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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent the past few months trying to organize a plan to get people together, a web site, getting listed on IC, various other tidbits for my personal life to make the transition and now it is here! We are now formally accepting members and families who want to join in making the big move to an ecovillage. You can check out a quick rundown of some expected setup here:

http://directory.ic.org/21713/Deohako

and you can get a better idea of where we want to go with everything in our vision statement here:

http://deohako.com/?page_id=16

Regardless of whether you want to join or not, all suggestions are welcome, whether they be on the web site, our vision or anything else! Nothing is set in stone at this point, especially things like finances and final housing setup. If we find most people wanting to join are interested in forming the community a certain way, we are open to finding ways to fit the interests of those people into the whole of the group. We are definitely open to subgroups, who wish to operate in a different manner, such as communal housing (sharing a house instead of common facilities), but still be part of the larger community who may operate differently.

Questions, comments, criticism? I'm all ears :) What do you guys think of such a crazy idea? And of course, anyone here interested?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does your village need an idiot?

I'd like to volunteer.
LOL :)

I'm sorry though, that position is already filled by myself (who owns 5 cats and is highly allergic to them). I will give you the official title of Garden Gnome though if you want to stand around in the yard chasing off foxes from the hen house :p
 

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Hi, I love the pictures on your vision statement page!

You asked for suggestions, comments so here it goes.

On this section, there's a couple of words that either aren't spelled correctly or are misused-it's a little thing I know but you may want to fix them. I am assuming you meant growing group. Otherwise, I like the concept and wish you the best.:)

About Us
We are a grouping group of individuals who want to form a community that can serve as an example to others on how to live not only within our own means, but sustainably for the forseeable future. We believe that the future is not nearly as far away as others may think, and strive to better that through our actions everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, fixed that right up :) I hate misspellings and grammatical mistakes, but I'm horrible at catching my own.
 

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Regardless of whether you want to join or not, all suggestions are welcome, whether they be on the web site, our vision or anything else! Nothing is set in stone at this point, especially things like finances and final housing setup.
Questions, comments, criticism? I'm all ears :) What do you guys think of such a crazy idea? And of course, anyone here interested?
Wow - what a cool thing to do!
I think we have a group like this about 2 miles from us - they are on a main road and it has been truly amazing to watch them move in and begin to live an independent life. They have a big communal garden and they live in RVs, mobile homes, etc.

One suggestion I have would be to make use of the Freecycle sites and let people know you will take donations of lumber, stone, brick, building material etc.
If you've ever read the book about Findhorn http://www.findhorn.org/index.php?tz=360, this type of village is truly inspiring - Good Luck with your endeavor!! :clap:
 
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You say:
Decision Making:
By consensus
(Will likely be by consensus 90% or override for most decisions)
That is with your present consensus of 2 people. BUT, What if, in the future, there are 9 people and 5 of them have an opinion differing from the guidelines you currently have? Will changes be made to reflect majority rule, or are the current guidelines to be considered your basic rules to live by?
The possibility of having a majority opinion opposite your current guidelines on at least one point are almost a certainty. At that point, what happens to the people that came in under the guidelines as they stand now, and don't like the new majority rule?
As an example. majority decides they don't like children and some of the older members decide they WILL have children. What provisions will you have to compensate them for whatever they have put into the community which now prohibits them from having children?
In order to avoid the possibility, you'd need to draw up a written agreement for every potential resident to look over. But then, it's no longer rule by consensus, but instead, rule by decree. Man, I know its a tough spot, but if you don't set the rules fast and hard, you will have problems. Ask anybody that ever lived in a commune. Which I know that your planned community is not the same thing. But the same problems can come up. My experience with a family type compound(I did a lot of work for the people and were very close to them) is that a family can't hardly get along living on the same property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You say:
Decision Making:
By consensus
(Will likely be by consensus 90% or override for most decisions)
That is with your present consensus of 2 people. BUT, What if, in the future, there are 9 people and 5 of them have an opinion differing from the guidelines you currently have? Will changes be made to reflect majority rule, or are the current guidelines to be considered your basic rules to live by?
The possibility of having a majority opinion opposite your current guidelines on at least one point are almost a certainty. At that point, what happens to the people that came in under the guidelines as they stand now, and don't like the new majority rule?
As an example. majority decides they don't like children and some of the older members decide they WILL have children. What provisions will you have to compensate them for whatever they have put into the community which now prohibits them from having children?
In order to avoid the possibility, you'd need to draw up a written agreement for every potential resident to look over. But then, it's no longer rule by consensus, but instead, rule by decree. Man, I know its a tough spot, but if you don't set the rules fast and hard, you will have problems. Ask anybody that ever lived in a commune. Which I know that your planned community is not the same thing. But the same problems can come up. My experience with a family type compound(I did a lot of work for the people and were very close to them) is that a family can't hardly get along living on the same property.
It's not actually consensus anymore, you are right that it's a misnomer to say so.

As for the guidelines, there will be few that demand any specific thing that will be long lasting throughout the life of an inhabitant. These few rules will generally be set in stone upon the formation and agreement of all founders, so we will have to have a 100% consensus (true consensus) on formation. These rules will likely have to do with what you can't build (such as a McMansion) instead of what you can. In essence, we're only going to eliminate things we already know to be a problem, rather than whitelisting things you're allowed to do.

I fully expect disagreements, and there will certainly be a ruleset that we are going to draw up before moving in with each other. Like you said, one of the bigger problems of communities is what happens when there are disagreements. By setting up a system of rules that are agreed upon, we can head off most problems by figuring out what actions will be taken in the future should we come upon those disagreements. One problem I read about was that a village did not foresee the collapse of their industry (different from ours) and they all disagreed on what to do. Some wanted to sell the whole place, others said they should strive to live independently and continue in hardship, others just wanted to take their money and go. By planning for these big contingencies and the small ones like kids, we hope to lay some common ground for everyone to return to when things get heated :)
 

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This is intriguing. Have you chosen a site/area yet? Why NY? How expensive is the land? What group work (other than gardening) do you forsee? Will people be able to raise meat animals? Will you use the community building to teach homesteading classes?
I'm interested, but wouldn't join unless I had a job in the area (thus the first question).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is intriguing. Have you chosen a site/area yet? Why NY? How expensive is the land? What group work (other than gardening) do you forsee? Will people be able to raise meat animals? Will you use the community building to teach homesteading classes?
I'm interested, but wouldn't join unless I had a job in the area (thus the first question).
We have not chosen a site yet, we have more or less picked a general location "Adirondack Mountains". Upstate NY is beautiful, we love the weather, we know how the land generally works having lived there most of our lives and we know what is and isn't possible there. The land is surprisingly inexpensive when you get away from most towns, which leads to the downside of living rural, lack of job availability. I have a plan to start an internet business which I hope to grow to encompass others who want to join and my wife is doing natural health products, like soaps, detergents, scents oils and the like so our plans are varied. Not being communal is somewhat of a detriment as our business and others won't necessarily be able to hire others, but that is a goal we're looking for. In short, people need to have a plan to earn their own income privately although we are allowing for subgroups who want to pool resources and income (i.e. traditional commune style).

Yes, people will be able to raise and eat meat, which is a massive separation from most ecovillages I'm aware, but I'm also aware that there are people who aren't about to give up meat who would like to live in the type of setting I describe and aren't welcome at other places. Some of the plans of the village also include possibly starting up a village business which goes back to the job question and actually WOULD allow for people who don't have a private business to live and work there without a problem. We're thinking a half-and-half solution will work well, with people working for the business paying their dues through village work (as long as the business stays profitable) and private business runners paying through regular old cash. The village would only take what it needs for projects instead of investing money for interest, so there would be no risk involved in the loss of money in "prospecting".

I know some communities run full fledged farms doing quite well (most ecovillages are doing phenomenal in this financial climate) and I wouldn't be too hard pressed to give up programming if given the opportunity to farm while I still had a good back and strong arms :) Most community run businesses also have non-labor jobs for people who cannot do that work and they contribute just as much, as the business (and their livelihoods) succeeds or fails on their work.
 

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Will you serve kool-aid?
 

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Yes, people will be able to raise and eat meat, which is a massive separation from most ecovillages I'm aware, but I'm also aware that there are people who aren't about to give up meat who would like to live in the type of setting I describe and aren't welcome at other places.
I just wanted to tell you that some people I know that have been searching for a community, this has been their biggest problem. They feel very strongly that you can not be completely sustainable without animals. I guess other communities aren't feeling that way.

I can give him your information. I think they were looking for an already formed community though.
 

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I'm interested in understanding the common, reliable "cement" that holds the group together, which seems essential to make the whole thing work. Understanding basic human nature, what powerful, common "self interest" drives all members?...Glen
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm interested in understanding the common, reliable "cement" that holds the group together, which seems essential to make the whole thing work. Understanding basic human nature, what powerful, common "self interest" drives all members?...Glen
Each one is different, if I had to pick one for our group, I'd saying the "Seventh Generation" principle. It's really simple to follow, all you have to do when making decisions (and this helps the consensus process work) is agree on one main goal and then you can make decisions that will lead your group further toward that goal. In the 7 gen principle, you base your decisions around whether or not the decision will be good for those children that come 7 generations from now.
 

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Once you have the land, let us know. I can then start looking into jobs in the area. Sounds terrific!
 
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