Irresistible Community Builders, LLC Presents: Harnessing Climate Change: An Existential Opportunity


By Tom Braford

An existential threat is usually defined as one that causes an enduring and significant loss of long term human potential. Therefore, if mitigating those threats effectively prevents that loss or causes an enduring gain of long term human potential, does that create an existential opportunity?

We think that building communities by the Dunbar numbers qualifies as an existential opportunity!

We are designing socially just, self-governing communities that optimize the social support available to all members, following the teachings of anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist, Dr. Robin Dunbar, the head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience research group in the department of experimental psychology at Oxford University.

Dunbar discovered a fascinating pattern about the structure of the 39 species of primate communities he studied that can be applied directly to human beings, who after all are the primary primates now on our planet. First, he discovered that there was a natural ideal size a cohesive society can be, relative to the size of our frontal cortex. For human beings, it ranges from 150 to 200. He also identified 4 essential levels of social engagement for peak performance. 1) 4 to 5 close friends that include at least 1 or 2 confidants, 2) working groups of 10 to 15, referred to as hunting parties, 3) bands of up to 50 aligned acquaintances and 4) villages of 150 to 200.

For our part, we are creating Ecovillages where everyone can identify at least 4 or 5 close friends, including 1 or 2 confidants. Those groups of 4 or 5 can join into work parties or committees of 15. Three to four work parties or committees make up a band that we refer to as a cohousing or mutual housing community. Each of these communities includes one or more onsite worker-owned co-op work party, and together they make up an Ecovillage. These Ecovillages will be joined together in a regional network.  

We are now actively seeking people to launch our training co-op. Are you someone who wants to train or be trained? Please reach out to learn more!

Contact: braford@sbcglobal.net