The Columbus Model 1.0
The Columbus Model is a concept created for local communities that will increase self-reliance, promote a greater degree of economic and political freedom, and develop a greater sense of community. It is made up of special types of businesses, called social enterprises, that exist solely to solve social problems. In addition to this the businesses will be worker-owned, community accountable, cooperatives. These businesses will work together to provide basic needs for the population at the local level. Each business will be economically sustainable, but will integrate with each other to provide financial and social support. They will utilize economic anchors within the community, such as hospitals and universities, to strengthen the stability of each business. All profits will be used to grow the movement and regenerate the community.
The different sectors the businesses will operate in are: agriculture, energy production, waste recovery, up-cycle services, fab-lab manufacturing, and financial services. Together, they will add an extra layer of economic and political resilience to the local economy. The use of automation, zero-marginal cost, and open source methods will be leveraged to drastically decrease the cost of each service. This will make essential goods in the community more affordable, decrease the overall financial burden of the community, and make it difficult for corporations to out-compete these local industries.
This will be a working model that can be refined and replicated in other towns and cities.
Obligatory Utopian Disclaimer: This is not meant to act as a rigid Utopian design that claims to be a completed answer to many of our social, cultural, political, or economic problems. Rather, this is one idea of many, that proposes a possible way forward. The design will need many iterations and corrections before a network of symbiotic relations comes to life on a micro scale. With this disclaimer in mind, please feel free to provide feedback so we can co-create a concrete, relative utopia.