Dear friends of the Earth,
You are receiving this invitation because I respect you deeply for who you are and how you show up in this world. I feel you genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of others and for the health of our planet as a whole. Most of all I consider you as a friend who I love, respect and would be honored to co-create with. For this reason I am inviting you to an ecovillage visioning experience to co-create a global network of educational ecovillages that inspire and demonstrate ecologically mindful living practices.
There is a significant amount of information below — so I ask that you provide yourself with an opportunity to read this message in ENTIRETY when you have a few minutes of quiet time to be focused and mindful while reading (there is important info all the way through). If that moment is not now… please flag this message and come back to it when you have 5-10 minutes of focused time. If that moment is NOW… I ask you to take a few deep breathes… and offer you the opportunity to read through this email almost as a meditation… with an intention to have an open heart and mind focused on creating optimal health and joy in our lives and on this planet. Inhale… exhale… here we go!!
Imagine a village of around 150 people working and playing together to create one of the world’s most inspiring ecovillages… imagine collaborating with 150 like-minded friends to grow healthy organic food with practices of regenerative agriculture, prepare delicious meals, raise families together, build homes with natural materials, generate electricity from sources of clean renewable energy, process ‘waste’ in living machines that provide vital nutrients to the soil, honor the sacredness of every drop of water with efficient catchment and irrigation systems, … and to dance, sing, yoga, meditate, create art and play music together — this is what we are creating!!
To share with you a little context for the experience — as most of you know we have spent the last several years creating a nonprofit organization called Local Earth. We received our nonprofit status in 2016, it is now 2017 and we are ready to move forward with the vision!
Vision Statement: ‘Our vision is to develop a global network of educational ecovillages that demonstrate regenerative solutions to the social and environmental challenges we are facing on the planet today.” – Local Earth
Invite & Intention
We invite YOU to join us August 11-13th at Liberty Advance for our 1st EcoVillage Ecovillage Visioning & CommUNITY Building Experience! Our intention for this experience is to begin forming our initial team/council of 12 people with an interest to begin designing and building the 1st Living Cluster and launch the 1st Local Earth Festival. The initial team will be composed of individuals with a desire to dive into ecovillage design, building and living! Even though this weekend experience is focused on the development of Local Earth Villages, the weekend will be of amazing value to anyone interested in creating community — even if you do not choose to participate further with the development of the Local Earth Villages. At the end of the weekend there will be numerous options for how we move forward and ways to support and engage in the vision, yet there will be no expectations from anyone to participate in anything beyond the weekend if you do not feel called to do so.
- 1:00 – 7:00pm – Arrival
- 7:00 – Dinner
- 8:30 – Opening Circle
- 7:45 – Breakfast
- 9:00 – Interactive Ecovillage Playshop & Visioning
- Yoga, breath, movement
- Guided meditation & visualization
- Sharing of visualizations
- Group partner yoga game/exercise to embody community building principles
- 11:00 – Free time (hike, yoga, nap, chat, swim, connect – whatever)
- 12:00 – Lunch
- 1:30 – Intro to Local Earth Village Values & Concepts
- 1:50 – Facilitated Community Visioning Exercise
- 3:00 – Break
- 3:15 – Continued Visioning Exercise & Group Discussion
- 5:00 – Free time (hike, yoga, nap, chat, swim, hot tub, connect – whatever)
- 6:30 – Dinner
- 8:00 – CommUnity Jam & Fire Circle – dance, sing, play music, howl to the moon and stars
- 7:45 – Yoga, Meditation, Hike
- 9:00 – Breakfast
- 10:15 – Open Space / World Cafe Session (self-guided collaborative village design experience)
- 12:00 – Lunch
- 1:30 – Next Steps from here (offering for various levels of engagement moving forward)
- 3:00 – Seva / community cleanup of space
- 3:30 – Free time (hike, yoga, nap, chat, swim, hot tub, connect – whatever)
- 5:00 – Closing Circle
- 6:00 – Dinner
Friday, August 11th – Sunday, August 13th
1585 Jewel Valley Rd.
Boulevard, CA 91905
RSVP (by July 1st):
Please pay your $33 deposit by July 1st to confirm your participation.
Our intention is to keep this extremely affordable for everyone, we are making no financial profit from this experience.
This is an amazing price and opportunity for an epic weekend, with epic people in an epic place!
Venue – Liberty Advance
The base-cost for a nonprofit event at Liberty is $1,500 and will be equally dispersed amongst everyone who attends.
We are guessing we will have approximately 20-35 participants.
If 35 people – $43/person
If 25 people – $60/person
If 15 people – $100/person
Etc… Etc… Etc
The cost for food will depend on how our group decides to prepare meals (see info below).
We are Creating this Experience Together as CommUnity!
This will be a collaborative, co-created commUnity experience! This is a group process where we are all work together to create, inform and shape the experience. We are providing a basic structure, intention and flow for the weekend – yet many of the spaces within the container will be co-created by all of us together as a group. I am NOT planning out the food and meal logistics for the weekend. This will be an opportunity for all of us to begin thinking about group decision making and communication processes.
“I am what I am because of who we all are.” – Ubuntu
We will have an opportunity as a group to choose how we come together to facilitate the meal experiences for the weekend. We will have a private Facebook group and discussion thread where we can all communicate and make decisions about food etc. Once we know how many people are confirmed to attend by the RSVP date of July 1st we can begin planning meals and any other necessary logistics.
As part of this experience we will share with everyone the vision for Local Earth and the foundational values we have created as an organization thus far. These values will be offered as a starting point for discussions, yet everyone will have the opportunity to share their ideas and input as we move forward to further shape the vision and values. What we have established is flexible and adaptable and will be influenced by the people who attend this community building experience and choose to move forward with us further into the vision and development of the village.
Location ~ Liberty Advance
For those of you that have not been to Liberty Advance… it is a beautiful Yoga & Permaculture Center located about 1 hour east of San Diego. We are so grateful and fortunate to have this experience here! The main building has an amazing yoga/gathering space, kitchen, bathrooms, community lounge, dorm room, 4 private rooms, and ample camping space. There is also a strawbale and adobe community kitchen that was built with friends and community support through a series of community gatherings. It is nestled into a scenic and serene landscape of high desert boulders, vegetation and hills. There is an outdoor pool and hot tub to enjoy on our rest and relaxation times!
Community Systems & Scale of Design
We are working on designs for a village of approximately 150 people based on Dunbar’s number and several other factors. We won’t get too caught up in the details here, I just want to give you a bit of context to the rhyme and reason of the numbers we are working with. Dunbar’s number relates to how many humans can efficiently work together and maintain stable social relationships (more info: Dunbar’s number). We are focusing on the development of ecovillage blueprints for various bioregions that can be scaled, replicated and integrated into innovative urban and rural planning models of the future.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Richard Buckminster Fuller
One of the foundational elements of creating new social systems is the decision making and governing process. Based on the current political atmosphere in the United States and many other countries around the world, I think many of us can agree that our current political system and democratic process has a lot of room for improvement — or better yet, room for the creation of a new model that makes the old obsolete. There are several innovative governing systems and decision making processes that have been evolving throughout this last century that share qualities of adaptability, transparency, accountability, integrity and equitability. A few of these models are Sociocracy, Holacracy and Dynamic Governance.
Diana Leafe Christian (author of ‘Creating a Life Together’) shares in her workshops that two of the most important factors that contribute to the success and harmony of a group are efficient decision making processes and communication practices. She feels that Sociocracy is one of the best decision making processes and that practices of nonviolent communication are extremely valuable. Studies have shown that the most impactful and effective group communication practices occur in group sizes between 9-12 people — within a group of this size everyone can be seen and heard while sitting and communicating in a circle. Once we get over 12 people communication and cohesion begins to break down.
“It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community – a community practising understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth” – Thich Nhat Hanh
We have combined these factors of Dunbar’s number for efficient group dynamics and optimum communication processes to develop a community model composed of 12 Living Clusters with approximately 12 people in each cluster. This composition of 12 Living Clusters with 12 people creates our ‘base unit scale of design’ for approximately 144 people. This model cultivates a social environment of self and group accountability and responsibility that no longer perpetuates blame and dependency on the ‘system’ at large or ‘someone’ that is in charge.
In this model everyone is directly empowered to be part of the continual creation and evolution of the social systems that influence their lives — everyone that participates in the local system is representative of the system at large. We are basically developing a fractal of sustainability and regeneration at the community/village/neighborhood scale — that can be scaled up and replicated into urban planning methodologies.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Abbreviated Timeline and Potential Sequence of Events
(See this link for a more in-depth timeline)
Phase I (12-18 months / August 2017 – Feb 2019)
- Systems Development for Living Cluster & launch 1st Local Earth Festival on temporary land with partnering organization or landowner
Phase II (12-18 months / Feb 2019 – August 2020)
- Development of 1st Living Cluster for 12 people and Retreat Space on land that we have acquired as an organization/group
Phase III (24-36 months / Aug 2020 – August 2023)
- Replication of Clusters & Development of full 150 village on our land
Gathering a Team of Visionaries, Solutionaries & Evolutionaries ~ Earth 2.0!
We are calling forth a team of people who are ready to facilitate a shift of paradigms on this planet at a local and global scale. The Local Earth Village is about creating new societal models and systems from the ground up with a vision to have powerful impact on world at large! The intention goes well beyond a band of hippies coming together to live off the grid – this is about a group of visionaries coming together to create global solutions in response to the social and environmental challenges we are facing on the planet today.
We have been referring to this as part of the Earth 2.0 Initiative – an evolution of the planet’s operating systems. This includes of topics such as redesigning the planets economic and governing systems, as well as laws pertaining to land use and ownership. This vision is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and supports the mission of 195 countries committed to implementing the Global Climate Action Plan.
Two core components of Local Earth are inspiration and education – for this reason we are creating an interactive educational platform that will share the solutions and technologies we develop with the world as a whole. The platform will include open-source plans and videos of how to implement these systems locally with DIY tutorials, information and resources.
We are collaborating with a film project called ‘ReGenerate’ to document and share this story of a group of people coming together to develop global solutions through the creation of an educational ecovillage model that can be replicated and scaled. Parts of the weekend will be filmed for this project. We will have film releases to sign and ask that everyone is willing and agreeable to being filmed. If you are interested in participating in the experience but would not like to be filmed, please contact me and we can come up with a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
This is a private event, YOU have been specifically invited for who you are and how you show up in this world! Please honor the sacredness of this experience and container and do not share or extend this invitation to anyone else. If you feel as though you know someone perfectly suited for this amazing endeavor that I do not know or that is currently not on the invitation list, please let me know and we can discuss possibilities.
With so much love and gratitude,
Joshua & the Local Earth Team
List of links for more information on topics referenced in this message
Local Earth Vision & Overview: local-earth.org/overview
Living Custer: local-earth.org/living-cluster-model
Regenerative Village Blueprint: local-earth.org/blueprint
Earth 2.0 Initiative: local-earth.org/2-0
Creating a Life Together: dianaleafechristian.org
Dunbar’s Number: bit.ly/dunbar_tribe
United Nations / Sustainable Development: un.org/sustainabledevelopment