Individual Stewardship

3 min read

All participants succeed through their own ingenuity, hard work, and efficient operations.

Most human economic systems have overemphasized either communalism or individualism at too large or too small of a scale. However, an economy can’t be sustainable or scalable unless community capitalism and individual stewardship are balanced together in the right proportions and at the right scale of 75,000 to 100,000 participants.

In NewVistas, individual participants are considered stewards. The word stewardship means “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”[1] Stewardship doesn’t just mean taking a share of the pot; it means taking personal responsibility for community assets in the form of a lease or business loan.

A NewVistas community’s goal is to help all participants multiply their individual-contractor or business stewardships by as much as a hundredfold. All participants succeed through their own ingenuity, hard work, and efficient operations.

The word stewardship means “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”

A NewVistas community uses the leveraged capital of its participants to acquire and develop land, buildings, intellectual assets, and equipment. The community entrusts management of business resources to individual participants, who act as stewards in the roles of individual contractors and business owners:

  • Individual contractors—Most NewVistas community participants work as individual contractors, providing services or goods to one or more businesses and/or individuals. [2]
  • VistaBiz owners—Some participants become entrepreneurs, risking at least some of their invested community capital to launch a “VistaBiz,” defined as any business requiring five or more contractors and/or loans from the community’s venture bank. [3]

NewVistas places limits on businesses hiring contractors because, when a VistaBiz gets larger than 50 contractors, additional layers of management and overhead become necessary and the VistaBiz’s flexibility and efficiency decrease.[4] An oversized organization can’t effectively make operational decisions on a localized basis.[5]

Limiting contractors also helps ensure that opportunities for owning businesses are spread throughout a community, rather than monopolized by a few individuals.[6] Larger outside companies can participate in the community by breaking up their operations into several small VistaBizzes owned by NewVistas participants or into contracts with one or more VistaBizzes.

In addition to participating as contractors or as VistaBiz owners, all individual stewards fulfill the following stewardship responsibilities to the community:

  • Help protect and care for community resources
  • Assign to the community all their intellectual assets[7]
  • Consider reinvesting part or all of their surplus funds into the community, on which they receive a 12% dividend[8]
  • Act as mentors to help each other improve
  • Rotate through responsibilities of community public service
  • Allow community monitoring of their personal environmental footprint.[9]

  2. Contractors lease their own tools, software, and workstations. They set their own rates, control their own work schedules, and can subcontract work to other individual contractors. Contractors cover all startup business expenses through their personal savings accounts; they are not allowed to do so by cashing in any of their invested community capital or getting loans from the community banks.
  3. One person owns 100% of each VistaBiz, including the business name in its field of use or territory, business relationships and goodwill, inventory, accounts receivable, work in progress, tooling, and fixtures. One steward must run each business, with no business partners, other investors, or absentee ownership. While only one participant can own and be fully responsible for each VistaBiz, a business can grant certain contractual rights to other participants as a way of incentivizing them to help the business succeed. For instance, a contractor could agree to provide discounted labor in exchange for a percentage of the business’s future revenues. In other words, a business can pay other contractors not only a contracted fee or hourly rate but also an effective percentage of the company’s revenues. However, such a contracted right is not an investment or stock ownership, and businesses cannot contract away more than 25% of future revenues. All such agreements are transparent, must be approved by the 24 community agencies, and are administered within the community’s block-chained financial system. If a successful VistaBiz grows bigger than an individual owner can manage, it splits into two or more separate businesses, each owned by participants who compete or cooperate via contractual agreements.
  4. See, for example, Gary Hamel, “First, Let’s Fire All the Managers,” Harvard Business Review, December 2011, (accessed 5 December 2016).
  5. See, for example, “When is a company too big to manage?” Financial Times,
  6. See, for example, “Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business: The Case for Restoring America’s Once Robust Antitrust Policies,” The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR),
  7. Including those created within the scope of their services to VistaBizzes.
  8. For which they receive a deed that they can later redeem, if desired.
  9. NewVistas participants agree to allow the community, in a responsible, confidential manner, to monitor their personal footprint (especially their carbon footprint) and release this data to community agencies. If a participant or their dependents go over a certain level of consumption, pollution, or waste, the participant pays an extra fee to the community. The community uses these participant fees to fund the community’s environmental sustainability.