Now that I have traveled some communities (around 15 or so) I can say that I have seen and experienced a lot of beautiful diversity but also start to learn and understand, experience and feel what can make communities to work and last in the long term. Many books and papers have been written about this topic and it ain’t easy or simple to explain and less so to create communities. But I would like to share a dozen of main insights collected from a number of long term communities and community members, on what makes (or breaks) communities. This information is based on to the courtesy of Deborah Altus of Washburn University (Kansas, US) who presented a great Key note speech (“Perspectives on Inner and Outer Peace from Long-Term Members of Intentional Communities in the USA”) during the International Communal Studies Association conference held In Tamera Ecovillage in Portugal early July (more about Tamera Healing Biotope and the conference will come in a separate blog).
Here the wisdom comes or a 12 Step Program to Inner and Outer Peace:
- Actively nurture and support personal growth and development
- Provide daily opportunities to live out your values
- Nurture deep connections and relationships between members
- Nurture deep connections and relationships with the land and the natural world
- Actively and regularly engage in celebrations, rituals and traditions
- Actively work on communication and group processes
- Clearly define and stick to your core values
- Develop a system for sharing the work
- Actively involve the next generation
- Pay close attention to the economics of the community
- Actively work on being good neighbours
- Develop models of and share cooperative culture
Of course this can only be a teaser and each and every of these main has a lot to it (and can elaborate on it at a later stage), but good to get it out there now and please add your own thoughts and ideas to it.
Additionally, the content of Deborah’s work will likely be published in the near future and I will let you know when and where once it appears.
Communities Magazine (great articles and stories and up to date infos about communities worldwide)
Tamera Healing Biotope – A School and Research Station for Realistic Utopia