Episode #126 Regenerative Renaissance: Managing the new economy with Rieki Cordon of Seeds. Part 2 of 2
Revolutions don’t work, and we don’t have time. What we need now is a Regenerative Renaissance where we all envisage the whole, beautiful, clean, thriving world we want, and set about making it happen. In this second part (of two) podcasts, Rieki Cordon of the SEEDS regenerative currency explains how a new economy could work, based on regenerative values and principles. Second part of two.
Rieki Cordon of SEEDS says,
“We need a Renaissance over revolution because a revolution is technically just revolving. It’s having the same power structures, but with new people in power. What’s interesting about a Renaissance is it’s a fundamental shift of the paradigm. So it’s not something that’s “us vs them”; like a revolution where the mission is often, ‘let’s take down the 1%’.
It’s more about rethinking how our systems are designed, and how we show up in society. We have fundamentally new technologies. We have a fundamentally different environment that humanity is operating in and we’ve never before had a global civilisation.”
SEEDS is not just about money and value exchange, it’s about finding ways we can be in the world that are genuinely regenerative: Rieki is also a part of HYDRA, which is evolving the rules and baselines for regenerative villages.
In this second of two parts, we explore how a genuine regenerative renaissance might spread, how it might look and feel – how we can make it work.
Manda: This is the second part of my quite extended conversation with Rieki Cordon. He is such an extraordinary font of knowledge and understanding of how our financial, economic, monetary system works and how it could be done differently. How that would impact our world, how we as people could value ourselves and the world around us in ways that lets everything thrive. If you haven’t listened to the first part of this conversation, then please go back and do that now, because it’s going to be a lot easier to understand this one with that one behind you. And on the assumption that if you’ve got here, then you already have listened to it. Without further delay, people of the podcast, please welcome Reiki Cordon for the second time.
I would like to look at the contribution score, and in doing that, can you tell us, because Seeds is just a word at the moment. Tell us a little bit about the kind of history, how Seeds arose, the processes that it’s gone through and where it’s at now, and what people listening can do to engage with it. That also is quite big.
Rieki: Sure. So this is a completely different perspective. You start off the blockchain one, but we’re going to start off with where we started. Okay. I love plants, I love local food. I love having a relationship with my food and relationship with the plants that are growing my food. Like, it inspires me. And I have a bias to think that everyone would be healthier if we had a relationship with local food and we ate more healthy, nourishing, regenerative, local, organic, home cooked meals. So where Seeds really started was in a peer to peer local food system. We wanted to grow food, not lots, cook food out of your house to sell it with your neighbours, you know, exchange it amongst each other. That kind of idea. Let’s create local food systems. This isn’t a new idea. A lot of projects have tried this. So where it really kind of began is there’s this concept called Crowd Food Network, which is exactly that: Grow food, not lawns, share it with each other. But the concept didn’t know how to monetise. It’s like, okay, well do we take a fee? If we took a fee, people are going to avoid our platform. And this is exactly what happened. Everyone who tried to create these local food systems and they’re like, We’re going to take a 5% cut. No, I’m going to look at the app and be like, Bob, the neighbour’s selling a pie.
Yeah. Walk over there: Hey, Bob, you got a pie? Here’s five bucks, you know. Thanks. You know, I’m not going to use the platform and take a cut. And once you have that first interaction, you start dealing direct and again, cutting out the platform. Sharing economy platforms that take fees like Airbnb and Uber, they only work because they’re one off interactions. It’s way easier to call the taxi one time and forget about it and get his number. But you see it all the time, the taxi drivers are like, Hey, take my card, call me direct. You know, skip out on Uber. You know, it doesn’t work because it’s more convenient otherwise. But with food it is …okay, I’m getting into the problem too much. So that’s kind of what we approach; okay, what if we can make interacting with each other better than free? If we got our own financial system that was subsidising this use of this economy, then we could actually reward people for using this new currency. Let’s say it’s actually better to buy that pie from your neighbour Bob, using Seeds and the Seeds Economy than it would be using dollars and try to cut it out. So we wanted to make it financially incentivising to use the platform and adopt it.
So that’s kind of where we started. Like how do we really get traction in our local food systems? Let’s build a local food financial system. And then we’re like, okay, but it needs to be governed by the citizens, so we need to figure out governance. We figured out the financial part easy. That took us one year, not easy. It was more difficult, but that was a simpler affair to say, okay, here’s a financial system that rewards certain behaviours. That’s the contribution score stuff. The difficult part was, okay, how do we govern this? How do we make sure everything is a setting so that the citizens really do have a voice in how this is managed? And that’s a very complicated engineering feat, to make it so every part of the system can be tweaked and redesigned, you know. And then we had to build simulators for testing out what different economic assumptions would end up being. And all of these tools exist right now. We’ve been working on this for years, so you’re coming in at a great point, because it’s, you know, talk to me a couple of years ago and these were all just fanciful ideas. And now we’re doing it and we’re like actually getting momentum and it’s kind of fun.
Manda: So, let’s stay with the original. You’re rewarding people for using the system, as opposed to buying into the bank system. Just for my interest, how far geographically did that spread? And also, can you tell us more about how that actually worked? Suppose you and I lived next door to each other, I want to buy a pie from Reiki using the Seed System. I go into my app and a I pay high value to Reiki. Tell me a little bit about how that works.
Rieki: Sure. A couple of things. First, Seeds is an evolving economic system. So some of the concepts I’m talking about are meant to happen in later stages. So just as the protocols for how a baby grows within a womb are very different from when that baby is born and when that baby becomes an adult. It has these intentional transition periods where it behaves and acts differently. The same thing is true of our economic system. So some of these better than free concepts and being rewarded and having this contribution score and you can just do actions and get paid. That’s not really operational yet. We’ve built the code, we’ve tested it with fake seeds, but it’s not actually running. Because that doesn’t happen until this moment we call ‘Go Live’. And Go Live isn’t going to happen until there’s enough people and businesses within the Seeds Economy that are like, yep, we’re part of this economic system. Because a lot of those Go Live principles are predicated on their already being an economic system, where people are exchanging goods and services. But we need to bootstrap ourselves to that economic system. So, in the first stage we actually look a lot like Bitcoin. Bitcoin bootstrapped itself to getting millions of people to have it and hold it, by being a very scarce asset that was appreciating in value and was kind of speculative.
Manda: And for years was actually worth nothing. I mean, there’s the guy who paid 25,000 Bitcoin for a pizza famously. So it took a long time before it was actually worth anything in the existing economy. So yeah, you can go for a while with Seeds just being underground.
Rieki: And you need to reward that risk of early contributions, otherwise people wouldn’t have contributed early. So Seeds has that period right now. There’s a fixed supply of Seeds. They’re meant to appreciate as people adopt it. They are a little bit speculative, because they’re not a functioning economic system right now. And we are wanting people who contribute early to actually gain some value for having contributed early. So we build that into it. But what we say is, we don’t want people to get 100,000% returns. We don’t want someone to own 5% of all seeds that will ever exist. That’s not a healthy financial system. We only want this bootstrap phase to help us get to an economic size and we have clear targets for that. And then once we reach that state, we hit a steady state economy. So we can have this speculative price appreciation phase that is necessary to bootstrap a new thing and reward risk. But let’s not exaggerate that. Let’s not re-concentrate wealth. You know, if this thing succeeds, people 100 X their money, they didn’t 100,000 X their money or 1 million X their money like in Bitcoin, etc..
Manda: But also we don’t need to. I mean, the whole point of a regenerative economy is that we don’t create trillionaires because there’s no point. If everybody has enough and things are flowing, then it’s about the relationship, not about I suddenly made myself incredibly rich and I can go and buy a bigger car. Because that’s no longer the point. So we’re at the phase, just now…so I’ve just been teaching puppy training class this afternoon and I said, no, I don’t want any money. I just want you to tell half a dozen people about the podcast. So if instead I said, okay, get The Seeds App on your phone, pay me with some Seeds for the puppy class or whatever you think, that’s fine? Is that a functional way of using Seeds in its current embryonic phase?
Rieki: Yes. And people are doing that right now. It’s free to trade Seeds. People are doing that. There are local food systems right now or little farmer’s markets are accepting Seeds. I’ve bought stuff using Seeds. This is kind of happening in communities all across the globe. Seeds is global right now. It’s just anyone in the world can join the community, start hopping in the community channels, start talking and introducing each other, building groups and all of that’s happening. There’s a bunch of different organisations that have formed within Seeds. I think at least eight different ones right now, that are all part of the Seeds Commons now, which is this like holding group of all the different organisations that are supporting Seeds. So it started off with Haifa, which is one of the organisations I’m part of, but now there’s like nine different ones and you can see it kind of growing and spreading, driving Seeds forward.
But I want to talk about something important and that’s you brought up regenerative economies and so far we’ve been talking about Seeds. Seeds is a currency and a token, but it’s what we call a yang currency, like yin and yang. Yang currencies are the ones that act like our current central bank currencies. You know, they’re ones that drive growth. That’s what central bank currencies do. They’re incredibly effective at driving endless growth. And what did we do? We grew into the world’s first global economy of almost 10 billion souls. Like that protocol of growth: Fantastic. We need a new protocol of steady state. And it’s steady state systems that are Yin currencies. Yin economies. David Graeber kind of gets into this too. Is yin communities and economies, they weren’t warfaring communities, but they had incredibly stable, generative, thriving systems. But the Yang economies, they were warring economies. And unfortunately went and dominated everyone else and all the yin economies kind of got shut down. So that’s kind of the revival here; is we’ve got to bring a balance of yin and yang. So some aspects of Seeds are yang, like the seeds token itself. But to counteract that, we need Yin currencies. So we have another currency and it’s called gratitude. And this is a currency that at the start of the cycle everyone gets 100 of these. Or every resident gets 100, and every citizen gets 200. They mean absolutely nothing if you hold on to them. They only mean something if you send them to somebody else. So at the end of the cycle, you see where all the gratitude flowed and then you can send them seeds. And this is exactly what’s happening.
We have this Seeds spot, we see where all the gratitude’s sent, within the cycle, and then we send them Seeds. So here is a currency that is only beneficial when you give it to somebody. When you give it to somebody, you both benefit. Because there’s some other complex things that when you give gratitude, you get more value at the end too. It’s kind of like getting gratitude in real life. If I give you a hug, like, I feel great too, you know, we both benefit. So this is a yin currency and it’s a way of one crowdsourcing where we direct value to. So now anyone can show up, do a bunch of stuff. People are like, Oh my gosh, thank you for doing that. And they can send them gratitude and then they can get paid for having contributed. So it’s also another way of redirecting value in our economic system, right? So these are the type of things that we’re building, like how do we build balance? We need the Seeds token, because that speculative element helps us drive growth, bring more value into our ecosystem. Bridge with the legacy financial systems, cool. But if that’s all we were, then we would just perpetuate yang economies and re-concentrate wealth then etc. etc..
Manda: How long is the cycle on on the yin, on the gratitude cycle?
Rieki: Each cycle is a lunar cycle. We chose lunar cycles because they don’t bias particular time zones. So they’re 29 and one half days. It also helps us get back in tune with the cycles of nature, which we think are important and a lot of different reasons.
Manda: Okay.Thank you.
Rieki: So every cycle in Seeds is one lunar cycle.
Manda: So people listening can engage with this now? They can go onto the app or download the app and be part of the gratitude?
Rieki: They can download the app. They can join the Seeds Discord Group, which is where all the different channels and all the conversations are happening. So that’s where a lot of the communication goes on. There’s a forum in the passport which you can earn reputation. That’s one of the ways of contributing, is going to the forum, engaging, sharing your wisdom. As people upvote your thing and say that they liked it, you can earn reputation. It’s this really complex thing where the more reputation you have, the more you give.
Rieki: So it also gets rid of bots. So you can’t create a bunch of fake accounts and do stuff.
Manda: Right. Like Audrey Tang was describing in the system that they created for their governance,in what was it? South Korea, I think anyway. Yes. Brilliant. And you talked about bridging to the legacy financial system. So there’s a thing in the UK called Hull Coin. Hull being a very deprived city with a lot of austerity crashing in on it and they created Hull Coin, which sadly they linked to Bitcoin, but let’s leave that to one side. And they got to the point where the Conservative government in the UK was supporting them, and they’re not linking it to the legacy currency. Very deliberately. If I, a Hull Coiner earned for social good; so if I go out and I help an old lady across the road or maybe I go and I help out at the swimming pool. Or I give up smoking and the person who’s assigned to me says, yeah, she’s definitely given up smoking for a month. People listening, I don’t smoke. It’s okay. But I gave up smoking or I gave up drinking or something and I get a Hull Coin. And then that Hull Coin is worth whatever somebody else thinks it’s worth. So it might be that the swimming pool says we’re kind of not very busy after 11:00 on a Wednesday. So after 11:00 on Wednesday, you can come and swim for half a Hull Coin. Or apparently the local football team said, you know, at the moment the match starts, the tickets that were costing – I don’t know what a football ticket costs – Let’s say 50 quid. Are now worth nothing. So now it’s half a Hull Coin. And the guy at the garage might decide that the car that’s just come in, he’s feeling kind, and that’s worth half a Hull Coin. So it’s not actually worth anything linked to the legacy currency, and therefore it is completely not taxable. Because it’s only there to perpetuate social good and to be a glue in the community.
Rieki: I love that.
Manda: And it seems I need to find someone from Hull Coin and see if it’s really working, because we had a guy come and talk to us when we were at Schumacher, but that was 2017, so five years ago. But then I’m wondering, so how are you planning to link to the legacy currency so that the Fed doesn’t decide either to buy you out or close you down?
Rieki: Well, buy us out or close us down. So in order to close this down, you’d have to shut down all of the nodes across the globe and you’d have to get the 15 out of the 21 block producers to collude against the network. And those people don’t live in the States. So it’s going to take a coordinated global effort to shut it down, which let’s see if they could pull it off. So how do they shut it down? They don’t. And that’s the other cool part about it, is that’s also why they have to incorporate it into the system. Is they have to bring it into their worldview because they can’t fight it. And that’s exactly what they’ve done with things like Bitcoin. And they can capture it because Bitcoin can just be bought, right? What seeds has done and everything Haifa’s been building is the separation of Governance and Value. So Governance Tokens and Seeds cannot be bought, sold or traded. You can only earn them and spend them yourself, or you can delegate them to somebody else for them to represent you. That’s it.
Manda: How do I earn a Governance token?
Rieki: You earn Governance by contributing. So the higher your contribution score and all the different ways you’re contributing, the more voice you have in governance.
Rieki: Part of how you contribute is economic incentive. So we make sure everyone has skin in the game, but there is no model where the richer you are, the more voice you have. That’s incredibly capped.
Manda: Okay. Unlike Ethereum, which is exactly that.
Rieki: Yeah, like most of crypto. Most of crypto kind of took 19th, 20th century economic philosophical thought and codified it. Very libertarian, very much… I call it a revolution because that’s what revolutions do; they revolve. And it’s the same paradigm, but a different group of people in power. Now instead of Wall Street bankers it’s the crypto bros. I love that community, but the people I started with in the whole blockchain… Because I started in Bitcoin in 2011 and I was pulled in there because everyone was radicals and game changers and revolutionaries. They were my people. Most of those people have gone on to build other projects. Bitcoin is not the same energy or soul as it used to be, and I sound like an old grandpa talking like that. But the problem with bitcoin too is it could be bought out by the legacy systems and it has been. Central banks can come in there and buy Bitcoin. Boom, they’ve hedge their bets. Bitcoin is no longer a threat to them.
Manda: And are they all? When I was studying this, again back in 2017, so I’m out of date. But at that point all of the big banks were trying to create their own blockchain system, as were the giant electricity companies. A lot of people were putting a lot of time and effort into endeavouring to create their own. Have they all just defaulted to Bitcoin now or are there blockchains?
Rieki: No, I don’t think so. I think they will try to create their own still. I think that’s stupid, because the idea of a permissioned blockchain just hurts my head, defeats the entire point. So I don’t think they even understand what’s going on, which is why they’re just kind of doing stuff. But that’s how we explain our current system anyways. We have a lot of people who don’t understand the complexity. I don’t either. None of us do, but we shouldn’t have systems where individuals have that much influence over the system, because they don’t understand it. So that’s why this kind of revolution is necessary too. I say revolution, because what’s happening in crypto could be a lot of things. It could be capitalism 2.0, 3.0. It could be a revolution, it could be a renaissance, it could be something altogether entirely different. And all of that’s happening at the same time. So any narrative that comes out here and says, oh, crypto is bad because it’s capitalism 2.0; Yes, that’s right but there’s also a renaissance happening. So, you know.
Manda: And if the renaissance really takes off, let’s cast ourselves forward down a technological trail, where things will be changing and the embryo will evolve. But let’s just take the concepts you have at the moment, of a yin and yang balancing each other out, steady state economic system within a regenerative community, that is no longer trying to be voracious and grows. How do you envisage the tipping point where that becomes the mainstream, without those who are…And I’m realising as I’m asking this, I’m probably giving energy and voice to something we may not want to look at, but I’m writing a book at the moment that is going here. And in my book, those who have a lot invested in the mainstream and therefore have a lot of power and can command a lot of muscle, are really not happy with the idea that there might be a different system. How do you see that playing out?
Rieki: Paradigm shift unity. Those in power need to benefit from this, too. Those in power will benefit because, one, they’re avoiding a bloody collapse. Two, they also get a liveable regenerative planet. But we have to approach this in a way that it’s not us versus them. The whole 99% steal the 1% wealth, go to war. That’s going to cause collapse and failure. It needs to be: here’s a way to transition. You love your posh lifestyle, fine. You really only spend 10 million a year, Mr. Billionaire. Like, keep spending 10 million a year but in this new system, you’re going to have considerably less wealth. Your lifestyle is not going to be negatively impacted. And actually, we’re building systems that are providing you authentic community. There’s a lot of people joining seeds that are incredibly wealthy. They’re here because they’re here for the Renaissance. They’ve lost purpose. They lost their heart and soul. They’re like, What is life for? Like, I have a billion in the bank, but I’m miserable and I can’t trust anyone. And we’re here being like, no, we need a regenerative culture. We’re here to build that. So I think that’s the narrative we need to bring. It’s not us versus them. It’s not the revolution. We have to get rid of revolution thinking. And Hollywood’s done a great job of making sure that’s the only way we think. Because that’s going to end in us revolving in circles, getting nowhere, right? So we have to kind of break out of that ideology.
Manda: Right. Thank you. Yes. That makes so much sense. Hence why you’re calling it the regenerative renaissance. I hadn’t fully understood that. But you’re right, revolutions always just take us back to where we started. You might be spreading the spoils of extraction slightly differently, but you’re still extracting.
Rieki: And that’s exactly what Bitcoin is showing. It’s all the worst parts of capitalism: excessive use, waste, wealth concentration, etc. It’s like, we don’t need that stuff. But I mentioned that Seeds kind of embodies that as its yang element, right? Because what Bitcoin showed is that it was fantastic at getting growth, getting adoption. A baby grows exponentially in the womb when it needs to. If it kept growing exponentially after birth and into adulthood, it would blow up and die. So it needs to shift into a steady state system. So this is what Seeds consciously created. It said no, first we’re speculative, we’re gonna have this price appreciation phase. We’re going to push for growth. Then once we reach an economy, we step into a steady state. So we start off yang to get the growth and then we step into Yin to get balance. So what we’re building with this, we call it a constant currency. And the protocols essentially work to balance supply and demand. So if there’s more demand for the currency, there’s more supply, which keeps the value of it’s stable. So instead of the dollar that’s losing its value and Bitcoin, that’s all the way up here gaining value, we want something that’s stable. So after 30 years it’s the same value. Because otherwise we have this crazy problem. If you’re a wage earner and you’re making $100 an hour or whatever, if you’re doing that in dollars every year, you’re getting a 7% demotion.
Rieki: So if you’re not getting a 7% raise every single year, you’re getting demoted. So when they come and give you that 5% raise, then you act like they’re not doing you a favour. They didn’t even… You’re still getting a demotion. That’s the problem with dollars. The problem with Bitcoin is, okay, I take a house loan and I took it in 100 Bitcoin seven years ago. Uh oh. Now, I’m never going to pay that back. You can’t denominate future earnings in Bitcoin. You can’t do loans. You can’t you can’t use it as a unit account. It fails at the basic principle of money, which is to be able to quantify something’s value. So this is what we’re trying to accomplish with Seeds, is actual constant currency after that Go Live point. And this is where we think we’ll get more adoption. Is right now we’re focussed on re generators because we’re citizen governed. We want people who really get this renaissance to be able to be the founding protocols and the ones kind of influencing how this evolves. And that’s exactly how Seeds has happened. We’ve got very little crypto attention, which is exactly what we wanted and we’ve got much more of like the permaculturists, the incredible humans of the world. I love crypto too. I’m not trying… Anyway. Point is.
Manda: Okay. The point is we’re heading for steady state.
Rieki: Oh, right. And then growth and adoption will come, because we have this steady state currency that’s better at holding its value than dollars. So if you want to trade out of dollars into something less speculative, you can go into Seeds. So there’s that holding potential. But there’s also, I would rather price my services and products in Seeds. So I don’t have to keep changing my menu every year, as dollars become less valuable. I have to keep negotiating a 7% raise. That’s ridiculous. So you might expect that people demand to be paid in a constant currency, because they’re no longer satisfied with a 7% demotion.
So that’s also a metric for growth. But the better than free component is where we’re trying to drive it. Is we still have these yang capitalism drivers, of self interest profit motive. So we want that to be a driver. It’s kind of like a jujitsu move. Let’s not try to fight that, let’s use that as motivation to come in. So we come in and say, here’s a currency that’s free to use, so it’s already going to save you that 3% transaction fee you’re paying with credit cards, etc. And if you’re regenerative, it’s better than free. And it’s better at holding its value than your national currencies. If we could promise that and say you get to come in and have a voice in this new economic system, it’s transparent. Look at all the beautiful things that we’re doing in the world. You know, we could build a new society. Like all of these things we’re talking about, but we can also offer that very basic, Hey, it’s cheaper and faster. That’s where we think we’re going to kind of win in the long run. And we’re not even caring about that narrative right now, because we’re still figuring out what is a regenerative economic system. And once we get that foundation right, then we’ll take it to this world and start growing. But we need to make sure that this will be used for good, you know, instead of capitalism 2.0.
Manda: And it’s going to be a global currency. So there will be no exchange as you go across national, international borders. The whole catastrophe of Brexit in the UK, part of it was we want our pound, we don’t want the euro; let’s not go there. But but this will be a totally global currency in the end, unless North Korea decides it’s just going to stay as a little island and have its own currency. But that apart, the idea is, am I hearing that this is completely across national borders and there will be no distinctions?
Rieki: Yeah. Within seeds there’s, there’s no concept of a national borders and those things are ridiculous anyway. Artificial boundaries on our earth. Like what is that? A regenerative economic system wouldn’t think in terms of artificial boundaries and national borders and any of that. So yeah, Seeds is a global currency. Some people might hear that and be like, oops, globalism, bad, evil. I agree with you, because the groups that are trying to seize global control – Yes, that’s not great. And the current drive towards centralising power over the global economic system. Terrible. So that globalism narrative: evil. This is different, because this is open and transparent and completely voluntary. Like this is non-coercive, so it’s just free for anyone to use. I love mimicking biology because that’s the patterns that I think we need to be following. So if you prick a cell, you actually watch it kind of suck in on itself and protect. That’s the natural, biological, basic instinct of everything in life. You get attacked, you shrink, and you try to protect. And I think that’s what’s happening with a lot of the local movements. Because they say, we want our own local currency. We want our own local economy. We don’t want to disconnect. Brexit. All of that narrative is we’re getting attacked by this global system, ee want to shrink away. When we really need to be interconnecting across all of our regions and communities and creating an interconnected global, regenerative financial system. Also, this is the only way to reverse global inequality. If all we did was create a bunch of niche local economies, we’d have exactly the same problem we have in nation state today. We have poor economies and rich economies, poor regions that are getting exploited by rich regions and etc., etc.
If we want to get rid of that, we need to have a global economic system that’s opt in. And then all of a sudden those boundaries of nation states start dissolving and we have this new networked model where people, you know, all over the globe, little communities could be part of different economic systems that are coordinating with different communities all over the globe. So now, instead of being like Americans in North America, you know, we have Seed citizens. And they’re literally all over the globe right now. And we have different physical communities across the globe, that’s starting to be co-owned by the seed citizens, and they’re buying land together. And we’ve got all this. It’s great, and we’re bringing this land into common ownership and stewardship. So we have this little economic system that’s like.. Anyhow. So that’s where I think we’re headed, is these decentralised, networked economic systems where people could be part of a multiple of them, and there’s this freedom of choice to actually choose what social system works for you, and you should be able to move from one to the other. Because if we don’t have that basic freedom to choose what social systems we are part of, we don’t have any freedoms at all. We’ve got the illusion of freedom, which is what our system is so great at. It Speaks freedom, it gives us this illusion, but we don’t have it. And that’s really I think what this is about, is it’s providing us actual freedom to choose what society and what economic systems we want to be a part of, that meet our values that actually help us meet our needs.
Manda: Yes. And another plug for The Dawn of Everything. That was one of the things I thought was most striking about David Graeber and David Wengrow was that they redefined what their question was, and that their concept that one of the things that made the indigenous cultures that they were studying such a ground root of psychological safety for the people within them, was the capacity to move elsewhere and know that you would be taken in and treated as part of the family. And that you could travel long, long distance. If you didn’t like the group that you were with because somebody had suddenly decided you had to, I don’t know, worship the tree root over there, of which they were the only priest you could just walk away, and then they would find they had no followers, and then they would give up.
Rieki: 100% Yes! It changes everything when you can’t use coercive tactics to grab people in, which is how every nation state works. You have to have a passport, getting rid of it’s difficult. You’ve got to pay our taxes or we’re going to put you in jail. It’s all about coercion to maintain control.
Manda: Yeah, well, that’s Hobbs definition of a nation state: is it’s the unit which has the monopoly of violence within a certain specific geographic boundary.
Rieki: I see it as spirals always kind of wrapping around, and it’s this yin yang balance. So we like to fantasise the beautiful paradise earth of a bunch of yin cultures. I believe this existed at one point. It was a fairly peaceful world for several thousand years. Yin economies, kind of living in general abundance and happiness. There were yang economies that formed, but it was just general balance. But we saw Yang kind of took control and that’s where the spiral comes up. And then it grew. And then for the first time ever, potentially, we had one global unified economy with 7 billion plus people. I think that was a necessary stage in our evolution, kind of like a baby in a womb. And what’s really fascinating is if you overlay the growth, the acceleration rate and the total population of human population on the planet and that of a baby in a womb, they’re like identical. And it looks like we’re capping off at around 10 billion people, which is when a baby would cap off. And that’s when the birth happens. And I think we’re kind of going through a meta stage like that, where we have this yang-driven protocol, which is growing us into a metahuman and just like a baby, when it pops out of the womb, it’s a complete paradigm shift.
Rieki: It happens almost instantaneously and it’s completely different in every capacity; outside of womb life versus inside. That’s exactly what I think we’re going through right now, is this birth process and we’re seeing these new systems. And why blockchain is confusing is I think it’s just like a baby in a womb. It’s growing legs. It’s like, we don’t need legs. You’re in a womb, like you’re floating, legs are useless. Lungs? There’s no air, you know, what are all these things for? It’s confusing. But we already know about outside the womb life, so it makes sense to us. But if we didn’t, we’d be like, Whoa, that’s a cancer. It’s sucking all the resources out of the mother. Like, What is it doing? We have to stop this cancer from growing, otherwise the mother is going to be dead. I’ve charted it, the mother dies at this point, you know. But we don’t account for that birth.
Rieki: And I think that’s what we’re midwifing right now, is what is that birth phase? What does that actually look like and what tools do we need for this new paradigm we’re stepping into?
Rieki: And just spend all of our energy talking about that and completely forget about the collapse and then our reality starts shifting, right. And then all of a sudden we’re living in these new economic models, right. I’ve noticed that over the last few years, is my thinking of seven years ago was, Oh, I can’t wait until I’m living in this type of community, where I get to work how I want to work. Everyone’s following their passion. We have this passion economy. We’re connected and we’re doing things that are meaningful. Like, I can’t wait! For the last four years I’ve been doing that. So I had a realisation, a bunch of them, it was just like, whoa, like the thing I was looking forward to, we’re already here, because we just started doing it.
Rieki: Now we just have to distribute that further. Welcome more people who want it, you know, and build the protocols and templates and systems for them to do it too, if they choose. And that’s really the work that we’re doing now. And I think what you’re doing as well is sharing all of this.
Manda: Yes, thank you. Yes. And then the people living that way, the fact that they are in that space of internal abundance and heart open, clear hearted, open hearted, strong hearted, full heartedness; is the model that lets other people go, you know, I want that. And that’s where the exponential growth then arises of how the model moves forward.
Rieki: Last idea to leave us with is how evolution and diversity happens. You know, look up virus versus exosome theory and watch a couple of videos. Exosome. So I’m going to butcher this, but I’m going to just do a really basic difference. The virus story is there’s this thing out there that wants to harm you, it wants to perpetuate itself for whatever reason, whatever motive it has. Etc.. I think that one is a little bit obscure because we also know that viruses aren’t alive. So why do they have a motive to propagate themselves? We don’t know. But anyway, we try to fight viruses. They’re evil, and if we could conquer them all, we would. So that’s one theory. The other theory is viruses are information packets that are helpful for us, and they help us evolve. They help our cells heal. So you have this information packet that comes into you. It actually tells your cells how to detox and it replicates that information to tell other cells how to detox. So what happens is, is you get sick. What do we see? We see this thing go into your cell and more of it come out of it. So we go, Oh, this virus is going in replicating itself, attacking your cells, spreading, and now you’re sick. Because we have the story of we’re getting attacked. But the exosome story is no, this is an information packet, telling you how to evolve, how to detoxify yourself. And if you have a lot of toxins, it might kill you. If you’re too sick of a system, you might die.
But the sick process isn’t you being sick, it’s you getting healthy, you know? So Exosomes are here to heal us and they contain information. What’s the parallel for Exosomes in our movement we’re making right now? And this is where Composability is this huge thing in crypto, like how do we make things interoperable so that we could spread information faster across our movement, learn from each other, and spread like a virus? So when we have a pattern that’s helpful, how do we organise that pattern into a little packet of information, so that packet could be sent to someone else and they may implant it into the DNA of their social system? And this is where blockchain and crypto come in. It is the DNA of the organisation operating system of that community. How they distribute value, how they make decisions. And as communities come up with new ways of distributing value, making decisions, coordinating together, they can create these little packets that we call apps and any organisation can then add that app to their organisation. Oh, we like that too! Isn’t that cool, we want to learn that. And then our learning, our evolution becomes exponential because now, not every group has to relearn the same patterns over and over again. We can learn from each other and rapidly adopt the successful patterns, learn from the unsuccessful ones, and not complicate them and repeat them.
And this is also what the hypha of a healthy ecosystem does. Hyphas are the mycelial hairs that make up the fungal mycelium network that helps the ecosystem distribute value, talk about what parasites are going on, all this stuff. That’s why Haifa called ourselves Haifa, our organisation, because we’re wanting to build this coordination ecosystem. So that helps a little to understand what we’re doing with Web 3 apps, is this serves as our decentralised fraud resistant, resistant to power and abuse takeover operating system; that can help us up level our social systems, learn from each other, update them as we need to update them, evolve them as we need to evolve them, have special ones that are unique to our values and our culture, our meaning, whatever group come together to use those tools. So that we have a diversity of different groups, so that every human on the planet has the freedom to find a social system that meets their values or create a new one if they haven’t found one. And if people join them, cool, now they have something viable. If they’re all there alone, then they’ve chose to be alone, you know? But we need that freedom and that explosion of diversity. So we’d have a billion different social systems on the planet rather than the couple hundred countries we have today.
Manda: Yes. And this is how conscious evolution happens. This is just so inspiring, because I’ve had this at the edge of my awareness for several years, and I’ve not heard anybody articulate as clearly and cleanly and with the technology to make it happen, as you have just done. And I am well aware that you have to be gone quite soon. Is there any last thing that you wanted to say? I will put links to Seeds. I’ll put I’d love to talk to you about regenerative villages, but I think that’s another podcast.
Rieki: Yeah. Last thing I want to say: the most important thing I think we all could be doing right now is two things. And please look this up. Fasting and growing your own food. Fasting to heal from all the crap the last culture put into you. So just look up different ways to do fasting. I highly recommend it and start growing as much local food as possible because both of these are leverage points, that start creating a catalyst devolution. Because once you start eating healthier, you start thinking cleaner, your brain starts working clear. You can start hearing the intuition coming from your gut and heart and this other intelligences we have in our body. Once you start cleaning it up through fasting. And then this starts a flywheel that helps us be more effective co-creators of this new world. So that’s what I really think is important, is that we’re taking care of our health, we’re localising our food systems, and that starts by just going out there and putting out a garden. Like spring in the Northern Hemisphere is coming up. Please plant gardens, eat your own food, get out in nature, get your hands in the soil. Like, you know, go learn from the intelligence of the natural world. If you’re looking for inspiration, go to a forest, go hiking, spend time in nature to get inspired. That’s what I’ve been doing recently and I’ve been getting so much value from and I highly recommend it, is doing no creative work in the office in front of a computer. But do all of your creative stuff out in nature. Find a spot that’s really inspiring, do all of your ideation there, build all the designs, and then go to the computer to conceptualise it and put it into reality. But when we’re designing from that space of like stuck, then it’s just not good for us. And I don’t think we’re tapping into what we really need to be creating.
Manda: Yes. And that’s so cool. And that is exactly, I was thinking, oh God write books, how do I write books? Not at a computer, but exactly I go away and I do all my thinking up on the hill and I come back and throw it onto the screen. And you’re right. It’s amazing. Reiki, this has been so fantastic. Thank you so much for taking the time out. And by the time this hits the airwaves, you’ll be a father. So congratulations when it happens. And I have no doubt as and when the interesting change in life that fatherhood has got to a steady state, I would definitely like to talk to you again. So thank you.
And that’s it for the second part of our conversation with Reiki Cordon. I genuinely hope you got as much out of that as I did, because he has put so much time into thinking how we could do things differently. And intelligent, useful time. It’s practical, it’s doable and Seeds is out there. You can buy Seeds now. You can join the discord. You can become part of the conversation to help move it forward. And if all of us do that, then it becomes a currency. That’s how currencies arise. Money is an idea. Dollars, pounds, euros, yen, whatever. Rubles. They’re ideas that we agree with each other and we could agree something different. Increasingly as I’m writing the novel, as we’re moving into Thrutopia, I am realising not only can we make different agreements, but we absolutely have to. So Seeds is a really good place to start. I have put the link in the show notes. If you’re interested, head off. Join in. Become part of the solution.
You may also like these recent podcasts
No More Fairy Stories: Writing the way through, one tale at a time with Denise Baden
We know we have most of the answers to the poly crisis. Our challenge is getting them into the mainstream. And that means we need to understand what works when we craft our new narratives of how the world could look and feel.
Meeting the Ocean: Rekindling our deepest connections through art and science with Markus Reymann
How do we bring artists, scientists, policy makers, educators, conservationists, journalists, and all the different siloed tribes together in ways that let them genuinely communicate and listen to the web of life?
Proudly Mad: exploring mental health and the climate emergency with Charlie Hertzog Young
How did one man make the shift from Not wanting to live in this world, to refusing to live in ‘this’ world? Manda and Charlie discuss the interface between mental health, the climate emergency and what we now call eco-anxiety (but which needs a rather stronger name than that implies).
Building Tomorrow: Bonus addition: Painting 2050 if we get things right
What does our world look and feel like in 2050 if we make all the good choices now? Paddy and I recorded a brief 15 minute bonus of how the world could look if we actually employed all the strategies in ‘Building Tomorrow’ – so sit back, soak it in – and then let’s make it happen…
STAY IN TOUCH
For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts, early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.
(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership! That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...)