The choice is clear: either we do nothing and allow a miserable and probably catastrophic future to overtake us, or we use our knowledge about human behavior to create a social environment in which we shall live productive and creative lives and do so without jeopardizing the chances that those who follow us will be able to do the same.Something like a Walden Two would not be a bad start.
Organizational Sketch[edit | edit source]
We Freethinking Libertarian Socialists, are on a mission to create an Educational Intentional Community that's grounded in Naturalism, Egalitarianism, Environmentalism, Anti-racism and Anti-Fascism.
An Anarchist University Commune; a community of solidarity and liberation; we'll embrace, degrowth, secular humanism, interpersonal and ecological intimacy, art and life-long education; we'll employ science and technological innovation to develop and share a model for a prefigured cultural environment, that delivers optimal individual freedom, happiness and well being for our ourselves, and a strong and cohesive, self-sufficient ecovillage. And we'll do all of this, while living out our lives in an evolving therapeutic environment of our own creation.
We're currently working to build our organization (E.g. structure, processes, people, funding) and have yet to purchase land; at present, Walden Ecovillage exists in cyberspace, in our hearts and in our aspirations for a better world. Your participation in this developmental process (at any level) is welcome and will be greatly appreciated.
Legal Structure[edit | edit source]
The legal structure of our Sociocracy, is an All-Volunteer, Dual (or Double) Trust scheme.Trust1: Walden Group, the umbrella Charitable Trust will hold title to all Walden assets; it will not engage in any trade nor will it incur debt; it will be the sole beneficiary of Trust2 net profits.Trust2: Walden Ecoversity, a 501(c)3 is the trading and debt-holding entity. Its organizational design is a unique combination of the University and Intentional Community models.A more detailed description can be found here.
The Ecoversity[edit | edit source]
Walden's educational core is an amalgamation of the Agricultural College, Eco-University, the Eco-Technical Institute and the Eco-Vocational College: it's an EcoUniversiTute. The campus is our Ecovillage: our all-volunteer Membership the staff. The EcoUniversitute will engage in a wide range of interdisciplinary, academic, scientific, technological, vocational, artistic, and professional research, training and social entrepreneurial business activities.A more detailed description can be found here.
The Ecovillage[edit | edit source]
Our EcoVillage is not only our home, it is the therapeutic milieu within which we will develop and test cultural practices and technologies that deliver individual happiness and cultural excellence; Resort guests will access the milieu for support, and to practice and strengthen new learning. Our caring, rational and progressive communards (Members) will staff, not only the Ecoversity, but the Farm, Wellness Resort and our ancillary businesses as well.A more detailed description can be found here.
The Farm[edit | edit source]
Our experimental organic Farm encompasses all of the land and natural resources to which we will have access. It will provide healthy, delicious, organic sustenance to members and guests. It will serve as the Agricultural College laboratory and the training facility for the farming components of our Right Living Curriculum (for Resort guests).A more detailed description can be found here.
The Wellness Resort[edit | edit source]
Our Wellness Resort will provide the infrastructure, education, training and rejuvenative services necessary for the physical and the psychological well being of its guests (and for the execution of our Mission and realization of our Vision). The restaurant and other facilities will also serve the general public.A more detailed description can be found here.
Peripheral Businesses[edit | edit source]
Our ancillary social entrepreneurial enterprises will deliver goods and services to Walden and the outside community; they will be derived from factors related to our Mission, community need, and from the unique interests and skills that individual members bring to the enterprise.
We are the first SociocraticNaturalistEcoUniversityFarmResortCommune: a contemporary model for ethical communal living.A more detailed description can be found here.
Vision[edit | edit source]
We see a world in which the creative spirit is alive, in which life is an adventure full of joy and hope, based rather upon the impulse to construct than upon the desire to retain what we possess or to seize what is possessed by others. It will be a world in which affection has free play, in which love is purged of the instinct for domination, in which cruelty and envy have been dispelled by happiness and the unfettered development of all the instincts that build up life and fill it with mental and physical delights.
Mission[edit | edit source]
To create an international network of community-based, social entrepreneurial, high-tech, educational enterprises where people live, love, learn and work together in reason for the betterment of all life and the planet on which it depends. We will facilitate the establishment of a large number of diverse, fully cooperative communities, which will federate with one another to create the 'new organic whole'.
We will educate the educators. We will socialize the socialists. We will communalize the communitarians. We will utopianize the utopians. We will help break the cycle of domination, in which the prevailing ideology, imaginary, ethos, and institutional structure all reinforce one another.
As Communards we will create the community milieu that delivers optimal individual freedom and a rich and fulfilling life experience for everyone who contacts it, both now and into the future. We will recognize the humanity in every person we encounter and respond with compassion and respect. We will honor the earth and its diversity of life and improve the ecology of those areas of the planet we inhabit.
As Social Entrepreneurs we will develop and disseminate resources, systems and technologies that foster sustainable human development, strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for marginalized people.
As Social Change Agents we will apply compassion, reason and technology to activism and educational activities that promote Anarchist Communism, Egalitarianism, Environmentalism and a Naturalistic worldview.
All of our interdependent enterprises shares our organizational mission, plus they each have unique Missions (and Goals) that are specific to their community function.
Values[edit | edit source]
- Life and Diversity
- People: we will treat everyone with kindness, compassion and love.
- Animals (non-human): we will treat all animals ethically.
- Diversity: we will strive to increase the cultural and biological diversity of our community-
- Resources: we will responsibly develop and manage all of the human and natural resources we have at our disposal.
- Energy: all energy systems will be selected and designed for optimization and sustainable self-sufficiency.
- Effort: we will design and manage all systems for efficacy and efficiency.
- Individual Freedom and Community Strength
- Voluntary Association: we will support the notion of voluntary association with our organization's design, institutions and practices.
- Contingencies of Reinforcement: we will engineer our culture so that we experience true freedom, and develop a compassionate Membership that is passionate about working to improve our culture and the lives of others.
- Community: we recognize that it is only through a strong cohesive community that we can optimize individual freedom and experience all that it is to be human.
- Sharing: we will share the fruit of our efforts among ourselves and with the local and global communities.
- Social Justice: we will design our political and social structures to deliver social justice to our community, and work to increase the equitable distribution of wealth and opportunity, both locally and globally.
- Environmental Justice: we will work to improve the environmental circumstances for marginalized people everywhere.
- Creativity & Innovation
- Art & Science: we will promote all forms of creative expression and encourage innovation in everything we do.
- Educational Pedagogy: we will strive to 'think outside the box' when designing and delivering education; the scientific method will inform all educational practices.
- Production & Distribution: we will strive to transcend traditional ides, rules, patterns and relationships in all of our production and distribution activities.
- Science & Reason
- Ethics and Philosophy: we will contribute to the development of a Naturalist Philosophy, by employing the scientific method to evolution of our planned culture.
- Society & Politics: we will employ the scientific method to design our institutions and cultural processes.
- Life-long Learning: we acknowledge the importance of ongoing education, to individual Members and the community; we will provide and encourage our ** Membership to continuously develop their personal, professional and creative skills (vertical and horizontal).
- Relevant: we will strive to ensure that all educational programming is useful to the student and directly contributes to the execution of our Mission.
- Experiential: as much as possible, all educational programming will include practical application opportunities in real-world settings.
- Individual: we will all contribute what we can, and strive for excellence in everything we do.
- Collective: we understand that it is only through working as a team that we can execute our Mission and achieve our goals.
- Sustainable Self-sufficiency: we will employ creativity, prudence, effort and natural resources to achieve community autonomy as expeditiously as possible.
Goals[edit | edit source]
- Establish the Ecoversity
- Establish our Wellness Resort
- Establish an Organic Farm
- Develop sustainable, comprehensive self-sufficiency
- Develop, promote and utilize an alternative local economy
- Develop, promote and work in concert with other organizations who share our ideals
- Replicate our educational community enterprise model around the globe
- Enjoy life to its fullest potential
Live, Love, Learn & Work Together in Community[edit | edit source]
This project is, at it's core, an effort to create a compassionate volunteer community, where we can live happy, ethical and fulfilling lives. It's a place where we are both truly free and connected to our fellow communards (emotionally and physically). It's where we have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and engage in creative expression and an ongoing quest for knowledge and personal improvement. It's where we can participate in productive activities that provide us with security, comfort and a sense of individual contribution, personal achievement and appreciation from others. It's a place where we can let loose and have a freaking blast.
The overreaching goal of our community-wide therapeutic setting then, is to provide the stable and coherent physical and social environment, within which continuous, incremental and socially valid improvement of those specific intellectual, creative, vocational, technological and social skills, that are necessary for optimal individual and collective functioning, can occur, evolve and improve over time.
Who, What, Where & When[edit | edit source]
By attracting people from across the cultural spectrum, we intend to create a pan-global multicultural communal experience. We will begin with one, aesthetically inspiring, self-sufficient Ecoversity commune, populated (eventually) by about 500 Progressive Naturalists who want to live, love, learn and work together for the betterment of our lives, the lives of those within our circle of influence and the lives of those who follow us in history.
We intend, over time, to create a network of ecovillages and other grassroots organizations, to advance social and ecological justice at the local level; the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement  in Sri Lanka is a model not distant from our own conceptualizations.
The socio-political philosophy of our Sociocracy is Anarcho-Communist: our businesses will include a combination of non-profit and for-profit enterprises. We will share equally in the fruits of community production and distribution and we'll promote the free association of persons and groups, economic and political egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy, private property and money.
We've yet to identify a specific location for our first campus, and are open to establishing the first Walden Ecovillage almost anywhere in the world. However, it seems the nations of the world, through their respective immigration policies, have unwittingly conspired to prevent us from developing a community with the breadth of international diversity we desire. Despite this significant and ubiquitous legal obstacle, we are committed to creating a culturally diverse community and will do everything we can to actualize that important community feature.
Our penchant for creating a multicultural international community, is not solely based on the cultural advantages we'd derive from that diversity. An important part of our strategy, to actualize our Mission and Vision, includes creating a network of Walden-like enterprises across the globe. The most prudent and efficient way to do this, is to develop individual capacity, return those competent emissaries back to their respective countries and support their efforts there.
Several methods for obtaining a long-term visa, that most countries offer, relate to research and education activities: study, teaching and research visas. As we are an Ecoversity, we will develop the capacity to facilitate the acquisition of these visas, and post-educational residency permits as well.
Start-up Plan[edit | edit source]
The outline that follows in anything but comprehensive; it's more a short-list of milestones. Preliminary work, for many of the items, is currently underway, and we expect to increase momentum once we've secured professional and technical assistance and established a functional on-line presence.
Should you be sympathetic to our cause and have expertise in any field or area relevant to this project (see Advisory Boards), and you'd like to help- please, join us! There's a lot to do.
- Prepare a comprehensive community sketch (breadth over depth) and business plan
- Recruit professional assistance: develop the Advisory Boards and obtain website development assistance
- Establish a functional Internet presence (capable of capturing donations) and other promotional materials
- Identify and begin educating a Pioneer group (15-20 community members with skills essential to initial community development)
- Identify and convene Boards for the two Trusts
- Obtain Legal status (establish the trusts)
- Fund-raise; and recruit community members
- Fund-raise; and acquire the land and the basic resources necessary for the Pioneer group's survival and work
- Fund-raise; and move the Pioneers to the community site
- Continue fund-raising, recruiting and developing the community
Without question, any timetable would be highly speculative. It is affected by many variables, including but not limited to: everything after 'Step 2' above; on-hand resources; initial community configuration; and factors specific to our ultimate site location. The information on this website reflects our progress with regard to the Start-up Plan.
Additionally, we'll likely begin with a much smaller version of Walden than the comprehensive Ecovillage described here. It may be the case that we begin with a farm and develop the resort and educational facilities later. We could begin with a resort and install a farm and then develop the educational entities. Or we could start with the educational entities and develop the farm and resort over time. We are open to any viable entry point, and will enthusiastically respond to all valid opportunities that present themselves.
About Our Current & Future Websites[edit | edit source]
In the pages that follow you will find the current version of 'the starting place' for our intentional community project. We fully expect that as we become better informed about the consequences of our specific proposals and as details about available resources become clearer, many aspects of this start-up plan will change. Additionally, our organizational structure and process will necessarily facilitate meaningful change in directions consonant with evolving member preferences (social validity).
Our intentions with our current website (waldenecovillage.info), are to: provide our group members with a publicly accessible resource for discussing the project with non-group members; keep the group members current (and on the same page); and to (quickly) create a public presence in order to encourage comment and constructive criticism (of the project- not the website) from the global community. The content that results from this collaboration will be used for the next, more sophisticated, website; our ability to coordinate our group, recruit participants and fund-raise, are predicated on these developments.
Discuss the content on this page[edit | edit source]
Discuss any section of this page here:Talk:Walden Ecovillage