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April, 2010 update on E2M Developments

April 10, 2010

One of the rules of blogging is to be consistent in posting, have a number of posts written in advance, and stay active. I have broken all these rules as is evident; thus an update is in order.

During the past year and a quarter, our focus has been to finalize all of the elements of the E2M infrastructure in a manner that enables them to be replicated anywhere in the country very quickly. We have finalized all of the policies and procedures necessary to enable any group to form, incorporate, and operate an E2M Regional Council. This information will be posted on the website in due time.

E2M.org has applied for and been granted 501 (c)(3) non-profit status by the IRS and  may now act as a fiscal agent to any organization interested in forming an E2M Economic Community in their region.  Acting as your fiscal agent, we enable your organization to realize the same benefits as a federally recognized charitable organization. This means that your organization can operate without paying income taxes and can accept donations that can be recorded as charitable donations for Federal tax purposes by your donors.

We have also defined a vision for an industrial manufacturing base on which the new sustainable economy can be built. This base will be disclosed in detail during the next few months, but it can be described as a system to create renewable fuels that can be used to power indoor Cityfarms that can grow nutrient dense, organic foods in highly controlled indoor environments in inner city buildings employing inner city residents at living wages with benefits and profit sharing. The fuels will be created using feedstocks of waste agricultural biomass, municipal paper wastes, and other waste streams. Outputs will be gaseous and liquid fuels as well as biochar. These will be carbon negative industrial biofuel manufacturing facilities.

The associated food growing facilities will pay from $16 to $20 per hour to local employees and youth as young as 13 years old. Crops will be grown in soils rather than hydroponic chemical soups and will enable the production of significant amounts of organic, nutrient dense crops available at prices similar to non-organic crops. The final partnering companies in this venture have been identified and will soon begin operations. Each of these renewable biofuel production facilities and Cityfarms will produce sales income in the several millions of dollars and will serve as seed businesses upon which regional E2M Communities can grow.

We have also determined that E2M’s future cannot be focused exclusively here in Western Massachusetts. Although WMass was the best place to plant the seeds, the real economic pain being experienced is outside of this Valley in areas being much more disrupted by the current economic system.

Here in the Valley we have an atypical economy supported by more than 50,000 students paying from $20,000 to $60,000 and more per year for educations at more than 20 local colleges and universities. Considering that 60% of this billion dollar cash flow is spent as wages to professors and workers at these schools and is spent locally, we are not experiencing the types of disruptions you see in Flint or Pontiac, Michigan or other rural and urban regions in the heartlands of America. Complacency is not the substance that provides the most fertile soil for the growth of E2M. Pain, suffering, loss of homes, job losses, and fear of an unknown future are economic characteristics that are much more conducive to change and action that will drive people to take the steps necessary to finally say “Enough is enough” and consider starting a new system that works for them.

That being said, it is important to get the E2M message out beyond Western Mass; thus I decided to write a book that can be more widely distributed to areas with more spiritually inclined communities that have the power to move mountains. That book is now written, is in final editing, and will be released within months.

Although we are expanding our efforts beyond Western Mass, we have been growing our local sales of E2M Community Coffee, have been working to develop an E2M ice cream, and have assisted in the formation and growth of other local E2M affiliated companies in the Western Mass region.

Thus, this past period of silence has not been one of inactivity. Much is happening and you will soon see the results in our local region, in areas beyond our horizon, and in your ability to start an E2M Economic Community in your own region.

Finally in the midst of much positive effort and work, I am sorry to inform you of the passing of one of the most dedicated, intelligent, and caring individuals to embrace the E2M mission and to grace our Board of Directors. Professor Julie Graham, a world renown geographer and economist unexpected passed away on Sunday, April 4. There were few like her and she will be sorely missed as we move along and take advantage of her contributions to the E2M mission for a more sustainable and just economy.

How E2M was born

December 25, 2008

My 40 year history as an inventor enabled me to earn nine worldwide patents on advanced light emitting technologies, associated solid state power supplies, as well as other technologies.  During the mid 80’s I invented and patented the precursor to today’s compact fluorescent light bulbs, 3/8th inch thick glass plates of light that could last 50 years. However, these could not compete with cheaper fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs so instead of creating glass plates where the full face glowed, I incorporated graphics into the technology to create plates of glowing images. The technology, Plateglass Neon was acclaimed by the world’s most respected sign journal as the most significant advance in the fabrication of neon signs since they were first invented by Georges Claude in Paris in 1912.  During the mid 80’s and 90’s, my company, Neon Technology, sold these around the world to major corporations in partnership, during some of that time, with the Japanese company ITOCHU , listed in 1992 as the world’s largest company.  When the Asian economy collapsed in 1998 to 1999, my partnership with ITOCHU was impacted because of the effect of the collapse on them. They could no longer spend time on tangential technologies and returned to their core business. My company could not find investors to replace the financial backing we had with ITOCHU because no one was investing in manufacturers in 1999, they were all drawn into the dot com frenzy. So we spent a year trying to bootstrap oiur way through the problem and finally concluded, along with many of my advisers and employees, that we could not go on.  After acquiring all of my employees jobs at a friend’s newly formed company, we closed the doors of Neon Technology. Thus no one lost a job — except me.

On Monday, August 30, 1999 at 12 noon, I turned the keys of the Neon Technology factory over to my banker, as is standard when liquidating a property with lienholders, took one last walk around the factory, then walked out the door for the last time.  As I was walking down the hall, is remember thinking  “God, I never want to invent another object, I want to invent an idea. No more weight, mass, freight or factories. I want an idea, something that can travel around the world in an instant.” I left the request open ended.

During the next five months I experienced what I have referred to as a “fog” composed of flashes of inspiration, a flurry of philosophical fragments, hints and hunches – all dancing within my mind. This “fog” finally coalesced into a vision of something astounding to me. I then began to understood it. It all made sense to me. The idea was a sustainable economic system and network that could embrace the planet, help to eliminate poverty, counterbalance inequities of wealth, reduce consumption, begin to heal the environment, help throttle back the current economic paradigm which has an insatiable appetite for profits and growth, and create a sustainable society where communities were as powerful as corporations and people were more valued than profits. That process was documented in my writings from the very first day I put the pen to the paper on January 1, 2000 at 11AM in the studio building at my home. That is how E2M was born. That is why I say E2M was not my idea. I found it. It is a gift to be passed on. I hope you like it.

Michael Garjian

E2M Plenary Talk – Pioneer Valley Relocalization Conference

October 12, 2007

This talk was presented by e2m.org founder Michael Garjian at a conference on relocalization sponsored by the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities on September 30, 2007 in Northampton, Massachusetts. It describes how one root cause creates so many other problems in today’s world and lays out a vision of what a society could look like upon eliminating the root cause.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2104309346408346908