experisland: a transition contest. new myth #16 by willi paul, openmythsource.com

experisland:  a transition contest

new myth #16 by willi paul, openmythsource.com

The experisland web site was black until this morning when technicians waved an electronic wand over it. A contest born on a hit and run island. Something about integrating our pasts with the present – and transitioning to an uncertain future?

experisland is a former military shooting range, a trampled paradise off of the southeastern coast of Vietnam. A dry rusty scape that few care to recall or visit these days. Few animals, except migrating nesting sea turtles and a few real estate agents and lawyers have not hit the beach lately (except virtually).

ARC – a former American socialite and start-up cooker, sits alone with his laptop, GPSing  the weedy landing strip, dormant docks and mutant palm trees in his new territory, visioning a greener nest ground for life.  He wants to ferment a new bio-cultural DNA.

“The listserv is up,” skyped B.B., back at Singapore headquarters.

“Fine,” barked ARC. “I’ll log-in in a sec.”

The ½ page ad in the Times caused just the alche-motion that ARC planned for.

“2,510 hits in 37 seconds, boss.”

“Right on, post the other ads and let me know when we have 35 applicants in each sector.”

The experisland web is now down-snaking across the planet in quick stages, serving up ARC’s contest details to upload a few Vietnamese families, permaculturists, and eco- turistas.

* * * * * * *

ARC’s island includes a mound of 2000 ft mountains as a spine running north – south; a cool, deep fresh water lake; a year round stream powered by semi-hidden falls and a clutch of hot springs. Translated: climate moderators, aquaponics  and tourist vistas. No wait! There is renewable energy, water for man, beast and fields, and a post-modern trans-shipping hub as a toe. ARC divided experisland into four sectors or vision components – and the question is how each community will balance stewardship vs. survival in his dirt turning quest for evolution?

“B.B.:  Put up this data for the contestants please.”

Initial Community Population  / Alt-Economic Assessment per Group


People in Each


Food Producer


Job Openings

Vietnamese Families






Permaculture School & Food Garden

Director + 4 staff




No interns only


Director + 4 staff




Labor only

Port & Air Strip

Manager + 2 staff




Labor only

One of ARC’s preliminary interests in this transition test is how community capacity (48 people) will be maintained in a steady-state economy.  Each sub-group needs to address how they will zero sum waste.

“Ya gotta love the resource politics ahead, boss.”

“Timebank, man? This is not another survivor episode. We have vendors, visitors, babies and turtles to dial-in.”

* * * * * * *

ARC’s next update to the contest site came sooner than expected as the minimum number of applications arrived in two weeks. He then opted to close submissions and begin the dance to co-cohabitation.

His plan is to select the “Island 48” then discuss and adopt a master plan for the contestants online while the basic infrastructure is built. He will stock food and supplies for one year after which the community is required to be self-sufficient – and self-governing. There will be no hard currency allowed on experisland. Permission to stay after the initial one year lease is up is through an evaluation process – augmented by the Islanders themselves – is completed. The evaluation includes his team and outside organizations (TBA).

For those who win the right to live and work on the Island, there is no rent and free health care on the main land for life.

* * * * * * *

The challenge to you, reader,…

is to submit possible outcomes to this contest. There is no “ending.” All applicable comments, scenarios, issues and resources are welcomed and be added to the end of the contest.

About [ open myth source ]

The [open myth source] project gathers conversations, symbols, songs, visual art and stories. Building a house for Myth in the Sustainability Age.
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