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Adventures in mutual credit

Luisa and I toured Portugal in September 2018 to find out the best places to build a resilient life. Portugal has been hit by recession since the 2008 Great Financial Crisis but not been in the headlines like Greece, Italy and Spain. We say a tourist boom going on in both Lisbon and Porto which is probably assuaging the situation somewhat. We noted that after Holland...
I was honoured to be invited to Skala ecovillage in Greece. Anna and Nikiforos are 3 years into their fourth attempt to build a community on their property near Thessaloniki on which currently abide 7 adults plus 3 volunteers and some children. I'm still not sure what they thought I would bring, but their main concern is to take the project from merely living together to building a future together. Nikiforos is a highly skilled engineer running a family business 50km away putting all his income into Skala. Most of the others are paying a fixed rent for basic accommodation but not investing...
[One condition for my GEN ambassadorship was a writeup at the end of the year. This is it, though I've written up a handful of individual ecovillages previously in this blog] I've had the honor of spending a several days in several ecovillages, but I didn't manage to write economic profiles of all of them! Valle Sencaciones Lakabe Amalurra Los Portales Sieben Linden Damanhur Schweibenalp The variety of economies was as wide as could be, ranging from Lakabe which uses no money internally and has a single account for handling everybody's cash, to larger ecovillages like Sieben...
Most ecovillages are progressive outposts on the frontiers of a necessary transition. Damanhur however is the centre of a nascent civilisation. With over 500 adult residents and tens of thousands of connected souls it is the largest ecovillage in Europe; it has created its own culture and its own ways of living in community and understanding and practising spirituality. The heart of the community is a massive and magnificent work, the Temple of Humanity, secretly carved into the mountain over fifteen years before being betrayed to the public. Forty years ago the original founders held...
Sieben Linden (Seven Linden trees) sits amongst forests, fields and sparsley populated villages in the plains of Northern Germany. The land is owned by a cooperative in which all members buy a stake. There are a few large straw-bale houses which are designed for a family and several friends and guests, while half the members live in 'temporary' caravans waiting for the money and the people to come together for subsequent houses. Where would this money come from? Mostly from rent from existing members, a little from new members buying their stake, some from loans from supporters and banks...
Amalurra, Basque for 'mother earth', was formed from a meditation group with life-coach Irene Goikolea over 20 years ago. Wanting to take their practice further, they bought an old seminary and oriented their lives around making it beautiful and offering hospitality. Fast forward to now, and there are several gleaming buildings, including a hotel, hostel, spa, cafe, restaurant, many spaces for meetings and workshops, a sweat-lodge next to a stream and extensive gardens. Every niche resonates with aesthetic abundance and the community has many friends and even two satellite communities...
Perched on one of the foothills of the Pyrenees, in the Basque region, Lakabe was a tiny deserted village of 7 houses re-inhabited 34 years ago by a handful idealists fleeing the city life. There was no road, and no rooves on the houses, very little money for redevelopment, and certainly no tenure. Now there are 50 people, a bakery, a sustainable pine forest, and the village is 'official' although the property can neither be bought by the residents nor sold by the local government. The endeavour was and continues to develop very slowly, but without debt. In fact building isn't so expensive...
English | Espagnol Many ecovillages are struggling to live the dream because they have yet to escape from debt and the need to pull money out of the global economy to meet their needs. Few of them are creating the things they need to live, so the majority of ecovillages are drawn into the main stream economy to meet basic needs. Ecovillages should be cooperating in wealth creation and replacing scarce money in their economic relationships with abundant trust. I have been made an ecovillage ambassador to enable me to explore the ecovillage economy more deeply, and ask the following...

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