Eco-villages are becoming more than an eco-housing option where everyone goes off to work everyday somewhere else. How can we create "villages" and projects that: 1. provide such a strong business concept and offering that folks can stay on there without entering survival fear around money, 2. connect with the surrounding community and greater economic reality instead of becoming insular and shut in, and 3. re-educate folks to a way of life that is community-minded, team-work oriented, and yet holds to equal energy exchange models so as not to become an ungrounded codependent merge-puddle?
I don't have the answers, but I've learned some lessons with Avalon Springs. It's been a messy, but overall, very encouraging and fun road. Visits with many ecovillage veterans all over the world have landed me at the three questions above. The key is in holding the vision, but keeping both feet on the ground... not so easy.
Melissa: I like your 3 questions. #2 resounds with me and is qute the dilemna. While on one hand an ecovillage can close-the-loop and be self-sustaining, where does a group draw the boundaries on what to allow in and not. I think this is quite personal and can be either limiting or enlightening. I think the concept of 'think global/act local' is a good adage. Gaviatos I think did a good job in that regard.
I just saw a film on 'Findhorn' in Scotland and like their 60+ business spinoffs and focus on re-educating.
I'd be interesting in hearing more about your experience at Avalon Springs.
Finally found you! This is the main site forum and there is also a discussion forum in each group. :-) If you go back to the EcoVillage group you will see right above the comments in little words on the left hand side 'Start a discussion' in a box that says 'Discussions' - we promise we will be getting a video tutorial done soon!
Go ahead and leave this one here - we don't want to keep chasing you all over the map and Fred was kind enough to help :-) Thank you and we will join this conversation in the next few days