Perhaps the social components of an ecovillage or sustainable community are the most critical for overall sustainability. The baggage from our mainstream culture is so full of individualism, being number 1, competitiveness, aggression, frenetic activity, ultra consumerism, and other more or less difficult to overcome qualities. And most of us come to community with more or less of these qualities or remnants of them sufficient to cause disruption to actualizing the radically different way we are trying to live. Perhaps our greatest challenge is the on-going efforts we must make for culture change in the way we relate to one another and the earth. Below are the Categories we are working with under the Social Macrosystem. Many of the items mentioned are already substantially implemented or planned for in LAEV. Others, we haven’t even begun to plan for. Underneath the Summary of Categories are a list of resources for each of the categories.
SUMMARY OF CATEGORIES
Art. Acting, singing, dancing, clowning, and the visual arts become part of the play and fun of daily life. Aesthetic values grow out of the creative accomplishments and embellishments of learning to live in balance with our life support systems. Art is functional..
Celebration & Ritual. Celebrate individual and community accomplishments and milestones, including diverse aspects of the earth community. Ritual affirms both individual and social interrelatedness of humans with one another and the earth community, and the sacredness of the whole.
Education. Child development, home and village schooling, place-based learning, mentoring, life-long learning, study groups, intergenerational learning, neighborhood based curriculum, development of critical consciousness and civic responsibilities.
Food. Is primarily local, organic and grown harvested, preserved and prepared as part of the social and economic fabric of the community of the neighborhood.
Governance and Decision Making. Informed participation, consensus oriented, flexible, diverse methods suited to the issues. On-going education and training for decision making methods, planning, conflict issues, informed and creative civic participation.
Health and Healing. Oriented toward wellness and prevention, natural, holistic, related to the whole social/spiritual, economic and ecological fabric of the community. Includes everyone learning how to take responsibility for prevention of physical, psychological and social abuses of all kinds.
Spirituality. Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live. Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual’s inner life; spiritual experience includes that of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm. Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.
LIST OF RESOURCES BY ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF CATEGORY
New Village Press www.newvillagepress.org publishes terrific books on art, community sustainability, and social justice including such titles as:
- Awakening Creativity Dandelion School Blossoms by Lily Yeh
- Asphalt to Ecosystems Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation by Sharon Danks
- By Heart Poetry, Prison, and Two Lives by Judith Tannenbaum, Spoon Jackson
- What We See Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs by many
- American Tensions Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice by many
CELEBRATION AND RITUAL
Antioch University Los Angeles in Culver City now offers a Masters degree in Urban Sustainability. Check it out: http://www.antiochla.edu/news-events/aula-announces-new-ma-urban-sustainability-program posted 5/5/11
Gaia University. See www.gaiauniversity.org.
Gaia University offers a unique approach to higher learning by offering students (called
Associates) access to accredited Bachelors and Masters degrees and Graduate Diplomas whilst
the Associate is actively engaged in self and planetary transformation. With Gaia University,
Associates link their ideals with self-directed practical experience, acting as world changers
by working for local and global sustainability and regeneration, justice and peace. Our self-
directed action learning methodology enables Associates to study locally, at work or on projects
supported by Gaia University’s Regional Organizers, and a worldwide network of learning provider,s
tutors and mentors. No longer do you have to choose between earning a living and studying.
With action learning your work and your projects become your places of study. Note that GU
associates who participate in many of the CRSP Institute for Urban Ecovillages workshops will
be eligible for credit from GU. (6/1/06)
Academic Institutions with sustainability curriculum
I recommend checking out http://www.aashe.org for lists of schools with sustainability initiatives and programs. And I’m happy to support via Living Routes as needed.
Daniel Greenberg, Ph.D., Executive Director
Living Routes-Study Abroad in Ecovillages
284 N. Pleasant St, Suite 1, Amherst, MA 01002
Work: (413) 259-0025 Fax: (413) 259-1113
The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) has created a wiki http://wiki.ic.org/;a growing collection of shared knowledge, information, and resources for intentional communities; for those interested in intentional communities, and those interested in creating more community in their lives in whatever form. 1/06/08 And to surf intentional communities, cohousing and ecovillages worldwide, articles, publications, discussions, go to www.ic.org (5/27/08)
Go to Green is where you’ll find a comprehensive list of green-related events taking place in the United States. This includes anything with a sustainable, eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious motivation. Lots of L.A. Green events listed. http://gotogreen.com/los-angeles This service is not affiliated with any group or organization, and is brought to you out of the desire to help bring green communities together. (updated post 7/4/11)
Project Butterfly www.projectbutterfly.org Cross pollinates with other people and organizations actively engaged in positive transformation. Special events with visionaries, educators, guides, healers, artists and activists for personal and planetary healing
LA Green Drinks, http://www.lagreendrinks.org/ a face to face social network in neighborhoods throughout LA. Green Drinks allows for anyone concerned about environmental issues to get together over a drink. Events in many different sections of LA: West Side, South Bay, Hollywood/Silverlake, Valley, Downtown. Green Drinks events are very simple, informal, unstructured, and self organizing but help connect the green network. Let’s bring together the huge LA environmental community and have fun doing it! Subscribe to the LA Green Drinks email by clicking the Sign Up link, below right. Check it out
Green Hive Foundation http://greenhive.org/
Green Hive Foundation is a 501 c 3 not for profit organization for the advancement of education, programs and services related to clean technologies, environment, job development and sustainable
economic development. The Foundation creates original content and partners with industry experts to enable educational resources and sustainable best practices to be accessible on a global scale.
Latino Urban Forum. You can subscribe to this informative list about environmental, architectural, social justice and planning goings-on in the L.A. area by writing to <Latinourbanforum@yahoo.com>.
100 MILE POTLUCKS. Share food that is grown within a 100 miles. These potlucks could become trendy. Hold one in your neighborhood. Become a LOCAVORE.
Los Angeles Area Farmers’ Markets
Dozens of them with location, days, times and maps noted:
Food Not Lawns, How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community. Visit
www.foodnotlawns.com for more information and to place preorders for signed 1st Editions of the new book by
FNL co-founder Heather Coburn Flores. With a foreword by Toby Hemenway and over 400 pages of text,
enhanced by almost a hundred drawings by Northwest artist Jackie Holmstrom, Food Not Lawns offers a theoretical
and practical handbook for ecological community transformation. (6/1/06)
Seafood Watch. What to eat and warnings about what not to eat for your health and the oceans:
GOVERNANCE AND DECISION MAKING
HEALTH AND HEALING