It seems to be a widespread assumption that 'community' refers only (or mainly) to eco-villages. This often leads to people who want to experience living in community to look anywhere but where they are for this mysterious creature, & also tend to think in terms of
'hardware' (the externals: find a nicer place, build new 'eco-houses', find 'the right' people to build 'community' with .. etc.)
'software' (the internals: build more fertile connections, design better, make good use of existing resources, improve education .. & especially build relationships & value difference).
Immagine living in a community where you simply all decided you wanted major change, and that you would stop at nothing to achieve it? That’s what the 100 residents of Eigg have done over the last 20 years. In 1997 they set up a community trust and managed to crowdfund £1.6m from 10,000 donations to buy the entire island, which they then all shared without any one owner.
Each of the residents then agreed to pay rent to the community, and they used that money to improve the island. They set up “Eigg Electric”, and in 2008, Eigg became the world’s first community to launch a fully off-grid power system combining wind, water and solar.
The residents taught themselves how to install the solar panels, wind farm and hydroelectric generators, which now deliver 95% of the island’s energy needs (with generators kicking in only on the few days when they are needed). On many days, the system generates more energy than the residents need, and the excess is used to heat community halls where everyone benefits.
Eigg has now become a global destination for governments looking at how to replicate both the community spirit and off-grid system. As it celebrates its 20th year of ‘independence’ from any private ownership this year, it has been called “The greenest island in the world” by Al Jazeera.
As many wait for governments or corporations to lead change (or blame them for not), more and more examples of communities successfully taking charge and being the change are emerging.
If 100 citizens in a corner of Scotland can achieve this, what could you achieve?
“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.” ~ Seth Godin
-Roger James Hamilton
Vídeo de YouTube
These videos below represent and describe some quite different definitions of 'community'.
If you are looking for (or to design) 'community', a very useful observation excercise can be to consider which one/s of these approaches most appeals to you, and why.
The clearer we are about what it is that we are wishing to find or to design, the more likely it is that we will find it or be able to create it.
The full integral permaculture course includes a lot more resources and especially models for designing healthier communities of all types, focusing on sustainability.
in 6 parts, follow the videos here
Assumptions are always basic to any vision or discourse and these are Heinberg's 8 Assumptions, explained in detail in this presentation:
1) Global oil production is near an all-time maximum & will continue to decline ... coal and gas peaks not far behind
2) Consequences will be severe (see part 2)
3) There is no techno-fix
4) Therefore society will have to power-down (reduce & relocalize, implying changes in behaviour & expectations) see part 3
5) Meanwhile, Climate Change poses a thorny challenge ...
6) Climate Change makes global Powerdown necessary, Peak Oil means it is not only possible but unavoidable
7) The Powerdown process will be complex, lengthy & perilous
8) These are not the only looming crises - nor even necessarily the most imminent