Status of Demonstration Projects

In Buddhism, the Buddha offered “The three proofs”, a standard by which anyone could judge a teaching’s validity. The three proofs are:

  1. Documentary proof means the teaching accord with the Sutras
  2. Theoretical proof means the doctrine of a teaching accords with reason and logic.
  3. Actual proof means that the content of a doctrine is borne out by actual result when put into practice.

The Buddha writes:

“In judging the relative merit of Buddhist doctrines, I, Nichiren, believe that the best standards are those of reason and documentary proof. And even more valuable than reason and documentary proof is the proof of actual fact.”

I believe this evidence hierarchy is applicable to making a betterworld reality. Actual proof – proof people can see with their eyes, interact with their bodies and experience personally – is the best proof for convincing them a betterworld is possible.

Buddha quoteAlthough Copiosis is not a religion, and certain is not Buddhism, I am running Copiosis in part based on The Buddha’s three proofs doctrine. It is this focus, among other things, which separates Copiosis from other betterworld ideas.

The most compelling thing about Copiosis is our focus on producing actual, real-world results showing real-world progress towards our stated goal. We’re not interested in convincing people to believe a certain way or exploring technological theories or future city designs. We’re instead focused on making the transition happen world-wide in the physical world, today.

That makes for a lot of tasks many organizations are not equipped to tackle. Tackling these tasks are at the core of our transition plan. And core among those tasks is our  demonstration project strategy. This post provides an update on our demonstration projects.

TL/DR: We’re making progress at the pace of molasses. But that progress is important for future rapid developments.

Demonstration Project Design

We have four distinct types of demonstration projects. The first three we have discontinued in favor of more promising design concepts. The five type of projects are:

Type I – A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach organized around a participating for-profit business. The business offers a discount on high-demand products or services designating this discount as a luxury. The majority of participants are business customers, making the discount highly desirable. The Portland/Kenton project was an example of this project.

Type II – An MVP approach organized around a community or group of people wanting to demonstrate Copiosis amongst themselves. There is no central business. Pure interest motivates participation. The Chico project was a Type II project.

Type III – A full-blown approach organized as a live simulation. Type III projects are designed to take place over several hours on a Saturday exposing participants to a full-spectrum  Copiosis simulation. We have not yet launched a Type III project. More on this project type below.

Type IV – A full-blown approach in real life where a community is designed specifically to demonstrate Copiosis. Obviously these are the more ambitious project designs. We have two Type IV projects in development. More on those below.

Learning informs project design

Each successive Type is informed by the previous design. I closed projects in Portland and Chico after it was clear (to me) further progress would not be possible with those design types. I made this decision based on the following growing evidence:

  • Flattening participation numbers
  • Flattening transaction results
  • Increasing software challenges complicating participation
  • Increasing need for support resources we didn’t have

I have reported other reasons for closing these projects before. After 17 other projects had been declared around the world, it was obvious those 17 projects were going to create even more of the four results above potentially tarnishing our work. What’s more, project leaders declaring said projects needed support they were not going to get due to resource limitations.

Type III projects will have similar problems, but because all Type III projects are the same and are run the same, time and resource demands are lower. Given enough resources, all these needs can be met once, with a single guide covering all the details. Every Type I and Type II project can be unique, with its own unique problems, leading to more resource needs with each new project added. I hope you can see the obvious advantage of running multiple Type III projects over many Type I and II projects.

Type III project design and launch are pending operational funding.

The epitome project: Type IV

Lettuce being grown at our Type IV project in Greece.

There are two Type IV projects underway. Both are run by well-educated and well skilled individuals, with core knowledge in business operations lying at the center of their projects. Type IV projects are promising for this reason and several others:

  • They are organized around a potentially large for-profit company, the owners of which are willing to carve out significant portions of their profits to grow the project.
  • Because they are centered around a for-profit company, these projects can be self funding after perhaps some initial investment.
  • Support needs for such projects are minimal (beyond funding) since core-team members are highly skilled and highly educated. The teams usually are self-starting, extremely motivated and committed for the long-term.

Type IV projects demand slow, deliberate approaches. The first milestone is creating an ongoing for-profit company. That’s no small task. Once the company is up and running, a community will be funded and built around the business with people invited to participate in the project community. This again is no small task. The idea is to network these projects  and their communities, while making each a tourist destination where people can stay on site, participate in the project for a short time along with permanent participants.

Meanwhile, Type III projects will also be underway, delivering more of an edutainment experience to those who can’t travel to our Type IV projects.

No Type III project can be launched without funding. Type IV projects can start with their own seed funding, raised by project leads. This is the case with both our project in Greece and our project in Southern Africa, which is the same project formerly launching in Germany.

Large investment is needed to fund pretty much all significant Copiosis plans from here out. That is why I am focused almost exclusively on fundraising and also running separate businesses I expect will generate additional funding in the future.

Physical results substantiating real world, physical progress towards a betterworld is the most convincing type of proof around. We are building our evidence body based on real world results, results we can point to, results that will put us far on the path towards making Copiosis and the better world it represents, a reality.

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