My warmest greetings to you. Although we are many miles apart, and may never have met in person, we are nonetheless kindred spirits united by our core humanity. If you’re reading this, you’re a human being just like me. If you can read this, you should thank a teacher.
This Executive Essay is more than just words typed by monkeys on typewriters. It’s a plan to change the world. If you’re reading this, I would surmise, that you have a heart aligned to good. You want to help people. You want to change the world. So do I. So do all of us at Destinato.
The question now arises, now that we know we want to make an impact, which cause should we choose? After all there are so many. Our movement was founded to end homelessness within our lifetime. That was our cause. It could be yours too.
Homelessness has become one of the most pressing issues of our day. Today, as you read this Executive Summary there are dozens, even hundreds of people homeless around you. It’s a human tragedy, and it seems like it’s getting worse rather than getting better. Blink and the homeless appear to duplicate themselves, and their ages get younger.
As a formally homeless person, who came from a priveldged background, I can attest it can happen to anyone. I was an Ivy league student, at one of the top five insitutions in the world and I became homeless. I was gapped in my final year of school, like many are, and given the choice between finishing my degree, or sleeping rough – I chose the former. I wasn’t the only homeless person. As easy as it happened to me, it can easily happen to you or someone you know. Anyone of us is three events away from it happening to us.
My experience with homelessness changed my life. I’d volunteer at shelters on the weekend, and help homeless people get into homes. But as the reality of the dwindling twenties loomed, and busy lives become busier, despite my experience I too turned a blind eye to homelessness. After all we can excuse it when we see it. There’s a reason we tell ourselves. Alcohol, no education, drug addiction – for some cause the homeless on the streets deserve their homelessness. It’s an easy myth to tell ourselves, it’s also partially true, albeit not wholly. Homelessness seems like a choice, and that’s because it is, living on the streets is favorable to whatever the alternative was.
And then the scales fell from my eyes when I learned just how pervasive homelessness had become. An overheard statistic – 150,000 children homeless in California, jumpstarted a desire to help. After all, for an infinity of excuses we can make for male adult homeless persons, the excuses fall away when we consider homeless children. Try and think of a single one, it’s hard. And that’s because children are innocent, wonderful and deserve a happy childhood.
So Destinato, which was previously a small but committed group of volunteers formally incorporated with a plan – ending child homelessness forever. Easier said than done, especially when every person is different and the issues are so complex. Nevertheless we had early success, getting children into homes, but it wasn’t enough. What good is putting people into homes, if we are placing them into a society that is so broken? What good is a home, when a child is too sick and too poor to afford even basic medical help? What is the point of spending time housing people when job paucity led to even greater poverty. Many of the first families we housed ended up right back on the streets. Housing wasn’t enough.
When we take and really internalize the salient question of ‘how do we benefit humanity’ instead of ‘how do I help myself’ life changes forever. It’s not an exaggeration. We see the world as it really is, and it no longer appeals to us in the same way. Shiny objects lose their lustre, and ‘must haves’ become ‘would-be-nice’ only to become ‘don’t really need.’ When we live for humanity, not for ourselves a natural consequence is we care deeply about the systemic issues latent in our society today, and how we can solve them.
Seeing the need to do things bigger, and dismayed by the lack of progress made by other nonprofits, governments and individuals, Destinato became a nonprofit ending homelessness in the United States, to an international movement dedicated to systemic humanitarian change, and the challenge of a lifetime – creating a worldwide paradise for all of us.
Still deeply committed to ending child homelessness, our revised plan included the capability to redesign an entire micro-society around the needs of homeless women, children and families. Known in th homeless service industry (as it’s now become a state sponsored business) as a ‘closed continuum of care’ our communities would become a residential community plus, with fostered development and redesigning core aspects of society both with a view to improve recovery rates, and also ‘beta test’ a new way of living for humanity. Our project name EUTOPO comes from the Greek ευ (excellent) & τοπος (place) representing a real, well designed community as oppose to υτοπος (no place or Utopia). We believe our community is achievable.
Committed to end child homelessness, which requires the creation of housing anyway, we’re now taking the opportunity to build a custom living environment and smart society, Building a new community brings logistical challenges, offset by tremendous reward. In building homes, education, and healthcare, we have the incredible opportunity to create better. We don’t need to reproduce the same systems we know today. We can, and will do better. As we restore the lives of millions of homeless children, we’ll create a worldwide safety net to our children so you’ll know, no matter what happens to you, that they’ll always be taken care of. That is a world worth creating.
Without a doubt, education is the most important societal responsibility today, and the only intangible that seperates us from apes. Given the importance of education, we might expect we’d do a better job of teaching. While difficult to make absolutist claims about education everywhere, it’s safe to say the unlimited potential of education has not yet been reached.
Part of the reason education doesn’t work as well as it should is the constant pursuit of ‘objective’ metrics that signpost progress towards the ultimate aim – career training to find a job that pays sufficiently to buy a nice lifestyle. Of course, this is one end of the spectrum in the affluent developed world. In the developing world, it’s far worse with hundreds of millions possessing no education whatsoever. They can speak, they can read if they are lucky, but the rest is non existent.
What happens instead of focusing on career and employment, if we instead focus accelerating education to produce excellent human beings – well rounded, stable, and morally developed.
Our education program ‘EDUCO’ seeks to accelerate education to surpass PhD level by the age of eighteen, alongside multi-language learning, useful skill acquisition towards the aim of creating better human beings.
You can have everything in the world, but without health you have nothing. Another vital human intangible, healthcare is something that matters only when you no longer have it. And today, by the time something has gone wrong, it’s often too late to fix. The human body isn’t designed to break so frequently. In some places in the world today, there are human populations whom have never experienced cancer, Alzheimers, heart disease or any modern Western conditions. The problem isn’t the human body, it’s the way we live today.
Modern diagnostic health is effective and efficient when a problem occurs, if you can afford the cost of treatment. But as the old adage goes ‘a ounce/gram of prevention is worth a pound/kilo of cure.’ Little focus today is placed on keeping people healthy, in fact the science of nutrition, as applied to human beings and when compared to the systems in place for diagnostic medicine, is nascent to undeveloped. There is ample room to produce and grow a preventative healthcare system that works in synergy with our existing diagnostic approaches.
Additionally, we’ve only viewed medicine through one lens – the pharmaceutical. Indeed there are a myriad of other ‘better than placebo’ which are non-invasive and generally regarded as ‘safe.’ Holistic, Ancestral, Eastern, Ancient and metaphysical therapies have places within our medical system for restoring the whole person, not just the broken parts.
Our communities healthcare program will develop the marriage of healthcare – preventative and diagnostic within a cohesive package. Our doctors will work to end curable illnesses, inoculate against disease and treat problems where and when they occur. Additionally, by controlling diet and food variables, we will optimize collective community health to forestall issues from ever occurring. This hybridized system offers the potential for the next generation to never know sickness as we know it today
The human life is short. Most of us live today to around 70, if we’re lucky. In the developed world, we spend the first twenty years in education (or twenty-five to thirty with increased supply of undergraduates) preparing us for a career. Whether our interests align with the reality of earning money is beside the point, without a job and income, a human being (in our present system) will starve, or end up homelessness.
After working for forty hours (or more) per week during the best of the daytime, we’ll commit the remainder of our life – about thirty years working within businesses and enterprises earning just enough to get by but never enough to thrive. The jobs the average middle class person pursues are mostly pointless – creating or selling products or services that have no real value. Walk through any mall and you’ll see employees standing still for hours like clockwork robots waiting for a customer to put in the coin. For those with less pointless jobs, like teaching, saving lives, and helping others often content with the realities of lower finances, and middle management that emulates the military with obedience lest one gets fired. The only escape from the 9to5 is the accumulation of riches sufficient to live on, as championed by the myth of the start-up entrepreneur where just 1% of 1% make it, most often by connections, luck and tenacity.
In short, the employment model is completely broken. Most people can’t afford to pursue their passions, or derive enough income to live well. We can do much, much better.
Our communities will do things differently. Residents are given the right to meaningful work, as a protected right under our Eutopo Bill of Rights. At the beginning of each day, every community member is assigned work in alignment with their interest, not for the souless objective of a business earning money, but instead to produce a tangible, visible benefit for the community they live in. Every person, and every contribution is important. Our communities employ everyone with 100% employment.
Crucially, when rolled out alongside a Universal Basic Income (U.B.I.), which supplies the core needs of human existence independent of employment enables focus on work for edification and the purchase of luxuries, including travel, an attainable mortgage, or the purchase of individually owned goods. This marriage of the best of capitalism and harmonious community living allows to effectively manage human and limited physical resources.
Destinato communities will use advanced cryptocurrency (Destini) which will facilitate the delivery of a U.B.I. Each hour of work will ‘mint’ one labor backed coin which can be leveraged against external cash reserves to boost value and investment. All residents must work within the community (a responsibility to balance our rights). Graduate owned social businesses will accept Destini as a currency option within their stores, increasing international acceptance. Our economic model only works within a Destinato framework, as it requires the provision of basic services (including food, water and housing) to work.
FOOD & FARMING
There are few human activities as enjoyable and profuse as eating. In addition to an essential need for the healthy development and growth. The widening gulf between the rich and poor is also highlighted in food choices. Faced with increased produce cost, families opt for foods that ‘fill’ including starches, and fast food. As a result, the difference in lifespans and overall health of those who eat high quantities of healthy food, and those who don’t is widening. These problems pale in comparison to food scarcity and famine in the developing world, and instead illustrate that these problems are pervasive and widespread.
Even if we were all able to afford fresh produce, or fruits and vegetables were magically provided at no-cost, the issue still wouldn’t be solved. Long standing soil erosion, unsustainable farming practices, unnecessary genetic modification and overt focus on quantity over quality have reduced the restorative power of vegetables to junk level. The nutritional quality, of say a store bought lettuce is akin to cardboard, and as lackluster flavor indicates the flavor has gone too.
So any successful farming program must have two central goals – to restore the nutritional content of vegetables and greens, and to then to produce sufficient quantities so it becomes the primary food source for humanity. Salads shouldn’t be the most expensive thing in a restaurant, as a head of lettuce (which really feeds nobody) shouldn’t be as much as four times the price of a 12 pack of ramen noodles.
Over the past few years, we’ve developed important projects that take us closer than ever to this massive goal. Our macro/micro-nutrient technology enables us to customize the nutritional content of produce, creating vegetables that exceed nutrient levels found in pre-industrialization human societies. Additionally, our advanced hydro/agriponic technology enables us to produce 10x more produce than conventional farming over 8 harvests at 1/20th the cost of current energy intensive methods. Our Arcadia technology will produce ample food for our own communities, feed local families, and generate sufficient excess to enable countries to become food exporters, significantly boosting GDP and the critical first step to a robust economy
A home is a fundamental right, without which an individual cannot find self identity. A home too is the basic building block of family, without it a parents cannot find stability, and children won’t discover childhood. Today, housing is difficult to find, and cost prohibitive. Young adults are unable to afford the high premium for mortgages, as land parcels are bought by the wealthy and ‘sat on’ to promote ancestral wealth. When combined with difficult zoning regulations, and the false reality of limited space, the cost of housing within urban centers is cost prohibitive, and where affordable is far removed from the 9 to 5. Jobs are in cities, and affordable housing is in the countryside. Costs have ballooned past reasonableness, aided by endless taxation and government levies.
So instead of purchase, and get on the first rung to owning an asset and a ‘nest-egg’ – the only true way of passing wealth to the next generation, increasing numbers are renting, further skewing unequal wealth distribution. Unable to purchase, and with rents increasing with limited supply and demand, the class divide is widening.
On the other end of the spectrum are the dispossessed, the homeless, the home insecure, and those who live in extreme destitution. There is no rung up the ladder for the majority of those in extreme poverty. No place of welcome.
The solution isn’t as simple as increased supply of housing. It’s more complex. Homes today act as independent units detached from community life. For those who have homes, yes they are freed from homelessness, but extreme isolation is just as dangerous. Elder loneliness has become the biggest cause of senior death, greater than cancer, heart disease or senility.
Our communities will tackle both these issues, by first guaranteeing a minimum square footage and dignified living environment for all human beings as protected by our Bill of Rights. Guaranteeing space for each person, regardless of age or status ensures a continual supply of housing. With our 100% employment model, and effective stewardship of resources enables us to create housing for practically nothing. Most importantly Destinato cities, towns and villages will connect the spaces inbetween homes with culture, community and deep familial/friendship ties.
Destinato homes will be constructed of a variety of materials, befitting regional and novel architectural styles.Homes will be ‘off-grid’ enabled, capable of autonomous and grid connected function to share and effectively stewart limited resources. Homes will meet the SERAI standard, defined as accomodation befitting your sister, mother, or daughter.
CREATING EUTOPIA WITHIN OUR LIFETIME
Our project, at its most fundamental level, involves the creation of residential communities for homeless women, children, and families. towards ending homelessness within our lifetime. As our organizational goal, this remains our central focus. Margalized by a society, not because of lack of care, but lack of resources, our communities will design themselves around the diverse and complex needs our residents will have.
We don’t view this as charitable work, but rather an exciting investment in untapped and powerful human resources. Fundamental to our project is the belief that raw human potential is the most powerful force in the universe. Uneducated children are not a liabiltiy, but instead represent a ‘tabula rasa’ or ‘blank slate’ onto which we can impress the best education humanity can muster. Children are the future’s greatest hope. They are geniuses in their own right, able to absorb incredible amounts of information and learn languages without ease. Our present education system and culture robs our greatest treasure – our children – of their creativity and natural genius. That’s an opportunity, and a wonderful priveldge. Our work is not charitable, philanthrophic yes, but not charitable because we are not in the business of giving charity to the needy. The outstretched hand imagery between the third and first worlds is unhelpful, as is the unequal power balance that comes from wealth and knowledge. The key to resolution, is not to fight with the weapons of finance, that’s a battle that can’t be done. The financial debt incurred by Africa and the developing world is national slavery. Instead, balance can be restored by blessing the poor, the downtrodden, the illiterate and dispossed with an abundance of education that rivals and far surpasses anything the West can produce. Only then can the least of us, become the greatest of us, and our children will inherit an earth worth inheriting.
The Destinato movement is the most ambitious, and necessary in human history. The result of helping 150 million find new lives will be the creation of a worldwide Eutopia.