Community Wisdom

The future outlook is very uncertain, but most people agree that community will be vital: we will need to share physical resources, to deepen mutual support, and find strength from collective insights and intentions. Communities of place, physical neighbourhoods, will become really important, but so will communities of faith, of shared purpose, which may often be online.

I’ve been exploring different aspects of community for 30 years, since I first stayed in an intentional community, the Findhorn Foundation, in 1990. Here are some resources which may help you in your exploration:

  • Natural Happiness: this is my model of learning about human wellbeing from natural ecosystems. For the overall Seven Seeds model, see here. To see how community qualities in ecosystems can help you, see here.
  • Community resilience: I ran a project for several years exploring how local communities can grow their resilience and their capacity for positive collective action. For an overview of my conclusions, see here.
  • Communities and climate change: working through communities is a good way to encourage individual action, and some climate responses require collective action. For info on my Bridport Climate Response initiative, click here. For some reflections on what we’ve learned, see this blog.
  • Cohousing: this means a community which combines some shared resources (e.g. market garden, dining and meeting room, pool cars) with private dwellings, each with their own front door. I have started two cohousing projects, and lived in one for five years. It’s a wonderful and sustainable way to live, and the time and effort to set up a cohousing neighbourhood in the UK is stupendous. For a case study and resources, see here.
  • Seven kinds of community: you may get confused because the term community is used in different ways. For a simple guide, see here.
  • Ecovillages: these are larger, low-impact communities where people live, work, and play, in harmony with the Earth. Learn more via the Global Ecovillage Network: For a briefing on the Dorset Ecovillage project which I explored in 2003-2007, see here. Such a project could be a brilliant catalyst for positive change: I stopped my work on it because the planning authorities at the time were unsympathetic, and we did not have access to the scale of funds we needed.