A policy for Project Kamp
Hi there, thanks for having me,
I want to open up this topic to start a discussion with Dave and everyone who is interested to discuss the definition of Project Kamp and for us to try define it’s policies. The goal of this topic is to figure out if all interested party’s have a common vision and the same expectations of realizing a concept like Project Kamp. The possibilities of this concept are endless and thus ideas of prototyping another way of living can vary quite significantly. Everyone can have a dream of an utopia, but in reality it takes a lot of communication and dialogue to form a community and tune many ideas and expectations to one solid plan.
Prototyping another way of living.
In the introduction video we dive in the into the Who? What? Where, Why and When of the story. But this leaves a lot of details open for discussion. Especially when more people and party’s become involved with the project and even would like to participate in this progress of prototyping another way of living.
So the first question that comes to mind is “count me in! how do I sign up for a spot?” But that might not be the right question to ask.
If we zoom out a little bit we could ask a bigger question. That is,
“What is the policy and protocol for including people in realizing this community?”
– What is the decision making protocol for adding people to this community?
– What would be the ideal amount of individuals vs resources at the first stage of realization?
– How big will this community be able to grow vs acres of land & resources?
– What will be the required investment to join this community?
Which brings the next question
“What kind of socio-economic policy will be in effect in this community? and how will this affect decision making and policy inside the community? “
There are many options, and there are plenty of communities out there with different policies in place. One policy might be more attractive to the other but in Dave’s vision we are all striving towards:
1. Harvesting our own energy and water off the grid
2. Eat and grow food produced locally and environmentally friendly.
3. Develop new projects to tackle local & global problems
4. Share what we learn with the world open source
5. Build with biodegradable and recycled materials
6. Live and Work together to build a future world.
These are great ideals to work towards to as a community and a good start in describing the plan for the community. The next question I would like to ask is;
“What will be the internal dynamic of the community/ What kind of (micro)society will this be?”
Making decisions is often pretty tricky, making decisions with multiple people is often trickier. And although the initial ideals point our noses in the same direction. There will be (people being people) conflicting interests or even disagreement between different members of the community. This brings all sorts of complications for the disagreeing party’s and even for the other members of the community. So to prevent one party drawing the shortest end of the stick, or even arriving at the disagreement in the first place. It might be wise to discuss the decision making protocol in the first stages of forming a community.
The Feudalistic Way
Let’s say Dave buy’s a piece of land and the Italian guy moves in with his van. Now Dave say’s “You’ll work in the organic garden in exchange for living and working on my land”. Dave gets the produce, the Italian guy gets a place to park his van and a small amount of the produce to sustain himself. When Dave decides to sell a piece of the produce or land to finance his house, the Italian guy cannot object to this decision. It is after all, Dave’s piece of land. If the Italian guy doesn’t agree and goes on strike, Dave is able to remove the Italian guy from his property.
The Capitalist Way
The Italian guy wants to come and participate in prototyping a new way of living. Dave says “sure thing, you can buy a share in the community and after your investment you’ll have the right to live on my land” Whenever we decide something important all the shareholders of the community come together to discuss this decision, after that we’ll have a vote. The vote of the bigger shareholders is worth more than the smaller shareholders because they have invested more capital into the community. Since Dave has invested 60K in buying the land, infrastructure, etc Dave also then has the most leverage in the decision making progress. Although this system is fair it does not produce equality.
The Socialist Way
The Italian guy and his bright yellow van arrive at Project Kamp and wants to join. He asks “Dear Dave, how do I Join your community?” Dave answers “Well, you’ll make the same financial investment that we all have made and sign an agreement that you are part of the “Project Kamp Cooperation” In this agreement we have outlined the goals and ideals of the community, the protocols for democratic decision making and terms of co-ownership of all the property the Co-op has.” Every participant has an equal vote an and equal share of the entire community.
The cult way
The Italian guy wants to live and work on Project Kamp and discovers a whole new reality. Dave is the high-priest of a recycling cult, in order to join he has to study Dave’s manifesto. In this he describes a prototype of a new way of living. From now on the Italian guy has search the land, collect plastic objects and offer them to a shrine built in the center of the community. He has to pray, worship and work the fields the rest of his time in order to obtain forgiveness for polluting the planet in a past life. Meanwhile Dave and his Precious Plastic Priesthood recycle the plastic objects into fabulous lampshades and earn quite a profit on the side.
Okay I might be getting a bit of track there. Its possible though. 😉
There are many ways to make decisions aside from the ones described above. Financial investments, shared facilities, creative people running around with crazy ideas in their head, private property, living and working together, open source sharing, These things bring all sorts of dynamics, emotions, ideals, opinions, conversations, discussions etc.
So I’m curious what the thoughts are on this subject. Leave a reply!
When I first heard of Project Kamp, I thought the socialistic way is the most natural fit (in my mind). Though the process or joining I would think it would also make sense to have the size, and people joining regulated by the members, so it would work more like this:
The Italian guy wants to join, he asks Dave, Dave says “If you agree to make the same financial investment that we all have made and sign an agreement that you are part of the “Project Kamp Cooperation” we can hold a vote with the members, if they vote you in you make that investment, and sign the agreement and you a member”.
so that size and who in involved is effectively regulated by the people involved. EG: if there is no space/not enough food production/whatever the people would discuss the issues, and talk with the person and determine if they would be able to allow him to join at that time.
Just my thought on the matter.
Interesting points. But what happens if you take “owning” out of the equation? After all when Kamp is run by a community of like minded souls it will be more about “sharing”. This way you’ll have a more socialistic underlying principle.
Capital, goods, tools, resources, and even time spend in the Kamp, can be used in such a way that it is based on a fair way of sharing. For example, if you work on the fields, you should be entitled to your share of food, shelter and so on. Or when an expensive tool is needed, it can be shared by its owner as well, Maybe in return for some apples:)
The more is shared, the less feudalistic or capitalistic the Kamp will be running in my opinion. As for the Kamp location itself, I made another post offering to share an old farm, it has 1 hectare of land. I don’t need it, so I can share it. If the bright yellow van arrives I will make some space on the land for parking.
@robb thank you for starting this discussion – it comes in just at the right time as we will be trying to work out the whole framework as much as we can in the coming weeks 👀
Including the topics:
– PROPERTY requirements
– DECISION MAKING method
– LEGAL STRUCTURE
– PEOPLE (How many? How to deal with people coming and going? …)
– estimated TIME / STEPS
– estimated COSTS / INVESTMENT
It’s both interesting and challenging, to try to define such things in advance as there are still so many uncertainties.
So, curious to get some more thoughts on that!
We will keep you updated about our further plans/decisions 🙃
This is an interesting topic! At our local self-sustaining makerspace, which is a non-profit organization and has no employees or owners, we work with a do-ocracy: the one who takes initiative decides. https://communitywiki.org/wiki/DoOcracy
You can read more on how the organization works here: https://bitraf.no/wiki/Hvordan_Bitraf_fungerer:en
Not sure if/how that would relate to what you’re trying to set up here but thought it might give some food for thought. It has its advantages as well as disadvantages but I guess every structure has.
Thats a nice way to run Bitraf, thanks for sharing. Its a great way to organize a creative joined process. Its a real eye opener.
But when you copy this to a Kamp idea, you’ll run into some issues maybe, since a sustainable community will need to produce some output to survive (food, energy, waste management) . Kamp produce will be based on basic community needs, not sure if that is something you leave to the individual participant only to decide, like in Bitraf. You might end up eating only brusselsprouts a lot:)
I once helped with a sustainable farming project in Palawan , Philippines, where we got some piglets to help recycling the leftovers. One day I came back from fishing and couldn’t find the piglets anymore. Turnout that some of the building crew had gotten very hungry. So probably you also need some rules.
Like it, the do-ocracy would definitely work in situations like running a small workshop or kitchen etc. I’ve visited multiple communities in Australia. Every community had it’s own approach to the different topics. Especially land ownership and private property. The bigger ones leaned towards individualism and even started to sell lots and houses on the open market in order to finance projects and maintenance of the land. Others were more communal and had shared facilities and gardens, but they all had quite a distinct division between private lots & residences and communal land & facilities.
When it comes to legislation, policy, finance and property it’s wise to remove as much gray areas as possible. The more the involved parties are informed on what policy they are agreeing upon the less room there will be for conflicts of interest and influence of circumstances during discussions in the future.
For example: When the project takes place on the property of Arihollander who shares his land for free with the Project Kamp crew. (Which is more or less the philanthropists way to approach the question of land ownership I suppose). It leaves a lot of grey area open to circumstances and interpretation. Even though there will be many like-minded individuals in the community, someone inevitably will eat the proverbial shared pig when there is scarcity. Even if there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” to share the land, there is no legal foothold for the Project Kamp community to stand on whenever there’s a conflict of interest with the council/ surrounding neighbors/ Arihollander/ etc.
One of the great perks of private or co-operative ownership is that an individual or community actually has all of the rights and responsibilities that comes with ownership of the property. No matter what the circumstances are the community cannot be removed from it’s land without its consent and everything build and grown on top of this land becomes the property of the community. Owning the land also serves as a legal guarantee that even long-term investments like houses, avocado and nut trees, the lake, etc will belong to the Project Kamp community and its participants in the present and in the future no matter what the circumstances. This property can also serve as collateral for the community to finance the building of a workspace/ Greenhouse/ kitchen/ DIY thorium reactor/ etc. Individuals joining the community can opt for a buy-in and individuals leaving the community can opt for a buy out. etc.
The ownership of private/ co-operative property secures a solid legal foundation on which the Project Kamp Community can build policies many other topics in my opinion.
Yes, you certainly have a point. Although a good (lease)contract will protect the Kamp members , I certainly cannot predict what future owners would do when I’m no longer around.
Maybe full ownership is better suited for some, but it might also slow you down a bit to start. When you take an agricultural lot nearby for example, it will not be so easy to split that up into separate titles, nor can they be used to create private space (like housing) on the land itself, as illustrated in the example you gave. Existing lots often have a very clear distinction between the “living” and agricultural area, but you can probably split up the “living” area into privately owned spaces. But that will be a limited space in most cases, not including stables and other existing agricultural buildings.
Another issue might be the price itself, if you look around for agricultural land (7.50 per m2) with option to build housing and/or existing housing, you’ll need to bring 400-500.000 in the area around Eindhoven, and thats only for a lot with 1-2 hectares on average. So the 80.000 budget is just enough for 1 hectare, without any permanent building.
Also, in case a lot is found, how do you foresee it will be bought, a Kamp foundation (stichting)? Maybe that gives you another option to organize ownership.
As for the farm on offer, I hope it will one day finds it own community of enthusiasts that have a more open look towards ownership and sharing, till that time I’ll plant some more trees and let the horses enjoy the grass:)
@robb: why does The Socialist Way require a financial investement for inclusion?
There needs to personal commitment, but not necessarily investment, and definitely not financial.
Money is a necessity but you can invest with time, knowledge, experience, resourcefulness…
What is important is have a “Project Kamp Agreement” that while ‘minimal’ must include values and processes for decision-making. Ownership needs to be addressed but I find the ‘right to use’ more important.
Well if a project Kamp would be founded as a democratic worker co-op. The equal financial investment could serve as a legal transaction/agreement to a cooperative contract/agreement in which al participating parties:
1. would agree to the terms of the co-op
2. Have an equal share/stake in the co-op
This transaction would also function as the legal basis of a fully egalitarian democratic decision making process. No matter if it is a small worker co-op or an off-grid community. As soon as the co-op votes on a policy decision this legislated equal share/stake/investment is a very effective baseline for ensuring that each vote is equal.
If someone is unable to make the financial criteria of participating in the co-op but has tremendous potential when it comes to skills, effort or knowledge he or she could take up a (interest free) loan at the co-op and start participating in not just the work but also the decision making process of the co-op. which is an actual democracy in my opinion. Doing work on a voluntary basis, no legislation, no transaction or policy in places leaves ample room for grey areas to arise in which disagreements will sprout and leaves the room for members of the Project to draw the short end of the stick when he/she wants to part with the community.
You cannot measure commitment in a non-subjective way. So there is no way to validate such an investment. Same goes for knowledge, experience, resourcefulness. Then it all comes down to the opinion of the community. Thats al great until the majority of the community wants to rent out parts of the property to store radioactive waste to generate income (very extreme example 😉 ) and you disagree with that policy and now there is no way to quantify your investment made when you decide to move out.
@robb “You cannot measure commitment in a non-subjective way.” What does this mean?
You cannot measure commitment in an objective way?
You can and it need no be €€!
Time, knowledge and experience are possible measures of the commitment made and consideres a non-€€ investement. All of these can be validated. There’s no need for a communal opinion or an educated guess.
Linking membership to substancial financial investments or loans is the wrong way to go.
There needs to be a “Project Kamp Agreement” that, while ‘minimal’, must include values and processes for decision-making. Including rules for leaving the community.
Still I don’t really ‘get’ your concern on creating ‘fair’ terms for those who want out. Should they also be allowed to take what they’ve built/helped building with them? That’s a ludicrous idea to me!
This project only makes any sense if people join because of the benefits of being a member. Of living and working there. They’ll invest their time, energy and efforts creating a community where people want to live in. Not as an investment on ‘your way out’!
IMHO thinking like that precludes one from being a member… :/
Well that all depends. At some point people might need to leave due to circumstances like old age, medical reasons, family, having kids in need of an education, moving to a different community, lack of income, disagreements etc. In which case it would be able take your investments in the form of capital with you. Sell your house and plot of land back to the co-op and don’t come out of the community completely broke after years of time and effort invested into building the community. If you quantify the investments made in the form of money or tokenization it could be really helpful for all people involved.
It also depends on how big the community will be. 5 people? 20? 100? The more people signing up, the more investments made, the more the community is able to provide land, plots, resources, food and accommodation. That will significantly increase the quality of living in the community itself. If one is to participate in a project like this just in the sake of volunteering and philanthropy would that be sustainable in the long run? Personally.. ?
On top of that, if you have a policy in place that asks a substantial financial investment of the people that want to join you can also filter out the people who might not be in it for the long run.
@robb Yes, it all depends on your ‘vision’ for such a ‘Kamp’!
I would personally not join the type of co-op you describe, but that is just my own opinion.
@katharinaelleke are there alreay any decisions on such matters? Who’s doing the ‘deciding?
</span>Keep us updated onfurther plans/decisions!
Yes it depends on everyone’s vision for such a camp, I’m just stating my perspective though! I could easily be wrong on a lot of these questions XD. It would be really cool to learn from other peoples perspectives. my background also comes from running a business, design and a bit of programming. So I tend to fall short in having a humanistic approach when it comes to defining a perspective on policy 😉
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