VIII. Earth Earn: Our Open Participatory Earthropocene to Ecosmocene Futurity
3. Sustainable Ecovillages: Social Protocells
It is vital to appreciate that humankind has not only realized an overall genesis cosmology but one whose nested development proceeds by the same creative complementary system at each and every stage. A dynamic, emergent scale of being and becoming accrues as the formative principles infuse and empower everywhere. The great benefit is that once discovered, these common themes can be respectfully carried forth to a genesis futurity. As the Major Evolutionary Transitions Scale module above notes, a next planetary phase is not meant to be a uniform globalization. Rather akin to life’s origin, a next phase would seem to be viable “protocell” communities (search Claes Andersson, Robin Dunbar, et al). Rather than a uniform globalization, often misunderstood, a new evolitionary stage might actually be a biospheric network of myriad urban and rural communities. Examples of constant guiding principles might be:
Cohousing Network. www.cohousing.org. A clearing house for these communities springing up in rural and urban settings across Europe and North America. On average, 100 people of all ages and situations reside in private, separate or attached, energy-efficient dwellings clustered about a multifunction common house. This compact mini-village leaves remaining land free for gardens or in its natural state.
Ecotopia Network. www.ecotopia.com/ecovillage. An eclectic international site for practical info such as appropriate technology and solar energy. Communities in Bolivia, Venezuela, Honduras are given as good examples.
Fellowship for Intentional Community. www.ic.org. This is the website for the journal Communities. Since many fledgling alternatives are not written up in books, this website and magazine reports on real efforts to live free and well in sensible harmony with neighbors and nature. This group also publishes the Communities Directory - A Guide to Intentional Communities and Cooperative Living.
Findhorn Foundation. www.ecovillagefindhorn.com. On the east coast of Scotland, near Inverness, resides a legendary intentional community. Founded over thirty years ago, Findhorn has become a center for local and global mindful self-sufficiency. Among various programs is the Ecovillage Project which emphasizes sustainable land use, ecological architecture, renewable energy, cooperative, social economies, inclusive decision-making processes, cultural and spiritual diversity, integrated holistic health care, worldwide networking, integral education.
On a global level there is an increasingly urgent need for positive models which demonstrate a viable, sustainable human and planetary future. Ecovillages or sustainable communities address this need, looking at sustainability not only in environmental but also in social, economic and spiritual terms.
Global Ecovillage Network. www.gaia.org. A portal for learning about ecological community development, activities and concerns. An extensive directory covers resource areas such as agriculture, education, alternative technology, energy, building, funding, business, health, community, permaculture, decision making, spirit and mind, ecological design, sustainability and environment, ecological living, urban ecology, economics, waste management, and ecovillage design.
Indigo Development. www.indigodev.com. A worthwhile think tank for “communities as living systems” and especially creating for ecologically sound industries.
Institute for Sustainable Communities. www.iscvt.org. Grass-roots resources for ...helping communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all.
Positive News From Around the World. www.positivenews.org.uk. This is the website for a subscription newspaper of the title name which is a unique report of good things people are doing everywhere to create a much saner and liveable planet. Typical articles are about urban community gardens, the Barefoot College program to bring solar electricity for water pumps to remote villages in the Himalayas, and a Great Rethinking conference.
Sustainable Communities Network. www.sustainable.org. An omnibus portal for all sorts of information about forming and maintaining positive life experiences in viable societies.
We Over Me Farm. www.weovermefarm.com. A PBS NewsHour report on September 16, 2016 (Google) brought to our notice this inner city, college based, endeavor for sustainable agriculture and community. And we find just wonderful that its name recognizes and resolves our social conflicts of individuals and groups, agendas and cooperation. Sadly, as the awful presidential election campaign is a vicious, destructive clash of me and We, animus and anima archetypes, which are naturally complementary. Why can no one see this?
u>Our Mission: To transform the health and well-being of under-resourced communities in southern Dallas by providing fresh, healthy, affordable food options and by educating and empowering future generations to take better care of themselves, their environments, and their communities.
Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures. www.yesmagazine.com. From Bainbridge Island, Washington State, a publication by the Positive Futures Network which reports on people, projects and institutions making vital contributions to a sustainable future. The Spring 2000 issue features “New Stories” from Thomas Berry, Mae-Wan Ho, Jean Houston, John Todd and Joanna Macy in search of an ecological cosmology.
Alexander, Christopher. The Phenomenon of Life. Berkeley, CA: Center for Environmental Structure, 2002. The first volume in the iconoclast architect’s long anticipated four volume series The Nature of Order. Although a strident effort is made to situate his human scale and friendly dwellings in an ecological rather than a mechanistic nature, research for the long overdue volume seems to have stopped around 1980. But this book along with Alexander’s earlier classic works such as A Pattern Language offer mindful alternatives to the present sterility of most buildings.