“The possibilities that lie in the future are infinite. When I say ‘It is our duty to remain optimists,’ this includes not only the openness of the future but also that which all of us contribute to it by everything we do: we are all responsible for what the future holds in store. Thus it is our duty, not to prophesy evil but rather to fight for a better world.”
-Karl Popper, The Myth of the Framework (1994)
Open confession: I am a die-hard optimist. It is my firm belief that mankind is on an upwards trajectory. I believe the problems we face today, though grave and depraved at times, will one day (sooner than many think) be solved. As an Econ major in college I was taught to think pragmatically. Data and objectivity - this is the lifeblood of clear thinking, and it has absolutely informed my worldview. However, what I believe in more than anything is the power of the human spirit to achieve the remarkable. As my friend, philosopher, and futurist-filmmaker Jason Silva described it recently, “We may be flawed stumbling primates, but when we work together we are primates that can fly.”
This is the ethos of the Valhalla Movement (disclosure, I am involved in the project): a group of twenty-something guys and girls “dedicated to making sustainable communal living mainstream, and inspiring people to create the beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible.” The Valhalla team is transforming 60 acres of land just outside Montreal into a self-sustainable, off-the-grid community. It is indeed a hippy-like vision, which anyone who lived through the ‘70s might laugh at... but although the spirit of love, peace and prosperity may sound familiar, the potential for actually manifesting these goals has never been so potent.
Technology has empowered us to do more with less. From our ability to harness alternative energy, to growing food in new and improved ecological systems: sustainable living has been fortified. The Internet, obviously, lends a hand to all of this as well... and this is where things get interesting.
Just this week, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to help fund the project Valhalla is calling “The Farm of The Future.” The goal is to create the first 100% off-the-grid, affordable, low-maintenance greenhouse. Using Earthship Biotecture principles and aquaponics, the unit can be built for as little as $4,000 to $6,000 and can scale up accordingly. Valhalla will be using all funds raised towards the construction of what could be a shining beacon of communal living. With the help of the crowd, this project can assist in facilitating similar structures to be built all around the world.
As the LivingOnOne organization has so poignantly illuminated, eliminating poverty and providing access to sustainable living is a dire need for our planet. If all goes to plan, the Valhalla movement would be the start of something profound... a revolution of sorts - communal living, gone mainstream. Championing the cause of a better world, and having the pragmatism and ability to execute; to take a long-held dream and make it a reality. By pairing technology with ecological principles, we can create a civilization that is totally self-sustaining and furthermore, replicable - so that all of Earth's citizens can live freely and fully.
The Valhalla movement is an important experiment, to re-imagine what mankind is capable ofwhile putting the wisdom of the crowd to the test. The project is an open-source collaboration... the first of its kind. The mission of providing abundance for mankind and concurrently helping the planet is a radical one, yes, but with passion and focus... mountains have been moved before. Can this group of kids come together and do the impossible? Why not!
...so if any of this resonates with you, get involved! Check out the campaign for the details. Donate if you can, share the article, and help be the change our world needs!