored some basics in the food chain.
How is everyone living in cities going to be fed in the times to come.
Population, pollution & people are all on the rise in world cities.
What is probably lacking is Planning for this eventuality.
Why is it lacking...seems an insipid question at this stage. The players working hard to gain monetarily and politically from this rapid urbanisation are the current world leaders in public & private institutions - or so it seems in the under-belly.
Why then would we expect a prosperous gentry of folks to show the world the dark road they are helping us accelerate towards.
So my question remains - What would you call a solution for sustained food production in cities.? Strategy or Tactic.
Plantagon seems not to be the only one caring for the future food issue, Prince Charles on this topic
Global Platforms for knowledge exchange.
Inculcating education on Vertical Agriculture concepts via University tie-ups in Singapore & China shall start the process of innovation in agriculture.
Innovating new methods to implement market strategies for vertical agriculture solutions through long-term local partnerships.
Implementing the Food Solutions plan to create Sustainable cities using government & State support.
How can we solicit more ideas for effective local implementation, on a global scale.?
Is it easier for a 35yr old to change his habits of living VERSUS inculcating a 3yr old with more energy effecient habits for a better lifestyle.?
If we are need to change our existing patterns of usage of money, energy, resources and time to inculcate a more GREEN manner of lifestyle, why not start by educating the tiny tots on this renewed sense of responsibility towards the earth.
Lets hear some views on this...