By Tom Braford
In our society, many things have worked well for a long time, so there’s no need to keep reinventing the wheel. At Arizmendi Ecovillage, we are including many of these, like cohousing for social sustainability and ecovillage for neighborhoods that are ecologically sustainable as well.
Of course, they need to work economically too, so we are creating Mondragon-style, worker-owned co-ops with fulfilling, living wage jobs, continually reusing the money it takes to build the community and increasing both affordability and community spirit.
Organizational governance is an area where these movements are finding new opportunities for workability. But how do you come up with that perfect balance of agency and communion? After trying both hierarchy and anarchy at one time or another with decidedly mixed results, many are now taking on using sociocracy, a proven method for effectively working together that is designed to assure that everyone’s voice is heard.
So that is one area of critical community reform that we are learning about at Arizmendi.
Terraforming is another, a term that usually refers to making uninhabitable planets like Mars habitable to Earth lifeforms. The irony is that our planet is quickly moving in the direction of being uninhabitable for many of those lifeforms, including us.
Curiously enough, human beings for millennia have already been actively engaged in terraforming this planet. Evidently, tribal societies in the Amazon basin artificially tipped the balance of nature in their favor by cultivating and selectively planting trees in the vicinity of their villages and along pathways between settlements. They even created sustainably fertile soils referred to as ‘terra preta’.
At Arizmendi we realize that we must do the same so we are creating buildings and other structures and systems that are part and parcel of a blue-green, terraformed, living ecology of the future.
Please visit us at the Healthy Planet Expo on April 2 and at the Earth Day celebration in Forest Park on April 22 & 23. Check our website, www.ArizmendiEcovillage.com, or email us at email@example.com for April activities at the Ecovillage on April 15.