Future Resource BaseA robust Future Resource Base underpins the 'Forms of Production' required to achieve your desired 'Quality of Life'
The quality of its resource base will determine how easy it is for the managers of an economic whole to move from where they are now to where they want it to be in the future.
Structuring the future resource base description
The first two parts of the holisticgoal (Quality of Life and Forms of Production) describe what you want now. The future resource base describes what is required to sustain that now experience indefinitely.
Describing your future resource base means considering and describing how your decisions will develop certain physical attributes, so that many years from now not only you but the generations that follow you are able to each sustain what they choose to call their Quality of Life.
This is not about 'ruling from the grave' or determining what Quality of Life means for future generations. In fact it's quite the opposite. It's about building a resource base that is so robust and strong that when their time comes each generation is able to easily choose what constitutes 'Quality of Life' for themselves, and what will be the appropriate 'Forms of Production'. Right now you could argue quite strongly that both we and previous generations have degraded so much of the global resource base that future generations have been placed in something of a straight-jacket when it comes to freedom of choice. That's what I'd call inadvertently ruling from the grave. We might be going or gone, but the mess lives on.
There are several different elements to consider in describing your future resource base. Two that should always be addressed are the people you included in the resource base when you defined your economic whole, and the land. Even if you run a business that seems to have no direct connection to land, you ultimately depend on it for your well-being - healthy food, clean water and air, and probably many recreational values as well. You'll probably also need to consider the infrastructure you may have to develop in the future, and the community you live or work in.
You’ll notice that most families, businesses and organisations, have clients, customers, suppliers, supporters, members, advisers or other people they feel are critical to the health and future well-being of their economic whole. In your situation you'll find that many of them are the people you listed in the Resource Base when you defined for your economic whole. Generally they make no management decisions for you, but they may greatly influence—or indeed be very much influenced—by your management decisions.
The main point is this: Other people will want to know, trust and like you before they will enthusiastically purchase from you, or be willing to promote your products or services to others, or generally be prepared to 'hang out' with you.
Commercial sales managers have an old saying: “Our customers have our money in their pocket!” At the end of the day a salesperson has only one task: to develop a sufficiently strong relationship that somebody places their money in his or her pocket! Guess what, it’s the same for all of us. We are all selling something, even if it is no more than the attitude required sustain the friendships we value. Remember too: other people always have a choice about their relationship with us. If you move away from how you they want to know you, their response may be to support someone else. Depending on its nature, that might put your business, organisation or friendship in peril.
You will probably recognise that in the future you and your economic whole need to be seen as honest, professional, reliable, caring, up-to-date, environmentally and socially responsible, and so on.
Ultimately you will be judged by your behaviors and actions, rather than by your words, so testing future actions for soundness towards your holisticgoal will invariably lead you towards how you say you must be known by others.
If what you produce to meet your Quality of Life does not come directly from the land, or when your economic whole does not include land under your management, you might wonder why land should figure at all in your description of the future resource base. It needs to be included because in the long term, the well-being of any family, business, or community depends on the stability and productivity of the land surrounding them. When discussing land we are referring to it in the broadest sense—meaning soils, plants, forests, birds, insects, wildlife, lakes, streams, and, ultimately, the oceans as well.
All households and businesses—even those that are service oriented—will at some point tie back to the land and its waterways. Every economic whole affects ecological health in some way. For example almost every business consumes or utilises products such as inks, paper or detergents that either come from or return to the land, and there are always consequences in their extraction or disposal.
This means that arising from almost every financial transaction there is an effect on the land that is experienced months or years later-and generally far removed from the site of the original transaction. For example, the shirt you buy for your child may have been produced from plants grown in deteriorating soils, and may have been dyed with chemicals that adversely affect water quality and human health. The pesticide you spray on your lawn can be carried into your home, or end up in the water system and eventually accumulate in shellfish, which in turn may be eaten by another family many kilometres from you.
Sadly, it seems to be that too many people assume that someone will do something to ameliorate these effects. It’s known as the ‘they ought to…’ effect. That someone, it turns out, will have to be ordinary people working in and running a range of ordinary businesses. When the description of the land around us looks far into the future, the holisticgoal gains a much-needed dimension. When we later test our decisions toward it we will always be reminded to consider the effects of our decisions on the environment on which we ultimately depend.
Some people might hesitate to describe the land around them as it would have to be far into the future, feeling they don't know enough about it to do so. That is understandable when you aren't actually managing land. But you don't need a scientific or agricultural background to be able to express a need for surroundings that are stable, productive and healthy, with clean and clear running rivers, covered rather than bare soils, and prosperous communities. Perhaps you have experienced a city where drinking water is or has been polluted by undesirable bugs, or is approaching alarming levels of salinity. Eventually these problems become problems for everyone.
The community you live or work in
Sometimes you may want to describe the type of community you want to live and/or work in, especially if your future resources may be derived from that community. What you produce may depend on your community remaining intact.
Do you wish to live and work in a community supporting a diversity of prosperous businesses who support each other. An example is the clothing industry within the Biella valley in Italy. The population is just 60,000 people, but collectively those people own more than 2,000 businesses. No contracts ever go out of the valley. If a business wins a contract for a range of clothing, it will locally sub-contract out many of the tasks-such as the button-making, the button holes, or other parts of the job. As a result this tight little community is home to many of the major fashion designers of the world. It is a prosperous community!
The services available in your community
A related element is consideration of the broader services that exist in your community. Do not underestimate your capacity as an individual and as a business to generate change. The changes don’t necessarily happen overnight, but they will happen.
The corner store is a great example. Corner stores have a reputation of being more expensive than supermarkets. Few people stop to consider though the time and perhaps environmental costs of, for example, driving to the supermarket as compared to the convenience and social well being that the corner store may offer. Your choosing to travel to the supermarket will not on its own cause closure of the corner store, but collectively, enough people making individual decisions to go elsewhere will inevitably cause the demise of the ‘convenience store’.
Whatever you do, think carefully about your situation, and if you can see there are services your community must have available in order to sustain what you produce, write those services down.
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