Ectopia

Whitepaper

By Hilal Agil

This paper outlines plans for a decentralized, self-sustainable ecosystem that aims to create secure, sustainable and inclusive habitats.

Problem

Climate Crisis

90% of the world’s largest cities are situated on the waterfront. By 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face projected sea level rise by at least 0.5 meters.1 By 2030, a projected 27% of people worldwide will be concentrated in cities with at least 1 million inhabitants.2

Access to Natural Resources

2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services.4

Socioeconomic Inequality

1 billion people lack proof of identity. There are over 1.7 billion people globally who are unbanked or underserved with respect to financial services.3 Income inequality continues to be on the rise in many countries around the world, the richest 1% now hold a larger percentage of national income than ever before.

Opportunity

  • Countries that are threatened by the climate crisis should have an accessible way to rebuild and preserve their habitats while maintaining their cultural heritage. The habitats of the future should be climate-positive.
  • Innovative models and technology exists to design new sustainable ecosystems, financial systems, societies and create equal economic opportunities for everybody.
  • People have a right to protect their privacy and access information freely. People have lost trust in centralized forms of governance and corporate monopoly.

Introducing Ectopia

We need an ecosystem that can deliver on the promise of circular economies, decentralization and financial independence.

Advances in technology and new innovative models have made it practical to explore new approaches for infrastructure design, circular economies, new societal designs, innovative financial systems, secure digital networks to help the transition towards a more sustainable future and create new economic opportunities for everybody. Academic institutions, non-profit organizations, teams, and individuals around the world are passionately working towards achieving these goals. I believe that integrating these concepts into one ecosystem can accelerate the transition to the sustainable future we are all working towards.

Building new sustainable ecosystems should be simpler and more accessible. Ectopic framework will be made freely available for designing and building innovative ecosystems, societies, and economies to lower the barriers to access for everybody and promote innovation.

The initial design proposed for the ecosystem may sound like a project aimed for the premium market. And the question would be how that can solve the challenges being described here. Research and Development is expensive when it comes to the initial development of new technologies and models.

By targeting the high end market, the project will be attractive to investors who are prepared to pay a premium to gain access to new and innovative solutions. Designing more affordable scalable models of these components will be possible once the first models are designed and tested successfully.

The plan:

  • Design a sustainable ecosystem built around cutting edge technology.
  • Use those learnings to design more scaled down and affordable ecosystems.
  • Design even more affordable and stripped down ecosystems.

Ectopia is made up of eight parts that works together as a framework to create sustainable and inclusive ecosystems:

  1. It has a stable, independent, circular economic model.
  2. It is built around a secure, decentralized blockchain based digital ecosystem.
  3. It has a societal design with a flat social hierarchy that guarantees equality for all.
  4. It has a modular and scalable infrastructure design.
  5. It can generate clean and renewable energy.
  6. It can produce unlimited fresh water and food in any environment.
  7. It uses design materials produced from waste for manufacturing.
  8. It uses zero emission, shared autonomous transportation systems.

Ectopic Labs

Independent R&D hubs called Ectopic Labs will be setup globally with the mission to do research and development to achieve the Ectopic vision and to promote sustainability and inclusion. Ectopic Labs will collaborate with researchers, academic institutions and organizations working on solutions that contribute to the research and development of Ectopia’s components to accelerate the development of the ecosystem and foster innovation.

For these partners, the lab provides them with a unique environment to access resources that makes it easier for them to solve problems and identify opportunities in a real-world setting. Through a combination of research, prototyping and trial and error, the lab will aim to be a global hub for testing potential solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Administrative Structure

The ecosystem is designed to be setup under an existing governing structure, an autonomous community, city or even as a sovereign state.

Advisory Boards

Independent advisory bodies which consists of experts, partners, multilateral organizations, and academic institutions.

Founders

Parties that invest in building Ectopic ecosystems. Governments, financial institutions, individuals, nonprofit and multilateral organizations or the combination of two or more of these parties could serve as founders.

Partners

Intergovernmental organizations, governments, financial institutions.

The Board

The Board will be an oversight body of the State that represents the Founders and Partners, to provide operational support for the State.

State

The governing body for each of the Ectopic ecosystems which is comprised of representatives from each of the cities and an observer from the Board.

City

A council comprised of representatives from the neighborhoods that provides operational support at city level. Operational and policy decisions of the council require various voting limitations depending on the importance of the decision that is being made.

Neighborhood

A council comprised of representatives from the community members that provides operational support for the neighborhood.

Tocen

A financial system built around a digital currency called Ectocen. Ectocen currency will be linked to decentralized economies that uses a complementary currency called Tocens that are backed by reserves called Vaults. The Vault will be administered by a Board that consists of Founders of the State. An independent not-for-profit organization called the Tocen Assembly will be setup to oversee the Ectocen currency.

Ectocen Currency

Ectocen will be an independent digital currency backed by the Ectopic economies. Ectocen’s value will be linked to the decentralized portfolio of Ectopic economies. Ectocen will aim to solve the inefficiencies associated with current financial systems by making it cheaper, faster and secure to transmit funds across borders. Tocen and Ectocen currencies will use a digital wallets called Crates.

Tocen Assembly

An oversight body for the Ectocen currency that consists of experts and representatives from internationally recognized bodies and Ectopic States. The Ectocen Assembly will coordinate with relevant international organizations, central banks and standard-setting bodies to minimize risks and integrate the Ectocen currency into existing financial frameworks.

The Vault

The Vault's initial reserve will be made up of commitments made by the Founders and Residents. These commitments will be in the form of fiat money or exchange-traded commodities like precious metals. Founders will be paid out by the State to cover their investments. Residents will receive incentives in Ectocen currency for their contributions to the economy. Residents will not be able to directly interact with the Vault. Representatives authorized by the Board will be the only entities that can transact large amounts from the Vault. The Vault will invest in assets that can generate interest over time. The revenue from this interest will be used to support the operating expenses of the State, invest in the Tocen global economy, growth, research and development of Ectopic ecosystems, grants to nonprofits and academic institutions, etc.

Tocens

A complementary currency used within Ectopic States that will be used to trade locally. The value of Tocens will be linked to fiat currencies or a portfolio of assets linked to the Vault to maintain a stable value. Each State will have their own version of Tocens backed by the Vault. There has to be a purchase that is equivalent in fiat money or exchange-traded commodities and transfer those to the Vault for new Tocens to be created. The value of Tocens may fluctuate as the value of the underlying assets shift.

Singularity

A decentralized and secure digital ecosystem that is built on Blockchain. A universally accessible, self-sovereign identity called the Singular Identity will be used to let people be in control of their identities and information.

Decentralized Computing Network

The Singularity will make up the backbone of Ectopic digital ecosystems. The system will use a decentralized computing network as an alternative to traditional cloud computing. Singularity will be designed to be more secure and private compared with the systems that are in use today. The architecture will be highly scalable and support a decentralized storage system that uses blockchain technology. The system will provide users with access to a private internet-like network that has its own app ecosystem.

Singular Key

A cryptographically secured universal authentication system used to access the Singularity and other resources within the Ectopic ecosystem. A unique pattern will be created for each resident that allows simple and secure authentication to access the systems. The Singular Key uses a two-step verification process for authentication, removing the need for separate authentication for each application as well as the security limitations associated with password-based logins.

Singular Identity

A self-sovereign verifiable digital identity created on the Blockchain and managed by the Singularity system. The system will be designed to let anybody digitize their existing identities like passports, drivers license, and other credentials into a single secure and portable identity.

An Immersive User Interface

Singularity will use a whole new kind of user interface that leverages Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality technologies to give the user a fully immersive experience.

Singularity will aim to be:

  • An opensource, independent, secure, decentralized blockchain based system.
  • Able to scale without limitations, have low latency and support high-capacity storage.
  • Able to protect the ecosystem from cyber attacks.
  • Enable the secure administration of the Ectopic governance policies, Tocen digital currency systems, transportation networks, robotics networks, energy generation systems and community resources.

Life

A new kind of society designed around a reputation system that uses a flat social hierarchy that guarantees food, shelter and equality for all. Innovative models will be used for healthcare, education and to preserve cultural heritage.

Reputation System

A system that will be used to calculate the social and economic contributions to the community by Residents. This system will enable Residents to maintain a social status within the community.

Livability

Shared spaces and amenities will increase human interaction and promote a sense of belonging. Artificial beaches and lagoons will be designed and engineered to improve livability, raising the happiness index.

Healthcare

The healthcare system will use more personalized and accessible methods and will make the services available to each Resident of the community. Innovative healthcare models like precision medicine in combination with robotics and artificial intelligence will be practiced for more efficiency.

Education

Project Based Learning will be the main education system. The classrooms will use more interactive methods that makes use of Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality technologies. More focus on teamwork and portfolio assignments will be encouraged. The curriculum will be streamlined with gamified environments to let students apply their knowledge in a real-world like setting and gain points that would convert into grades. Access to education will be available to all Residents of the community.

Culture and Historical Heritage

Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality technologies will be used to reimagine arts, recreation, entertainment, to preserve and celebrate cultural heritage. Designated areas for city and town squares for social gatherings will promote a social culture.

Hive

A lego-like modular design framework that can be used to design infrastructures for communities, cities and states. The framework will use sustainable building materials and can be built on both land and water.

Modular Design

A Modular Design Framework that consists of structures that can be laid out in any formation that can be scaled without limitations. The designs will use off site prefabrication, standardizing the design components to make it universally adaptable. Attention will be given to reducing building energy consumption when these structures are produced.

Resilient Engineering

The framework will be engineered to allow it to be constructed in both water and on land. The structures will combine urban engineering and bioengineering techniques to be resilient from natural disasters. The infrastructure will use sensors and cameras to monitor the environments to improve the quality of life of both the infrastructure and the residents. Use of new 2D materials in combination with cutting-edge technology will be explored when designing building materials to gain more practical and innovative use of the infrastructure.

Social and Environmentally Conscious Design

The neighborhoods will be designed for accessibility with low-rise structures that allow natural light and airflow. Neighborhoods will not exceed more than 150 residents and will have designated areas for social, business and mixed-use within close proximity for more residential efficiency.

Sustainable Materials

Sustainable building materials will be used as much as possible while relying on new 2D materials to explore innovative methods to gain a higher quality of resilience and livability.

Smart Housing Units

Housing units will be constructed off site. Multiple design options will be available to provide options for size and functionality of these units. For smaller units, robotic furniture will be used for maximum use of the space.

Grid

A decentralized power generation system that uses microgrids to produce energy from renewable resources like sunlight, wind, tides and waves. The network will use an open design to help share and track energy usage globally.

Renewable Energy

Energy will be produced from renewable resources like sunlight, wind, tides and waves. Additional methods like processing or treating waste to generate electricity and/or heat or as a fuel source will be explored.

Microgrids

Decentralized microgrids will make up the power systems of Ectopia. Open source software will be used to access more cost effective, efficient, sustainable, and distributed energy resources. Energy usage information from the ecosystem will be shared anonymously with open systems operating globally to help keep track of energy usage around the world.

Farm

A farming system that uses urban farming technologies like Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Aquaponics. The system will be computerized and automated using Artificial Intelligence. Farm can produce year-round harvest in any environment.

Nature reserves will be designed to preserve and restore forestry, wetlands, wildlife and marine life.5

Hydroponics

The process of growing plants without using soil, which might sound counterintuitive to anyone unfamiliar with the practice. Plants are rooted into a variety of compounds, including vermiculite, rockwool, or clay pellets – inert substances that won’t introduce any elements into the plant’s environment. Nutrient-enriched water then feeds the plant.5

Aeroponics

The process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil. Aaeroponic systems provide the right amount of water and nutrients, with temperature and humidity constantly fine-tuned, so that each crop has the perfect growing conditions.6

Aquaponics

Refers to systems that combine aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. Fish waste fertilizes the plants, which clean and filter the water before it goes back into the planters; excess drips into the fish tanks.7

Factory

A sustainable manufacturing engineering framework that relies on zero waste systems. Everything from infrastrctures, furniture, clothing to household objects will be designed from sustainable materials.

Zero Waste Systems

Robotics and AI will be used to sort waste collected from households and from the rest of the ecosystem. The process will be fully automated.

Sustainable Materials

Sustainable Design Materials will be used for manufacturing and construction. Design and alternative materials will be produced using recycled plastics, metals, glass, and biowaste.

Experimental Materials

Nanotechnology and 2D Materials will be testing and used to design next generation smart manufacturing and construction materials.

Engine

A transportation network connected by zero emission, shared and autonomous systems. From regional high speed train systems capable of reaching 1200 miles an hour to local commuting with passenger drones, cargo drones, shuttles to scooters.

Mobility

All transportation units will be powered using clean energy. Point-to-point transit systems will use self-driving technologies and digital navigation. Shared transportation systems like passenger drones, shuttles, train systems, will be used for convenience and improved safety.

Cargo transportation will rely on non-invasive methods like cargo drones and underground hyperloop systems.

Next steps

  • Setup the first Ectopic Lab.
  • Identify partners and establish a Social Impact Advisory Board.
  • Identify partners and establish an Economic Advisory Board.
  • Launch the Tocen Association.
  • Develop a framework to coordinate with the open source community for developing the Tocen systems, gather feedback and develop a prototype.

Get involved

We are just getting started, and we are expecting the community to help us achieve this ambitious vision. If you believe in the Ectopic vision could solve some of the most challenging problems faced by humanity and our planet today, please join in. Your contribution will make a difference.

Conclusion

We are on a mission to design sustainable ecosystems, more inclusive socioeconomic systems and secure digital networks. We understand that we will be faced with challenges --- coming together as a community will help us to make this dream a reality. We hope you’ll join us.

1 C40 Cities: https://www.c40.org/other/the-future-we-don-t-want-staying-afloat-the-urban-response-to-sea-level-rise

2 United Nations: https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/urbanization/the_worlds_cities_in_2016_data_booklet.pdf

3 World Economic Forum: https://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/global-identification-challenge-who-are-1-billion-people-without-proof-identity

4 World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/18-06-2019-1-in-3-people-globally-do-not-have-access-to-safe-drinking-water-unicef-who

5 World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/hydroponics-future-of-farming/

6 World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/09/vertical-farming-agriculture-aerofarms/

7 Futurism https://futurism.com/urban-farming-future-agriculture

8 Nanyang Technological University: https://blogs.ntu.edu.sg/hp331-2014-30/?page _id=18