The Proto-technate – A way out of life puzzle


A common critique of the Design is that it provides a template for how to arrange and structure the future economic system of humanity, without discussing the transition from Capitalism to Energy Accounting.

To some extent, the critique is often coming from various left-wing organisations, but more commonly they come from detractors, who may agree fundamentally with our critique of the current system, but for varying reasons do not believe it is desirable or realistic to completely overhaul the existing order.

Such questions are often not asked in entirely good faith either, but made in order to define the EOS as politically immature and therefore discard not only any eventual lack of transitionary planning but also the Design itself. After all, why the hassle of contemplating an alternative socio-economic system if we do not intend to institute it?

It should be noted that the above-mentioned rhetorical question, based on fallacious assumptions about the lack of a transitionary goal plan of the EOS, also assumes that the representatives of the EOS have the audacity to propose themselves as the leaders of the global future of mankind, and that the EOS fundamentally is striving to assume power. This is an abject absurdity, and based on the notion that human beings can only be motivated by greed or power.

The purpose of this article is to once again reiterate what the purpose of the EOS and the Design is, but also something more – to offer a tangible transition plan in the face of ecological collapse and a situation where the elites of humanity are unable and unwilling to look past Capitalism for answers on how to arrange the relationship of our civilization and the Earth on which it is dependent.


  • Energy Accounting is an economic calculation model designed to the conditions humanity is facing during the 21st century, where 8 billion people must share what a planet with a rapidly deteriorating environment and dwindling resources could provide.
  • The EOS is formed around the goal of testing aspects of Energy Accounting and identify how the system responds to real world challenges.
  • Thus, the EOS itself does not intend to make this model of a future society come true, but to establish it as an alternative model for social and economic development (look at the article The Only thing we are asking for).
  • There are basically two routes to institute Energy Accounting – top-down and bottom-up.
  • A bottom-up approach would see a slow, incremental transition of non-state actors combining their productive resources to gradually decouple from the market economy.
  • It is fundamentally not only possible but necessary to combine top-down and bottom-up approaches to the transition issue.
  • We don’t have much time, but we have to do it.

Energy Accounting and the EOS

Our planet is on a rapid trajectory towards environmental collapse, not only in terms of the climate issue, but on a broad front of interconnected areas such as freshwater deposits, soil erosion, biodiversity, ocean acidification and the spreading of plastics and medicine into the food chain. During the second half of the 20th century, this process became increasingly evident. As a direct response, political, activist and scientific movements aiming to slow down, stop and/or reverse this trend were launched – collectively known as the green movement or the environmentalist movement.

Broadly speaking, this movement can be divided into two subdivisions:

  1. Those who believe that the environmental crisis primarily is caused by the employment of dirty or subpar technologies, and that capitalism and the current civilization are possible to keep operating under conditions identical or near identical to its current form.
  2. Those who believe the environmental crisis to be primarily caused by capitalism/consumerism and its imperative for endless growth, and that neither the current civilization nor its economic order is possible to salvage in any form resembling the current model.

The first form of green movement is the one which is prevalent within contemporary green parties, think tanks, green businesses, governments, supranational institutions and scientific institutes. While they believe that consumerism would have to be reduced, they believe primarily in voluntarism and in technological solutions such as renewable energy and electric cars. The most radical faction believe that we might need increased green taxes, and even a shift to more of a welfare state, which they usually call “new economic paradigms”.

The second form is actually consisting of all the other green movements, from eco-socialists and eco-anarchists to deep greens to anarcho-primitivists – movements with visions wildly varying from one another, and only basically agreeing that capitalism is a leading cause towards environmental degradation.

Our movement is the second kind of movement.

Most of the movements and trends which claim that a systemic change is necessary only goes so far as to say that capitalism is impossible to unify with any form of sustainable future for humanity.

A few movements have suggested reforming capitalism or replacing it with other models. Right now, the most popular form of suggestion is known as “Doughnut Economics”.

The model proposed by the EOS is known as Energy Accounting, and means the creation of a non-monetary currency which in its total quantity would correspond to the planetary carrying capacity. Unlike money, energy credits would cease to exist after being used and after a specific amount of time, as they represent production capacity allocated. The recipients of the energy credits would be citizens, cooperatives/holons and public utilities/holons. The cost of any product or service would be correspondent to its total energy cost in terms of extraction, refining, assembly, transport and ecological restoration/compensation, meaning that every externality would be internalized.

The human economy cannot and should not exist independent from the planet which provides the human race with all it needs to thrive. The Earth and its biosphere is an integral factor, and any type of developed economic system which does not take into account the way in which it affects the planet is dooming humanity to future hardships.

Unlike Doughnut Economics, Energy Accounting is approaching the issue of economic reform not from the perspective of what our current system is and how it can be amended, but from the needs of the planet itself. In short, we have made a conscious choice to disregard the financial and monetary models as they currently exist and as they historically have evolved, instead treating the Earth as we would have viewed a novel, alien planet, and humanity as we would have viewed ourselves were we to settle that planet.

This poses a challenge, since the description of Energy Accounting disregards any roles whatsoever for any currently existing financial and monetary institutions on the national and international levels (this does not mean they won’t have a role to play, only that the EOS hitherto have not mentioned them), as well as any type of reform which would be conducted through taxation and/or subsidies or the introduction of carbon sequestering markets.

Another challenge with a fully novel model is that we have not yet seen the economic and social effects of its implementation. Therefore, establishing a detailed transition plan would be counter-productive as we do not yet know what kind of timetable and form of implementation would be the most suitable for the establishment of Energy Accounting.

Therefore, the transition by necessity would be composed of three phases.

The Experimental Phase

Energy Accounting could be simulated or tested.

Simulations would be consisting of computer programmes and of games (virtual or analogue), but these would either rely on algorithms with a programmers array of behaviours, or on human participants who would be informed that they are acting within the context of a simulated environment. In either case, the resources managed would be hypothetical and set under conditions which would be determined by the game master.

The knowledge which can be derived from simulations could be important, but must be combined with data from real life field runs – in short testing.

A test of Energy Accounting would be conducted in the real world, and would be formed within the context of a semi-closed network, which would manage key resources in accordance with the principles of Energy Accounting.

Our most common model sees two essential resources being allocated according to the principles of Energy Accounting – electricity and food. A prerequisite is that the network conducting the field test itself produces these resources. Why electricity and food have been chosen is because they are essential for the operation of a human society.

Such a network is called a proto-technate.

An embryonic proto-technate with the intent of testing Energy Accounting would not – contrary to what both detractors and a few supporters instinctually believe – be an isolationist commune totally separated from the wider world, for reasons which are quite obvious but which I will describe in greater detail later in this article.

All resources which it cannot itself acquire would be acquired the normal way on the market, though the network could expand – either by the absorption of new holons, or by the already existing participants diversifying their productive capabilities.

The proto-technate would consist of four functionalities.

  • The creation and distribution of energy credits to the holons.
  • The holons which manage the production of the utilities.
  • A separate company owned by the proto-technate responsible for the import of products and services, and the acquisition of land and productive ability/facilities.
  • A system of management which is elected by the participants, and a constitutional charter delineating the rights and limits of the proto-technate in accordance with the Three Criteria, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with local laws and prescriptions.

Nothing would prevent several experimental proto-technates to exist concurrently. In that case, the unification of several proto-technates must be considered only if it would improve the ecological, social and infrastructural impact of the technates in question. If two proto-technates are unified, they would be considered as one proto-technate, while the holons consisting the proto-technate will keep their autonomy.

Many proto-technates will encounter challenges, either at their initial phase or at any of the latter phases – and some will fall. The experiences – good and bad – will become the basis for further experimentation with post-monetary economic systems.

The evolutionary phase – defeating the “Life Puzzle”

During the experimental phase, participants would be highly motivated activists and researchers who would be motivated by the desire to test Energy Accounting, judge its implementation and decide whether it is able to survive and outperform the current system on social and environmental sustainability indicators.

The next phase, the evolutionary phase, would see a very different type of participant join in – namely those who join in order to improve their own subjective quality of life. This would not be a problem or something which is needed to be combatted, even if the understanding among these participants about Energy Accounting and its intricacies might initially be very flawed or even non-existent.

The question which we then arrive at would be – what would incentivize people to join a proto-technate?

The answer to this is tied to the paradigm of the experimental phase. Beyond the seeding of a proto-technate, which may indeed be marked by uncertainty of the future and hardships, the holons should not strive towards growth for the sake of growth. If it is possible for a proto-technate to expand its productive capabilities, it must be weighed against the labour time the participants have to put into this expansion, and whether it would consume more labour time in the long-term than prior to the expansion.

In short, the proto-technate should operate for the sake of its participants – and here we come to the term social sustainability.

The electricity and food of the proto-technate would be distributed according to the allocation of energy credits made by the holons and the participants. This means that a significant amount of electricity and food will come for free to the participants. Likewise, those living in buildings owned and operated by the proto-technate would not pay any monetary rent. This will make it possible for people to reduce the amount of time under which they have to work outside of the proto-technate, as their life costs would drop and they would be able to sustain themselves on a smaller income.

In contemporary Sweden, arguably one of the best developed societies on the planet and a progressive lighthouse, one of the most common terms is “the life puzzle”. An ordinary citizen is expected to both have a career and a family life, as well as a successful social life. As a full-time job is for eight hours, and both parents are expected to work, children are generally placed at full-time daycare (and occasionally nightcare) centres, where they are to be picked up by the parents. The hours of the day are usually neatly regimenting themselves, with little time for reflection, rest or pastimes. Due to this stress, especially during the crucial toddler years, relationships are falling apart, and many people are suffering from mental breakdowns over their perceived failure to fulfil the ideal of a successful Swedish citizen.

It should be noted that the workloads of hunter-gatherers or medieval farmers were lighter than for contemporary office workers in developed societies.

 Almost everybody are loathing the jigsaw puzzle that is life, but the “life puzzle” is considered a fact of nature in Sweden – almost as natural as rain, air and sunshine.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if people could work less, for a comparable standard of living, and spend more time with their families in a communal setting where they could have more time to live and breathe, where electricity, food and housing would be cheap or virtually free? This would make life in the proto-technate far more agreeable than a comparative life in “normie society”.

Of course, most of the people in the proto-technate would still have regular jobs outside of it, providing taxes to the state. But they would be able to keep more of their income and establish savings as they would not have to pay for utilities – unlike part-time workers in crumbling rental apartments, who would have to put a lot of their monetary earnings into food, electricity and rent.

In short, a system which is intending to create a moneyless society could during its initiation actually make its participants monetarily wealthier. An individual working part-time and living under a proto-technate may theoretically have a larger disposable income in money than an individual who is working eight hours and lives in an ordinary home or apartment.

As the proto-technate expands, this type of discrepancy will grow. Car and machine pools, the ability to acquire clothes, household items, furniture and even homes without any monetary payment will further increase the safety net of those living within a proto-technate, while their actual need for money would decrease. This form of social sustainability would increase individual autonomy and dignity, reduce stress factors and alleviate physical and mental pain. Parents could have more time to spend with their children. Life could become idyllic, calm and rewarding, without fear of economic or social safety.

Of course, many things could go awry during the process.

  • The community could collapse due to internal conflicts or other factors.
  • The community could succumb to complacency and turn stagnant and inward-looking.
  • The community could turn dogmatic and repressive against those who are ideologically objecting or indifferent.

That is why a charter is essential, as it would not only define how positions of responsibility are appointed, term limits and transparency criteria, but also broader ideological and ecological goals. Nevertheless, leeway must be provided that people who join a proto-technate should not need to change or conform to the ideals of the network – our goal is not to create a “new human”, but that humans should be able to be human (rather than hamsters).

The revolutionary phase – the long game

If successful, the proto-technates would gradually both diversify and unify into larger networks, which would work according to the path of least resistance. During this transition, the participants would find that the behaviour they are inclined to adopt given the circumstances would further the cause of Energy Accounting, at the expense of the capitalistic Price System.

At a certain point, people will increasingly stop working inside the regular capitalistic economy, as the proto-technate would be capable of providing their needs – especially with the large-scale adoption of 3D printing and with the increased accessibility to renewables. If this trickle turns into an exodus, it could spark exponential growth for the technate, and also put increasing stress both on states and on private for-profit corporations. On one hand, this trend could incentivize even corporations to collaborate with the proto-technate, acquiring energy and other products in return for their services – while it also could spark a backlash against the proto-technate, and repression from state authorities.

In this sense, the by then tens of thousands of holons comprising the proto-technate would reconfigure and find new methodologies to further their collaboration. In short, it is a long game, a struggle where the holons fight not only for the planet and the Ideology of the Third Millennium, but also for their participants and the wider communities into which they are embedded.

That is also why it is essential that those intent on forming holons try to avoid markers which would be stigmatizing and isolate them from the wider community. Apart from not consciously isolating themselves in communes, they should avoid sporting behaviours or aesthetics which would mark them out as asocial, for example condemning the lifestyle choices of other people, or holier-than-thou social markers. Such choices could initially strengthen the cohesion of the holons, but would defeat the purpose of the struggle. Proselytizing should be avoided, and the learning of Energy Accounting and the Ideology should happen within the holons in the framework of voluntary study circles.

If the holons are viewed positively by the local non-technate communities, and their participants seen as respectable individuals with names, passions and dreams, then attempts of state or group repression against them would either fail or backfire, and help to delegitimize the causes of the detractors of the proto-technate – since what would be seen by the public would be attempts to repress people who desire to live autonomously and to provide for their families.

Another thing which should not be discouraged is for participants in the proto-technate to also take part in civic life in their wider communities. Active participation would not only endear the movement to the public and help in expanding the scope, but also gradually transform the local institutions in a manner conductive for the wider objectives. Nevertheless, political and institutional engagement at the local level must not as its aim have to establish political hegemony, since that would produce hostility and tear apart local society. Rather, the most long-term feasible relationship is one where there is difficult to ascertain where the proto-technate ends and ordinary market society begins. It would reduce the risk for tensions and for resistance to emerge.

Eventually, the proto-technate would not only co-opt institutions, but forming its own academies, universities and think tanks, and start training cadres of professionals who are imbued with the experiences of the Design. This is a long march and a multi-generational project.

Afterword – “But we don’t have time!”

A new 2022 UN report shows that half of the corals of the oceans have died. The world is in a state of an acute crisis. One argument which is often flung against eco-progressive critiques of capitalism is the lack of time. We are following the trajectory of the 1972 Limits to Growth report which would put the collapse of the planetary ecosystems around 2070. Most analysts agree that the tipping point for carbon dioxide reduction to have an impact is this decade, and that the 1,5 degree goal probably already is overdue.

Today, a conflict within the power ranks of the developed world has fully emerged and is polarizing our societies. On the eco-progressive side, there is an alliance consisting of financial-political elites and activist organizations which sees climate change as an existential threat, and which intends to curb it using means within the current system. In general, the activists are not proposing the solutions but rather prefer to leave that to institutions and think tanks such as The Bill & Melinda Gates Founation, or The Stockholm Institute, which nevertheless have more resources to fund studies.

Recently, the Youtube channel Kurzgesagt published a video sponsored by the Gates foundation, describing the foundation’s preferred strategy for the transition. While this topic may be deconstructed in another article, I would be amiss if I would not mention that this statement was not only present in the video but also directly attribute to Bill Gates himself – to the effect that “since the crisis is immediate in scope, we do not have the time to invent a new socio-economic system and replace capitalism, so we have to work within the system.”

It should be noted that climate change currently is a hot topic (often quite literally), but that it is dominating the public perception of what environmental problems the planet currently face. And truth be told, it is an existential threat and one that needs to be addressed. But in the same time, it is a part of a wider problem, which also encompasses soil deterioration, freshwater depletion, biodiversity loss, trawling, the addition of artificial fertilizers to the soil and numerous other environmental crises, local, regional and global. In truth, one could either take the position that these problems are disparate in their point of origin and dependent upon divergent factors, be they technological, social or due to individual error, or that they are systemic. If they are systemic, they may be founded upon two points of origin – the population size of humanity and/or the socio-economic system (these two are not mutually exclusive, but the EOS tends to put a greater emphasis on the socio-economic system, given for example that small developed countries have a greater environmental impact than larger countries on the opposite side of the developmental spectrum, and that the world economy has grown with a factor of over forty times since the early 20th century, whereas the population has only grown eight times, meaning that the economic growth has been five times the population growth).

Granted, Bill Gates is not wrong. The time we have to curb climate change is probably too short a time to rely only on the orderly introduction of a post-capitalist system. This does not, however, mean that we should not concurrently work for such a transition.

Right now, there is a concerted effort by elites in the developed countries to introduce a “Great Reset” of capitalism, which will combine aspects of the 1930’s New Deal, 1990’s style Globalization and new forms of supranational ecological and epidemiological monitoring and “multi-level governance” (which is when policies are shaped on differing institutional levels following more dynamic, almost ad hoc-like procedures with unclear delineations of responsibilities and execution). A lot of this process will contain aspects which are progressive, such as basic income, but a lot of it will also help entrench and strengthen the kind of supranational elites which have been formed during the “Davos era of global capitalism”.

No matter whether the visions presented by the Gates Foundation and those of the World Economic Forum are similar or whether the think tanks have had any communication, we can see that the visions for change presented by the WEF contains a trend towards a greater degree of supranational institutional power, more surveillance of the population and a greater amount of centralized control. Their vision is one of a post-growth capitalism which will guarantee some basic income, while at the same time entrench those very elites which are valuing long-term investments before short-sighted gains, and would want to see the planet continue, while at they – for quite obvious reasons – are emotionally attached to capitalism and largely unable to imagine any other alternate system.

The kind of system presented by these think tanks could at best be described as “transitionary”, but there is no clarity to where the transition is heading – if anywhere. There are several reasons why established academia and institutions would not look into the exploration of post-capitalist ideas and models. The challenge comes when we are pulled deeper and deeper into an existential ecological crisis, and the experts assigned to deal with the problem are only capable of thinking within the framework of capitalism, and all their tools which they are equipped with presuppose the continued existence of a growth-based system with a fiat currency.

This is why every movement which is making serious research about post-capitalist models is doing an invaluable work, and why those movements should be supported – because the institutions through which power flows are not interested in widening the options we have accessible to the point that those solutions threaten the existence of these institutions in their contemporary form.

The only thing the EOS is asking for, is your help in developing and testing Energy Accounting, or other alternatives to capitalism designed to create an ecologically sustainable future.

The model which we have envisioned is decentralized, built on putting the control of the future institutions directly into the hands of the people, and on finding ways to compensate the potential inconveniences of a more ecologically sustainable future with a higher degree of social sustainability.

In short, the urgency of the current situation and the unsustainability of the current model is an insufficient excuse to not explore alternatives to said model, and since there already are movements pursuing this course, these movements should be supported as well in conducting their experiments and research.

Excluding them from the public view is tantamount to rather see humanity collapse into a new dark age than potentially entering a post-capitalist future.  


The Technate, social sustainability and equality


If the Design is proven to be a viable alternative to the current socio-economic system, and therefore is introduced, it would mean nothing less than a complete cultural and social transformation of the human civilization, and a shift of many values once considered essential and hailing back twelve thousand years.

Examples of concepts which would be altered would be ranging from trade and accumulation to inheritance, savings and interest. And these are the three factors we intend to showcase in this article, as we previously have discussed a lot about transactions under a technate, but considerably less about accumulation.

Primarily, the kind of civilization which will appear under the Design will not be characterized by the growing disparities of wealth and the conflation of wealth an influence characteristic of monetary market-based systems. This will not happen by any post-hoc regulations of political or other character, but rather – almost non-intentionally – be a consequence of the very structure of energy units, the currency of the future.

This transformation, if sudden, will be traumatic and cause social unrest. But, if the Design ever would be implemented, these aspects would be of integral character and would represent one of the most tangible and deepest transformations of global human culture ever occurring.

Thus, any implementation would have to be conducted as a gradual shift, and the nature of the transformation would have to be conducted in a manner of dialogue, inclusivity and transparency, to minimise the risk for toxic social strife.

Within the EOS, we are neither driven by passions for social justice, nor by the vice of vindictiveness. We are not deriving the Design from any Marxian tradition – our primary purpose is not to establish social equity, but to ensure that every human being on Earth can live a decent life within the sustainable ecological budget ceiling established by the physical reality of the planetary ecological economy.

Any such implementation undertaken haphazardly, covertly and under stress would certainly constitute a profound risk for a cultural and social collapse which will threaten the structural integrity of the human civilization, and risk ushering in a new dark age. That is why any implementation must happen with clear goals, delineations and democratic participation.

Notwithstanding our lack of socialist credentials, the successful implementation of the Design would lead to several outcomes which would create a more egalitarian and equitable human civilization, where wealth disparities not only would be smaller, but also of structurally fleeting character, making impossible the accumulation of land and wealth which previously has created the entrenched aristocracies of our world.

In return, social safety and prosperity will to a larger extent be derived from the individual share of the planetary resources allotted to each human being, on the virtue of – among other things – being a part of humanity.

TL;DR Summary

  • Energy units are representing production capacity, not capital value derived from markets.
  • It is physically impossible to use energy after it already has been converted to work.
  • Expecting energy units to operate like money is unrealistic.
  • Energy units are issued for a limited period and are thus susceptible to being deleted and replaced by new energy units issued for a second period.
  • This will eliminate the concept of trans-period savings.
  • When used, energy units will cease to exist.
  • This will eliminate transactional trading.
  • The intent of these design features are not to eliminate savings and transactions, but to allow energy units to correctly measure production capacity.
  • If we would say that Energy Accounting was to be introduced, it would have to be introduced gradually – as it is so alien and different from the concepts of economics and human life we have come to expect as natural.

The nature of Energy Units as a currency

The reiteration of this cannot be stressed enough. While Energy Units, as envisioned by the EOS, are a currency, they are not money. There are important structural and philosophical differentiations which must be accounted for, with the structural taking precedence.

The first difference: Money has arisen gradually over three millennia, and represents a social safety net for the individual, indirectly at the expense of other individuals not immediately related. Organic money gave way to metal currency which gave way to fractional reserve banking and debt-based money, while there philosophically exists a perpetuation of an intellectually dishonest way of pretending that money is a law of nature.

As already Technocracy Inc. stated, the philosophical basis of money is the idea that scarcity is always unavoidable because of the limitlessness of human demand, one of the fundamental postulates of Orthodox and Neoclassical Economics. This is hardly surprising given that for the majority of money’s existence within human civilization occurred during a period where most of the work was dependent on raw human muscle power.

The expansion of capital in Europe from the 15th century and onward was driven by the development of credit mechanics, and this would lay the foundation for the first and second industrial revolutions. But these transformations in raw productive power and the transition to extraneous energy sources to supplant muscle power and vastly increase productive capacity also further transformed money into a hybrid system where the laws of scarcity still applies for the vast majority of the population not owning significant amounts of capital, whereas the large institutions and mega-corporations deemed “too big to fail” are existing in a parallel world, one where capital and credit could be attained by a limitless supply of debt, owed by the collective entity of the entire population. Currently, three units of debt are created for every unit of capital in the largest economies of the world.

More can be read about this topic in the article on this website titled: What is money and why is it problematic?

One frequent criticism from laypersons in regard to Energy Units is that they allegedly represent a more complex system. This I actually disagree with – in comparison to the hybrid systems currently employed, which are reliant on layer upon layer of misconceptions, vagueness, tradition and – arguably – omission of information, Energy Units are an incredibly simple concept.

The Energy Units are issued by the Technate through a process called Energy Accounting, where the entire size of the operational global economy (or at least technate-wide economy) within the limits of the Earth’s carrying capacity are routinely measured. When issued, they are distributed, to holons within the public sector and to all human individuals living within the total area of the Technate. When these entities are allocating their Energy Units, they de-facto allocate production capacity to specific operations. The cost in Energy Units for the production of an item or a service is equal to the cost (in energy terms) to extract the resources, manage the production and compensate for damage incurred on the environment. The cost will also take into account transportation costs and their environmental effects, thus creating incentives for local and greener production.

The Technate is issuing the Energy Units in packages of accounting periods, which are the estimates of the Earth’s production capacity within the planet’s ecological budget ceiling for a limited duration of time (the length of this period could range for x amounts of months or years). When a new accounting period begins, the old accounts – both on the public and private side – are thus reset, for a microsecond to zero and then to the measurement value for the new period. Thus, the specific global pool of Energy Units is for all purposes aimed to be of temporary character. This will, for quite obvious reasons, eliminate savings – thus preventing the long-term accumulation of capital.

Secondly, following the allocation of Energy Units to production and services, by the users (here we both account for human persons and public utilities), the Energy Units are transformed into information input and cease to exist as transferable currency. This means that for all ends and purposes, they cannot be used in the allocation cycle more than once. For obvious reasons, this will be simplified by the virtue of the Energy Units being an electronic currency. This will, also for quite obvious reasons, eliminate trade as we know it.


Why do we want to eliminate savings and trade?

Are we frothing-at-the-mouth anti-capitalists who simply hate success and freedom? Or do we see ourselves as radical revolutionaries fanatically intent to fight to end exploitation and build a new utopian future?

The answer is, neither of these latter postulates are true. We are not driven by any antipathy or sympathy for the capitalistic system, and neither primarily by egalitarianism or anti-hierarchical sentiments. We are, for all ends and purposes, pro-sustainability rather than anti-capitalism.

So, why do savings and exchange-based trade have to go?

The answer, of course, lies in preserving the structural integrity of Energy Units. They are not supposed to be money, and neither to be capital. Each individual specific pool of Energy Units are going to represent a share of the Earth’s renewal capacity, the global ecological budget we can use before we start to ramp up a deficit.

If we imagined that we made Energy Units transferable between entities, the process of tracking them would 1) become far more complex, and 2) they would no longer properly represent production capacity, and thus would be rendered useless in relation to the goal of keeping a global ecological budget ceiling.

If we imagined that we made Energy Units salvageable over extended durations of time exceeding the accounting periods of the Technate, that too would compromise the operative purpose of the entire system, unless we compensated for saved Energy Units by reducing the size of the remainder of the pool, thus making everyone else poorer.

Remember, the Technate represents a system where economic growth will be caused by technological development in terms of finding more efficient ways of managing energy, resources and production – thus while incomes may seem stagnant, at least over the short perspective, a process of continuous deflation will successively lower the costs of economic operations in the long perspective. The global ecological budget ceiling imposes, at least in terms of operations occurring on the planet and with planet-based resources, a limit to the kind of growth which sees areas converted from eco-systems to linear production systems.

Equality and egalitarianism

Especially the abolishment of capital accumulation will have specific effects on the society’s culture for a foreseeable future. Namely, self-perpetuating fortunes will be a thing of the past, and income differences will be vastly reduced. The Pareto distribution pyramid will be broken, meaning that no longer will 20% of the population have exclusive access to 80% of the total economic output. There will no longer be a 1%, and there will no longer be a 0,1%.

The primary social safety net will no longer be savings, but rather the fact that each human being will own a share of the planet’s renewal capacity for every year. What this will mean is that we will have one common bank for all of humanity – planet Earth.

So, maybe it is wrong to state that savings will be abolished – rather they will be transferred. With good stewardship, wise user choices (which under a regime of Energy Accounting will also be economically sensible) and technological progress, the individual accounts will grow for every passing period, thus representing savings which – contrary to our current situation – won’t decrease with spending, but will grow over an individual lifespan.

The model proposed by the EOS is a model of mixed accounts, where each individual human being will have no less than three accounts of Energy Units. These Energy Units will not be quintessentially different in any regard from one another, but will rather represent three distributive methods employed by the Technate.

  • Basic distribution – each human being will receive a flat income of Energy Units comprising the basic needs of sustenance, housing, nutrition and recreation.
  • Time-based distribution – every individual should be compensated the following accounting period for their work contribution in the current accounting period.
  • Reputation-based distribution – the popularity of products and services in the different sequences (operational areas) of the Technate, no matter if the user is an individual, a community or a utility, can be used to distribute a boon to all individuals involved in the creation of said product and service.

With this system, the distribution of Energy Units will not be totally egalitarian no matter education, drive or incentives, and holons committing themselves to effective production and research will “outcompete” those holons which insist on doing a bare minimum of what is required. In short, teams committing themselves to contributing more for the wider community and the users will see their individual incomes rise in relation to those who contribute less.

Yet, despite this inequality of outcome, the system will be far more equitable over time as inequalities cannot sustain themselves longer than one accounting period, creating a greater degree of elasticity and preventing the emergence of a stratified society with a permanent class structure.

Moral hazards

The Design (which is the name of a system consisting of the triad of the Technate, the Energy Survey and the Energy Units currency) is a currently untested alternative to the current status quo. Thus, we will encounter challenges and problems when we expose it for field tests. Already now, before we’ve seen it operate, there are some areas where we can identify troubles arising.

Those areas are:

  • The problem of incentives
  • The problem of corruption
  • The problem of bottlenecks

The problem of incentives can easily be formulated like this: “People will commit less to work under your system because they won’t be able to accumulate capital and build fortunes, which will mean that they will commit less in studying.” The extreme variation of this argument builds on the popular conception of human psychology which states that people will not work at all unless they are threatened by the Damocles sword of homelessness, starvation and death hanging over their heads.

One can say that this problem is the one which from our point of view is the least of a problem, at least from a theoretical perspective. The argumentation behind the problem is building on the idea that we need exponential economic growth – which is true under the current, debt-based monetary-financial system. It won’t be true under the Design (if you wonder what I mean, that means you should read the segments of the article prior to this headline again). The Technate is an elastic steady state system, not an exponential growth system.

Moreover, a lot of the economic activities conducted today which are lauded as high-productive work necessary for the well-being of our global economy, are in fact quite damaging for the long-term well-being of the economy. Certainly, a CEO of a company which creates a brand selling St Nick action toys and manage to become a billionaire on that is by all accounts a very accomplished and skilled individual. The question is whether it by any account can be called sustainable to take out that much more plastic from the environment, and facilitate that many more truck transports, and create more energy-demanding factories to push out tens of millions of toys which are fuelled by demand artificially increased through advertising directed at impressionable kids? If that CEO, instead of making that toy-line, had focused their energy on self-gratification through the personal consumption of erotic material online, that otherwise “highly accomplished” individual would have had an arguably less harmful impact on the environment.

Energy Accounting is not designed in order to maximise incentives, but to reduce bad incentives and increase incentives that are more in line with the ecological limits of our living planet. Judging by the values of our current system, it will certainly serve to reduce some incentives – and that in our view is a good thing!

The incentives which drive us to replace ecosystems with monocultures, to continue to spew out compositions which are harmful to the long-term sustainability of our civilization and to extract minerals, metals and wood to make things which people only realise they need after being bombarded with ads, are genuinely destructive for ourselves and built on short-sighted profits where the system is directed by a mass of blind consumers who are being consciously manipulated by actors within the system in order to make them consume more, and thus have a greater impact on the planet inadvertently. The argument that this consumption is needed to produce new capital which would be invested in new “green technologies” has been present since the 1970’s, and despite this our effect on the environment has nothing but increased.

The problem of corruption is far more hypothetical in nature, since it addresses institutions which are not yet established. The line of argument is that human beings best either trust themselves or the established institutions in safe-guarding their wealth, that savings are necessitated by the risk of illness, poverty or accidents. To move the safety-guarantee to having the Earth itself as the bank and the technate as the middle-hand is presenting itself as a horrifying prospect to many human beings.

They fear that with the power vested in the technate would follow totalitarianism and something resembling 21st century stalinism, with “the government” having total control and supervision over every individual.

The fear of the risk of technology being used to monitor the citizenry and keeping it in line is a rational fear, since we have seen the ascent of technological states during the 20th century and how technologies were abused for the purpose of surveillance and propaganda. This fear is even more rational today, given the power vested in a (real or hypothetical) totalitarian state with 5G technology at its disposal, with near complete ability to monitor each individual citizen. It is entirely conceivable to think of the 2050’s in the first world as a period where there not only will be more surveillance but when people will ask for it, only out of the fear of bio-terrorism.

This, however, is not the future we envision. The technate would by necessity need to be a distributed system, meaning that it would consist of millions upon millions of holons – semi-autonomous units. If a holon would somehow be turned corrupted and reported for abuse, its archives would be requested for revision and the rest of the technate can choose to disassociate from that holon – even if that holon is committing coordinating tasks on a more regional or global level. It would simply be replaced by a “clone” which is not yet compromised by corruption or abuse of power. It should be noted that since the advent of industrialism, individual autonomy is a myth, unless for people who either choose to live as self-sufficient hermits in the woods or who somehow produce their own electricity, food, heating and water individually. It could be argued that our model actually would increase individual autonomy by localising production and increasing the competency for resilience in local communities per the transition goals embedded in the Design.

Moreover, the technate is not a government and should not have legislative or executive power. Primarily, it should be considered a conduit for information – a form of 6G if you want to use that term, a global network of interconnected systems aimed at understanding global energy transfers and facilitating the production of goods and services. This functionality will not be carried out by the same institutions which are responsible for issuing and distributing energy units.

In some regards, the technate will compete with national governments, especially as it deprives them of the opportunity to tax their constituents – since the division of public and private “funds” under Energy Accounting is happening prior to the energy units even being distributed, meaning that no citizen any longer would have to file in for tax returns or have their property measured by bureaucrats.

This will also deprive states of another power – the power to utilize economic means to discriminate or repress citizens. No country which would like to be a part of the technate may violate the Three Criteria or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Lastly, it should be stated that the technate – if ever introduced – will be introduced gradually, step by step. Thus, over one to two decades, many thousands of minor changes will gradually be introduced. Certainly, it is inevitable that many errors, both the human factor and technological bugs and flawed codes, will hamper the process during its initiation – especially as we are talking about millions of conscious and procedural adjustments.

The bottleneck problem

Now we have defined one hypothetical problem specific to the Design, namely that the liquidation of energy units at the end of each accounting period will herald a period of mass consumerism – as people with a consumerist mentality would strive to maximize their consumption before the end of the period. One can easily imagine something resembling Black Friday and Christmas rolled into one period of roughly one to two months. The problem this poses for the technate is not one regarding overconsumption – remember the global ecological budget ceiling – but rather one of overload. When people are suddenly binge-ordering the production of items they do not need, individual chains of production can see demand increase well beyond their capacity to comply, and that for reasons of either irrational behaviour or conscious sabotage. People used to the type of unrestrained market economics commonly used today would likely resent some of the changes imposed and will therefore strive to consume items they do not need as a form of protest.

How we could factor in this type of behaviour is ultimately a decision for the holons, but it will likely pose a significant challenge.


The key to understand the Design is that it is a conceptual system, but untested. Therefore, the first goal must be to test it to identify its weaknesses. These tests must ideally run concurrent with one another. If successful, they can be moved on to the next phase, which is to introduce these concepts for the general public. Then, after that, it would have to move on to become a conscious decision to shift away from the current system, which would have to happen in a process which is including the entire population and which is transparent and democratic. This sounds nearly impossible, but we have managed to put ourselves in a situation growing ever more grave.

And here’s the point: While the Design is one conceptual model for a post-capitalist society, the issue is not a matter of the Design vs Capitalism. The Three Criteria for sustainability – a global ecological budget ceiling, a circular economy and a guaranteed income – are features which we believe the human civilization must fulfil within a hundred years’ time. The question is only whether a system resembling the Design would be the optimal way to achieve that. As for the current system, by its very foundations it is driving us to transform the planet into monocultures and further a mass depletion of ecosystems and species.


Energy Accounting, Basic Income, Time Compensation and Validation


If you are reading this, it could be prudent to be acquainted with the concept of Energy Accounting. To recap it briefly, Energy Accounting is a model of a post-monetary socio-economic system.

It is composed of an on-going Energy Survey which measures the planet’s renewal capacity and thus establishes a Global Ecological Budget Ceiling, a Technate which is administering all allocation, and Energy Units, the new currency which would work as the medium of allocation.

This article will focus on the aforementioned Energy Units, and especially on different strategies on how they can be distributed to a population. The main issue is to find balance between guaranteeing a good quality of life for all human beings, and preserve incentives in relation to the changed circumstances which we would experience during the transition from the decaying Capitalism of the 21st century into a brand new, hypothetical system. While more tests, research projects and simulations are needed, we can still hypothesise about different methodologies of distributing energy units. By defining different methodologies of distributing energy units, we can outline different futures for a sustainable civilization.


On the Transition


The 21st century must – if the human civilization wants to endure and thrive – be characterized by the greatest conscious project our species ever has engaged in, namely the Transition. This process must engage all of humanity, on both the local, regional and global levels. It must involve a total transformation of financial systems, agriculture, industry, fuel sources, energy usage, urban design, transit systems and consumption patterns.

Humanity, following the transition, will live in a civilization radically different from the one which gradually evolved during the eras of industrialism and consumerism. Our descendants will not live under a society characterised by exponential growth, industrial monocultures, consumerism, advertising, technological underemployment, freeways and supermarkets.

These very necessary adjustments to collective and individual facets of human life on our Earth today should have been undertaken already when it stood clear that we were using more resources than the Earth could renew, back in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Our usage of the planet’s resources have only increased since that time, showing that while we have been able to curb particle emissions and prevent an ozone crisis, as well as made great progress in terms of renewable energy sources. Yet, in terms of resource usage, especially regarding soil erosion, deforestation, groundwater depletion and surface exploitation, all the trends show an increased grade of deterioration.

The Transition is not about creating a Utopia, it is about creating a sustainable future for humanity. Some aspects of it will be painful and protracted, but the alternative to the Transition is not our current way of managing resources and the lifestyle and values it entails, but something which a majority of humanity would very much like to avoid.

A Sixth Mass Extinction event, resulting in a loss of complexity for the human civilization, resulting in a domino effect of crises which very well could destabilise even the most developed regions of Earth. Reality itself is urging us to adjust, to undergo a Transition, and the longer time we wait, the higher the price will be.

This article will describe what the Transition must be in order to be efficient, and also identify the key areas which will be affected.


  • Large-scale cases of environmental challenges can be defined into two categories – qualitative and quantitative.
  • Qualitative challenges can be partially solved by ceasing certain practices, quantitative challenges require a much deeper transition.
  • The five big challenges, anthropogenic climate change, soil erosion, freshwater depletion, and the destruction of oceanic and continental eco-systems, are all caused by a dependency on exponential economic growth.
  • The first step towards solving that problem is the abolishment of fractional reserve banking and possibly the elimination of interest.
  • Anthropogenic climate change will be tackled by phasing out fossil sources of energy and the meat industry, and by the creation of carbon banks by global reforestation efforts.
  • Industrial monocultures would need to be gradually but quickly replaced by a combination of several different types of farming – urban gardening, agroforestry, kelp farming, underground farming and aquaculture.
  • We need a circular economy with strong aspects of a blue economy – i.e an economy where we minimise and optimise production.
  • Energy Accounting or a system equivalent to its goals will most likely incentivise the necessary behavioural shifts, and can be useful as an alternative market mechanism.
  • Another way of shifting is through setting up centrally managed transition plans, employing AI and superior computing systems to better access information.
  • A part of such centralised measures would be to mass-mobilise the labour surplus in certain key areas, for example building sea walls to shield vulnerable lowlands.
  • It is also essential to support and organise de-centralised grassroots initiatives on the local and regional levels in their attempts to foment the Transition.  

Qualitative vs Quantitative Challenges

There could be said to be two kinds of environmental problems, those which are derived from the emission of certain substances into nature. Fossil-bound carbon dioxide, ozone and particle emissions into the atmosphere, heavy metal, synthetic chemicals, medicines and radioactive materials leaking into water reservoirs, seas and soils are example of qualitative challenges, which (mostly) can be solved by better regulations, by banning and by clean-up efforts. These problems (apart from climate change) can be addressed without challenging the foundations of our current civilization.

Quantitative challenges, on the other hand, are not possible to be addressed with these same tools, since the issue is not what substances we use, what emissions we leak or how we pollute, but rather how large volumes we are exploiting, how much surface we are occupying and in what manner we are occupying it. Often, these quantitative challenges are massively increasing the scope of the qualitative challenge. For example, one gasoline car would not affect the CO2 levels very much, but billions of cars can have a profound impact.

Three examples of environmental devastation of a quantitative nature are the huge industrial monocultures, where between a third and half of the world’s land usable land surface is utilised in the production of singular crops, the logging industry where forest plantations are crowding out natural woods and preventing the forest floor from recuperating and finally the trawling industry, which has devastated oceanic eco-systems.

While qualitative problems could be partially addressed by technological development, efficiency increases due to advances in tech generally tend to have an opposite effect on quantitative problems, since such introductions generally 1) decreases the cost of the exploitation process and therefore 2) decreases prices which leads to an increased consumption which massively increases the devastation of the environment. This tendency is known as “Jevon’s Paradox”.

In order to address this inadequacy, we must change the way the socio-economic system operates. This is the first aspect of the Transition.

The Impetus of Death must be broken

Money today is created through the process of Fractional Reserve Banking, where the same reserves are lent several times to different debtors, who then are expected to pay back the same money with interest. This interest must be created by the economy, thence there is a need for exponential economic growth. Economic growth means that the total amount of consumption constantly must be increased, and that the economy should conform to the demand of the consumers (if people for example want hamburgers, they should have hamburgers by the grace of the invisible hand).

During the 1920’s and 1930’s, this system was cannibalising itself, mostly because productivity grew faster than consumption, leading to deflation and mass unemployment. Following the Second World War, which partially was a reaction to the Great Depression, a new system was devised. Bretton Woods was a minor adjustment (and lasted only for a quarter of a century) in comparison to the cultural and institutional changes. The introduction of comprehensive welfare states, easy credit and consumerism as the foundation for human identity were facets gradually introduced to ensure that the Great Depression did not repeat.

This move from “Protestant Ethics” to “Hedonistic/Consumerist Individualism” has atomised the western individual and turned the meaning of life from meaningful participation in a society into the fulfilling of certain archetypes designed by media, for example through TV shows such as “Friends”. Advertising in our civilization is designed to appeal to sexual and sensual subconscious desires, thus aiming to manipulate people to demand things which they would not otherwise demand.

Every year, the leaders of the world are meeting at several summits to discuss how to keep the wheel of global consumerism rolling, while the Earth is grinded underneath its relentless onslaught. Often, at the same summits, they also aim to solve the planet’s environmental problems, so “economic growth would not be compromised”. The “bad environmental effects” must be isolated from the “good economic system”. From our point of view, the current system is designed to incentivise people to destroy the foundations for a future human civilization, in short to do like the Titan Chronos and consume their own children – an Impetus of Death.

In our view, it is absolutely necessary for a serious Transition to address the very unsustainability inherent in our monetary and financial systems. In short, we cannot seriously claim to aspire for sustainability unless we seriously consider shutting down the engine which is driving forward both climate change and biodiversity loss.

There has been quite a buzz about the emergence of the Sharing Economy, which indeed is spreading like wildfire. However, given that car sales and traditional means of conducting travel have not decreased, one has to come to the conclusion that the Sharing Economy mostly is growing amongst the ranks of the growing “Precariat”.

These are the necessary changes which we must voluntarily and enthusiastically undergo if the Transition even should become possible.

  • Fractional Reserve Banking must be abolished, possibly replaced by Positive Money before transitioning towards Energy Accounting or another system designed to fulfil the same goals as Energy Accounting.
  • It is advisable that advertisement in public spaces should be restricted, since it actively tries to manipulate people’s preferences against their explicit consent (people often have little choice but to go to urban centres).
  • The externalities must be included into the price mechanism, because currently the market mechanism where only supply and demand are taken into account is de-facto subsidising environmentally hazardous and destructive products and practices. Possibly, this could be realised through the introduction of a new system, like Energy Accounting which is designed to measure the cost not only of extraction but also of restoration/compensation of areas affected by environmental degradation.
  • There must be made a comprehensive study of how much resources we may harvest from the Earth each year, which would become the basis for a global ecological budget ceiling.

The important thing is not that these suggested reforms are introduced, but that reforms are introduced which are curbing the excesses which these suggestions are intended to address. If we desire a sustainable civilization for the future, we must also desire to stop the need for continuous exponential growth. Not to say that growth will be banned, but growth in the future must rather be incidental in relation to technological development, rather than – as we argue it is today – a compulsion.

Where we are going in the right direction

In terms of renewable energy, we are currently moving in the right direction, though the efficiency of certain types of renewable energy can be rightfully criticised. One aspect which we find very positive with renewable sources, is that they can be utilised to democratise the production and distribution of electricity and heating, namely that communities themselves can take control over their own means of generating energy, which really provides a foundational basis for a deeper and more tangible democracy.

The problem is that while renewable sources of energy are definitely growing in usage as a share of the world’s energy production, there is no sign in terms of absolute numbers that non-renewable sources of energy are being phased out, rather they do not grow at the same rate as before. The recent drop in oil prices can be seen as a combination of the increased profitability of renewables, but also that the previous higher prices stimulated the development of alternative forms of generating crude oil, such as utilising oil from the tar sands (and devastating ecosystems on the North American continent).

Thus, moving in the right direction does not mean moving away from the wrong direction. Much like the issue with the Sharing Economy, the effect of renewable energy on the fossil industries are at the moment not very much hurting the profitability of the traditional Petro-based energy and transport system.

What must be done is to gradually make it more expensive for businesses and industry to operate under a regime where fossil-based fuels could be utilised, as well as incentivise a shift towards the utilisation of more renewable sources. Undoubtedly, it is so that the penalisation of fossil fuels would adversely affect low-income people who own (and often are dependent on) cars. The problem with these push’n’pull policies is not that they are too comprehensive and radical, but that they often are isolated in relation to the wider infrastructure and growth-related policies of countries.

Case in point, cities are still incorporating former farm- and forestlands in the outskirts to raise supermalls displaying a wide variety of shops, businesses and fast food restaurants. Around these supermalls, flat, grey deserts of parking lots are established – these places are intended for people to move by car.

In most western nations, owning a car is almost a prerequisite of being a part of the labour market, and thus even have access to the regular consumer economy. Thus, while half-hearted policies are introduced to shift the transport sector towards a non-fossil-based state, mass transit through privately owned or operated cars is still the model which urban planners aim for.

One area where we are not doing enough in relationship to climate change is in terms of reforestation, where most trends point in the wrong direction. Though the amount of woodlands in first world nations have grown during the 20th century, the loss of forests in the global south, in Africa, South America and South East Asia, has far exceeded what has been regained. Forests are crucial in stabilizing the planetary climate since trees live for centuries and store carbon dioxide which later can be deposited and returned to the soil. There needs to exist a conscious strategy to dramatically reverse the trend and increase the amount of forests on Earth…

The Big One: Agriculture

In our world today, monocultures have altered a considerable chunk of the land surface area, replacing vibrant, dynamic, naturally emerging ecosystems. Around 40% that is. The largest share of these farmlands are sustaining the needs for the cattle and dairy industry in terms of fodder, meaning that the meat industry is playing a significant role in the deterioration of the planetary land surface.

Highly competitive and efficient industrial monocultures are first of all very intense, the demands of the market rather than the rhythm of nature decides their yield, amplified by technology they deplete the soils and groundwater, and must rely on fossil-based fertilisers in order to function. They do still expand, especially in South America. Monocultures are also excessively vulnerable, because ecosystems supporting one crop are not ecosystems but rather linear, artificially created and maintained systems in constant dependency of constant human intervention. This massive replacement of ecosystems with linear systems is a major instigator in the current massive losses in biodiversity endured by the biosphere.

That would in itself be enough of a motivation to reverse the trend, but there is also the aforementioned situation where we would need to engineer a global reforestation, which would mean a reduction of other types of lands. The most natural choice is to reduce the area covered by monocultures.

If we embark on that course, we must be fully aware that this part of the Transition is undoubtedly the most large-scale, the most perilous and one likely to take decades of arduous labours. Though it is well-known that half of the world’s food yield is discarded, and that a significant share of the agricultural production is directed towards sustaining the meat industry, shifting the food production must be done in a meticulous, systematic and gradual manner.

The reason why is of course that the highest priority must be to ensure food accessibility for human beings. If we for example decide to shift 75 000 sqkm of grain fields for a restored forest, we must ensure that we in the same replace it with other, less ecologically damaging forms of agriculture to the point that the same level of nutrition will be yielded. The main challenge is thus that the Transition in terms of phasing out industrial monocultures would also need to involve other territories than those directly affected by the shift, in order to not cause a scarcity of food during the Transition.

When we make this shift away from monocultures, towards more sustainable types of agriculture, we must remember that no matter what economic activities we choose to do, we will damage the environment. That is inevitable. What we within the EOS always have desired is for us to try to harm the ecosystems as little as possible, while still being capable to provide decent lives for the 7-9 billion people living on the planet. So the transformation of agriculture will be a process which would probably take two to three decades, and which probably will never be completed, at least not for the continuation of this century, especially as a considerable chunk of the monocultures would still need to be operational. Neither are all monocultures in themselves problematic, for example grandmother’s potato field is not an environmental problem on the same scale as a sea of corn, soybeans, oil palms and wheat.

One positive aspect of replacing industrial monocultures with other forms of agriculture is by diversifying our sources of food, we increase our resilience and become less vulnerable to parasite infestations or crises sparked by climate change.

Before describing in turns some of the possible types of agriculture which we can introduce at a large scale, we must not omit mentioning one of the foundational characteristics of the agricultural systems of the Post-Transition Era, especially in contrast to the linear, Ricardian logic of the current system. The agriculture of the future will be more dispersed, de-centralised and often small-scale than today, and a significant share of the population – maybe up to two thirds – will put a part of their time into growing their own food.

A much larger share of the adult population, close to 100%, will have the knowledge about how to do it. Each settlement and city will have the capability to feed itself, even if food will still be transported between regions and continents (though that will be slightly less frequent under a system where all environmental costs are factored in). One can imagine that this kind of bonus farming would be organised by neighbourhoods or house groups, but there would most likely be as much individual farming units.

Here are some of the forms of farming which will become more widespread at the expense of industrial monocultures.

  • Agroforestry will most likely be a widely used adaption, because it is a compromise between a forest region and a farming region, mixing trees, fruit plantations, crop rotation and a variety of different species within flourishing neo-forests, aiming to construct self-sustaining ecosystems.
  • Kelp farming does indeed have a potential, both in near-coastal shelves, lakes (natural and artificial) and on land, in specific facilities, and will most likely become a form of staple food in several regions.
  • Vertical farming can be utilised as a more effective way of growing crops in terms of sunlight, in northern and southern regions of the sphere. Vertical farms will most likely both pop up in urban areas and in the countryside, providing enormous greenhouses which can feed thousands, often employing aquaponics, hydroponics, aeroponics and other methods of farming considered alternative today.
  • Underground farming can become a popular option in terms of growing mushrooms, which to a certain extent can replace meat as staple food.
  • Platform cities supporting seasteading could also be utilised to create new land surface, interlinked hexagonal platforms supporting industrial monocultures, which would definitely not affect the existing land surface of the planet.
  • Lab meat should definitely be explored as an alternative to regular meat, but our strategy should not rely on its introduction to the market.
  • Absolutely necessary are also millions of small family farms, voluntary farming collectives, portable mini-greenhouses and all the multitude of potential grassroots initiatives, including even guerrilla gardening.

The two main necessities for having a civilised human society are security and food accessibility. During the Transition, changing the way we deal with food will be the absolutely most important determining factor.

The future of human habitation

Another trend which must be broken and reversed, is the tendency to gather humans into larger and larger metropolises, which necessitate global trade routes and the transformation of entire regions into harvest zones for the needs of particular urban sprawls.

With the Transition, we will most likely see a reversion of this trend, mostly because 1) exponential economic growth must be curbed and directed towards the needs of the human species, i.e the Transition itself which will lead to 2) the reduction of a significant amount of the consumerist-oriented economical activities associated with late 20th century urban life and 3), the advent of a new structure of employment could see a migration away from cities, which could have both positive and negative effects.

Moreover, buildings erected since the dawn of the 20th century would need expensive maintenance or demolition. This includes famous landmarks like the Empire State Building, which will need to be thoroughly renovated or demolished. Residential urban zones also have a date of expiration, and then we need to discuss what kind of structures should be raised. This process would most likely be a slow and gradual one, new buildings will be raised when old ones are demolished.

Of course, one of the aspects of the Transition is the expected rise in sea levels, which could reduce habitability in low- and wetlands, where most large cities on Earth currently are located. Thus, it is not impossible to envision that a lot of cities will be moved or abandoned and mined for resources in the future.

What must be avoided at all costs, is to construct space-ineffective dwellings, case-in-point being the Suburbia model, developed in the United States during the late 1940’s and then exported to the world. This model, reliant on asphalted roads, huge parking lots and a massive usage of surface area, must be severely discouraged.

Rather, though we do not know how the future looks, we can imagine it would consist of colony-housing, where several dwellings share common showers, living rooms, kitchens and gardens. One could also imagine modular living units which can easily be 3D-printed and assembled by communities, in case a village must be expanded.

Another alternative is arcologies, huge self-containing structures housing thousands of people, as well as semi-urban centres, educational, healthcare-related and neo-industrial facilities. Such structures gathered next to one another could become the closest equivalent to mega-cities today, and would become hubs for smaller settlements.

This vision of the future can be panic-inducing, but even if it comes to be so, there would probably be fewer large cities in the Post-Transition Era. The reason why most people cannot live in villages, or why less advanced technology would not be an option (though voluntary low-tech communities will undoubtedly exist on the Earth as well) is simply because the Transition as we are envisioning it is for the sake of humanity – all the billions of individual human beings who compose our species that is. Returning to a less advanced state will not only doom billions to deprivation, but also potentially kill hundreds of millions. Such a transition is not deemed as acceptable by us.

Of course, the urban, infrastructural transformation is going to be a slow process, which would be locally and regionally directed and consist of thousands of compromises which would seek to preserve cultural heritages and treat local populations and cultures with respect.

An era of Mass Employment

The Transition will be a period of great sacrifices and collective effort, but there will also be positive side-effects.

One of the prevalent visions of the future is one where mass unemployment and underemployment are spreading due to automatisation and the ascent of AI and robotics. We can see this trend already today, where the new work opportunities for many segments of the adult population consist of uncertain part-time jobs and the total amount of work hours have decreased. Many of these new professions have a dubious or overtly negative impact on the health of the community.

The Transition will likely, despite spelling the end of several industries, usher in an era of mass mobilisation and full employment, simply because every capable adult will be needed. Of course, a substantial of the practical field work will be taken care of by machines, but by their side hundreds of millions of human beings will be tasked with building up the foundation for soil and freshwater recovery, surveying local ecological situations, recycling material from outdated housing and non-renewable power plants as well as creating new and ecologically neutral or at least less damaging industrial facilities.

As a part of the Transition, social sustainability is crucial. Many areas of the world currently experience collapse-like situations, and suffer from ethnic and tribal conflicts. In terms of social sustainability, the armed combat must be ended, either by peace negotiations or by – in the worst case – intervention. It is absolutely crucial that war should be minimised during the Transition, if for nothing else then simply because Humanity does not afford wasting its time, even winners in a war will become losers if the Sixth Mass Extinction Event moves to fruition.

It is a testament to the priorities and culture of our age that arms dealing, pornography and drugs are some of the largest economic activities.

During the Transition, instead of preying upon the weak, the productive and intellectual capabilities of Humanity will be directed towards raising up impoverished regions, combat drought and floods, provide the darkest parts of the world with electricity, filters and sewage systems, clinics and schools. Millions of teachers, caretakers and nurses are needed to transferred to distant continents.

It is not a matter of the White Man’s Burden, it is not a matter of the First World and the Third World any more, but a matter of Humanity helping itself. Thus, those tasked with the leadership of instituting social sustainability will primarily be people living in the affected regions themselves, people with integrity who have experience coupled with knowledge of how to adapt ecologically sustainable technologies to local conditions.

The Transition will demand Humanity to shoulder a responsibility, but this responsibility is the most meaningful thing we will ever endure, and we will endure it together. Ultimately, the Transition will – if successful – result in a world more unified and peaceful than ever before.

Summary – a new dawn will arise, if you want it

No matter whether you love or dread the thought of the Transition, the truth is the same no matter where you are, what you say or how you live – our current civilization has been designed on an unsustainable foundation, and we need to dismantle that foundation while raising a new, sustainable one, while not only preserving democracy and human rights, but to expand them, build upon them and spread them.

What we need to do, if we want to summarise the Transition is, yet again:

  • Replace a financial-monetary system built on debt and interest with one built on the basis of physical reality, internalising the externalities.
  • Recycle and reuse as much matter as we are able to sustain our needs.
  • Phase out fossil fuels, replace them with renewable sources.
  • Plant trillions of trees.
  • Replace a significant part of our industrial monocultures with other forms of agriculture.
  • Phase out most of the meat industry.
  • Create an integrated, intelligent and sustainable infrastructure system.
  • Mobilise all resources in order to achieve aforementioned goals.

When does it begin? Where does it begin?

You can start it tomorrow! Focus on spreading information about the necessity of the Transition, out towards the world, or towards your specific community, your friends and relatives. Organise yourselves to find ways to manifest the Transition in your area, by growing food, producing your own electricity, or in other ways having a positive impact. Communicate with other groups, learn, spread, repeat.

This is the most important struggle of the 21st century.

The Earth Organisation for Sustainability is willing to cooperate with and support all groups aiming for a sustainable future, aiming for the Transition. Humanity has all the potential to achieve all its aspirations, but we must get our act together and save the biosphere, to save our civilisation, to save ourselves.

The last eight to ten generations of our species have created a mess, not out of malice but of ignorance and short-sightedness. If we are going to succeed, we need to mobilise all our positive energies into the Transition, to create a new future for Humanity.

The EOS has established a virtual infrastructure on Facebook to facilitate this organisation. It is still in its infancy, but it is going on through this group.

You are welcome to join!


Mines and factories in a technate


A critique has recently surfaced against aspects of Energy Accounting, which to some extent is a novelty. Usually, criticisms of the Design have been focused on the technical ability to manage information about the environmental capacity of the entire Earth and the production of our civilization, as well as the issue of incentives. These critiques have been levelled at us by proponents of the current or more radical forms of market capitalism. This time, however, the critique was directed from adherents of the Marxist-Leninist variety of central planning. It is certainly not every day one gets the opportunity to be criticised for unintentionally aiming to wreck the environment by people who in principle find the systems employed during the 20th century in the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, the German Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Democratic Kampuchea to be steps in the right direction.

Read more: Mines and factories in a technate

Given that, the critique was fair, if we assume that we had intended the production lines to be arranged as the friendly detractor pointed out.

In short, their thesis was that it would be inefficient to give each human being a share of the Earth’s production capacity, and that it would be a logistical and environmental disaster to only produce complex goods when people are actively asking for them to be produced. For example, if an individual should be allocating energy units to a new computer, should then all the mining equipment have been dormant until the request for that computer was made? Should then a special train be commissioned, only to transport that computer to that particular consumer? And should that computer be produced locally?

The critique correctly pointed out that such a logistical chain would be insane. Luckily, that is of course not what we are proposing, though a very literal-minded reading of our article on Energy Accounting ( could certainly give the impression that we intend to throw away millennia of knowledge of how to set up logistical transport systems.

One should not forget that  our Design is just a broad outline, not even a proposal but a hypothesis, and that we – not unlike orthodox Marxists of the pre-Lenin variety – do not want or even believe that we in detail can predict or design the system of the future in a detailed manner reminiscent of a Gothic cathedral. Given that, the questions which have arisen from this critique are worthy to ponder on, and why not – when we are able to – provide a more detailed outline of how resource extraction and industrial production may look like under the umbrella of a technate?

That is precisely what we intend to do with this article

TL;DR Summary

  • In order for human beings to survive and thrive, human beings need to utilise resources taken from nature.
  • Human beings are communitarian animals and tend to use language and organisation to reduce the amount of time and increase the amount of resources which can be extracted. This is the economic aspect of civilization.
  • This needs repetition – when we are using surface area of our planet, we are depriving other species of habitats and resources, and thus reducing the biodiversity of the planet. And we must do that in order to survive.
  • Our current civilization is built on the compulsion of exponential growth, driven by a system of debt and interest (
  • We have developed an alternate system, known as The Design, which is aimed at creating the foundations for a sustainable civilization, by being intrinsically adapted to the Three Criteria (
  • One part of Energy Accounting, which is an intrinsic part of the Design, is that the individual users should be able to distribute their energy units to what they want to be produced for themselves, and that no cell-phones, computers, sneakers or furniture for example which people are not actively asking for should be produced.
  • The problem of course is that production is a multi-step process, and it would represent a huge problem if for example industrial equipment is used just to produce one sofa set, and one train set to transport the raw materials and the finished product to the specific user. It would in short be a logistical nightmare.
  • The critique also misinterpreted our calls for de-centralisation with that we somehow would want every village or town to for example have their own computer factory. That is not the case.
  • Regarding mining, one could say that there are two methodologies to combine the need for large-scale benefits (which actually could be positive for the environment) with Energy Accounting. These two methodologies could also be combined.
  • The first methodology is to gather all allocation data into bundles and then proceed to initiate the extraction of minerals, wood and other materials at a given time during the energy accounting cycle.
  • The second methodology would be to guesstimate the amount of minerals and other materials needed during an accounting period, to gather the resources and allow the users to order, with a steep increase in prices if we run out of reserves.
  • Regarding industry, to build numerous small factories to produce identical goods would indeed be a waste of resources and a strain on the transport system. It is very likely that the amount of factories under a technate would be lower, but that production would still be de-centralised.
  • Because of the intrinsic nature of production under a technate, the abolishment of the growth incentive and the obsolescence of copyright infringement, factories would no longer need to be the exclusive property of companies, since companies would have less need to guard their secrets.
  • The Design is at this point only a hypothesis, and it cannot be stressed enough that it as it currently is constituted should not be taken as a political programme or as a finished plan ready to be implemented. Rather, it should be seen as a sufficiently vague blueprint which establishes a model to which we can approximate our ways of resource management.

We do not plan to individualise production

No one has seriously considered that production and mining should be completely dormant for every second and minute until a new individual order dips in, and that a mining machine only should take up the minuscule amount of gold, silver, iron ore, tin, copper, mercury or titanium which is needed to for example make an alarm clock, and then immediately cease with the extraction and wait for three minutes until someone in China requests a tricycle.

That would be a ludicrous way of administering production, and would probably affect the environment in a way which on the whole is as destructive as the system currently applied over most of the Earth’s territory.

So no, the Design is not envisioned like that. Period.

How then could mining be conducted under the system of Energy Accounting as envisioned by the EOS?


Mining is, generally speaking, a hugely disruptive endeavour for the environment, especially in terms of managing the waste products, which could threaten freshwater reserves and biomes. One especially heart-wrenching event was the 2015 Rio Doce disaster in Brazil, which saw 60 000 tonnes of toxic sludge released into the environment and destroying an entire river.

The second criterion for a sustainable future stipulates a circular economy. This means that materials used within infrastructure and product lines would primarily seek to be made from renewed sources, and that there should be systems in place to regularly recycle discarded products to either make nearly identical products, or towards other kinds of use within the economy. However, it is unlikely that mining will cease to be an important part of our socio-economic system.

A central aspect of Energy Accounting is that costs for operations should be equivalent to their total emergy cost, from the establishment of an operation to its closure, as well as the cost for compensating for negative environmental effects. This will mean that mining operations in general will pay a heftier price for the effects they delve upon their immediate environments and the surrounding hydrosphere.

Another factor, which isn’t necessarily a part of the Design, is derived from our view of rights ( and from the Ideology (, under which relational rights can be seen as a subcategory species. From our views on rights follow that all things which affect the livelihood of local communities should be under partial or whole influence by said local communities. In short, primary stewardship over natural resources will always primarily be in the hands of the people who live within an area potentially affected by the hypothetical extraction of said natural resource.

Having written that, how would mining be conducted under a Technate?

One could state that there are two main routes to get around this challenge.

The first one relates to the fact that energy units – if we assume that the technate is not anarchistic – are distributed out both to the infrastructure/public sector and to individuals. Mining procedures could theoretically be put under the responsibility of the public sector, even though the individual mining Holons may be operated autonomously, and may get increased resources if they for example manage to improve their environmental footprint. In short, the industry will order a specific amount of stock minerals and other natural resources – timber for example – every year.

In that case, the costs of extraction are compensated through the share of energy units distributed to the public sector.

If we however stipulate that a scarcity of a raw material emerges, then orders for extra production will start to kick in, to a significantly higher cost for the consumers. Thus, the market mechanism – which in a technate is dictated by the environment – would constrict the potential damage. This means there could be potential hikes of costs. For the next accounting period, the user behaviour during the previous accounting period could be taken as an indicator for where things are heading.

The other way, is to go through delayed personal Energy Units, meaning that everyone who orders (for example) personal computers during one period will receive them 4-6 weeks later. This follows the opposite logic, and herein the consumers will pay a higher direct cost (on the other hand, everyone who is not in need of a personal computer will get a higher share of the available Energy Units because under this methodology mining will be considered a part of the user sector).

Both methodologies have benefits and potential setbacks. In the first method, we sacrifice some of the accuracy in the way in which we match supply and demand, for the sake of delivering base materials to Industry in a regular stream. Under the second methodology, consumers would have to wait a longer time to get the products and services they have requested, but we will gain a higher degree of accuracy and probably use a smaller environmental footprint.

Ultimately, probably neither of these two models will be used if the Design is actually implemented, but the end product could well borrow traits from both of these methodologies, in accordance with what is least environmentally damaging and provides the optimal degree of satisfaction amongst the public.


We strive towards an increased amount of resilience. It is not only a matter of ecological sustainability, but of autonomy, security and democracy. In a world with increasingly sophisticated and “smart” electronic systems, it has been shown that centralising the power grid as well as the sewage and heating systems can make communities vulnerable to terrorist attacks conducted by hackers. It is also a question of power – if local communities are in control over their production of food, electricity, heating and their water management systems, their freedom would increase and they would not find themselves in situations where distant actors compel them to changes which are adversarial for them.

It could be easy for one taking texts describing broad outlines and principles instead as detailed instruction manuals to misinterpret these goals as that we want everything to be locally produced. That is not the case, not even for food – as most communities will still import food, though the cost of food – just like every other item, will be determined by the emergy cost of its journey through the production chain. Therefore, the transport costs will measured into the amount of energy units allocated to food imports, but food imports in themselves won’t be sanctioned.

Regarding factory floors, the idea that each community would have small factories which make everything they need is as ludicrous as the previous assumption that mining would only commence immediately when individuals have allocated their Energy Units, and that an excavator would only dig up enough minerals to make one cell-phone.

It is very likely that there will be community workshops and factory floors, which mostly would focus on repairs, maintenance and spare parts for the community infrastructure. These will be accessible to the public and to Holons, and serve a similar but more expanded role as study associations in Sweden, as well as probably a few vital societal functions.

Regarding the production of microchips, bolts and screws, panels, electric gears and other aggregates, as well as finished products, infrastructurally speaking there is an opportunity to move towards fewer but larger factories than we presently have. The reason why fewer is that under a technate, there would be no need for the Holons of Ericsson and Nokia (for example) to have separate factories to make their products. The bottlenecks represented by copyright and the situation when two cell-phones are competing for the same client would evaporate, and therefore there would be no rationality in having separate factories.

The same applies in an even higher degree for micro-components and hardware, which can be modularized. Thus, even if production is reduced as a total – due to the fact that The Design is explicitly made in a manner which doesn’t stimulate exponential growth, which doesn’t reward any indulgencies into immediate-reward consumerism and which doesn’t engage in trying to brainwash consumers to maximise their consumption – the load factor, which means the usage rate of the factory floors will be the same.

Also, it could make environmental sense for such factories to be somewhat centralised, at least in their geographical distribution, as it would – maybe a bit counter-intuitively – lead to less transport overall. That would however most keenly be addressed by the overall tracking of the effects on our global footprints, not by well-meaning planners.

However, in regards of how the factories could operate, while there need to be specific Holons maintaining the infrastructure of the factories, the eventual food intake they need, as well as the supply of electricity, heating and water, the operation of the various industrial functions will most likely be shared by numerous separate, autonomous Holons which strive to supply the users with their demand. And these do not need to conform to any other plan than the constraints of our planetary carrying capacity and the input provided by the allocation of Energy Units.

My analysis of how factories probably are going to work within the framework of a technate is based not on ideological convictions, because I believe that ideology should not dictate structural organisation beyond the scope of guaranteeing human rights and striving towards ecological sustainability, but because we can already see this trend today (for example taxi companies which do not own their own cars, hotel chains which do not own any hotels, and so on). A factory which does not produce anything, but which allows multiple businesses and cooperatives to use its space to produce goods and services, is not unfeasible even under today’s unsustainable system.

There would most likely be regional variations, and no one would be compelled to organise a factory or a mine in a certain manner. Our Design opens up for wide diversity and opportunities for those seeking to adapt further towards sustainability.


Design by Vincent Callebaut 

It is true that immediate satiation of consumer needs is not possible to combine with Energy Accounting under the Design, as it currently stands adapted. It is not feasible to just mine resources needed for one individual cell-phone, or just cut down trees when one individual sofa needs to be made. It is also not possible to perfectly match the resource usage with the allocation of Energy Units.

That a Perfect system of Energy Accounting is impossible is however not an argument against the Design, since the Design is not modelled to become a perfect system or an ideal imposed on reality. Reality is complex and messy.

What this article has unfolded is that the distribution of Energy Units can be utilised in various ways, dependent on whether they are distributed to the infrastructure/Holons or to individuals/users, in this case with the example of mining. We have also described how a large factory might work under such a system, focusing on the structural rather than the environmental aspects.

Ultimately, a technate where all Energy Units are distributed directly to all individuals currently is very unlikely and unrealistic to succeed, but a technate operated as a centrally planned economy, where all energy units are distributed to the infrastructural aspects which are tasked with providing for all the needs, would probably degenerate into a static, stratified society ruled by bureaucrats rather than the communities themselves.

The most realistic route to expect is to strike a balance between two extremes of that kind, and to facilitate a good cooperation between the users and the infrastructural elements. It is my personal conviction, however, that we should strive towards maximising the possible autonomy of the individual and the community within the framework of such a system, because a de-centralised, localised civilization with an active, informed population would become more resilient, more dynamic and a place where everyone can readily access the tools to improve their well-being.


The Technosphere and the Technate


The Design is proposing the replacement of the current monetary system with one based on Energy Accounting, which derives its basis from Thermodynamics and its goals from the third criteria. Even though the overwhelming majority of people are agreeing with our three criteria, critique and skepticism is inevitably increasing when we are starting to talk about the proposed adjustments provided by the Design.

Of course, skepticism is well-motivated, especially given that our proposal is a novelty which would transform most of the manners in which we are dealing with resources, and redefine concepts such as property, wealth, profit and trade, which have been established parts of human affairs since before historical records started to emerge. Moreover, the Design has not been exposed to the realities of human society and the economy yet, which is why it needs to undergo field tests and simulations first.

One of the aspects which laypersons find most difficult to grasp, is what the Technate is, if it is some kind of new system of government and why it (or something like it) is needed. The current generations are naturally (and soundly) suspicious of solutions which entail globalized interconnected systems – especially if these are associated with governance. Solutions are seen as individualized and achieved through conscious consumption, which disregards both over-arching structures and collective effort, and therefore ultimately will not alter our civilisationary trajectory.

Our movement has a challenging task at hand, to convince people that we not only need to move away from the dead-end hyper-individualism of our current culture, but that we – at least in regards of resource management – needs to establish an integrated, transparent and smart system of nodes which provide a global map of the extraction, flow and usage of resources.

Thus, it is not a matter of convenience or communicational strategy whether we should keep the concept of the Technate or not. We have a duty to explain our motives and the various mechanisms of the Design in such a manner that the public understanding of them would increase.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explain what the Technate is envisioned as, why it needs to be established, and how it can come into being.

TL;DR Summary

  • During the evolution of human history, technology and trade patterns have become more and more complex.
  • Therefore, barter systems and gift economies are not to scale to administer a civilization which at the middle of this century will have nearly 10 billion people.
  • The first advocates of the Technate concept were Technocracy Incorporated back in the 1930’s, who envisioned a command economy under the control of the engineer corps and scientists of North America.
  • The EOS vision for a Technate is globalized, is aimed at co-existing with democratic governance, is de-centralised and designed to resemble an upgraded form of today’s Internet, rather than a Fordist factory from the Progressive Era.
  • The Technate is combining several functions – the monitoring of the Earth’s resources and technological systems, the measurement of our footprint and carrying capacity, internal structured channels for communication between Holons, and the issuing of Energy Certificates to the Citizens.
  • The Technate is also envisioned as a global marketplace.
  • If the Technate is introduced, it must be introduced gradually, and simultaneously from two directions, one technological and one institutional.
  • Current technological systems are insufficient in regards to the introduction of a full Technate.

Human perceptions of complexity

We live in the most complex civilization which ever has existed. There are between seven and eight billion people alive today, which increases complexity (for example, we can agree that the complexity of the United States is higher than that of San Marino). Our culture is more complex today than ever before because it builds on the self-referencing framework of a mountain of memes and graphic information stretching 5500 years at least down into our past, as well as the fact that the middle classes consist of more people than ever before, and thus more people can partake in the creation of culture. Moreover, technological complexity has increased, as has specialization in order to manage said technology on a continuous basis. 

The increase of complexity is an example of a process characterized by emergence, an unintentional result of our increased numbers and our improved ability to store and communicate information. A typical westerner today consumes as much information during one week as a European in the 18th century consumed during one year. Not surprisingly, a lot of those critical to the current path we have chosen to take attribute the complexity in itself as being responsible for what is wrong with our world.

Thus, many critics of our current mode of resource management are looking towards the establishment of a Gift Economy as an alternative. The attractiveness of such a thought is clear if the goal is a simpler, more straightforward world. A gift economy is based on the notion that all economic activities should rely on inter-individual and inter-group relationships based on trust and on the reciprocal sharing of gifts. This is not a complete novelty, in fact early to intermediary stone age societies often operated – and operate – on that basis.

However, a Gift Economy as described by its proponents will not work in upholding an infrastructure capable of supporting eight billion human beings. During the later stages of the hunter-gatherer era, the world population was around ten million people. For most of the agricultural era, the global population had flatlined around half a billion people. To support a population magnitudes larger than that for long periods of time demands complex Technology, and that requires an interconnected infrastructure which consists of thousands of nodes, where every individual component cannot possibly be mined, refined and assembled in a confined geographical space.

Individuals can demand cell-phones, medicine, food and similar, but few individuals could see any personal usage of for example copper wires, monorail beams, super-light concrete, electrical grids, sewage cleaning plants or complex medical machinery which only a few individuals might see a utility in. In first world nations, people tend to take the blessings provided by such systems for granted. To a large extent, Gift Economics as a proposal for our current world is reliant on proponents who believe that all economic interactions are (or ought to be) small-scale and individualized – ignoring the truth that our economic infrastructure is  based not on the interactions between individuals but is an (albeit primitive) integrated system purposely built to transform and blend together resources, forming complex arrays of product lines which can satisfy market demand. A Gift Economy cannot build such an integrated infrastructure since human beings are only wired to mentally work on the local level without coordination (which partially probably is why the idea of a Gift Economy superficially appears as a charming concept).

In short, in order to sustain and provide a decent standard of living to humanity, there needs to be a technological infrastructure which – regrettably – needs machinery and resources combined from several different places in order to work, and often five to six places of assembly before the finished product can started to be utilised. Our conviction is that we need to create local resilience, but the idea that the world should constitute of localized autarchies would probably be negative both for human beings and for the environment.

Our problem is of course that we need to live, but so does everything else. When we confiscate space to erect buildings, to grow food and to create transport lanes, we affect the environment and the landscape – and we must do that in order to survive.

Something must die so that we can live.

What we need to discuss is how we can arrange our civilization in such a manner that we minimize its impact upon the environment, use up less than 100% of the planetary renewal capacity and can provide a good quality of life to all human beings. In short, how can we utilise resources in a manner which allows eight billion people to thrive, while ensuring sustainability?

That is the key objective of the EOS, and that is why we need to define the concept of the Technosphere.

What is the Technosphere?

There are many global systems which surround and encompass the surface of our planet – the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the lithosphere and the biosphere. The biosphere for example is simply the land area on the Earth occupied by living species, and the total biomass of life on the planet. The atmosphere is consisting of the various gasses and vapours existing above and around the surface. The hydrosphere is the Earth’s combined water and the flow which allows freshwater lakes and rivers to exist.

The Technosphere, as defined by the EOS, is basically our combined infrastructure and machine park, which build up the capability of human civilization to force multiply its efficiency in harvesting resources, while in the same time requiring maintenance.

  • The Technosphere consists of transport systems, such as roads, railways (and in the future monorails and hyperloop systems), canals, ports and airports.
  • It also consists of power plants and energy grids, as well as heating plants and sewage systems.
  • It consists of the agricultural regions and facilities, the transport lanes of food to cities and the supermarkets or food depots where people acquire food.
  • It consists of the mining facilities and other natural resource extraction operations, and the systems bringing these resources to refineries.
  • It consists of the factories which assemble refined resources into finished products, distributed to the markets and then sold to the consumers.
  • It consists of research centres and universities which serve to improve the efficiency of the infrastructure and to educate the future managers.
  • And finally, it consists of the billions of people who staff this gargantuan daily operation of our civilisation as workers, engineers, scientists and managers.

The Technosphere could be viewed as a super-connector, purposed to transfer and transform resources which could be used by our species, which controls it and has brought it forth through an emergent process.

The current Technosphere can and should be severely criticised, and its self-contradictions and failings must be ruthlessly and persistently highlighted. As it currently stands, there is no unified vision of what the Technosphere should accomplish, and barely any awareness of it. A mere cursory glance at the ecological problems created through the Technosphere would entail most of our environmental problems. We would not even need to mention climate change, caused by our reliance on fossil fuels, or the way in which our economically rational but ecologically suicidal monocultures serve to deplete the nutrients from the soils and the freshwater reserves.

Some activists, notably anarcho-primitivists, are attributing these features to Technology in itself, and see the only solution as a return to the hunter-gatherer stage and an abandonment of civilization itself as a project – which apart from being an absurd proposition which will serve to reduce the planetary population with 99% also is a gross simplification.

The position of the Earth Organisation for Sustainability remains that the prime mover behind our destruction of the biosphere is the way in which our financial system is designed. Exchanging this current financial system for a resource management system that takes into account the planetary carrying capacity will however not have a sweeping immediate effect, if only for the fact that our Technosphere has evolved mostly in accordance with the needs of a system addicted to exponential growth.

This means that even when we have introduced a resource management system able to fulfil the three criteria, we will still need a protracted transition period when monocultures and fossil-based technologies are being phased out in the pace in which they can be replaced with sustainable agricultural practices and renewable engine technologies. Given that, we intend to gradually replace the current Technosphere with another, more sustainable. This replacement in itself will only be a conscious, more active undertaking than what is continuously taking place throughout our civilization – because just as there is need for continuous maintenance of a Technosphere, individual components of the Technosphere are regularly worn out, and replaced with improved components, even today.

What we want to do, however, is more than to merely swap what technologies we use and transition towards renewables. The Design is reimagining a transformation of the Technosphere, away from an emergent, blind system following its own incremental logic, towards a conscious system fully mastered by human beings.

Enter the Technate

The term “Technate” was first coined by Technocracy Incorporated, an American and Canadian socio-political movement active during the 1930’s (but still in existence today). Their definition entailed a techno-political structure unifying all infrastructure in North America under a centralised technocratic system led by engineers and experts. It was envisioned as a command economy, and inspired by Taylorist industrial practices. Technocracy viewed society as a machine, saw human civilization basically as (an extension of) the Technosphere, and desired that all aspects of society should be subsumed under the needs of the Technosphere to maximise human living standards in terms of providing a material abundance.

Needless to say, the EOS has always maintained that the Technosphere is but one aspect of human civilization, and that issues pertaining to non-technical factors should not be the task of the Technate. Thence, we do not view the judiciary, the existence of democratic assemblies, independent associations, the free arts or the non-technical and social disciplines within the academic world as a part of the Technate. Neither our Technate would be a centralised behemoth under the command of engineer corps. Rather, we imagine it as a conduit for information and needs assessment. After all, why bring a sledgehammer to the party when you need a can opener?

In our model, the central core functions of the Technate are 1) the Energy Survey, 2) the issuing of Energy Units and 3) the maintenance of an information system connecting all groups working with different parts of the Technosphere. The Technate in its ideal form will encompass the entire Technosphere, and be a global endeavour – but it will not be responsible for other forms of governance, whether legislative, judicial or executive (though it can be mandated to carry out executive operations).

In most respects, our proposal is a distributed system, without a centralised, hierarchical authority. The core functions could be taken care of by numerous semi-autonomous Holons, as long as they use the same information base and all decisions are transparently made and can be corrected transparently too – much like how for example Wikipedia works.

  • The Energy Survey is a continuous operation, the measurement of the planetary renewal capacity as well as of how resources are currently utilised within the entire Technosphere.
  • The Technate is responsible to measure the total amount of Energy Units divided to infrastructural operations and to the public, and to provide channels to distribute Energy Units, as well as maintaining the software so that the recipients can allocate their Energy Units to what they want to see produced.
  • The Technate is responsible to provide an informational infrastructure so that Holons could coordinate and maintain joint operations, and take initiative to new operations.
  • The Technate is responsible to ensure that all Holons uphold the spirit of the three criteria and of universal human rights, and that consequences or censure should befall Holons which violate these foundations.
  • The Technate may be responsible to see to it that wider-range Holons committing themselves to important work in terms of infrastructure, maintenance, research & development, security, healthcare, education and other core aspects of society are maintained and staffed.

Internally, the Technate is built around the utilisation of the Scientific Method, meaning that though the goals of specific operations may be democratically decided, the way in which they are reached should be based on verified scientific information and statistics, which should be available to the public and disseminated in a manner which should be clearly understandable to the public.

Those who are placed in central positions and endowed with the mandate to make decisions should be 1) educated in their field of expertise, 2) have some form of prior experience, 3) be appointed on a democratic mandate by those within their Holon, and 4) be accountable in terms of having to conform to transparent standards of conduct, which – if broken – can lead to censure or removal from positions of responsibility.

The Technate as a market 

There will be several types of different Holons, engaging in different activities – some which are critical to society, must exist and coordinate their operations in an integrated, flowing manner within the framework of other high-tier Holons. Then there are Holons which will be based around the production and delivery of complex products or food – things which the users should expect to have. These Holons will be monitored, but do not need to coordinate in the same integrated manner as those providing infrastructure maintenance and utilities. And lastly, there are these Holons which basically will organise local activities, cultural activities or produce non-vital services. These should not need to be monitored on a constant or even regular basis. They are the Holons which would produce kites, provide ice-creams in parks, renovate skateboards and bicycles, and utilise community factory floors on odd days to 3D-print greenhouse parts requested by the local retirees.

All in all, most Holons will resemble cooperatives operating within the framework of a market economy, albeit a market economy which is basing its price mechanism upon the planetary carrying capacity. Even larger Holons will mostly operate autonomously and in relation to user demand, through the allocation of energy units by millions of users, rather than through any form of centralised command structure.

The exception will probably be the Holons tasked with providing essential social services, infrastructure, infrastructure maintenance and of course the Energy Survey, the energy units, their tracking and distribution on a continuous basis. This does not mean that there will only be singular departments in all these areas, but that the Holons providing these vital services are indispensible and must coordinate their operation constantly to provide the basis for a functioning society.

Of course, it is entirely possible to envision a Technate which is completely anarchistic, where even these vital functions are taken care of in the manner of localised, voluntaryistic groups which are formed, operate and eventually cease. It is also possible to imagine a stalinistic Technate, where everything is run on a centralised basis to achieve unified goals on grand scale (even though it is hard to fathom where kites, skateboards and ice-cream parlours should fit in in such an arrangement).

Ultimately, the Holonic model – structuring a society as semi-autonomous units which are designed to fit with one another when needed – can make possible both extreme de-centralisation and severe centralisation, depending on the needs of the moment (and the whims of the populace in the worst case). Like the sea, the Technate is not frozen in one institutional framework, and is unlike our bureaucratic and corporate structures inherited from the industrial era rapidly capable of transforming itself from one state to another, without the need for much central or hierarchical management.

An empiricist transition

It is fascinating to envision this kind of society, but one can easily see that such a complex form of society will demand much of its initiators, especially as we are accustomed – since institutions started to be formed – to engage with static entities with designated forms. The Technate in itself could be said to have characteristics of several different kinds of entities. It will encompass and go beyond functions currently wielded by:

  • Research institutions.
  • Supranational entities.
  • Financial institutions like central banks.
  • Mega-corporations.
  • The market in itself.

This does not mean that the Technate will wholly replace and succeed all these institutions – it will exist in parallel with some of them, in symbiosis with others. Rather, it will undertake a few of the functions of all these entities, without clearly being defined as any of them. The Holonic structure also demands that humanity of the future will be accustomed to shoulder more individual responsibility, since there will be less clearly delineated institutional guidelines on what tasks a particular Holon should undertake – as well as less borders between various aspects of the human civilization.

Thus, what is demanded by us is nothing less than to break our Design apart, and run tests on various aspects of it, with the clear goal of judging performance, analyse our successes and failures, work on the former while studying the latter, publish the results of the experiments transparently, and to do so soberly, without sentimentality, identifying our own assumptions or prejudices and discard them, and to repeat this process a thousandfold times a thousandfold, until we have fine-tuned an array of methodologies which can be readily implemented and gradually wedge our civilization towards global sustainability.

The next step

Let’s say that we have created a working model of this new civilization, and that we stand ready to implement it. How must we do it?

Firstly, it should not be understood as the task of the EOS to fulfill this implementation – the EOS exists only to identify and bring about the Design, and is not a political party or a messianic movement. The task of transitioning towards a sustainable future belongs to all of us – humanity as a whole.

Secondly, this task we have before us is the single most important task any human generation has ever encountered. The three criteria are not just a manifesto, not just an excuse to fill one’s life with meaning, but absolutely critical, vital preconditions if we should have something worth calling “a human civilization” within a century. Thus, it is paramount that humanity is made aware about the impending and encroaching crisis, that its political priorities are set straight and that the three criteria for sustainability should be the basis on which we have the discussion of our future.

Thirdly, though the situation is grave, we cannot compromise with our ideals or with our basic humanity. We need to stare into the abyss, but we also need not only to develop our humanity and our empathy, but to constantly improve on these qualities. This means that unprovoked acts of violence, repression and censorship, police states and totalitarianism should be avoided. The exercise of physical pain (or the threat thereof) on human bodies is an unacceptable route. We should also do our outmost to avoid lies and exaggerations, even if for a good cause, and to be willing to admit our own factual errors if new data is revealed.

In the spirit of this honesty, I can say that no one with any certitude can predict exactly how the transition will happen or under what conditions it would happen. The only thing which is certain is that the postponement of the transition will mean not only more suffering on our species, but also a far more severe and sudden transition for humanity. The more reactionary the response against necessary change is, the more radical the remedy would need to be.

The transition would need to happen both from the top and from the bottom. From the control heights of supranational institutions and from tens of thousands of grassroots initiatives, which must be provided the means to activate their communities and transition them towards a state of resilience.

These changes must occur on the global scale:

  • We need wide-ranging international agreements which not only are binding but which are backed up by considerable force.
  • It is possible that the United Nations must gradually be converted to a more supranational entity, capable of enforcing these agreements. It must also to a large extent be democratic in order to have legitimacy.
  • Institutions like the IMF and the World Bank must be reformed and directed towards transitioning economies as well as transforming trade.
  • The environmental costs of economic activities must be measured and hardwired into the price mechanism, in gradual implementation where the end goal would be that there would be compensation for all environmental damage.
  • We need to abolish Fractional Reserve Banking, initially probably replacing it with a variation of Positive Money, before eventually introducing EA or something resembling EA.
  • There needs to be an informed umbrella movement which can educate humanity and organise grassroots initiatives in transitioning society.
  • There needs to be compensatory programmes directed towards those most affected both by the negative effects of the collapsing biosphere, and by the negative temporary effects of the transition.
  • There must be programmes of mass mobilization of “excess labour” (those currently unemployed) in the service of transitioning society.
  • There must be disarmament and a transformation of the world’s militaries into a force intended primarily for disaster relief and sustainable transition.
  • There needs to be a redefinition of leadership, and the formation of a new type of leadership ideal better suited for a sustainable civilization, rather than the often contradictory and predatory forms of leadership lauded in our current civilization.
  • We need to accelerate the development of technologies which can help us monitor the planetary resource base and the planetary biosphere, and to integrate the infrastructure in such a manner that it can be monitored and studied as a single organism – the Technosphere (the Internet of Things is a first step in that direction).
  • We need to phase out monocultures, while replacing them with various forms of sustainable agriculture and see to it that no one starves during this transition.
  • We need to reduce the global consumption of meat and dairy products.
  • We need to strengthen local autonomy and democratic self-governance by ensuring that local communities are empowered with the control over the keys to their livelihood – energy, food, water, clothing and medicine.
  • We need to transition towards a culture based on a universal understanding of scientific principles, of individual self-control and of non-violent communication.


Note, all of this sounds Utopian – and rightly so, considering the state of the world which we are in today (and which a lot of self-declared “optimists” have lauded as the least worst possible outcome). From another perspective, however, it looks different.

If we – instead of staring at our present world – would imagine a global, highly developed technological type-1 civilization, which should be able to co-exist in a symbiotic relationship with its planetary biosphere, what criteria would you have based it on?

And this is not some kind of intellectual exercise we are partaking in.

This is real – unlike most of the meaningless first world problems which constantly serve to distract us. We must achieve sustainability, not to save “business as usual” – because “business as usual” will cause not only a loss of complexity for our civilization but a sixth mass extinction – but to save our civilization, to save our biosphere. To save humanity, to save you and your descendants.

The list of demands I have listed above are insane, politically unfeasible, disconnected from what is happening today, and they will disturb the fragile semblance of order in our international anarchy.

But they are necessary.

Note, I have not written that a Technate is necessary. It may be, but it may be not. What is necessary however is that the three criteria defined by us on this website should become the guidelines and the standard for how we envision the core goals of a global human civilization – they must become the consensus upon which we lay the bedrock for a sustainable future.

Regarding the Technate, I consider the Holonic model of a self-organising, confederational society to be a beautiful vision. A civilization unimpeded by bureaucratic rigidity, concentration of power, statically defined entities which are badly equipped at rapidly reforming themselves in relation to new situations. A market able to satisfy demand while upholding sustainability and avoiding the perverse accumulation of wealth which gradually over the generations have seen a form of inequality emerge which is indefensible – one in which eight persons own as much as half of humanity combined.

It is very possible that – even if sustainability is achieved – that only parts of what we consider to be a Technate are realised within the framework of that future. Most likely, these parts will be the Holons responsible for the Energy Survey and the issuing and tracking of Energy Unit flows. If that however is realised in the distant future, we should still consider it a tremendous success if it happens under and contributes to a state of being where we have achieved global sustainability.