My Big Idea is that if we aim to produce a society that creates the best environment for children to grow up, we will also build a stable, sustainable society which protects and is in harmony with the natural environment. My Modern Village. That adult's needs are met in the provision of children's needs.

Key points: (Maslow's triangle for a sustainable community)
Abundance not Scarcity thinking - We are living without fear of deprivation - physical, social/emotional, intellectual, spiritual, cultural. We are assured of a place where we are always welcome and our basic needs are provided for. I believe that adults have a need to serve community, so there is compulsory community service (~10 hr per week) to "pay" for this social security. By being genuinely dedicated to providing for children and other dependents, communities can open people's hearts to make an effort for others. This promotes relationship building and contribution which is needed to build and maintain the social networks that support communities in times of need.

Dunbar's number - A Modern Village needs to have a stable, constant population. There is a limit to the size of an effective community that produces the safety, security, sense of belonging and willingness to contribute needed by children. Somewhere between 100 and 300 people, 15 to 30 families, up to 70 homes. Visitors/transients/interns/new settlers need to be contained and/or supervised so that the children have free range in their community.

Co-housing - That intentional design can grease the wheels of community. That the Modern Village is compact, that private property is simple and essential, that community property is the most efficient provider of food, clothing, laundry, workshop, health(*) and learning facilities and shared use builds the knowledge and relationships that provide for social networks that add richness and complexity to the community. Health professionals (nurse, back-up doctor) available on site at all times. Care for the elderly, disabled, mentally ill and any reprobates is integrated into community functions and planning.

Playcentre - The center of the Modern Village is a dynamic, busy, social, rich learning environment co-operatively managed by the members of the community. That life-long learning is integral and integrated into the fabric of sustainable society as an educated population is needed. Formal education to continue until the curriculum is completed (i.e. all will study until they pass ALL subjects to Level 13 - part-time after 14 years old if wished). Includes fluency in sign language and 2 spoken languages. Compulsory performance 1 hour per week (i.e. involvement in choir, music, drama or dance). All full-time parents have the right to study tertiary studies part-time from home, free and child-care provided. Workshops (wood, metal, textiles, food, electronics/IT, art) are manned by supervisors who can offer training and assistance if needed and who maintain safe practices. Adult learning is compulsory to enable effective educational practices. Teachers have the job of teaching (2 hours per day per child from 8 years old, 6-8 children per class) and the community takes responsibility for education - organising trips, excursions and workshops; involving children in all aspects of the community functions; child portfolios maintained by the child's team (3 primary caregivers, the teacher and health professional) and shared with the community. Consensus decisions making. Inclusive practice. Uphold International rights of the child.

Permaculture - At least 80% of material needs of the Modern Village are provided locally through integrated design and practices. Wastes are managed onsite. Work within the community and local trade is recorded through a Community currency.

Catchment/regional involvement - Ecosystems that span communities are managed jointly. All communities which influence a river catchment are obliged to be involved in its management. Security, emergency services and transportation systems should be co-ordinated and well-maintained through regional efforts. Regional assets such as hospitals and seed banks should be managed jointly. Regional markets, competitive sports, specialist interest groups and shared celebrations need regional facilities. There is no "public" land: all land has a management authority (community or regional group) with clearly defined responsibilities and management plan. Some may allow public access but there is no right to access land; only a right to access community.

Domestic economy - abolish social services provided to the individual. ALL social services should be community based - this is the reality of the human psyche, our problems are never our own. This is far more effective - there is no unemployment in a community, the disabled and elderly can be effectively employed according to their needs and abilities; the community provides healthy food, social interaction, advocacy and a drug-free environment that exercises mind and body. Reprobates should be worked with to find a contribution they are willing to make. It is not compulsory to belong to a community but there is no financial support for those who aren't. Communities don't have to feed those who don't want to contribute. Direct relationships discourage free-loading and theft; fraud is reduced by strict rules of contribution and belonging - 6 weeks probation restricted to public spaces; 6 month supervision before application for membership is allowed. Only members may be on a child's team (unless a parent), be involved with financial matters, vote etc.

(*) The possibilities for health facilities are endless: Sick/quarantine room; pharmacy; massage/physiotherapy; birthing room; Turkish baths; swimming pool; gym; sports fields; surgery/dental clinic; medical lab; defibrillator; nebuliser; helicopter for emergency evac; and all accompanying equipment and training. The basic premise of sustainability is that the community stays within its means and relies primarily on local renewable resources. Education is the other endless use of time, energy and resources but is primarily an investment that increases a local resource (knowledge) and the resilience of a community and therefore is a higher priority. Maintaining good health should be a minimal cost for most people in an environment that is active, safe and informed; health costs increase with age and poor individual decisions so a community will get a better return investing in a healthy environment than in providing for their ill health. Keeping the focus on our children, maintaining a swimming pool and sports grounds would have a higher priority over gym equipment as physical education and learning to swim are part of the curriculum but gym equipment is designed for adults. Turkish baths are more energy and water efficient than private baths and provide opportunities for social networking so could be justified on other grounds than the health benefits they provide. Similarly, a lot of exercise can be done with side benefits which cover the costs e.g. wood chopping, baby walking, digging in the garden.