Episode #173  Meshworks of Being: Building Community on the DAO with Grace Rachmany of Priceless DAO

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We know that the future is based on Community. What we lack are practical routes to creating communities of community on a worldwide scale – ones that can form and will be resilient enough to survive.

In this week’s podcast, therefore, I’m genuinely thrilled to introduce you to one of the women who is breaking new ground in the creation of communities at scale and across wide geographic areas. In quite specific order, Grace Rachmany is a mother, a tech industry trouble shooter, author of over a hundred White Papers, creator of Voice of Humanity, Gangly Sister and – crucial to the trajectory we’re taking just now – co-creator of Priceless DAO.

If you’ve heard our podcast with Cory Feco back in episode #170, you’ll know we invited Cory to tell us about DAOs specifically because we knew we were going to talk to Grace and wanted you to have at least a grounding in the nature of Disseminated Autonomous Organisations and the nature of the Web 3 revolution so that we could head straight into Grace’s ideas and work in this podcast.

And here we are: Grace is one of those people who has thought outside the boundaries of our current system, about the nature of the current system, about economics and governance and politics and decision making and the creation of viable communities as we head out of the old paradigm into something new and different. The result is Priceless , which is a cause-based DAO in the form of a networked nation, which says it is dedicated to creating a true alternative economy and alternative citizenship for its members.

In pursuit of this, Priceless funds economic experiments that are designed to replace the current monetary system. The holders of PricelessDAO tokens can create whatever they want with the DAO, while the founders of Priceless Economics develop decentralized economic models that support life on earth.

At Priceless, we are convinced that the existing financial system is crumbling and at the end of life. While many projects seek to salvage what we’ve got, Priceless is looking forward to creating a completely new system that will be a destination for those trying to escape the collapse of everything.

I mean, you know everything’s collapsing, right? What can you do about it? At the very least you can give your sh*tcoins to PricelessDAO. Any funds we have will be used to research, design, prototype, and deploy economic models that respect humans and the planet.

Which is just what we’re here for. Truly. If you want to know more, or to be part of her thinking, follow the links below – and then stay tuned for the bonus podcast, in which we recorded the follow-up conversation on the nature of cryptocurrency and Ponzi schemes and the global financial crash(es).

In Conversation

Manda: This week I am genuinely thrilled to introduce you to one of the women who is breaking new ground on the leading edge of change. In quite specific order, Grace Rachmany is a mother, a tech industry troubleshooter, author of over 100 White Papers, creator of the Voice of Humanity and Gangly Sisters. And crucial to the trajectory we’re taking just now is co-creator of the Priceless DAO. If you heard our podcast with Cory Feco back in episode 170, you’ll know we invited Cory to come and talk about DAOs specifically because we knew we were going to be talking to Grace, in the nature of disseminated autonomous organisations, which is what DAO stands for, and the nature of the Web3 revolution that is taking place under the radar of anyone who’s not directly involved basically. And Grace is involved. Grace is one of those people who has thought outside the boundaries of the current system about the nature of the current system. About economics and governance and politics and decision making and the creation of viable communities.

Manda: And if you listened to more than one of these podcasts, you’ll know that we always get to the fact that building community is pretty much the only way we are going to get through the bottleneck that’s coming. And yet we still don’t have any clear idea of how we’re going to do it. But Grace has thought very deeply. She’s gone right back to the roots of where everything started. And one of the results is Priceless, which is a cause based DAO, in the form of a networked nation. Which says it is dedicated to creating a true alternative economy and alternative citizenship for its members. In pursuit of this, Priceless funds economic experiments that are designed to replace the current monetary system, so the holders of Priceless DAO tokens can create whatever they want with the DAO, while the founders of Priceless economics develop a decentralised economic model or actually economic models plural, that support life on Earth. That’s the point. On their page, they say at Priceless we are convinced that the existing financial system is crumbling and at the end of its life. While many projects seek to salvage what we’ve got, Priceless is looking forward to creating a completely new system that will be a destination for those trying to escape the collapse of everything.

Manda: And it goes on to say, I mean, you know everything is collapsing, right? What can you do about it? At the very least, you can give your expletive deleted cryptocurrency coins or indeed any currency to Priceless DAO. Any funds we have will be used to research, design, prototype, and deploy economic models that respect humans and the planet. And it’s not often I get to read that on someone else’s website, because that is what we’re here for at Accidental Gods. Truly. The sound is not great on this. Caro has done her best, but pretty much everything Grace says, I think is gold dust. So your ears are just going to have to cope. You are going to want to listen to this. So people of the podcast, please do welcome Grace Rachmany of Priceless DAO.

Manda: Grace Rachmany, welcome to the Accidental Gods podcast and thank you for taking time out on this glorious and quite exciting news-wise Monday morning. Welcome.

Grace: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’m quite excited to be here. Your podcast is one of the few that I actually listen to every week, pretty much religiously, so I’m excited to be here.

Manda: Wow. Thank you. That’s a great honour, given all the work that you’re doing. Thank you so much. You do a lot of work on a lot of different areas. And your website, which I have already put in the show notes, is a fascinating insight into all of the stuff that you do. But we’re here today to talk mostly about your creation of the Priceless Dao and the ways that it could lead us forward. On the podcast, as you’re aware, almost everybody we get to: we need to set up community and no, we don’t know how. And we need to reconfigure democracy, and no, we don’t know how. And we need to reconfigure the way that we store exchange and account for value. And no, we don’t quite know how. And you are the person I think of all the people we’ve spoken to, who actually has ideas of how to do all of those three things. So before we dive deep into Priceless itself, can you give us a brief background of how you came to be thinking about these areas of crucial importance to how we’re going to get forwards?

Grace: Well, thank you so much. Yeah, I’m so glad that you said that I have ideas, not that I have solutions. Because I don’t know if any of my ideas will work, but I do think that my ideas are some of the craziest or at least the most radical and out there. In terms of how I got into this, because I got into this at the Arab Spring. I’m not living in Israel right now, but I am Israeli. And when the Arab Spring happened, wow, we were overjoyed because of course, you want your neighbours to overthrow their dictatorship. But my thought was, I have nothing to recommend instead of dictatorship. Because we all go with this, like Winston Churchill saying, Oh well, democracy is the worst except all the rest. But you don’t say that about any other area of life. It’s not like, Oh, this microphone is the worst, except all the rest. It’s like, Well, we’ll just invent a new thing. And so that’s how I got into this. And having gotten into it that way, although I do have a major in history, and I have a minor in mathematics, so I’d always been on this edge of technology, I worked in technology most of my life. This edge of technology and you could call it history or social sciences, and I’ve worked in marketing. So I always had that combination. But I wasn’t an expert in democracy or anything like that. I have an MBA, so I understood about money, but I just started saying, Oh, wait a second, why do we need a government in the first place? What’s that all about? And what should a government even be doing? And if I were starting from scratch, not just fixing the one I’ve got, what would that look like? And because I start at first principles, my ideas are radical.

Grace: And that’s the definition of radical, right? Radical is starting from first principles. It doesn’t mean anti something. It means starting at the first principle. What is a government? Why do we need it? What are the things we should govern and how would we wish that would be? And so that was really how I started out about it. And when you think about our democracies, our democracies are designed at a time when the best you could do was like, I’m going to send James to London or Glasgow, right? James is our best guy. I guess that’s probably not the name you have in Scotland, but you know, that’s our best guy, we know him. He’ll come back once a year and report to us and he’ll represent us. And if he doesn’t represent us well or, you know, maybe you’re like, You know what? He’s just such a buffoon. He talks all the time. Let’s send him to London with all the other buffoons and get rid of him because he doesn’t do a lot of work. But whatever it was, you knew who you were sending. You knew they kind of represented you. And really, how much power did the government actually have over you? Like, not that much. Enough to ask him to bring back some taxes. And if you didn’t like the amount of taxes that he asked you for, he might slit his throat or something. But they really didn’t have much power and we really didn’t have much communication. And we’re still using that today, even though everything about the amount of power they have is completely different.

Manda: Yes. And I think E.O. Wilson, and we say this on the podcast a lot, has this brilliant aphorism of we have Palaeolithic emotions, medieval institutions and the technology of Gods, and that’s one of the reasons we’re in a bit of a fix. And I think one of the keys of particularly, you know, Britain is called the mother of parliaments and the foundation of democracy, and it was never designed to give power to the people. It was designed to maintain power in the hands of a very few old, straight white men who happened to be of the establishment. And it does that really, really well. When Winston Churchill said that democracy was really bad, other than all the other forms of governance, what he meant was it’s the best way of maintaining power in the hands of the few. Because James is indeed a Scottish name. James the sixth of Scotland became James the first of England. First of all, the franchise was in the beginning, only landed gentry and it was only landed men. You know, women didn’t get the vote around the world until very, very late. So it was really explicitly designed to give a very small number of people the sense that they had a tiny bit of agency. 

Manda: And actually the whole of Capitalism arises at the same time as parliamentary democracy. And so what it did was to enfranchise the concepts of enclosure, of throwing people off the land, of monetising everything, including people and their time. The commercialisation of land, labour and capital. The whole Polanyi thing. That was linked inextricably, I would say, to parliamentary style democracy. And in Britain we ended up inviting half our clerics into the upper chamber. There’s only two other places in the world that do that, and one is the Vatican City and the other is Iran. So, you know, we’re hardly exemplar of how to do things right. But I love the idea that you’re going back to the beginning and asking what is governance for. And I wonder how far back you went? Because reading Graber and Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything, completely overturned my concept of how other highly advanced, highly complex cultures had managed governance in ways that were definitely not a parliamentary democracy and didn’t allow for hierarchies. How spread did your radical roots go? Does that make sense as a question?

Grace: Yeah, well, I think it’s hard to say it in that way. Because what happened was I ended up in this crypto place and I ended up in this place where I had sort of a framework and you can see it on Voice of Humanity where I said, okay, well what you’ve got is a group of people and they’re having some communication and then they think of something that they want to solve, some issue or some opportunity, and then they make some proposals about how to address it. And then they pick the best proposal and maybe they vote. Maybe they don’t vote, maybe they compromise and then they execute it. And then hopefully they watch to see if the execution is having the result they want and then they go back to the beginning. In our current government, we don’t have that part about seeing if it works and going back to the beginning. 

Manda: We also don’t have the part of picking the best proposal, do we? We have the part of picking the proposal that the most number of people, who have the most amount of money from the lobby, thinks is going to enrich them the most. So even picking the best proposal I would suggest does not happen in our system at all. So yes.

Grace: Yeah. But in companies you do see that, in corporate governance, because if you don’t the company goes out of business. And in your health you have that, because otherwise you die. So we do have that structure in many areas of our lives. And so I had this thing and then I started teaching this workshop, which, by the way, I teach it once or twice a year and you can sign up for it. I walk people through kind of what I had been learning about this. And I had been learning it through working in the blockchain space, and helping different companies figure out how they were going to do what’s called their tokenomics. And I started doing this six week workshop. It’s a reverse classroom workshop, where I walk people through this. And of course my thinking just started expanding as I was dealing with people, dealing with real cases. Both in terms of these business plans I was writing, which are called white papers and in the blockchain space for bizarre historical reasons. And also by talking through people what they were really doing in their communities. And I also did some research with the Ecovillage system here in Europe. And so it wasn’t like I went back in history as much as I looked at what was and wasn’t working. And what I recognised is that we think that decisions get made at the moment you make a decision, like when you vote. And our government, like you said, they want you to think that you have power at that moment you vote.

Grace: But it’s kind of ridiculous. And the way I talk about that is lunch. Like pretty soon you’re going to decide what to have for lunch and you think that you’re going to decide what you’re going to have for lunch. But actually what’s going to happen is you’re going to go to your pantry and it’ll have what it has, based on the time of the year and what you grew, and what there was too much of a surplus of, and then maybe what you could afford at the supermarket and what wasn’t packaged in too much plastic and you were willing to buy it, because you could bring your own bags for it. You know, in our cases, those are the things. Whatever the box is that I get every week. And sometimes they’re like mystery things. I don’t know what these Slovenian vegetables are. And it’s like, Oh, guess it’s going to be soup because I don’t even know what all these root vegetables are this time of the year.

Manda: Chop it all up and throw it in, yes.

Grace: This is the time of the year where you have soup, right? And it’s not me deciding at the moment where I think I’m deciding. And I started getting deeper and deeper into this idea of what is the circulatory system of our democracy? Like I think about this as the circulatory system, because money is, my definition of it is it’s a means to redistribute resources, which is exactly what my circulatory system does. If I would like, for example, wheels instead of feet, which I would, I can’t have them because of the way my muscular system is and my circulatory system is. And that’s when I really started getting deeper into this. Wait a second, we want to change the decision making system, but if we don’t have the right circulatory system and we don’t have the right nervous system, which is our media environment. I mean, if I have a bad nervous system, I might lose my toes because I’m not getting a pain signal from my toes. And so if I don’t have the right circulatory and nervous system, what decisions am I really able to make? And that’s when I really started to understand that these blocks that I had built about what decision making is about, were incomplete. Because it’s not just the cities, it’s the rivers between them and the railroads between them, that determine what happens. And so it’s been an evolution until now, and I assume that next week I’ll think something different.

Manda: Okay. Yes, everything is evolving and we don’t fix anything in aspic, because the world is changing around us. So we have money as the circulatory system and the media is the central nervous system. What’s the food? That’s the first question. So I’m thinking when I look at governance, everything hinges on a value system. And everybody is making decisions within a value system. I look at the UK and we have potentially two political parties that might rule and they share essentially the same value system, which is that GDP growth is essential. They might tweak very slightly the margins of how they get to that GDP growth, but they don’t question that that is where we’re heading. And partly it’s because everybody in the media who makes decisions did a PPE at Oxford. So, you know, they’re all within the same conceptual frame and nobody dares stand outside it. In your thinking of new ways of creating governance, where does the value system sit in the metaphor? Does that make sense as a question?

Grace: Well, okay, so the first thing I just want to point at while you’re speaking, is that this idea that the governance is coming from some people sitting in a parliament, which it isn’t. What I’m indicating is it’s coming from every point in your nervous system. And so I’m going to take something slightly controversial as an example, but I kind of know how this happened in Great Britain. Was that when the pandemic came in, the government was a little bit careful about how they passed regulations there. And for example, lockdowns in the UK happened way later than the rest of Europe, because it seemed like it wouldn’t be popular. And so actually, governance is happening everywhere, just like your nervous system is happening everywhere and it’s getting sensory systems from everywhere. And then of course, the government is pressured by the city, right? The City of London and the entire global financial system and the WHO is also exerting some stresses on these parliamentary members. And so there’s all of those factors. And it’s important to note that, because when you start to understand that, then, you know, well, wait a second, if I grow my own food I have a different level of power in the system than if I don’t. If I live in a community that will support me if I’m handicapped, I have a different level of power than if I’m living from month to month on government handouts. So when you start to understand that governance is happening everywhere, if I go and I spill Campbell’s soup on a picture, I start to take some some kind of power into my own hands. And you can think what you want about that. People think this is horrible, but as an Israeli, I think these are pretty mild terrorist acts, right? Terrorist acts are designed to get publicity. And I’m like, okay, you know, I am an art lover. But still, when I think about the terrorist acts in Ireland or Israel or whatever, it’s like, okay, you spilled some soup. Let’s all chill out here. 

Manda: And it washed off, you know, it washes off. It wasn’t like you actually defaced a painting. It had a Perspex cover. It was symbolic, which is useful. 

Grace: And you start to get autonomy and yeah, it’s symbolic. And it is as silly as am I or am I not going to wear a mask. It is symbolic in some ways. And so there are many ways that people take back their autonomy. People have autonomy. You can pass laws, but civil disobedience is an incredibly important part of democracy. And so governance is happening everywhere.

Manda: Okay. I asked about the value system underlying it. But I absolutely get what you’re saying. The whole system has a certain momentum and it’s carrying it in a kind of a default direction, I would say, because of the value system underlying it. In your view, how do we step outside of that enough to create a shift? Because that seems to me what Priceless DAO is doing. So run with either part of that.

Grace: So we’ve already spoken about the first step, which is taking autonomy and saying, okay, what do I want to live by? And again, it is as simple as deciding I am or am not going to use this type of app, right? You might say, I don’t want to use any more Facebook apps or social media apps. I’m taking some autonomy to myself. You might say, I’m not going to read this kind of news, I’m going to listen to long form podcasts, or I’m going to ask my friend what’s going on, which I did this morning. I asked somebody in Asia because as you mentioned at the beginning, it’s kind of an interesting day in banking. And the banks in Asia opened a while ago and you don’t see anything in the news. And then I talked to a friend in the Philippines. She’s like, oh, yes, people are withdrawing their cash. And the news doesn’t tell you that, right? But I took some autonomy to ask somebody who I know on the ground what’s really happening. And you might look on Twitter to find out what’s happening. Et cetera. Et cetera. And so you start by and those seem like silly little things, but they are in no way silly. And certainly growing your own food is in no way silly. And the other thing you have to really recognise is that freedom is not free. The people who, you know, obviously I’m not British, but the people who went to America or went to Israel, they did not get their independence for free. People died. And we are at that moment right now.

Grace: You have to recognise that there are very large powers, corporate powers, which have mostly taken over what you think is your government in most of the world. And they are not going to go down whimpering. And so we are at a turning point and we’re going to all have to do with less, as you know, from Nate Hagens wonderful podcast. And so you have to start saying, okay, what am I going to do with less of and how? And this really is what Priceless is about. It’s about how do I create an economy on a regional level, not just me and my little farm or even me and my eco village, but on a regional level. What would that look like and how do I start reducing my need for government money? And that cryptocurrency could be part of that, but other types of currency can be part of that. And you can see that the relationships you have are incredibly important, in creating that type of resilience. And it’s not a coincidence that the monetary system is somewhat anti relationship. Yeah, like you and I aren’t paying each other for this time, because we have a relationship. And if we did, it would deteriorate, it would reduce the value of the relationship, not increase the value of the relationship. And so it’s not a coincidence that you have this mechanism of redistribution of resources that has ripped apart the fabric of society. Because with the fabric of society, it’s much easier to say no to your government.

Manda: So we have an existing governance system predicated on a certain set of values and on a monetary system that by design breaks us apart as people. And we want to find the resilience to get through the bottleneck that’s coming. And we do that by creating communities of communities, that are ecovillages set up and then they connect to each other. And if we can do that in a way that is in essence under the radar of the existing bureaucracy, then we can perhaps create a system which in the end renders the existing bureaucracy obsolete. Is that a reasonable edited highlight of where we’re going?

Grace: Yes, it’s the Bucky Fuller thing. You don’t fix the current system. You create a system that would render the current system obsolete. And the radar of the existing system is, you would think that it would be a better radar than it ever was and in some ways it is. But in some ways it’s a much worse radar. The incompetence of our current systems and their single mindedness of looking only at certain types of money, makes them vulnerable in terms of like what is under the radar, a lot, right?

Manda: Can you say more about that? What sort of things do you perceive as being under the radar?

Grace: Well, even just the one that I said right now. Like if you talk to a lower middle class person in the Philippines, they’ll know what’s actually going on at the banks. But I can tell you, the IMF doesn’t know.

Manda: Or at least, the IMF isn’t acknowledging that they know.

Grace: Right. They’re supposed to know that. They’re not telling us that they know. But what are they reading? They’re reading The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and the Financial Times who don’t know. I just have an assistant or a secretary who’s that person who knows. They don’t know. It’s the same with the travel restrictions that were put in place. If you travelled by land they didn’t know, if you travelled by plane they did know. How many border crossings are there in Europe?

Manda: So it seems also that the world of DAOs and Web3 is way below the radar of most of our governance system. Partly because they tend to be old, straight white men who can barely get their heads around email and rely on inputs of other people who aren’t really looking at this field. So we did speak to Cory Feco, which was lovely. But could you just give us the very basic concept of what a DAO is and then what priceless DAO is? 

Grace: Okay. So first I don’t think it’s because they are old white men or anything else, because young people it’s hard to wrap their head around this thing. But just to give an idea of what a blockchain is, first of all. Right, so if you want to get married today, you go down to the town hall or whatever it is, or the church and you get a stamp from somebody. That’s a centralised authority. But in the old days, you would have your wedding in the town square and then everybody would see it and know you were married. That’s what blockchain is. It’s putting all the money in the town square. It’s really simple. Like there’s a list of where all the money is. Anybody can look at it and nobody can cheat. You don’t have to rely on your bank. You don’t have to rely on your government. It’s like getting married in the town square. You don’t need a preacher. Everyone knows, or you wear a dot on your head or something like, I’m going to wear a dot on my head. Everybody knows I’m married. And so that’s what blockchain is all about. Now, if you think about that, that means we can all agree on a number of things. For example, we were talking about the media system. If you have an attestation, and it’s like the situation is that the thermometer said this at this time and the thermometer was located here. Okay, now we know something and we have a photograph of the tree and that’s all put in the public square on the blockchain. We start to have a truth machine. And I think that money is the least interesting part of that. I think the knowledge system is the most interesting part of it. And it’s not that there is a truth. I mean, we’re not children. You know, they talk about like the blockchain is this truth machine. There is no truth. I hope I’m not telling you something you didn’t know.

Manda: No, no, absolutely. I’m just really glad to hear somebody else saying that, because the idea that there is a single or even if the thermometer said something, it doesn’t mean nobody dunked it in a cup of coffee five seconds before. You know, sense making is a really interesting field and we could get into that. But definitely what the blockchain allows us to do is to verify things that we can all agree on, but we aren’t necessarily all agreeing on the same thing. So it allows a verification system that is very difficult to retrospectively change. I think that seems to me to be part of its key.

Grace: Exactly, it’s an attestation system. And so now you go to democracy and what’s a DAO? Now you know who said what when, who voted what when, what the trend might have been, and other things that could be useful in Democracy. Right now DAOs are just using this as a voting system. We’ve got some money in the pot; the money is completely controlled by this budgeting system. So that when we vote and let’s say Manda says, I’d like this budget for a new microphone or, you know, I’m into microphones today. She wants this new microphone and she’s asking for a budget and we all vote for it. The moment we vote and the voting period is over, if that money is approved, it immediately goes into your wallet. Nobody’s got to sign a check, no CFO, no government, blah, blah, blah which microphone are we going to get? None of that. It’s a voting system that takes out that kind of layer of potential corruption. That’s what a DAO is. It’s pretty simple. That’s what DAOs are today. And they can also do things like implement code automatically.

Manda: And they might want to do that why? What sort of code?

Grace: Well, let’s say we’re running this program together. We’re running a DAO together and we’re managing our community. Maybe we want to just admit new members. And so we write some code that these new members are going to be admitted. Or maybe we want to change the code from, I don’t know, like it’s so abstract at this point. One of the interesting examples is like, what if you reinvented the Internet and we had to decide which types of traffic to ban? Right. That might be a code change, right? And let’s say there was an AI that accidentally was taking some types of art and calling them pornography, because it looked the same. We might need to change the code, be like, oh, that’s that’s actually art, that’s not pornography or vice versa.

Manda: Right. One of the ones that seemed to me quite interesting on the DOIcast was the Kin DAO, where they were basically allocating metre square blocks of Land to a certain bit of code and then potentially having a currency allocated to them, and then a set of rules of your capacity to engage with the community, relating to your curatorship of those square metre blocks of land. So it wasn’t ownership in the way that we understand land ownership at the moment, but it was much more this is a way of engaging within a community. So as that seems to me quite an exciting way of beginning to create an interface between human relationships and code. Everything comes down to the fact that somebody somewhere is writing the code and making these things happen. First of all, does that make sense to you?

Grace: Yeah, So that’s perfect. So one of our Priceless colleagues, Drea Burbank, is working with something called Savimbo in the Colombian Amazon. And she went there trying to, you know like everybody, save the Amazon. And the people there have land which they don’t have, Right. The land is not owned. They’re like the land isn’t owned. The land doesn’t get owned. We’re the stewards of the land, which is exactly what you were referring to. And she said, well, we want to sell the carbon credits so that you can keep the land and be making money just off of stewarding these carbon credits. And they said, okay, well how are we going to buy the land? And she’s like, Well, I could lend you the money. They said, it has to have no strings attached. She’s like, Oh, okay. There’s nobody going to fund it with no strings attached. But what they did was they created one of these DAOs. And the DAO can intake money from carbon credits. It can prove that the forest is in place like I was telling you before.

Grace: So there’s real carbon preservation and it can make sure that the money from those carbon credits is distributed. And I think it’s one third towards purchasing more of the land to be stewarded by the DAO. And it’s never owned by a person, it’s owned by this collective mechanism so that they don’t have this problem of ownership, but it can be recognised by the government as owned. And then a third of it goes to youth education and a third of it is distributed evenly among the people. So you never get the corrupt person who is in charge of it because they don’t have any history of that. They have a Shaman. But you know, there’s enough stories of like, you gave all the money to the Shaman to distribute it and he distributed it somewhere else in the world, right? He or she. So this is a perfect mechanism for taking this traditional indigenous way of stewarding, owning and distributing and mechanising it, so that that cultural heritage stays encoded in code, and there is no possibility of corruption with it.

Manda: Right. So, so I’d really like to look at how that expands wider. But I have a really core question, because this seemed to me something, particularly with the conversation with Cory. Did Bolsonaro recognise this? And what would have happened if he had decided to not recognise it? Was there any capacity to override a dictator who just goes, No, I’m just going to light some fires and then I’m going to put them out by dumping glyphosate on them, which is what he did. And then the forest will burn much more easily next time. Is there a way that you can think of that overrides that?

Grace: You really can’t prevent violence. I mean, this is the problem everywhere, right? A few violent people can do a lot of damage. And I think that’s a question of restoring some of the traditional roles of protector, that we need to do for the people who are more inclined towards violence. Is to give them the right education so they can protect us from the people who are sociopaths. That’s what historically people have done, either slit the throat of people who didn’t pass that test, you know, at the age of 15 or 18, or train them into being the protectors. So it’s going to look different in the future. But right now, we are living in a world where the people who are the most sociopathic are in charge and we don’t have protectors. I don’t think there’s any other solution to that, unfortunately.

Manda: OK. All righty. Yes. And I would agree. I think the Conscious Evolution that I think you and I are both heading for takes us to a place where violence no longer seems an obvious response. That violence is of the old paradigm. And if we’re going to get through, it’s because we’ve moved to a new paradigm where violence is not integral to what we’re doing. So given the model that you just described, which sounds extraordinary and by definition prevents hierarchies and power dominance features from happening, how do we expand that? How do we take that and widen it to more communities and communities of communities?

Grace: Okay. So I think I’m going to go back to a biological explanation, again. I want to make sure this isn’t too like crazy technical. But if you’ll notice, I mean, you can see this, but on the podcast, perhaps not. I have a body and in that body I have cells and you could think of cells as individuals, but those cells are organised into organs and those organs are organised into systems and then that’s organised into a body. And so maybe the community that we’re talking about is something like an organ and maybe there’s a lot of those types of organ. They’re called forest preservation organs, okay? And there’s other organs that are called regenerative or renewable energy organs, and they’re producing energy in some renewable way. And there’s other organs that are food producing organs and such and such. Each one of those is going to have its own internal organisation. It’s not going to be identical to one another. They’re going to have different functions, different rules and different values, which is another thing about values. Is values are relative to what you’re up to. And they change over time and depending on what the threat is today. We all have universal values of honesty and also a universal value of being kind. And sometimes there’s a conflict between telling the truth and being kind.

Grace: And that doesn’t mean we don’t hold those values. You’ll notice if you talk to people about me, they’ll be like, Yeah, she tends to just say things like right in your face, okay? And people hire me to be the devil’s advocate because I’m very controversial. So you might not want me to lead your traditional start-up, but I’m going to point out all the flaws for you; that’s very valuable. And so values change, right? And each one of these, depending on what the function of this organ is, will have different values. And so then the question is, how do you interoperate between those? So what is the circulatory system that these different objects or different communities share? And with today’s sensory systems and today’s technology, which we’ve just talked about, I could have some sort of system of understanding, okay, those guys over there, they’re very spiritual or very religious, and, you know, they take care of all of the people, old, young, whatever. But they’re very conventional. Like they’re a little bit opaque and you’re never going to know what’s going on in there. They’re secretive. And you might care about that and you might not care about that.

Grace: And you might know that community over there, They’re super transparent and they tell you everything that’s going on. And they’re a little bit, you know,they actually have fistfights and stuff to figure things out, because they’re just so in your face. But, you know, they totally tell the truth about everything. And that’s their society, whatever. Maybe they’re the hunters and they have different types of reasons why they need to do that, or they’re the defenders or whatever. And so you’d have some interoperability. And what are you going to interoperate with? You’re going to interoperate with knowledge and with resources. So you might say anybody can have food as long as they’re not too violent, like they aren’t sacrificing their children. We share our food with them. I mean, I share my food with a dog, I don’t really need to know what your value system is, I’ll share my food with you. But if I know those guys over there don’t recycle, they bring their own pot. Okay? I won’t send them food with the pot because I know they’ll just throw the pot out. Right? So something like that. And it’s like, Oh, well, that group over there, that’s a rehab centre. We send them food, we send them electricity, and we send them junkies.

Manda: Yeah. And they send us back whole people.

Grace: They send us whole people and they have a lot of secrecy there. We never find out their secrets. They don’t tell. Don’t ask, don’t tell. And so you would know the sort of value. When you talk about value, that’s what value is. And it’s not judgement about what your values are. Like I said, those guys need to be secretive and those guys need to be more aggressive because whatever, you know, they’re the firefighters. And that way we interact and we can share what we’ve got, our resources. And in terms of knowledge, fundamentally.. And I really I love Cory and respect Cory. You guys had this whole discussion about intellectual rights and receiving money in perpetuity for this cancer cure. And it’s like, do I have to say something about the ethics of that? Like if you created a cancer cure, should we be charging for that? And so intellectual property, I think, should be free. And that’s not to say we don’t give you a big medal and big rosary and we remember your name forever and a monument and we make sure you’re taken care of. But should somebody who’s three generations your grandchild, be taken care of in perpetuity because you invented a cancer cure? You don’t get to be a free rider just because your great grandparent invented the light bulb. I mean, it’s just silly, this intellectual property thing. It’s just silly. It’s like saying, you know, where ideas come from Manda?

Manda: No, tell me.

Grace: Me neither. Nobody knows, right? They’re not yours.

Manda: Yes. And somebody occasionally has a breakthrough, but everybody who’s done a PhD knows that they’re applying one layer of an A4 sheet onto a column a mile high, which will grow another mile on top with other people putting a single A4 sheet on it. And right at the top of the column, somebody might invent a light bulb, but they did it because of the pile of A4 sheets below them. That’s a very bad metaphor. I’ll stop there.

Grace: Yeah, but we don’t know where their idea came from. They’re like, I had the idea! 

Manda: No. Did Zuckerberg invent Facebook? He may have created a couple of ideas, but the whole of the Internet existed before he got there and all of the power structures. Anyway. We don’t need to delve too deep into there because there’s a few really interesting things coming here. Nobody gets to be a free rider because their grandfather invented a cure for cancer, or their grandmother. However, we get to a question that I keep looping back to. At the moment we exist in a society where we know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I consider that the Romans brought this to Britain and then we exported it around the world. If we look back to before and after Roman invasion. Before Roman invasion, we were a tribal culture with our indigenous shamanic spirituality. As far as we can tell, until the Romans came, there was no coinage, there was no money for everything. And yet Para Graeber and Wengrow, but also para a lot of the conversations that we know took place, or at least are reported by the Romans. So Tacitus gives a speech to Calgacus after the Battle of Mons Graupius in Scotland and he says they wrought a desolation and they called it peace. They come in, they create ownership of a woman, passes from her father to her husband. They create money. They create slavery. They break up tribal structures and create ownership of a woman passes from her father to her husband’s small domestic units. Ownership of children is under the paterfamilias, who has the right under Roman law to crucify the lot of them if he decides he doesn’t like them. So that level of power hierarchy domination is placed on top of what was previously a tribal structure.

Manda: And money is an integral part of that. Because without the guy who comes along and says, I have a legion at my back. See this piece of silver with Nero’s face on it, it’s suddenly worth worth something. And I’m going to come back in a year and take it back as tax and you’d better have some more than I’ve just given you, because there is this concept of interest applied. Which is how we ended up with a revolt under the Boudiccan era. But it seems to me that we’ve had 2000 years in Britain of coinage, wherein the state and the state approved banks create money out of nothing and sell it to us, and we’re not allowed to create our own. It’s called forgery. And in the old days, they cut off your head and now they just put you in prison. But basically the state does not like you forging stuff.

Manda: With cryptocurrency, we now have a system where people can make money and they can decide individually, or each system can decide, who gets that money and how it’s distributed. And in the end what we’re doing is exchanging tokens for stuff that we value, either actual physical stuff, or you’re looking after my grandmother’s stuff, or you’re raising children and we think raising children is a valuable thing. You’re educating children, we think educating children is a valuable thing. You’re growing food, we all need food. We have things that we consider to be of value. In the world that we’re heading to with you, how do we assign and distribute and exchange value. What is the circulatory system? Where does it arise and who decides who gets it?

Grace: Well, my system’s called Priceless, so that should give you a hint. So it’s called Priceless and it hints at the abomination that you just described. Which is that I’m going to write down how much X is worth, like I’m going to write down how much your motherhood is worth and how much I should pay you to carry something in your womb. And you know, breastfeeding is worth this much and bottle feeding is worth that much. And, you know, like, whatever. It’s an abomination, right? And we all know it. And that’s why money has traditionally been for men’s work, because women’s work, it would be an abomination to value it. And so that’s why we have this crazy system which devalues the things that we care about most. Air. And we all know this carbon credit thing is insane. And I just explained to you, one of the systems for carbon credits that is positive and this is a transitionary stage, but measuring everything and giving it a number as a value, corrupts the thing. It’s a little bit like Ian Mcgilchrist was talking about, like analysing a poem kills it. It’s like, Oh, now that we can take it and analyse it you’ve killed the poem. And we kill everything of value with this dead like token that measures it. And if you think about redistribution of resources and money is a proxy, We don’t need the proxy anymore. Let’s measure did everybody get food tonight. After everybody got food, let’s measure how warm is their home or how cold is their home and how good is their health? And let’s redistribute that. And you’re never going to get to this utopia, right? But basically, each community should have the resources so that they’re not dying and the communities around them cared for.

Grace: Just like my liver and my brain and my heart. And there’s nothing in my system that’s like, let’s see, how much do we value the heart? No, it’s like everybody’s got to get oxygen. I do cold water plunges, right? If you do cold water plunges, your extremities get cold sooner, because your body knows to bring the heat to the middle organs. And if some part is going to freeze to death, it’s going to be your fingers and your toes first and your body knows how to do that. And so that’s how redistribution of resources is. And you can say something simplified, like nobody gets a new iPhone until everybody eats. Right? And that’s how your society should operate. Is that easy? Will we ever get there? No, we’re never going to get there. It’s not easy. But the idea of using a proxy today, when we have actual measures and we have AI and we can really know. Sometimes I talk about minimum viable economy, which would be I know like how many people ate today, how many people went without food and I know how far the food travelled and that’s all I know.

Grace: If all you knew is that and instead of GDP, you’re measuring empty plates and distance of food travelled, you’d really have a pretty good society, because the distance food travels, its ecological footprint, its nutritional value, its local support for your local farmers. And if every country in the world and every city in the world just had that, and you could look on a map of your town, on your phone and be like, Oh my goodness, these three people went without food for the last three nights and I’ve got a little extra. Or I’m driving by there and I can stop by the supermarket and grab something. If you just had that, and again, you have to recognise we need to be in these circles where you actually have responsibility. That could be electronically mediated, that could be personally mediated. Because you do want to know if somebody is just having a hard time or they’re ill, and somebody else is actually a free rider, and that has to be mitigated by culture. And we’ve extrapolated that out. Like we were like, Oh, we’re going to do some forms. And when filling out these forms, we’ll know whether you’re a real free rider or not. I mean, it doesn’t work, right? But we don’t need those proxies anymore. We have the data. All of the data is like in my little phone here. It has so much data. 

Grace: And properly utilised we no longer need a symbol system, like money. Money is just a symbol system, right? And we could use a completely different symbol system. And we have some of them, right? Like if you buy a refrigerator, it’s got that coloured thing on it. Or if you buy some food and it says organic. We’ve started to have alternative symbol systems that could completely replace this. If you go to an Airbnb, it has, you know, are you a neat and clean person or not? Are you a good guest or not? If I know you’re a good guest and I know you’re in good standing in your town and I have a spare room, you don’t need money. It’s like couch surfing, right? These things can substitute for money. And they probably should, because money is outdated. It’s just outdated. It’s not bad, it’s outdated. And cryptocurrency, I think of as like…what I’m talking about will take 2 or 3 generations… And we are going to need these funny tokens. And some societies are more afraid than other societies, and some societies are more male dominated than other societies. And it will take different amounts of time for people to make this transition. Hopefully. Like a hard crash, everybody will make the transition really fast. But these aren’t something that I have the answer to for every society. It’s just that wherever you are, your local region will be able to use some of these ideas.

Grace: And in the same way that today I can convert euros to pounds to dollars, I’ll be able to look at this reputational system. And it’s the same way that, Oh, you’ve got an Oxford degree. Well, that means you’re a bit of a snob, you know. Or maybe it means you’re very smart, depending on what I think of an Oxford degree. We’ll be able to interpret your reputation. Oh, these people are very punctual, you know? And if they’re English or Austrian, that’s punctual. And if they’re Spanish, it’s like, well, maybe they’re punctual, right? We’ll be able to interpret the authority that gave that reputation as well as the reputation that a person or a society or a brand. And we do it all the time, right? You walk into a shop and you want to buy something and maybe you remember the brand name and you’ve bought that one. We keep that kind of accounting in our heads. And we could expand that out as a foundation of society. And one of the ways I see that is something like when you talk about these tribal societies and knowing who the free riders are, and they took care of the village idiot and that kind of thing. People will be like, Oh, that kind of thing doesn’t scale. And you can’t just say that and make it true. You just said it doesn’t scale, you don’t know that. It could.

Manda: Yeah, of course it scales. It was the way the whole world worked. I realise there were fewer people, but there’s nothing to stop that scaling. That’s a really interesting point. But I want, in the time we have left, really to build a picture for people. Let’s assume that good choices are made, the best choices are made, by groups of people. And let’s leave aside all the problems, because we all know what they are, we don’t need to reiterate those. In your imagining, how do these 2 or 3 generations move forward, from where we are? Supposing your village and my village were within cycling distance of each other and we each had a community that was potentially prepared to move as far as we can, within the current system, into a Priceless formation and connect to each other. Or perhaps you have examples of existing communities that are actually up and running. How does it work?

Grace: So the things that we’re looking to fund right now are exactly that. Places where there’s a number of different communities. For example, I know that in Devon there’s like a bioregional education centre and I know in Scotland you’ve got a couple of large eco villages and people doing more homesteading and things like that. And I did my research in Spain in the Navarra region, which is very well known, the Basque region, for having a lot of cooperative type things. And so what you would do, is you would first of all meet with everybody. You’d be like, okay, we’re going to meet with whatever our villages are and decide what we want to share and what a shared economy might look like. In that particular region, the way that we were thinking about it is pretty much what I outlined before, is something like, okay, each village would have a card, a reputation card, not an individual card. But each organisation, it might be a company or a cooperative or a village would have a reputation card. And then as we interacted with one another, we would rate each other. I mean, we might exchange some money, we can use euros or wesco’s or whatever you have, you know, Bristol Pounds, whatever it is. It doesn’t matter what you use as money, but you might not use any money. And many of the economic activities that happen, there is no money exchanged at all. It’s like we’re going to have a beach cleanup day and we know who showed up.

Grace: This village showed up. Everybody showed up. Those guys showed up and they brought the dope and they were really a lot of fun, but they didn’t do a lot of work. And those guys showed up and they brought wonderful food. And, you know, you you rate each group, right? The beauty of that is you can have nothing and you can still earn a reputation by showing up for a work day or inviting somebody over to tea. They invited us over, they’re a new community, they served really nice tea and everything was on reusable things. And, you know, you can give people a reputation based on just having met them. And when that is done as a group, like if I know I’m going over to fix something over at your place, and I know my whole group is going to get a reputation based on my behaviour, I behave differently. Because I know that there’s a group reputation. And so that’s sort of how I would do it. I would start like, okay, we’ve got groups, we’ve got group reputations. And we played some games, by the way, and we did this reputation game with a few different groups. I did it at the Eco Village networking thing last year and, you know, with a bunch of people we did a design sprint and we did a few online. And one of the funny things was, it turns out that the punishment for incompetence is help, right? We had like a packaging factory and they were called the shroomers and they made dried mushroom coffee, which tasted pretty bad.

Grace: And they weren’t so good at their accounting. And the labels were always a little crooked, but they knew everything about food preservation. And so of course, all the farmers wanted them to stay in business, so they sent them an account once a week and they sent them business so they wouldn’t go out of business and they canned the pesto sauce and whatever, because we knew we needed the canning factory. And those guys, I mean, they apparently were doing a little bit too much shrooms over there. And that was just a simulation, right. But as soon as you say it, everybody understands. If you’re building a community, the result of incompetence will be somebody helps you out. And it might be they’re like, you know what? You should go into a different business. But if you need each other, you figure it out. And then another thing you might think about is what happens if my car breaks down? Well, if we have a truck and let’s say we’ve got five trucks that are serving our 50 organisations and one of them breaks, it’s no longer the problem of that organisation. Now as a team of 50 villages, we’re like, Well, I know a mechanic. And I’ve got an old truck in the back, maybe some of the parts. And you know, you have options that as an individual you would never have to solve problems. 

Manda: Yes and you begin to, I think, make more allowances than we do in our current system. We spoke in our symbolic monastery group recently, a man called Chris Taylor who’s been on the podcast, came to speak to us. He lives in a community that is based on an organic farm, and they have the woman who really likes driving the tractors. Nobody else likes driving the tractors, but she knows how and she does it. And they have the guy who saves them tens of thousands of pounds a year because he’s the only one who knows how to fix the tractors. And Chris said he doesn’t put the tools back where they’re meant to be at any point. And there’s lots of other things that you might think, oh, this is normally I would think, you know, you do not come on here unless you put everything back where it belongs, because I have pretty, pretty rigid OCD. And if I go and try and find a hammer and it’s not where I expected, I’m going to be really, really upset. But if it’s the one guy who knows how to fix the tractors and we know that we need the tractors, then okay, we’re just going to have to do the hammer hunt again today.

Manda: That’s the cost of this. And that’s okay, because it’s somebody that we know. It’s not just somebody random that I paid to come in and then they didn’t put the hammer back in the right place. So it changes the way that people relate to each other, which seems to me to be absolutely core. So let me get this into my linear thinking way of being. And I know I need to think more systemically, but I still think linearly. We have some kind of power interconnected system; it’s phones, it’s computers, it’s something we don’t know exists yet, that tallies in a way that we can all trust a reputational token value system, that we can then share. That enables us to recreate the kinds of social technologies that used to exist in tribal systems where everybody knew everybody else and everybody was helped to find what they were really, really good at and encouraged to be even better at it. And that that then scales, presumably on Dunbar numbers, of around 150 max into networks of communities of communities. Is that a reasonable definition of what you’ve just said? And where are the holes?

Grace: Yes, that is reasonable. And you can see the flexibility of a system like this, because you could actually have two or 3 or 4 groups that live in the same general area, general geography, but actually don’t interact with each other. Because I know that group has, you know, I could have a filter on my app. And anybody who’s not ecological, I don’t see them, I don’t trade with them or something like that. And you could be like, Oh, those are the people who still use money. They can still use money and they live side by side with us and whatever. Now if they start polluting the river, we’re going to have to walk over there and be like, Listen, we need to have a talk. But you could imagine parallel societies living near each other that can’t quite even see each other, just like, you know, the worms don’t relate to the cats. It’s like they’re living there in their parallel societies and the bats are like putting their radar system out and the birds are using vision. It’s like they don’t necessarily have to even see each other or communicate with each other in order to be living in this parallel society, unless it starts affecting one another.

Manda: Okay, so we’re in a culture where anybody can be any gender identity and can enter into any kind of relationship, and those guys over there are only completely rigidly heteronormative. And we don’t choose to talk to each other, but we each must have a core value of live and let live. They’re not going to come and try and proselytise with us and we’re not going to try and teach their young people that it’s okay to be more flexible.

Grace: And if they go hungry, we’ll help them. And if there’s a drought, we all help each other. But, you know, like we don’t teach them, you know, like that. 

Manda: Which works until somebody decides that their Gods telling them that they need to evangelise. But let’s leave that one aside, because hopefully we’ve all managed to get to a point where we’ve got the core values that say you can live exactly how you want, but it’s not within your purview to decide to make everybody else live like you want. Because that strikes me as being one of the key ways that the kind of Wendigo energy of the West spread across the world, was that we decided that our imaginary friend in the sky gave us license to do anything to anybody else. Let’s assume we’ve evolved beyond that.

Grace: Well, you’re always going to get that, right. But you want to hope that, like, if somebody has been doing a little bit too much mushrooms and they have that syndrome that their society does, you know, and if their society decides, oh, wow, they really are the Messiah, because they can do these miracles. You’re not going to eliminate that from human spiritual development. Anybody who’s going through spiritual development at one moment or another thinks they’re Jesus. I mean, it just is what it is. And people do become violent at different points in their lives. They’re not going to go away because people are born really immature. But you just hope that you can handle them. Just like if a disease enters my body, hopefully it gets dealt with locally. And if not, then eventually I have to drink too much fluids and lie in bed for three days. You hope that it’s something like that, but I’m not idealist. I don’t believe we’re going to change human nature. But I do believe we can handle it at these scaling levels.

Manda: Yeah. And Graeber and Wengrow who are still Gods even though Graeber is dead, as far as I’m concerned, the dawn of everything really changed my view.

Grace: Even more Gods. 

Manda: Yes, well, quite. They considered that there were three freedoms that allowed these societies to function. And they were the freedom to move away and be welcomed somewhere else, the freedom to refuse or disobey commands and the freedom to remake and test new social formations. And it seems to me that in the world that we’re building, if those three freedoms exist, particularly, it seems, the first one. Apparently in the Americas, I’m probably going to get the actual nouns wrong, but I think there was the Beaver, the Elk and the Bear clans and whatever your identity within your tribe, you were in one of those three. And if you decided that somebody was just getting too hierarchical and you didn’t want to stick around and you walked away, even if your tribe and the other tribe were theoretically in conflict, if you were of the Elk clan, the people of the Elk clan would take you in and feed you. And so there was a capacity to not have to stick around when things got hard, which strikes me as really crucial to what we’re building. Those three freedoms seem to me to need to be fundamental to what we’re doing. And then I am really struck also by the guy of the, what we call the Huron and they called the Wendat, who went to France and came back and was like, how do you guys survive? First of all, there are people starving on the streets when the people in the castles have everything, and you’ve got hierarchies where people at the top tell people down below what to do. Nobody tells me what to do and nobody in my culture is starving. 

Manda: And getting to that point of they don’t tell me what to do because they don’t need to, because the social norms are integral and they feel okay, because I haven’t walked away from them, I guess. And most of us exist in a society where the social norms feel kind of weird, I think, and finding ways in which we can find social norms that we agree on, that seems to me to be what you’re gaming does. Where you end up with the guys who got the canning factory, who are being looked after by everybody, because we know we want their skills. And actually it’s in our instinct to take care of people as long as we feel safe enough to do that. So one final question, because we are running out of time. Have you gained through the how we make the transition from where we are to that? Because that sounds fantastic. But at the moment we exist in a world where I might want to make my own power, but I’m going to have to pay for the solar panels and the wind turbines and the batteries or any of those. You know, I may want to start making my own fabrics, but it’s somewhere along the line. And if I want my phone and the apps, until there is a community of communities that are making the ways to connect with each other, I’m going to have to interface with the moneyed culture. Have you looked at that interface and how we how we move the Overton window of what value is?

Grace: Okay. So it’s very different in different places. That’s the first thing. I had somebody I was sitting at, it was actually at the Emerge conference, and a guy from Ukraine was sitting down. He’s like, What would you do if you had to rebuild from scratch? And I said, Well, if you really had to shortcut it, right? Like you’re just like, I got to rebuild a better society from scratch. And, you know, you had to pick the shortest shortcut. I’d be like, Put the grannies in charge. Like, only postmenopausal women can be in charge of anything. It’ll reduce your (and breastfeeding women) like you’ll reduce the chances of corruption of the system dramatically. And it’s kind of a hack. I mean, it’s kind of part of what Priceless is about. You know, we’ve kind of evolved into a women’s sense making. Not sense making, but a women’s wisdom group. Of where do you go if you need more women’s representation in, you know, in these meta crisis conversations, which are a little bit you know, I don’t need to say, right. So we’ve kind of evolved into that, in some ways, as a resource. And the other thing is that I’m working on and I can’t say too much about it, but I’m working on with some of the guys from Institutional and also in Priceless, is we’re going to be creating a framework for these different types of projects we’re doing. So I described one of the projects that I want to do in Spain. And in Spain there are already a lot of these eco villages and there is already a basis on which to do this. And so we’ve got a prototype that we want to run there, and we’ve got another prototype of some people in Sweden who are working on something and some people in Kenya who are working on something.

Grace: So we have a number of prototypes and Priceless and the institution we’re trying to see how do we make a portal, where donors and investors can look at these new types of projects in different geographies and, you know, put into whatever fund, whatever they think are the prototypes that can lead us. And they really are culturally different. I have a woman here in Slovenia who were looking towards restoring where there used to be coal mining here. And she’s looking into getting a budget from either the EU or the Slovenian government for just the research phase. What would that economy look like? And the culture here is very different. And so it’s very individual. And then the other one that I think is really doing profound work, is the bioregional regenerators group in North America and in Colombia with Joe Brewer. And he’s a man with a plan. It’s like, how do we do this on a regional level? And I think this is a really big missing piece, is the regional level. We have a lot of people saying, I’ve got the one world governance. And I’m like, Yeah, okay. You know, like we’ve got the Ethereum truth machine and the Bitcoin is going to rule the world. And I’m like, I don’t want one anything, right? I want interoperable multiple biodiverse, culturally diverse organisations. And so then you’ve got like the eco villages. But this regional level I think is a really important key here.

Manda: Brilliant. And so do you see in the long run that regional textures tones will evolve so that certain regions become expert in, I don’t know, canning things, preserving things. Or do you see that each region will have subgroups of people who do all of this stuff, so that regions can become wholly autonomous?

Grace: I think that heavy things will have to be more local and knowledge things, expertise. Like Israelis know how to do farming in the desert. They’re water experts. So I think you’re going to have in terms of IT, more specialisation and in terms of physical things that need shipping, because we’re you know, we’re not going to be able to keep moving heavy things around the world very much.

Manda: Para Simon Michaux, yes, yes. But we’re all going to need the people who can keep the Internet moving so that we can talk to each other around the planet. And share if somebody in Israel just discovered something really amazing about, I don’t know, drawing water out of the air and separating salt and stuff. And we all need that as the planet changes and we can share the information. Beautiful. So if people want to become more involved in what you’re doing, where are the places they would best go?

Grace: Well, because I do so much has links to all of my other stuff. Priceless Women’s Wisdom is still kind of by invitation, but if you’re listening and you’re a female adult and you’d like to join, just reach out, you know through my website. Voice of is kind of a hub, but there’s a lot of other, like I said, will show you all the different things. And is our governance site.

Manda: And Unstitution is something separate? I need to have that on the show notes too.

Grace: Yeah, that’s Stephen Cook and his group. I don’t think he even has a website yet.

 Manda: Oh, okay. Fair enough. Right. I won’t try and put that onto the show notes yet. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you felt was really important and that you wanted to look at this morning? Becausethis feels like the first of several conversations, I have to say. It feels like this is the most concrete that we’ve had of possible ways forward. And I probably took us down several ‘yes, but’ rabbit holes that we didn’t need to go, that we might just cut out. But it feels like if people engaged with this and talk to each other in their engagement, this could get us 2 or 3 generations down the line to something we would be proud to leave to the people that come after us. Was there anything that I’ve missed?

Grace: The one thing that I stepped over and intentionally stepped over is that I’m not dealing with the difficulty of getting along with people. Right now, we live in a society where it’s really hard to get along with people. And if you’ve been married or just live with anybody, right, you’re like, Oh my goodness. You know, I have two people that I brought up and then if you got to live with them, it’s like, oh! And  I get along very well with them. But, you know, or the other three people who were brought up with me. Right. Getting along with people is really hard without a religious foundation. I happen to be religious, but it’s so difficult and I step over that. So that’s why I’m working in a regional level in regions where already there are groups of people working together. Because that is the hard part. The hard part is saying I am my brother’s keeper. No matter what, I’m my brother’s keeper. That’s the hard part. And so that’s not my area of expertise. There are other people who are good at that, and I think that’s the part that will take a little bit longer. I’m hoping that if more of your reputation becomes transparent, you kind of have to be more of a decent human being. But there’s so much trauma to overcome and personal work to overcome and giving up this idea that I’m some kind of individual. It’s so difficult. I think that may be the hardest part of what I’m trying to do. And I’m leaving that to a lot of other people because you will need a lot of people to do that. And there are a lot of people doing that.

Manda: Okay. And I would really like to talk to some of them because, yeah, we have our shamanic monastery WhatsApp group because that’s my idea. That’s my name for the eco village that I would like to be part of. But it’s really hard. You get down to the granular level of who am I prepared to share airspace with? And you’re right, half the time it’s like, okay, I’m just going to go and live in a tepee somewhere all on my own with the dogs and the cats. I’m really happy sharing airspace with the dogs and the cats, but actually anything else is just too complicated and I haven’t got the bandwidth. And that’s not true because without all of the other people around us, none of us would survive. But we have somehow managed to fracture society to the point where we all think that we could live on our own and that that would actually be much better. Or we’re going to create a community where we’re all at least a half hour good walk away from each other, which isn’t necessarily what a community is about. Also would take a lot of Land space. So yes. Yes. Interesting. Let’s talk about that some other time. Grace, this has been fantastic. I am so grateful. We didn’t even get on to what’s happening with the crypto banks collapsing, but I’m guessing it probably doesn’t matter. So thank you.

Grace: It’s going to matter a lot, but.

Manda: Oh is it? That’s another podcast then, we’ll do that another time.

Grace: That’s for another time. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Manda: Well, that’s it for this week. And if that hasn’t got you wanting to go off and find Priceless and become part of the community of communities, then I don’t know what will. It certainly has me completely inspired and believing that there are ways forward, that there are seriously bright people thinking about the best ways that we can integrate the shift into the new system with the descent of the old system. And I get that soft landings may be a dream beyond dreaming, but I am still prepared to dream of them. And Grace seems to me to be laying the groundwork for the best transition that we can hope for. And actually, that isn’t quite it for this week. There is a bonus to this podcast. Because at the end, after I’d hit the record button and we’d stopped recording, we continued the conversation mainly about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank that I asked right at the end and the nature of cryptocurrencies and indeed the nature of the financial system altogether. And this is not unusual with these podcasts. And quite often I think that the real gold dust happened after we stopped recording. So this time I had the actual wit to hit the record button and we captured it all.

Manda: And I do think it’s really interesting. So that will be tagged on as a bonus podcast to this because I really don’t want to upset the scheduling any further than we already did, with the extra bits from Simon Michaux. Wonderful as they were. So that will follow. But beyond that, we will be back next week with another conversation. And in the meantime, thank you to Caro for wrestling with the sound and for the music at the head and foot. To faith for wrestling with the website and the tech and for the conversations that keep us moving forward. To Anne Thomas for the transcripts. And as ever to you for listening. This is how we change the world. One conversation at a time, one step forward at a time. Occasionally one huge leap that opens doors with people who are already paving the way forward. And this feels like one of those. So if you know of anybody who wants to step into the world of community and how to build community and how to exchange value between communities and how to build towards something that’s going to work, then please do send them this link. And that’s it for now. See you in the bonus. Thank you and goodbye.

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