New Civilization News

Issue 2

9 July 1995

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Global Ideas Bank

The Institute for Social Inventions in London, England collects and publishes ideas and suggestions for any kind of social innovation. Every year 1000 Pounds is awarded for one of the ideas that are sent in.

Last year's collection of more than 600 inventive and surprising ideas, the Book of Visions, is now available in full on the Web at:

These ideas form the foundation of a Global Ideas Bank. There are other Idea Gathering Organizations, and the plan is to coordinate a database of collected ideas between them.

You can send in good ideas to Institute of Social Inventions by writing a message of max 1000 words to Nicholas Albery at The deadline for the awards is every year at June 1st. The book of more than 800 ideas collected over the past year is currently at the printers.

Youth Performing Arts Workshop

This is from Lisa Armstrong <> in Arkansas:

"My husband, Jim, and I, as well as another woman who is a member of our Faith started a Baha'i youth performing arts workshop over a year ago. (The URL address is http//

The purposes of this youth group are several:

  1. to share messages of peace and unity with their peers and others
  2. to be of service to the community
  3. to be a positive example to other youth and to create a positive peer pressure group within the workshop.

The Arkansas youth workshop (along with 84 other state workshops in the U.S.and 12 in other countries) reaches its audience through dance, music and drama. However, there are no professional dancers, actors or choreographers in the workshop. There are no "stars" in the workshop; the MOST important element is unity. Even though the membership consists of youth from different nationalities (two Persian-Phillipine-American, two Marshallese-American), backgrounds (one Hispanic-African-American, and different ages (the range in ours is from 11-19), through prayer and consultation, they strive to work together in unity towards their goals. The Arkansas Baha'i Youth Workshop has performed at the NCCJ-sponsored Camp Anytown, at a statewide Baha'i conference, at a festival of unity at a traditional black college, and worked with a regional housing group in a service project.

Our future projects and performances include performing with a youth performing arts group from Indiana for a week in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as well as serving that community all during the week, either through a battered women's shelter, tutoring, or a similar project. We plan to work with the city and its officials, as well as other local officials. The town of Fort Smith, in western Arkansas, is close to a white supremacist group's community, whose leader was recently cited as having been in touch with Oklahoma bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh.

We have our work cut out for us, but we are confident in the power of our faith and in the wonderful capabilities of these radiant youth, who inspire many with their messages of a world free of prejudice, violence and free of war."

Lisa Armstrong
North Little Rock, Arkansas

Random Acts of Kindness

Douglas Hull <> has started a web site to collect and present stories of random acts of kindness. Check it out at:

This is in part what he writes about it:

"This page started one day when I was walking along the Portage River here in beautiful Houghton, Michigan when I saw a log that just seemed to say 'sit here, please' So I did. I looked at the shore and saw a bottle lying there. At first I thought it was a salt shaker, but later I picked it up and found it to be a message in a bottle. It really made my day to read it, just a random act that brightened my day. I came to reflect on that phrase that is becoming more and more popular lately:


I thought that I would like to share this experience with other people. What better way to do that then through the Web. I did a search for such a page but none of the pages I found seemed to be what I was hoping for. This page you see before you, is the site I was looking for.

This site is dedicated to recognising those beautiful, faceless, nameless people out there that do things that they hope will help out someone they don't know and never will."

The Venus Project

Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows <> in Florida are building the city of the future. They have built models for new styles of living and are developing new ways of organizing society.

"The Venus Project is a non profit organization that offers a vision of a future society that is dedicated to human concern and environmental reclamation. It is an attainable vision of a bright and better future. It proposes the redesign of our social institutions by applying the latest technologies to benefit everyone. The uniqueness of our project is that it presents refreshing alternatives that offer practical solutions to our many problems."

You can learn more about the Venus Project and look at some of the designs at:

There is also an information pack and a video that is available.

The Logs of J.D. Flora

Joachim Steingrubner <> is publishing a series of science fiction short stories over e-mail:

"Not too long ago, the files now known as the 'Logs of J.D.Flora' appeared under some rather strange circumstances on the computer network of a Los Angeles computer scientist.

A README file specified that whoever should find this text should distribute them to all who would show interest at no charge.

Only two restrictions were noted: the text should not be altered and each file should be given to the prospective readers not less then 42 hours apart.

The texts themselves are a mixture of science fiction, prose, and rather technical instructions of a mysterious computer program to the not always heroic hero, J.D.Flora, whose insights and outsights are being revealed in the process.

The individual episodes are short stories, conclusive in itself, and therefore perfectly suited as an e-mail sequel.

Many different subjects and questions are mentioned in the 'Logs':

whole-systems approach, New Age philosophies, Buddhist ideas, parallel worlds, synergetics, General Semantics, to name a few.

Web pointers are inserted in the text at places where references are made to specific areas of knowledge which are represented on the net, making the 'Logs' a source of interesting but often unknown resources.

The Los Angeles computer expert eventually decided to make these files available via e-mail, and here they are! To subscribe, send a message to:


With the SUBJECT line:


For info on WWW see:

New Civilization Encino

Headquartered in Encino, a few miles from where I live, is "New Civilization - a California Non-Profit, Public-Benefit Corporation", represented by Leon Vickman <>.

They have for more than 10 years been having a dialogue about how to build a new civilization. On paper, in a "many-to-many" distribution scheme before electronic mailing lists became common.

The current activities are to refine and run "Model One" of a new civilization. The corporation owns a piece of land in Ojai, California that they are planning to use to experiment with organic farming and new building styles.

New Civilization Model One's economy is based on a time-money system. That is, members can earn credits for time spent, and can buy a limited number of other services or goods, such as organic teas and seeds, for their credits.

The volunteers are organized into a number of divisions working on different tasks. They are currently called BankCo, FoodCo, HealthCo, InsureCo, LearnCo, RetireCo, SpaceCo, ThinkCo, and now also PersonCo and ArtCo.

Buckminster Fuller's Centennial Symposium and Celebration

This event arranged by GENI is next weekend, July 14-16, in San Diego California. It should still be possible to come, even if one hasn't registered.

Check out:

Here is more information:

"A World that Works for Everyone! Is it Possible?

Buckminster Fuller, the ,"Leonardo deVinci of our time" conceived it.

Come Celebrate this unique visionary's 100th Birthday Celebration
See and experience what he did.
July 14- 16, 1995 San Diego, California

About Buckminster Fuller

As a pioneer in whole systems thinking and design, Fuller referred to himself as a Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Scientist for "Spaceship Earth". He devoted his life to developing solutions to global problems which did "more with less" based upon the design principles of nature. Among the results were Synergetic Geometry, the geodesic dome, The Dymaxion Map, Car, House and World Game. A prolific author of 20 books and thousands of articles, Fuller received 47 Honorary Doctorates and numberous awards including the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects and the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the government of the United States.

"For the first time in the history of humanity, it is evident that there is enough of the fundamental metabolic and mechanical energy sustenance for everybody to survive at high living standards" Buckminster Fuller

GENI (Global Energy Network International)
425 West "B" Street, Suite B-11
San Diego, CA 92101 USA
Tel: (619)595-0139 Fax: (619)595-0403
(GENI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation)
Peter Meisen is the director of GENI and you can reach him at

Rediscovering the Soul of Business

The Renaissance Business Associates have their 13th annual international conference coming up September 21-24, in Boise, Idaho. The theme for the meeting is "Rediscovering the Soul of Business: Managing for Profit and the Human Spirit." Institute of Noetic Sciences is a co-sponsor of the event.

The primary focus of RBA is the enhancement of integrity and the elevation of the human spirit at work.

Alex N. Pattakos <> is the president and will be happy to provide more information, and you can also reach them by phone at: (208) 345-4234 or by fax at: (208) 345-3350.

Ivan Blanco <BLANCO@BU4090.BARRY.EDU> is going to facilitate one of the sessions.


This is a recipe for managing complexity with simple elements, taken from the book "Out of Control - The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World" by Kevin Kelly, which I very much recommend. This comes out of robot research, and (of course) biology:

  1. Do simple things first
  2. Learn to do them flawlessly
  3. Add new layers of activity over the results of the simple tasks.
  4. Don't change the simple things.
  5. Make the new layer work as flawlessly as the simple.
  6. Repeat, ad infinitum.

"Complexity is grown from simple systems that already work."

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