Dev Blog 6 - Practices Supporting People; it isn’t just about employment!

 //This Dev Blog was originally posted as an update on the Earth Rising Kickstarter on September 6th, 2021//

A crucial part of success in Earth Rising, and indeed to our real world sustainability goals, is reducing poverty. There’s a lot of different ways we can do this in the real world (the most effective and vital being wealth redistribution) but a very common misconception is about the way Earth Rising represents how Social Practices support people within its sustainable borders.

A meeple held between two fingers

What’s the purpose of our Practices?

When we look at the essential parts of what makes our society work, we have to ask ourselves, why is it vital? Such questions have been raised much more often in light of the recent pandemic, which saw certain professions labelled as “key workers”, many of which turned out to be low salaried positions.

If such vital work isn’t valued, why is it that we need it?

While this isn’t the place to argue whether salaries should be raised for professions of societal importance, the fact is that these Practices provide value in ways beyond the fiscal. 

Agricultural Practices provide food, and support our people through a varied and healthy diet. Infrastructure Practices provide high quality homes, drinkable and usable water to those homes, or reliable access to energy, internet, healthcare and roadways. Energy Practices produce stable and reliable quantities of power, both for homes and businesses, while Political Practices allow our government to function and ensure oversight over these means of production and distribution.

Rather than go through all of them, I’d like to encourage everyone to take time to look over the Earth Rising Practices, either while playing or through the information booklet, and consider how each of these sectors, and the Practices within them, provided an essential and necessary service more important than the financial return of their production. 

Gif of two meeple placed into an expanded society

During a game of Earth Rising, every one of these Practices placed upon the board provides support for two people within the circles. Most people are a little hazy on what exactly it is that each Practice is providing to the two people it supports, and the answer most come to is “employment”.

Money is, after all, the classical and most direct form of support a person can receive!

Yet, the concept of people being supported by their jobs first and foremost, and access to employment being the primary means of support for people in real life, is fast becoming an out-dated concept. 

With the rise of automation, more efficient work systems, along with cheaper and faster methods of producing goods, less people are required to work the jobs they used to. Whether or not it’s a good thing ultimately depends on whether people have access to other means of support.

Diversity, as ever, is the key to success!

The truth is, however, that the meeple figures used in Earth Rising are representative of a portion of our society’s populace. As such, it isn’t that they’re receiving direct benefits from the singular Practice supporting them, but that they are gaining benefits from ALL the Practices on the board, all at once! 

The countries in real life that provide the highest quality of life all have robust social support networks to ensure that nobody is short on life’s necessities, regardless of whether they’re in employment or not.

People on the Earth Rising prototype board

Just like in real life, it doesn’t matter much if you’re working at a supermarket or at a hospital, either way you still need both food and medical care! In much the same way, Practices and the support they give aren’t a direct provision of that single thing to those specific individuals. Instead, they increase the amount of people able to be sustainably provided for across the board, regardless of their source of financial support. 

We keep the support those Practices provide within their sector borders to allow for an easier means of keeping track of how many People your society can support, and better representing that sector’s “contribution” to the overall support for your society’s populace.

A hand holding three meeple

A sustainable society is able to provide all its citizens with everything they need from a diverse range of sources, all within the boundaries of what our planet can accommodate.

Can you accomplish this, within twenty years?

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or read on in Dev Blog 7 - The Activist; Making Change One Protest at a Time!

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