We will build an ad-free, non-profit website revolving around food and media. In this “virtual village” people will share their personal reviews and collections with friends. A visually inviting site (that feels more like a place than a page) will be refreshingly clean of political and commercial postings. Using visual 4-element review systems and intuitive shopping cart search features will personalize our relationship to movies, news, music, books and games on one side; and recipes, menus, pantries, cooking circles and restaurants on the other.
Links to access content will generate income. The website and app will also invite small donations, which will build an endowment for a new foundation called Equilibria. Similar to Y Combinator’s success supporting startups, the Equilibria Foundation will do the same for new non-profit sustainable villages and further the cause of making a guaranteed basic income...a right for all.
Coming from cities with no experience in construction or agriculture, we designed and built Ionia. This income-sharing sustainable village has successfully supported a family-oriented way of life for the last 32 years. By exploring, basic income, shared resources, diet and sustainable governing we thrived. Navigating the world of non-profit grant writing, we successfully partnered with private foundations, USDA and the State of Alaska on countless projects. On 200 acres of wild spruce forest in Alaska we built, by hand, 10 log homes, a bustling 12,000 sq. ft. log community center, extensive organic gardens and our barn/activities center - the largest natural building (clay/straw, post and beam) structure in North America. The University of Alaska conducted a three-year study on Ionia and as a result our approach became a “best practice” in the State. We are well versed in taking on projects outside of what is safe or familiar and go wherever practical passion leads.
The website is similar to Pintrest but with better social filters, layouts and a ratings system that improves on sites like: Yelp, Allmusic, IMDP and Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a non-profit, like Wiki, but with friends’, reviews, collections and content links. This is an ad-free nexus point in-between social sites like Facebook or Twitter, information sites like Wikipedia, and content provider sites like Netflix (movies), CNN (news), iTunes (music), Barnes & Noble (books) and games on the media side and Whole Foods (pantries) and restaurants on the food side. Ideally, convenient links and associations with these content providers will cover most of the website’s overhead.
On the web, you can search and find anything, but there is no reliable way to know if it is something you can trust or believe. Knowing what everyone thinks is not actually that useful. The Internet is too big and lacks context. People now often feel manipulated and distrustful of algorithms, commercially driven search results and “the people who liked this, also liked” methods of leading us to the next thing. It makes us feel lonely. In contrast, on this new site you can create custom groups of friends who you trust, and thus filter subjects you care about through your groups (“my documentary group” or “my weight loss group”). Social media tends to silo our view of the world and create disturbing echo chambers (see the current state of online politics). Our site introduces a human element in a clean format, because it’s limited to personal collections and ratings systems only. People will flock to the site who want to connect to each other but suffer from commercial information overload. Here they will find company on common ground.
Sharing a love of food is a primary way to gather with friends, and the foodie in all of us will find a home here. What we read, watch, and listen is nourishing to our thoughts. What we choose to share sustains our relationships to friends, our chosen village. In this virtual park, we will discover a shared humanity – even with people we didn't think we had anything in common with; and be nourished by new trusted suggestions and ideas.
- Dynamic four-element visual ratings systems that are, at a glance, easy to interpret…1-nourishing (healthy and educational), 2-entertaining (fun and delicious), 3-repeatable (re-watchable) and 4-quality (well made). This allows users to communicate quickly and meaningfully what they liked about an album, movie, recipe or restaurant. It also allows users to learn more about themselves - that they only watch movies which others rated as more “entertaining” but not as “nourishing” for example; or that they usually eat foods which are more healthy but not very fun.
- Intuitive “shopping cart” searches with the ability to add customized human layers. (“Which restaurants do the members of my kayaking group recommend” or “which book about Islam do my sisters think is most readable?”)
- Drag, drop and swipe features to easily create collections of content that can be viewed by friends (“my favorite Chinese restaurant choices”, “books that make me cry”.)
- Links to easy purchasing of ingredients for all pantry needs; as well as links to media providers for easy access to viewing, or simple access and organization of media stored on your own HD or cloud
- Comprehensive platform for critics, chefs, celebrities, journalists or anyone who has a sizable following to quickly share their work or the works of others that they admire/enjoy...their collections and reviews allowing anyone who is interested in them to learn more.
- A place to join or create cooking circles for people to coordinate and enjoy home cooking.
The Equilibria Foundation
The Equilibria Foundation
The Equilibria Foundation
The Equilibria Foundation
There is a primal connection between food and media and these two forces like yin and yang, male and female, heaven and earth, define and nurture each other. From the dawn of man’s earliest beginnings, the day was spent gathering food and bringing it to the fire; then, at night we shared our stories around that same fire. The journey of our food affected the ideas and news we shared, which, in turn, then influenced the next day’s activities. Our bodies are sustained by the foods we choose, and simultaneously the media we choose sustains our understanding and imagination. We are confident that gathering around food and the stories we tell (media) in this commercial free virtual public park that all will enjoy...is going work. However, we have little domain expertise in building a website of this scale.
The relevance of connecting food and thought is the cornerstone of our success at Ionia for 32 years. This is why we chose this idea to transition from a grant-receiving organization to a grant-giving foundation and grow our current endowment to its humble completion. We have been lucky and it’s time to pay it forward.
“It takes a village to raise a child”. This common sense phrase leads ones imagination to the intuition that many of the seemingly unsolvable paradoxes of modern life can be worked through by re-inventing the village. This website-virtual village will support creating real living villages. Donating to a non-profit cause that inspires you is appealing and preferable in exchange for services we care about. These small user donations will fund an endowment that will further the cause to make a guaranteed basic income a right for all. Additionally, support the founding of new non-profit sustainable villages. Realizing this is the primary dream of the Equilibria Foundation.