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How to visit a village on the ecovillage economy tour.

The ecovillage economy tour is an open experiment in data collection. The intention is to build a picture of the overall ecovillage economy so see what business or exchange opportunities might emerge.

It is easy to email a questionnaire to all the villages but hard to get a meaningful response. To get high quality data, qualitative and quantitative, requires more than 10 boring minutes online, and has other benefits in terms of building relationships and increasing knowledge and understanding! This 'primitive' way of gathering data is impossibly inefficient, but together our resources are abundant!

  1. Read the previous economy tour blog posts. Check if the village you are visiting has already been done!
  2. Try to plan in advance so that someone knowledgeable in the village knows you are coming and will give you some time. Send them the link above so they know what to expect.
  3. Its good to stay a few days.
  4. Arrange an interview with that person for maybe an hour and fill out the questionnaire (ask me for write access to that spreadsheet).
  5. Have a tour of the village, paying attention to resources, work, production. Ask lots of questions.
  6. Participate in village activities and talk to people, getting many perspectives. See if you can find the tensions in the village narrative!
  7. Towards the end, write a blog post. If you don't have a blog, I will post it on my blog
    • One sentence about the landscape and location, to give context.
    • Then talk about the most interesting aspects of village life, considering the following.
    • The philosophical underpinnings or origin story of the village
    • Main areas of value creation.
    • Special innovations
    • Fuel / energy sources.
    • Exchange relationships & bulk buying
    • Demographics
    • Sustenance for old people
    • Land / property ownership and the way that work is measured and recognised
    • Legal framework.
    • Finally add something about HOW YOU FEEL about the village.
  8. Make sure someone in the village approves your text for accuracy and fairness.
  9. Ensure you complete the questionnaire with a link to the blog-post


Hi, I just found your blog. Cool stuff!

Perhaps you'll be interested in my recent writeup on my blog on Earthaven's money. It's an ecovillage in North Carolina. It's called Leaps of Faith. :-)

Hi Matthew,

I did a write up about Lammas Ecovillage in Wales I can contribute, as soon as its checked for approval.. it's quite a new and different project,

:) Carmen
ps. I can't open the questionnaire

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