We’ve just start with some friends to work together on our ideas and create new businesses and we’ve found the Common web page. It has basically the same idea – to create common brands. This is definitely the trend and it is not only a trend, but the way towards a better future. I’m sure that there will be more groups of people like this in the future. 🙂
Money lending and especially micro credits became very popular in the last years. Those are great and the best possible example is Kiva. But they do not solve every problem. Even if the poor people become a micro credit and manage to make some money, they still remain poor, because they have no possibilities to securely save money. Normally even if they make some money they have no access to a bank account. The banks are not willing to give such small customers accounts because they can make money from this. (An example for a project in micro saving which had to stop is MatchSavings.)
So, we actually need to help the banks who are willing not only to give credits, but also to enable accounts for poor people. This will make more sense. Another possibility is to start such banks. Sooner or later, if we want to help the poor, we have to start to offer them bank accounts. Without this component the microfinance is not going to function. Only credits are not sufficient. And from the credits the banks make a big win. Even Kiva functions through a cooperation with many banks.
So, what about getting rid of the banks? To lend money direct without banks? There are already such possibilities in the rich countries, for example Zopa. Through this platform you can lend money directly to people. Can you imagine what will happen if the big communities include this option? Look at this video.
The problem with this model is that this functions, because we all have bank accounts. We can hardly lend money to people who have no bank accounts. So again, it will be a problem for poor people. Do you have some ideas how to lend money directly to people who need it? What about a shared bank account with people like us. So, open a bank account in a country with many poor people with no access to the banking system and give them the possibility to save money on your account. They can always have their money and the bank is happy because you have enough money on your account. You can even make some money from your account. And you can even lend money directly to the poor. There are already such shared account services and even shared credit cards. Such model can change the finance system. So, let’s share bank accounts with some poor people.
Cars are for me the most stupid invention ever. And as often happens, the idea is great, but the realisation we have nowadays is disastrous. Cars are not only bad for the nature and for our health (gases), but they also separate and create boundaries in the landscape. Highways separate the landscape and make it impossible for animals and people to cross. And it is pretty much the same in the cities. Cars are a big danger especially for old people and kids. Our cities are built for the cars and not for the people. You can’t just walk around, because of the cars. There are only some special reserves, called parks, where people can feel safe. But this it not enough!
When I was a kid, I used to play on the street because there were really a few cars. Together with my brother we used to count the cars on our street and we counted about 10 cars per hour. Now there are at about 20 per minute. So it is not possible for kids to play anymore where they want. I can’t imagine that my kid will not have the freedom to move because of some stupid invention.
And because of the cars and the car roads our cities are grey. Can you imagine cities where there are meadows instead of roads? I could have been much better. And if we still need for some reason cars, then it is possible to ban them from the living areas. It can be definitely done. How about this? How about creating colourful cities with meadows and flowers instead of grey roads? How about kids playing outside and nor staying in front of the computer. How about old people sitting on the banks and not watching TV? How about much more social people, who live more outside than inside? Can we start creating this future? Can we start creating such cities? Sure we can!
The industry and the science keep going their way of close specialization. And so the whole western society, which is ruled by the modern economics, based on science and industry. But there is a big social change that happens right now. People realized that general knowledge and social competences and cooperation are much more important. These are not only the bases for creativity and innovation, but also for happiness and sustainable change in the society. There are already a lot of co-working offices, for example the Betahouse in Berlin.
It is important to create co-working spaces. These do not need to be only in the office. They can be in the private life, hobbies and so on. Thus a unique social environment is possible. So let’s make some meetings where people from different backgrounds and professional orientation meet and tell about their lifestyles and professions. Even more interesting can be to change the roles for some time and thus experience completely different worlds. The so gained knowledge can be applied in your own area or you can just jump above your current point of view and discover completely new alternatives. This is especially true for scientists and research workers.
What about intergenerational education? Young people teach old people how to work with computers and new media. And old people teach young people about life at all or give them their expert knowledge in the area at which they used to work. Sounds great! What we need is a platform where people can find each other. As you can judge, a web one won’t do, because we couldn’t get in touch with old people. So we need to find out a way to make the contact. Homes for old abandoned people can be one place to start. And of course some associations of old people.