Jan. 21, 1996; p. 1-2C


by Carol B. Cole

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES - Imagine working 16 hours a week and retiring at 45.

Can you envision a society In which people el\loy equal educational opportunities, pursue constructive endeavors without economic pressures and live in a crime-free setting?

How about being a shareholder in a global bank that puts a monetary value on natural resources? Existing technologies and· knowledge make these concepts viable today, according to speakers at a conference Saturday. ln fact, they said, new approaches are essential to address today's economic, social and environmental problems.

"Transitions '96: Exploring Positive Alternatives for the Future" was the first national conference of Future By Design, a nonprofit organization based in Commerce, Mich.

The seminar brought together futurists who not only gave their visions of tomorrow but warned there would have to be radical changes in society.

Industrial designer Jacque Fresco said The Venus Project, his 25-acre prototype of a future living environment in South Florida, isn't really about sleek buildings and computers.

"If the society doesn't raise the quality of human beings, to hell with it," he said. "It's just so much junk."

Fresco and other speakers said money has been used as a control device that has created serious inequalities leading to frustration and crime.

As antidotes, Fresco proposed adopting a resource-based economy, instilling values through education and encouraging constructive dialogue.

It makes little sense to try to communicate with extra-terrestrials when Democrats and Republicans haven't mastered the art, he said.

"Is there intelligent life on Earth? Of course not – yet," Fresco said.  . . .