Prophesy: Anissem

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See also Anissem (formerly Messina), Sicily (Geography)

OASES refer to ‘Organized Adaptive Solidarity Embedded in Society’. They are a local governance and economic model focused on self-sustainability and solidarity in the face of climate change, initiated around 2032 in the autonomous federal territory of Anissem (formerly Messina).

OASES began as enclaves for climate migrants, which Anissem chose to welcome rather than reject, since its privileged geographical position made it possible to feed and house a significantly larger population than the one it had before 2030. After a few years, the OASES evolved into a federal organizational system covering the whole of Anissem, and even extending beyond the initial territory of Messina, to most of Sicily’s North-East, which has historically been the area least hit by climate change.

The OASES system rests on three infrastructural principles: the Relational Value Model, a system of cooperative, and the Knowledge infrastructure.

See also Messina for information on the city before it became Anissem.

Messina before 2030

Anissem in 2050

Coordinates: 38°11′37″N 15°33′15″E
Country Italy [under discussion]
Region None [autonomous]
Metropolitan city Anissem(ME)
• Mayor None
• Total Approx. 2000 km2 (2032 : 213.23 km2)
Elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Population (1 January 2049)
• Total Approx. 755,000 (2030 : 218,786)
• Density 375/km2
Demonym Anissemese
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code 98100
Dialing code 090
ISTAT code 083048
Website Official website


2030: a prolonged series of extreme weather events in Europe and the Mediterranean known as the Medicane Years disrupts all activities in and around Messina. Messina itself is hurt by constant winds, rains and floods, while the South of Sicily is subject to desertification. As a consequence, the Messina Strait Bridge project is abandoned, and the Italian government reorients part of the budget assigned to the bridge (€ 3 Bn) towards the reconstruction of Messina.

2032: after two years of inaction by the local and national authorities, a grassroot movement succeeds in making 93% of the population vote blank in the local elections. The population occupies the municipal authority, forcing the mayor out and initiating a process of self-governance. To mark this “revolution”, citizens decide to rename the city Anissem. A collective reconstruction effort begins, whose founding principle is to use past and vernacular knowledge in order to rebuild cheaply and durably.

2034: instead of preventing migrants from entering its territory, Anissem decides to welcome them as carriers of additional knowledge and experience. It designated an initial area as the scene of a social experiment where newcomers will contribute their knowledge for a sustainable transformation of the city. This area and experience is called OASES. The newly built Anissem Development Cooperative provides the initial funding.

2035-2041: the success of the first OASES prompts the city to create new ones. Migrants from the South are joined with persons from other areas in Europe, attracted to the OASES models. Some native Anissemeses also elect to move to the new OASES.

2041: the OASES system is extended to the whole territory of Anissem. The 150x150 model (see Governance)becomes the land’s official governance mechanism.

2043: several villages West of Messina’s initial territory vote to join the OASES system and become part of Anissem. Anissem’s population grows to 500,000, with half the population composed of non-natives.

2047: a Governance contract with Italy and the EU established Anissem’s administrative autonomy.

Geographical and social design

Most OASES have a common geographical configuration, encompassing hills - symbolically and often actually associated with production, flatland and beaches - associated with relationships and governance - and underwater spaces - associated with energy production and self-reflexion.

Schematic cut of a typical OASES in Anissem

Most activities and institutions in OASES are relationship-based (see Relational Value Model), however these relationships are not fixed. Infants can change parents (see Culture). Inhabitants mostly eat together, but may choose different forms of being together: silent meals, 2-hours meals…

Infrastructural principles

The Relational Value Model

In Anissem, economic value is attributed to the quality of relationships between beings, with the aim of encouraging cooperation and combating the previous model based on individualism and self-interest. Each member of the community gains units related to the time dedicated to other beings (humans, fauna, flora, ecosystems - including the territory as a whole). In the time considered to assign units, every type of activity is considered (for example: teaching, learning, cultivating, cooking, writing, and working in one of the production cooperatives). Time accounts are managed by a dedicated cooperative, the Time Bank (see below).

The accumulated units are used for internal economic exchanges in Anissem: time therefore becomes a sort of currency. To avoid speculation, there is a limit beyond which it is not possible to accumulate units. Anissemeses are therefore encouraged to “spend” their time credits through relating with others in their community.

The Network of Cooperatives

Anissem’s economy emerged from the initial OASES experiments before encompassing the whole territory. It aims for maximum self-sufficiency, ensuring Anissem remains capable of welcoming new inhabitants in need, while also maintaining interdependency links with nearby territories in Sicily and elsewhere.

The first OASES was created under the auspices of the Anissem Development Cooperative (ADC), incorporated in 2032, whose initial capital was formed of funds initially assigned to the Strait of Messina Bridge, and devolved to the city after the project was abandoned. All citizens, including newcomers, own one share in ADC, and therefore one vote.

In turn, ADC gave birth to a network of cooperatives.

“Productive and Commercial” cooperatives are:

  • A Food Coop for production, transformation and distribution of food, including for export. Anissem’s location and access to water makes it uniquely able to produce various kinds of food, from fruits and vegetables to insects and underwater crops, some of which is consumed locally, and some exported to nearby regions under severe food shortage.
  • An Insect Farming Activity (as food, flour, food supplements…)
  • A Circular Coop (ACC) that transforms waste into products. Initiated around food, ACC extended its activity to plastics, metal, and other materials.
  • A water cooperative mostly desalinating water, sometimes enriched with flavors or proteins.

Other cooperatives are designed as enablers:

  • The Energy Cooperative produces heat and energy, mostly based on eggplant solar panels and marine energy.
  • The R&D Lab serves all other activities and produces open-source knowledge?
  • The Cooperative Bank of Anissem manages financial flows with other territories, and acts as a kind of central bank.
  • The Anissem Academy trains people to work in the other cooperatives, financed by a percentage of other cooperatives’ profit.
  • The Anissem Investment Fund.
  • The Time Bank manages the storage and exchange of time credits (see Relational Value Model).

The progressive extension of the cooperative network towards new activities has until now been limited to areas outside functions provided by the Italian State: Public health, Education, Social Insurance, Law and Order, Transport… These restrictions are currently being challenged (see Controversies).

The Knowledge Infrastructure

The OASES system sees knowledge as its most essential source of value:

Knowledge is value

Value is knowledge

This value is priceless

The Knowledge Infrastructure starts from one premise: “everybody knows something. Even a 5-year old.”

Therefore, every learning situation begins with a ritual: “What do you know?”, with a response from others on how his knowledge can be interesting, or what other pieces of knowledge can supplement what was just shared.

This ritual, although more formal, is also used to greet a new person migrating into Anissem, as well as to mark the passage to adulthood.

Shared knowledge is collected as it comes (text, gesture or any other representation; formalized, narrated or just performed, etc.) into a vast digital storage mechanism, using ML techniques, called The Culture (see Iain Banks). However, the Culture is neither used to automize tasks, nor to provide unique answers to questions, but rather to connect: “this person knows what you need”, and/or “these are the several bits of knowledge I found and which may be relevant.”

The knowledge within The Culture is freely accessible to all, including from outside Anissem.

Anissem has worked with this knowledge to design new (or renewed) forms of teaching and learning: collective, building up from participants’ prior knowledge (connecting bits of knowledge, adding context, formalizing, generalizing, etc.), connected to context and/or practical uses, intergenerational. There are no fixed “classes”. All Anissemians have part of their time that can be allocated to teaching/learning (which are not considered different activities) – kids have more and some of it is compulsory, adults can use some of their “free time” for the same. Therefore, at any specific moment, we can have (for example, since proportions vary) 20 kids, two elderly persons and five active adults learning the same thing together.

This system has become one of Anissem’s exports. Anissemians help reform educational systems, support informal education networks, train pedagogues, and set up similar systems as theirs.


Baptism is a ritual linked to the sea which is the place of spirituality. The hills are the land of materialism.

Every citizen of Anissem has to be baptized.

The Anissem babies are born on the beach and have to reach the water, like turtles.

Later, when they are able to understand the values of the society, they go back to the sea, enter the water and are welcomed by their “masters”, the parents chosen for them who will be able to teach them what they need to learn.

Anissem society values knowledge more than blood.

Adults being baptized go deeper intop the sea where they meditate on the ruins of the bridge, which is progressively being eaten by sea creatures producing oxygen.

When you die you are used as fertilizer.


The 150x150 system

The OASES’ governance system is designed so as to minimize the occasions for formal governance. Each OASES is composed of 150 units of approximately 150 persons – 150 being considered both large enough to provide role flexibility, and small enough to allow for collective decisions without formal organization. OASES-level decisions, and trans-OASES decisions, are preferably made through open Bridges (see below). If more work is required, representatives will be randomly designated in each unit or OASES, always on an ad hoc basis: a specific representative will only be required to work on one issue at hand.

Conflict prevention and resolution: the “Bridge” system

The Bridge began as a symbolic repurposing of a work of art, Circostanze by Karpüseeler, installed within the “sand garden” of parco Horcynus Orca, on the very North-Eastern end of Anissem – and Sicily. The sculpture, representing two pillars facing the strait of Messina, became a symbol of the abandoned physical bridge project and its repurposing into a bridge between humans. This work was used by the first OASES’s inhabitants as a place to sort out their conflicts and other coordination issues. Later, all citizens, natives and migrants, were given a small “pillar” in the same shape as the initial artwork’s pillars. Whenever a conflict arises between two or more persons, they can take out their pillar and stick them on the ground to create a conflict resolution zone: a Bridge. Two individual pillars are sufficient to create a Bridge.

The initial “Bridge”

A personal bridge


  • The recent expansion of Anissem has sparked new controversies both within Anissem, and outside of it. Italy, as well as the Province of Sicily, have protested Anissem’s expansion beyond the historic confines of Messina. Within Anissem, there is discussion as to what level of autonomy should be achieved, from outright independence to autonomous territory status connected to Italy.
  • The British Museum has decided to exhibit in its collection “Stories from the Confluences” what seems to be a chronicle from Philip, a young Aristocrat from London settled in Anissem through the Ortygia programme. It was English Lord Brighten, an infiltrator in this same programme who found it, supposedly, in Anissem’s beach. A group of civil society organizations and ethical banks in London, in contact with Anissem’s network of cooperatives, are suing the museum for art fabrication, intended at delegitimizing the OASES system in Northern Europe.

(Felipe to add picture of the exhibition - will work on it on this basis)


Anissem Powerpoint Presentation to World Antieconomic Forum, c. 2048, archived from the original on May 9, 2050.