On Becoming Invaluable

I am experiencing a deep tension about the purpose of the Renaissance Explorers. I sense I’m not alone. It feels as if there is a disconnect between the conversations happening in this group and the enormity of conversations going on in groups like:

I don’t support any of these groups, and I’m not suggesting they have it right. I’m simply highlighting the tension I feel between the urgency of those discussions and these discussions (as an example):

I am wondering aloud whether the Renaissance Explorers group even has a purpose. What would the world lose out on if we didn’t exist at all? Stated more positively, what makes Renaissance Explorers invaluable - in the context of the links included above?

My thoughts, if I may…

When considering the wider regeneration and specifically complementary currency space, there is a central problem:

“Anyone can create money; the problem lies in getting it accepted.” - Hyman Minsky (1919-1996)

When looking at the wider SEEDS ecosystem, the central problem is:

How do we reward people who step up before our currency is widely accepted?

I propose that the answering of this question (and more specifically the providing of a range of blueprints for achieving this in different contexts) could be one way of becoming invaluable as a group.

As Regeneration Renaissance Explorers, I feel that this could be our raison d’être:
We are a group that originates or helps open up new lines of thought or activities that richly reward new applications of human creativity i.e. regeneration. We open these avenues practically, by creating unexpected and novel value flows into our ecosystem. We publish the lessons we learn as we do so.

A quest like this feels more personally rewarding than the topics discussed in the last few calls I’ve attended.

My question is, am I alone in this tension? Is this even the right place to raise what could be only ‘my issue’? If I were to step up and convene an exploration along these lines, would anyone be interested?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, criticisms, questions, feedback, responses. I must be honest, I’m not sure I can continue with RE as things stand, and I very much D(H)O want to continue. :broken_heart:


Michael, I love your perspective and admire that because in my opinion, you are right in your expectation.
I have to consider also that we are creating as we are doing and it needs to reframe more the purpose into every meeting… but it does not excuse the lack about of communication and the harvest from our connecting our intentions on meetings, we have to get full confidence now to have a step back into ourselves and the purpose of how to integrate our ways to reflect our journey into this process … I like to think big … I’m also trying to get the whole view reflecting on every step here… I invite you to have a good talk about that, don’t quit yet, i think its important your perspective here… connect the storytellers into this process … we have some lack inside the core groups I have to admit that… we need to open this process for those that a willingness to search our integrity with full hearts and make the journey meaningful on proposals and any meeting together… everything its possible and to reflect all the meaning of the codex for our explorations it might be a good way to create purpose together as it could be… lots of amazing sharings and insights being planted and utilize by everyone in our ecosystem…


@mbh66 - One of my heroes is someone from your country, Tim Jenkin, who was an anti-apartheid activist and much more (see the film Escape From Pretoria), you may well already know of him, or even know him personally.

Anyway he worked on very practical issues like using the internet to communicate faster than the apartheid state (yes, in the 1980s) and designing local currency systems. I think he was very good at working on seemingly rather mundane details while keeping the larger vision in mind.

I am only working in the ‘Outer-space’ group in RE as I don’t have much spare time right now but wanted to help in some way, so I can’t comment on the Storytelling or Inner-space groups, but for me the RE-Outer group has a practical purpose - to improve the onboarding process and the Game Guide. So if one looks at the forum messages related to that, it all seems rather businesslike and not very visionary or big-picture.

But without attending to these mundane details, we are not going to be able to build something resilient, attractive and welcoming to newcomers, and ultimately long-lasting and successful. The larger vision has to be held in order to give us the inspiration to dive down into the weeds. I am hearing you say that the larger vision is not making much of an appearance within RE and you need it to do so in order to be able to continue, is that right? But for me, I’m not sure that this is the place for that.

However if there is no place for that within SEEDS then we probably do have a problem. I am not sufficiently familiar with the whole ecosystem to know if there is or is not such a place, maybe someone else can point you to where these conversations and interactions are in fact taking place within SEEDS.


I really appreciate your thoughtful response, @guyjames, and yes, I’ve seen Escape from Pretoria. I don’t know Tim Jenkin personally, although I’m familiar with his story. South Africans in general - at least pre-1994 - have a similar tendency of tackling the mundane and making stuff happen. Some of this country’s best inventions occurred because of economic sanctions imposed by the US, EC and Japan in 1986. What we could no longer import, we made ourselves. And we did it by rolling up our sleeves, getting our hands dirty and doing the slog. So yes, I totally get what you’re saying. We have a saying: ’n Boer maak ’n plan.

Ironically, what you’ve mentioned here is the very ‘cart-before-the-horse’ approach I’m experiencing tension with. I don’t have the exact metrics to hand, but I do know that a very large percentage of people who join ultimately don’t participate. It’s not an onboarding problem or a Game Guide problem. It’s a ‘legitimising a currency’ problem.

This is a very tricky problem, and it’s a widespread problem.

My tension lies in the fact that we all have chosen to ignore the elephant in the room and busy ourselves with the activities you have mentioned, and with DHOs and DCOs and DACs and proposals and others. This is not about a larger vision at all. It’s about solving the one problem which hasn’t been solved anywhere. This is about as basic and mundane as it gets. Which is why I’m experiencing so much tension over it.

Solving this one problem (almost) invalidates ALL the other stuff we are busying ourselves with. That’s because people will endure any inconvenience for a legitimate reward mechanism.

I got involved in the RE-Storyteller group because I thought that was where we could get the largest leverage i.e. inspiring stories could untap the required value flow. Like you, I don’t have much spare time either. That’s why I’m raising this tension. We should be employing our limited time as wisely as we possibly can.

Apologies for not expressing myself clearly in my first post.
In order to be able to continue, I would like the ‘legitimacy’ problem to be addressed. I see it as the Explorers’ role, because that’s what explorers do - they trailblaze so that those who come after them have a much easier time.

I have volunteered (as a typical South African would do) to take on this incredibly niggly and mundane - yet crucial - detail. But I cannot do so if almost no one else sees the problem.


I agree that legitimising a currency is a tricky problem but I suspect it will get much easier as the default currencies of the world start to collapse and people look for alternatives. Whilst fiat currencies are more or less functional, there is little incentive for ordinary people to change. But we can see with the rising popularity of Bitcoin as a hedge against failing fiat, as in Venezuela for example, that people will switch over rapidly to anything which allows them to continue transacting value in a way they feel more or less comfortable with. And Seeds, I would argue, is actually objectively better in many ways than fiat currencies. It’s only the unwillingness to adopt a new currency which keeps its adoption from being much more widespread.

So in a way my pessimism about the legacy economy is my optimism about what we are hoping to continue building here. I don’t know if that entirely covers the tension you are feeling here though.


I think it would be very dangerous to assume that there isn’t a fiat-like, debt-based surveillance-strong, centralised digital economy waiting in the wings for when the current one collapses. But yes, I understand why it is tempting to wait for currency collapse. Still doesn’t ease my tension, though :confused:


I don’t mean wait for currency collapse, I mean maximise adoption now (as much as possible) so that it will have gained sufficient legitimacy for people to see it as a viable alternative to switch over to if/when the time comes.

But I do think that adoption will be relatively limited until that happens. And yes, you’re probably right that Facebook or whatever will step in with their not-really-a-blockchain ‘crypto’ surveillance currency. But my philosophy is, if you can’t win, at least fight until the end. And maybe you actually can win, but either way you know you did your best at least. I can’t offer anything more positive than that I’m afraid.


“I am wondering aloud whether the Renaissance Explorers group even has a purpose. What would the world lose out on if we didn’t exist at all? Stated more positively, what makes Renaissance Explorers invaluable

Such a powerful question!

I think legitimizing Seeds a currency (and gaining adoption) is a VERY valuable need in the movement. However, I’m not convinced that’s the role of RE.

Is approaching this with the rollout of DHO’s for organizations to form - things like our recent partnership with ministry of ag. in Peru to provide DHO to coffee and cacao growers (bringing in a foundation of local food tools to spread much further than Peru and giving people the tools (and many benefits) they need to really get the most benefit out of using SEEDS.

Movement Building
Is approaching this from an on-the-ground helping people use SEEDS - this is the group I see charged with your initial question on focusing on the ONE goal of adoption. I’m less interested in this as I’m already overwhelmed with all the current energy there is to cohere, I see no reason to add more (but, that’s also why I’m not a part of Movement Building :slight_smile: )

Also focused on support for on-the-ground Pilots and support for other organizations to get up and going… I still feel we’re missing a few tools for this to have the most impact. They’re also doing a whole lot more than what I can share here as I’ll likely misrepresent them. So, I’ll leave it here.

Renaissance Explorers
The primary reason I saw a need for this space was ALL about wisdom sharing… Helping more people actually understand how this economic system functions, to stress test the current designs, make changes and eventually get to a game guide that has captured the sufficient wisdom required to truly serve as an alternative economic system for this movement. It’s REALLY in the weeds and details and can feel like it’s not meaningful.

The invaluable contribution that RE is bringing is that of wisdom/understanding of how the system actually works. It’s not good enough that about a dozen or so people actually understand SEEDS enough to make improvements to it… We need there to be more for this to really be “by the people” and decentralised. I think one of the most valuable contributions RE can bring to this space is in creating a process for understanding this Regenerative Civilization - how the finance, governance, economics works - bringing the latest learnings into our protocols and ensuring they’re best serving our aim… Prove that and SEEDS becomes legitimate and adoption will be easy… but, without having a proved economic model - SEEDS is no more interesting than the 100’s of other alternative currencies out there wanting to do good for the world. Where they failed is by focusing more on getting people to use them - opposed to making sure they could really be a systemic solution to our crises…

That, to me, was the purpose of setting up RE. But, as everything in this evolutionary space that purpose is fast evolving and we’re sensing other ways that RE may be able to show up. That’s what so exciting about how this space is held and the DHO model in general, is that groups sense and respond to the wider environment and the purpose and focus of any group can radically shift as we learn and adapt.

I think we can do this RE can be anything we want it to be. Storytellers could focus on distilling the guide to legitimize SEEDS to get adoption going… No reason it can’t and and maybe this is a role you’d like to take on since you’re holding this wisdom/insight. Let’s make it happen. We have the need, we have the resources to cover you… Let’s just do it! What it will require is a plan, a proposal and a path forward.


Hello also from my side.

Thank you very much @Rieki for your post. It helps a lot to understand where all the current activities come from.

Thank you @mbh66 for bringing up the topic and your tension.

First of all I allow myself to state a personal note: I do not feel that quitting SEEDS at this point in time is a wise decision. I am very impressed by the work that has been done so far and by the people that are attracted to this. In my personal live I saw myself leaving groups to avoid looking at my own shadows that came up and wanted to be seen/healed. With the experience I have now I know that the shadows will come back in another form or colour in the next place I am going to.

There are two points I’d like to focus on: In my view @Rieki states rightly that we need to have a proven economic model and @mbh66 rightly addresses that

When looking at the wider SEEDS ecosystem, the central problem is:

How do we reward people who step up before our currency is widely accepted?

My observation in the last years was that powerful ideas, inventions and start ups failed because at some point in time the “need of generating money to pay the bills” became more important and took more time then bringing the idea forward.
I feel that this experience is one of the main reasons why I ansi for having what I called a solid fundament.

Having said this, in my view not all people involved need to work on this task. We need the artists, the creative people the tech people and all the other beautiful skills and tasks, the hearts and the passion. In these days we definitely need more beauty and art and less people that are blocked by the “Money question”

Maybe we need a handful of people who create a blueprint respectively a MVP to prove that we we can create an economic model that connects our (financial) needs outside the SEEDS ecosystem with the energy and good work done so far within SEEDS. In addition we also have the great opportunity to build the bridge to all the money flows and corporate institutions out there that want to invest in regenerative projects. This is based on regulations like the upcoming EU Taxonomy a big window of opportunities for us.

For me the missing link is a “Wisdom Circle” respectively the gate keeper function, that connects the flows and makes sure that the values of the SEEDS ecosystem are protected (keeping our rivers clean). There will be a lot of FIAT money available for regenerative initiatives in the coming years and I personally would love if parts of this flow into the SEEDS ecosystem.

I understand that the Renaissance Explorers were originally brought into the world to focus on the game guide as such.

My observation is, that working on the questions stated above will also help the game guide. But maybe we need an additional space within the Renaissance explorers to work on this and maybe we need to come up with a respective proposal.

@mbh66: what do you think, would it make sense to set up a small group with those who are interested in working together on the tensions you raise?

I would be happy to be part of that group.

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PS: Maybe we need to combine the discussion with the one in Solving the compensation issue for Seedizens

Thank you @Melanie and @Rieki - this immensely valuable discourse is helping me more clearly see my own shadow and it is this: For many years I was deeply entrenched in the corporate world, with all the entrapments that come with ‘dancing with the devil’. I feel a deep sense of unresolved guilt around this part of my life. I hereby publicly commit to working on this shadow.

That said, I also see corporates as the way to create value flow into SEEDS. And this is also my sense of tension:

Rieki then lists a number of initiatives within SEEDS doing ‘stuff,’ none of which makes Seeds appealing to corporates. (We had a call last night with a UK city council and it was uncomfortable to have all the areas highlighted that makes Seeds a non-starter for local councils and corporates).

Melanie mentions “the upcoming EU Taxonomy [as] a big window of opportunities for us.”

In addition to this, COP 26 will be held in Glasgow from Oct 31 to Nov 12:

That’s just over 3 cycles away.

All indications are that major announcements will be made during this event. The announcements will culminate in big business “agreeing” to significant ESG commitments, under the guise of the Paris Agreement.

In reality, this is another ploy by the 0.0001% to grab what is left of the capitalist system, in the form of taxes and fines imposed on companies who don’t “do their bit in the fight against climate change.” (If you need more info on this, I’ve collated a mass of evidence here.)

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill… The real enemy then, is humanity itself.” - Aurelio Peccei, co-founder with Alexander King and first president of the Club of Rome. Quoted in The First Global Revolution, page 75 (1991)

If I’m correct (along with a large body of others who also see the writing on the wall), this is a MASSIVE opportunity to create value flow INTO Seeds, if we can tell a compelling story about how corporates can outsource their onerous ESG commitment to local communities, who are paid in Seeds.

Telling this story is absolutely the role of RE Storytellers, but the story cannot be told without a wider SEEDS commitment to the narrative.

Absolutely, Melanie, and I’m delighted you’d like to be a part of it :pray:

The discussion you mention is part of my tension, because all of those discussions (and I was part of them at one point) refuse to acknowledge the need to create value flow IN. Everyone wants to create value flow OUT, which does not in any way add legitimacy to the currency.

Bitcoin’s legitimacy rocketed because a large number of people speculated by pouring fiat INTO Bitcoin, hoping to make a killing (they did). Seeds, by design, has no similar mechanism. That’s why I absolutely LOVE what is unfolding here. Nothing else like this exists in the world. But without value flowing IN, all this beautiful work will result in another has-been project. We must do everything we can to avoid an outcome of irrelevancy. ESG is the proposed alternative (and arguably more compelling) mechanism to create significant value flow for both SEEDS and corporates.

Bottom line, unless we create value flow IN, Seeds will be a short lived, albeit beautiful, experiment. What I am looking for is others who take this ESG/corporate INflow as seriously as Melanie and I do (Jedi does too, although he has other commitments at present). Anyone else?

And how do we achieve wider SEEDS support of the ESG narrative (without having to “vote on a proposal”)?


I can see a discussion unfolding here that ripples through the fractal structures of the wider ecosystem. It would be wonderful for these tensions to find a beautiful space for questions to be developed and solutions to emerge. I don’t agree with the premise that we need to look how we can be invaluable. A resilient system is only possible when if a part shuts down another part can compensate that and grow further. This is build into nature and the power of fractal structures. Of course we can think and sense about the “why”! Why? Why not? We manifest ourselves in existence as a wave. We might roll back or roll into a next wave. Both outcomes are equally valid. I hereby make myself at service to sense into the core of this more so we can all make sense of it and honor eachothers view points.

@mbh66 @Melanie during our proposal sensing talk yesterday I captured both your requests for slowing down in our movements. I absolutely love the tendency of slowing down without denying the reality of momentum. In the final design of the RE proposal (so we can create the primary flows to reward all of you), I defended to not include part 4 (incubation) at this point. One of the reasonings behind this is creating the space and possibility for the both of you to facilitate sensing and sense making about the incubation part of RE that I still would love to see. I hope I was not too assumptious in my reasonings. I wanna be available to unpack this. I prefer the ability to have a direct conversation.

In honor to All of You


Thanks for this @Daya. I will create time to support the work on part 4 and also feel that the momentum for the other parts should not slow down.

And also thank you for reminding me that everything in nature has a rhythm and it’s time to grow and also to decline again when it has done it’s job. Nothing is forever (and shouldn’t be).


Good point, DaYa - perhaps a better word would have been “relevant.” In a natural ecosystem, species which are no longer relevant to the proper functioning of the entire ecosystem eventually fade away. Either way, SEEDS (the entire ecosystem) is a fractal of another behemoth of a system. My tension lies in ensuring the relevancy of SEEDS, underpinned by Seeds, within this larger ecosystem.

I’m immensely grateful that you see value in continuing the exploration. :pray:

Not at all, I think that slowing down Part 4 is a really valuable outcome, thank you. And I too prefer a direct conversation. Unless anyone else volunteers, I will facilitate this by preparing discussion points over the weekend. Perhaps we can start considering discussion points and a suitable time from Monday 12th.


@mbh66 Michael,
again thank you for sharing your perspectives, for raising your voice and for being an invaluable contribution to the RE and the SEEDS ecocystem as a whole! :pray:t3:

What you state as being “the central problem” in SEEDS is one perspective. Stemming from that, you come up with a super interesting “raison d’être” that -as I said during our Storytelling Session- I would very much get behind…as a different project.
This is not the raison d’être (or the purpose :upside_down_face:) of the Renaissance Explorers, though.

I understand communication around RE hasn’t been awesome lately (we were still aligning in the Core :slight_smile: ) and that the Codex isn’t super developped yet (our first meeting on that is today! :heart: ) but our purpose and mission has been from the beginning:

“To co-learn, inspire, experiment, explore future possibilities, propose and respond to changes within the SEEDS ecosystem. To effectively do this, we must have a deep awareness of the game itself by exploring the depths of this game and learning about it together. Our purpose is to make SEEDS and its Game Guide more accessible for every willing player, by decentralizing wisdom and knowledge.
The most important fruit of this purpose is being of service to the Regenerative Renaissance by having people become stewards who understand how to respond, interact and evolve the game of SEEDS.”

It is very much aligned with @Rieki 's super complete answer which also brings a bit more clarity on different organisms along the SEEDS ecosystem that may be helpful for newer -and older- SEEDS eyes :slight_smile:

Michael, I believe what you see as the central problem right now is an amazing opportunity! You see it and lots of us also do, let’s get together and come up with ways of answering to that! @Melanie proposes some awesome ideas as to how to go about doing it, IMO :pray:t3:

I also agree with @DaYa 's premisse that being or becoming invaluable is not an objective, nor desirable IMO, as the resiliency of the system would be impacted if it were the case.


Thank you for your perspective, Ana, and thank you for quoting from the Codex, specifically this section:

Ironically it is this very sentence which is at the root of my tension. If I may, this is how I interpreted it:

The most important fruit of this purpose is being of service to the Regenerative Renaissance. We do this by having people who understand how to respond to the game played by the rules of the dominant monetary system. With this deep understanding, we interact with and evolve the game of SEEDS. In this way, we align with the wider SEEDS mission, which is to become a more relevant monetary game than the current game.

Here is my core tension: unless we understand what is happening outside of SEEDS, we operate in a bubble. When we are disconnected, we run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Anyway, I am happy that there is a subset of people who recognise the need for this kind of conversation. I sense a reluctance to include the conversations in RE. As our incubation develops, we will hopefully find the correct home for them.

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Thank you Michael for bringing up your tension. I can see your view point clearly and share your core tension. I tried to summarise what I am observing in this thread with an idea for a proposal to take a step back and apply and outside-in view, opposed to an internal process perspective, which I believe speaks to ‘we operate in a bubble’.

In the last outer space gathering the complexity of our challenge showed up several times through various energies. ‘Complexity is sometimes randomness’ - I forgot who said it first but it speaks to me when I think of our mission to drive the Game Guide Evolution. For me this tension is closely aligned with the tension you stated as well with the tension @Melanie shared with us when she said that she feels a foundation is missing. I wholeheartedly agree. :revolving_hearts:

IMO a structural framework is something that could help us going forward. I tried to outline what appeared for me as a first attempt for such a framework. I hope this adds some value to the conversation in one way or another. Go well :green_heart:

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Yes Michael. Just today i was in the Regenerative Pollination call from GRC and i meet with Brian from Climate Foundation and others, was very good… one of my ideas its to connect and gathering many of this organizations be part of this project together, raise names and strong weight to create a great presentation for SEEDS envision to get the Value IN you mention with ESG… its a opportunity for both as im listening you say and i would be glad to help make connections and understanding more to see who and how i can help.


Thank you @mbh66 and everyone for raising these points once more.

I very much agree with

When looking at the wider SEEDS ecosystem, the central problem is:

How do we reward people who step up before our currency is widely accepted?

which is one reason people don’t just do what they feel is needed to be done.
The other seems to be taking on self-sovereignty to drive things without needing approval of others.
Which oddly leads to people trying to implement their own purposes into existing purposes rather then fulfilling it as and on their own initiative.

Which leads me to your great vision @mbh66:
I for one still don’t understand how we as SEEDS can help outsource corporates ESG commitments to local communities. Does that require new things to be implemented into SEEDS? Make Seeds an accepted currency in at least one country?
If SEEDS has already everything from a technical point of view I don’t know how SEEDS can commit to the narrative accept for someone ( e.g. you Michael) creating that narrative and putting it out.
E.g. a Corporate SEEDS Consulting DHO would be great to bring big business to the table.

But I also don’t see that being the main job of RE as a whole… it’s one thing we can do. We can make it an Exploration Group in the RE and who ever feels called to do it can join.
For this it is good to have a clear outline of what this EG is here to do and who is carrying that purpose.

Which brings us back to the first point:
If anyone thinks something needs to be done they can potentially do it. Granted again that the SEEDS ecosystem right now is not very supportive in that but the movements towards splitting the Milestones as well as the RE Campaign Proposal are steps towards empowering people (at least financially) to bring and create what they think to be important for the regenerative movement.

For some that might be the monetary system, for others it might be the social and cultural systems, for others the governance system etc.
Whichever focus one deems most important, the RE hopefully will enable people to also put focus in their action there.

So that it is not RE that is invaluable but each individual feels valuable and we all become valuably redundant parts of the SEEDS Ecosystem.


Hi Michael
Are you talking about the call with Diana, Jedi and myself?