Seeds are a collective that aim to align money with value – qualitatively and quantitatively balancing people, planet and prosperity. Their platform offers tools to help people, their businesses and their ideas regenerate instead of exploit our planet. Re-evaluating the way we assign and distribute value, in order to foster trust, transparency, and community.
Systems Re-Design: Regenerative Renaissance
Whereas a revolution is a revolving cycle that targets power structures and divisions within humanity, a renaissance is a breakthrough that targets the systems applicable to the whole.
If today’s economy and systems are mostly degenerative and divisive by default, tomorrow’s aim to be distributive and regenerative by design. Baking sustainability into this requires aligning these decisions with permaculture and ecology.
Platforms such as Seeds act as a co-creative bridge between current and re-evaluated paradigms. For them, regenerating ‘the game’ (financial and economic systems), requires an economic system that organises resources to optimise for planetary flourishing, and a financial system that can co-ordinate and exchange at scale to optimise for human flourishing.
Seeds is a co-operative and voluntary financial and economic microcosm. All members own a share of this system, contributing to the way that it evolves and is governed. In an age where trillions of dollars can go missing from public records, its ledger and structure is designed to be transparent and trustworthy, without compromising security.
The DNA or Blueprint of Seeds contains: anti-rivalrous and anti-fragile behaviour (growth in the value of the whole is shared by all its members, participation is voluntary, ease of value redistribution within the system allows disruptions to be beneficial), adoption and simplicity (modelled with UX of existing exchanges and accessibility in mind), decentralised and resilient (technology ensures that no one group or person have overriding control), globally regenerative (sustainable and long-term frameworks), co-operative value adding and economic incentives (incentives beyond the bottom-line), better than free and high velocity money (rewards and incentives to use it over the current alternatives), voice, value and values (collective growth and community).
In terms of currency, Seeds define real value as stability relative to purchasing power (intrinsically stable) – placed within the context of the declining value of national currencies relative to inflation over time (and the instability of many mainstream cryptocurrencies). They automate this stability by tracking changes in demand within their economy and redistributing accordingly (balancing demand and supply circulation. Their systems simulations targets are based on the assumptions of a small nation state, and align with natural cycles such as the lunar calendar).
Regenerative Economics: Governance And Incentives
Within the current economic system, an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) increases centralised power structures through dependency. Seeds propose the idea of a Universal Earned Income (UEI), where people earn through participation and have a more equitable chance to be able to do so. This aims to deliver the same ideals and needs but through a decentralised structure.
Bioregional regeneration consists of community grants and loans for activities that would not be deemed profitable. This shifts the focus from attempts to make regeneration profitable, to evaluating enhancing the quality of regenerative efforts. Regenerative enterprises are able to apply for interest-free loans from the community, who then have an added incentive to support the enterprise, creating a virtuous cycle. Open proposals such as sourcing spaces for redevelopment allow for growth of community projects and ownership (the sharing economy).
Seeds first started with an aim to localise and regenerate food systems, making food more nourishing, affordable and based on more transparent supply chain practices. This is the foundation on which they have gone on to build their financial modelling, with the aspirations to allow basic needs to be freely accessible (food, shelter, water and air).
Bioregions are supplied with tools to self-organise and deliver value more effectively. Hypha DAO are the governance organisation helping to build Seeds: requests are created on the platform and members can apply for roles in order to earn the bounty upon completion. The needs are directly signalled and solved by the community.
Progress indicators aim to use broader frameworks that account for quality and not just quantity (unlike GDP etc). An exponentially virtuous cycle leverages finance to radically redirect collective value, predominantly shifting from competition to co-operation.
Although Bitcoin currently has relatively little adoption and real-world use, it still generates and distributes billions of dollars worth of bitcoins annually. Seeds operate on a much smaller scale but believe their potential to be proportionately higher. Seeds are built on the Telos blockchain which doesn’t have to pay for its own block production, making them more economical (lower overhead costs). If they increase their activity month on month, Seeds have to buy more of the networks token and then stake it (making more of an investment into the network rather than paying out costs).
Restoring the commons: Seeds aim to buy collective resources that they can distribute for free, arguing that currently, state property is exploited by privately-owned industry, with the costs of this off-set by the community. Common property aims to optimise for care and oversight of pooled resources. They are stewarded by members to grow the shared value and generate shared returns.
Redefining profitability and prosperity: many organisations currently have incentives to carry out activities that destroy the environment and are based on short-term rewards, operating on a linear cycle that often requires rapid rates of expansion and growth, without regard for longer-term consequences. They focus on purchase, over access.
Seeds aim to re-engineer these economic incentives. As an example, phone companies today have an incentive to constantly release new models and disregard the affordable upkeep of older versions, in order to continue to grow and remain profitable. Under the Seeds model, if a phone company created mobiles that people used for 4 hours a day, the manufacturer would be paid for the value this has measurably provided, shifting the focus towards accessibility and longevity.
These same principles align economic and ecological incentives, for example Seeds score Bioregional programmes based on the effectiveness of their regenerative processes (similar to the B Corp enterprise model), subsidising local circular economies and leveraging modern design principles from permaculture.
Regenerative Organisations: Structure And Value
A key element of re-wiring how collective value is distributed amongst communities, is rewiring the incentives around businesses and organisations. This requires aligning the most profitable decision with that which is the most beneficial for environment and community. This targets the ways in which organisations are set-up from the outset.
An organisation is any group of people that come together with a shared purpose or vision. Primarily, there need to be incentives for organisations to operate within a particular network (such as the decentralised and transparent network of the Hypha DAO platform). Seeds incentives include rewards proportional to contribution (you are paid just to partake in their training programmes, as opposed to paying to train), and shifting the focus from what is being taken (profit) to what is being created (value).
The more organisations contribute to the success and wellbeing of the Seeds civilisation, the more value they can capture in return. They are tracked and ranked based on economic activity (transaction volume), existing community services and user base, and added growth contributed to Seeds, each of which are weighted against a planetary regeneration multiplier that balances the former against the core principles of regenerative practices.
In the current economic model, a company such as Shell has little incentive to change their sustainability practices, whereas under the weighted model above, making these changes could still allow them to earn more money. Any participating business now has a financial stake in changing their behaviours to meet regenerative models.
Bonuses are also given for transacting with local economies (part of the same bioregion). This is part of what makes the platform ‘better than free’. For example Uber Eats take a 30% cut from restaurants using their platform (for further promotion and advertising), whereas Seeds actively reward participants and subsidise further activities that make use of their platform.
This design opens up space for a variety of business models that are not viable within the current economic system. This is because demand is not always aligned with the practicalities of execution. The central focuses are utility (rather than profitability) and self-sustainability (rather than economic scalability). This also makes processes more effective – for example, many non-profits spend the majority of their time raising money, much of which is then fed back into cycles of raising more money. Rewiring systemic incentives allows them to focus on their purpose and passion.
Seeds aim to make their co-creative tools (even notoriously mundane necessities such as payroll and accounting) fun and engaging to use. Business tools that are solely focused on efficiency are not a pleasure to use. Seeds take the human factor of this man-machine interface into account. For example many of the Hypha tools are gamified, and separate voice and equity – so that decision-making is linked to contribution. Whereas Seeds focus on overall economics and governance, Hypha focus on organisational structure.
In future they aim to decentralise how salaries are given out, using value that is codified on the back-end and reflected back, in turn changing corporate culture. Instead of vertically competing for hierarchal positions, people laterally reward each-other for their services. Global decentralised organisations aim for low overheads with high collaboration. Resilience comes from a diverse portfolio of platforms and activities.
Evolutionary Economies And Societies: Purpose And Play
Seeds believe that the future of work is purpose and play, where basic needs being met allows people to thrive and not just survive. Hypha describe their purpose as collective evolution (through shared purpose and goals). Instead of the focus being on companies as transactional organisations with a set focus and a market share, the focus is on the people and human growth (prioritisation of living systems).
For a long time now, various communities have come together to figure out different ways of redistributing value amongst themselves. Many of the most common drawbacks and failures include high overheads (alternative currency more expensive to use than dominant currency), minimal network effect (artificially bounded to locality), minimal tools (poor UX and high friction), and low circulation (high exodus).
Bearing these factors in mind, Seeds seek global connectivity and use other tokens for value exchange including asset tokens (energy), tokens that drive connectivity (improve relationships and support the arts), time, index, stake, voice and subsidising the integration of future members onto the platform. Financing this transition is based on some ideas from the Nordic Secret, which aims to provide people with the tools and resources required to make more informed decisions (enhancing self-governance), amplifying the collective intelligence (virtuous cycle).
The biggest issue with launching any currency is liquidity. Therefore Seeds make it easy to come in and out of local currencies more effectively, while still providing incentives for users to hold onto seeds (stage 1 focuses on increase in seeds value as the platform grows and rewards early adopters, stage 2 focuses on currency stability relative to purchasing power). Their ATM is a fee-free, peer to peer currency exchange (fixed price platform for swapping seeds and fiat). Instead of being punished for leaving the system, contributors are incentivised to stay (leveraging positive motivators).
The financial lifecycle of Seeds includes: Gestation (as of 2020 – fixed supply), Birth (rapid regenerative growth – growing currency to meet new demand), Adulthood (physical maturity and steady state economy protocols activated due to saturated demand – shift in focus from making new currency to meet new demand, to replacing currency that’s already been burned), and the Elder phase (new paradigm – radically new ways of delivering value throughout the community, collective governance and wisdom, network maturity). Every system also has Death and Transition, Seeds say they aim to plan this in advance, with beauty and desirability for all members in mind.
Transformative Tools: The Minimum Viable Civilisation
Seeds’ founding philosophy is that pragmatism creates idealism. The Seeds passport contains all the features necessary in the minimal viable format (mobile app). Only you have access to the private keys of your wallet, entailing the full responsibility of being in control of your own assets (however unlike other cryptocurrencies, Seeds give you the option to assign Caretakers with key recovery passes). It also provides access to a Forum and Market Place for requests, offers and projects, and a Co-Op section for voting and funding (DAO). The Seeds passport focuses on community, whereas the Seeds Lite Wallet focuses on financial interaction.
The HyphaEarth platform uses DAOs and DHOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation and Decentralised Human Organisation). With a DAO, humans can be programmed out of the equation (trust is not a factor), the key functions of a DHO are decentralised payroll and contribution accounting (trust builds over time). The platform as a whole allows you to access the facilities of citizenship and join bioregions.
The Hypha DHO tool has been repurposed for villages. This is for groups of people wanting to create any kind of eco-village, intentional community, arts and innovation centre etc – a variety of different names for the same concept, which is a group of people coming together to re-imagine how their needs can be met, while creating and building community. It allows for currency diversity using inter currency (Seeds) and intra currency (village-based).
Seeds are an early-stage organisation built on idealistic dreams rooted in the metaverse. But their focus on balance across the board, functional collaboration, health as wealth and clearly passionate internal motivators make them an inspiring project to follow. Systems design is planning knowing that the outcome cannot be predicted due to unseen emergent properties, but their flexible and adaptive tactics centred around a missionary core, impart the hope that it’s not just the road to hell that’s paved with good intentions.