An Open Model for A Deeply Connected Life-long Free to Learn Community.

Time is Now!

About

QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS

Why start with questions?

How to live a modern, culturally rich life in an intentional community in a natural environment?

How to prosper living outside of the city?

How can community be a rich free-to-learn environment for children and adults, supporting lifelong learning for all?

How to balance commons, private ownership and sharing in a small community?

How to create a community model reproducible by others?

How to create a deeply connected community?

How to create a community culture of collaboration?

How can a community renew itself, remaining vibrant and vigorous?

How to create a community our children will choose to live?

VALUES
VALUES

Universal Values

Life-long Free-to-learn

Harmony

Formosus

Empathic Communication

Openness & Transparency

Collaboration

Gratitude

Celebration

VISION
VISION

A 100 Year Project

Nurturing the Vision

Citizenship

Visitors

Growth & Networking

Why?

Who? - Join Us!

Creative Intentional Community

Life-long Free-to-learn Community

Celebration

Organization, Ownership & Sharing

Empathic Communication, Decision Making and Governance

Children, Elders and Demographics

Incomes

Community Service

Abundant Commons

The Garden

Where?

The Village

Infrastructure

RESEARCH
RESEARCH

Research

Sociocracy

Legal structures

Micro Grid - Electricity, Water, Sewerage

The Forum

Circle Way

Potlatch

Alternative Economic Systems in Community

Natural Building

Internet Infrastructure

Collaboration

Epicurean communities

Quakers

Kibbutz

Ecovillages

Hunter Gatherers

Free-to-Learn in Community

Non Violent Communication

About EarthSkyLab Vision

The idea behind EarthSkyLab Vision has been two years in development, thinking, researching. We have researched best practices from around the world, cultures, communities and traditions.

This site is the seed of our dream, we invite you to cultivate it together with us. Let's imagine the future together!

EarthSkyLab is intended as new open model for a 21st century community. An idea shared freely across the world, forked, re-mixed and implemented in every part of the Earth!

Get involved!

We invite philosophers, architects, thinkers, entrepreneurs, adventurers, free-to-learners, collaborators...

There are a few ways you can get involved with EarthSkyLab. We have created a Blog, which we invite everyone to contribute to and share your knowledge and thoughts about the Questions and themes we have raised in EarthSkyLab Vision.

We are in the process of forming working groups focused on specific areas. We invite you to take part and collaborate with us on exploring the vision and bringing it into the world. Please express your interest by sending us an email.

In 2016 we will organise an EarthSkyLab Summit 2016 will be organized in a locatin yet to be decided and there will be more information online.

And of course get in touch if you are considering joining EarthSkyLab and moving to the land.

Call For Blog Contribution

Please share your knowledge and thoughts - be part of the book of EarthSkyLab! We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts about the questions and ideas of EarthSkyLab. Blog is the place to elucidate the dream by bringing together creative intelligence of many people interested in new comunity models.

Village planning working group

Creating a model concept design for what EarthSkyLab could be laid out as is a fun, exciting and important part of the design process. Of course when we find the land we will need to adjust to it’s particular topography and characteristics, still starting the discussion now on how to position community buildings and houses. Village planning working group aims to answer the following questions:

How to create a village layout which fosters community interaction? What are the shared spaces which the community needs? How to create a village layout aligned with our values and goals? What spaces can we create for the community to get together? What are the spaces we need for discussion, meditation, for festivals and celebration?

Organisation & Business Plan working group

We need a team to create an organisation plan describing clearly the ownership structure, decision making, etc. We need to draft the articles of the constitution for the legal entity. We need to create a model of how community finances will be handled. We need to create agreements about community service.

Free-to-learn community working group

The idea of creating a community which is centered around the free-to-learn principle for both children and adults is perhaps the most novel part of the whole EarthSkyLab Vision. We are looking for help from everyone in the alternative-learning movement to help us develop the details of how to turn vision into reality.

EarthSkyLab Summit 2016

The EarthSkyLab Summit is a temporary community focused on developing the EarthSkyLab model. We will discuss, exchange ideas and make plans for implementing the EarthSkyLab vision. We will create community documents, work on business models, imagine community celebrations, make beautiful things and build future plans. We will work, cook, eat, sing, create and celebrate together.

Connect with us

Facebook

The Earth Sky Lab facebook page for updates and official announcements

Send us an e-mail

QUESTIONS
QUESTIONS

Why start with questions?

Why questions? We believe that questions are more fundamental than answers. It is not possible to have an informed discussion about the answer if we aren’t all considering the same question. Thus a presentation of ideas with the hope of sparking fruitful discussion must necessarily start with a statement of what questions are under consideration.

We must reach a shared understanding of the questions before beginning discussion of possible answers. Each word in the questions is intended to spark reflection and discussion: Community? Culture?Collaboration? Each question a source of further questions.

How to live a modern, culturally rich life in an intentional community in a natural environment?

We have been living in buzzing cities most of our lives enjoying cultural explorations, absorbing the juices of social life, with its great variety, depth and richness. We have been spoiled by the speed with which we can access the creme de la creme of cultural events, variety of experiences, and potentially meet new people. How can we live a life in nature away from a big city and still be integrated into regional and global culture. How can we have a modern lifestyle away from the big city?

How to prosper living outside of the city?

Since the first cities provinces were at a disadvantage - disconnected from news, knowledge, variety of products and business opportunities. The Internet has reduced communication costs to nothing linking the world and flattening distances. What paths to prosperity does this new technology present? What does it mean to prosper? What is prosperity in the context of the 21st century and life in a deeply connected community?

How can community be a rich free-to-learn environment for children and adults, supporting lifelong learning for all?

How do we foster a value system and culture which encourage lifelong learning in community? How create a free-to-learn community? What does lifelong learning imply? How can free learning for children be integrated into the natural life of the community? And what is a rich environment for free to learn?

How to balance commons, private ownership and sharing in a small community?

What is the commons in the context of our times? What is the commons in the context of a deeply connected community? How to balance commons and private ownership in a way which is best for the health of the community and it’s members? How to enable wide sharing of resources in community.

How to create a community model reproducible by others?

How can we share knowledge and best practices about community? How can we share holistic knowledge about human systems?

How to create a deeply connected community?

How do we create strong connection within community? What do we mean by connection and connectedness and why it is important?

How do we recondition ourselves from the prevailing culture of separation into a culture of collaboration, mutual support and sharing?

How to create a community culture of collaboration?

How can we shift from a competitive, hierarchical world view to a culture of collaboration and mutual support? How do we nourish the creative power of collaboration? How does collaboration encourage personal development and learning? How can we bring collaboration to the heart of our life?

How can a community renew itself, remaining vibrant and vigorous?

How does a community let go of old processes and models and welcome the new? How does community celebrate letting go of what doesn’t serve it any longer and create cycles of renewal? How do we ensure physical, mental and emotional health within community? How do we keep community demographics in a healthy balance?

How to create a community our children will choose to live?

How do we pass onto our children passion for community? How do we create a community, which creative youth will want to be part of? How do we create a community where young families want to raise their children?

VALUES
VALUES

Universal Values

As a basis for EarthSkyLab values we subscribe to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Life-long Free-to-learn

Each EarthSkyLab member is an enthusiastic student, peer, coach and teacher passionately learning and sharing knowledge, striving to bring new ideas and skills into the community.

Harmony

We create harmony in our thoughts and actions, waking up and going through the day interacting with each other. We dance in harmony with nature and learn to listen and collaborate with it. We allow time for practices which bring body, mind and voice in balance.

Formosus

Formosus (latin) - esthetic, well formed, beautiful.

Our village, homes, our garden and forest are places of beauty. Our creations are objects of beauty bringing joy to the world. Our festivals are extraordinary and moving experiences.

Empathic Communication

We practice empathic communication at the personal and community level.

Openness & Transparency

We wholeheartedly participate in community building processes, expressing our needs and opening our inner self to the group. Community processes, decision making and accounting are all open, clearly documented and understood by all members. We are open about our organisation structure, sharing our learnings widely.

Collaboration

EarthSkyLab is built on a culture of collaboration in all aspects of the community.

Community building, the garden, child care, learning, our enterprises are built on a basis of mutual support, solidarity and co-operation between members.

Gratitude

Gratitude keeps perception clear. Gratitude is the basis of happiness. A culture of gratitude builds community connection. Gratitude creates a basis for personal and community psychological health.

Celebration

There is something out of ordinary during celebration, there is space where time itself is transcended and we have gone beyond “normality” and familiar. There is a sense of renewal and a sense of mystery. During celebrations we focus on the human and natural cycles which need to be recognized. Celebration makes us mindful of these cycles connecting us to nature, to the cycle of life, connecting us to the universe. We offer our gratitudes to each other and to the Universe and put intentions into our celebration ceremonies. These moments create a potential for transformation of individual and community bonding.

VISION
VISION

A 100 Year Project

In order to create a grand but not grandiose frame for the project we are viewing this as a 100 year project. Of course after that we hope it will continue for a long time, but it is out of our planning horizon. Perhaps those who do the evaluation of this 100 year plan can then go on to make a 1,000 year plan. We will strive to create a world to enable them to do this. A 100 years is a reasonable timeframe to grow a forest, and we expect to have to plant one. It takes this much to regenerate an exhausted natural environment. It takes a 100 years to really see and appreciate the impact of a grand social experiment. At the same time we hope that creating this goal, and evaluating ourselves against it will bring benefit to our planning and sharing of knowledge with others.

Nurturing the Vision

The health and vibrancy of the community depends on nurturing the EarthSkyLab vision in the hearts and minds of the community. A shared living vision which is continually renewed. EarthSkyLab celebrations are an integral part of our vision process. We consciously endeavour to share the EarthSkyLab vision with our children, new members, with each other and the world. We create practices which synchronise everything we do with the vision.

Citizenship

The process for becoming a citizen of EarthSkyLab will be clearly formalised. Acceptance into the community will require unanimous consensus of all existing members. First there will be a one year trial period. In order to create a shared frame of reference all citizens will study key community skills. The details of these will be decided in the forming days of the community but are expected to include sociocracy and empathic communication. There will be a set of shared readings and the most important skills will require taking courses. In order to ensure new members share the EarthSkyLab vision they will be asked to write about how they understand it, how they see themselves fitting into the community and how they think the vision should evolve in the future. Of course entering the trial period, entering the community are wonderfully joyous occasions and will be celebrated by the community!

Visitors

EarthSkyLab will welcome many visitors. Our extended families, our friends, our collaborators, we are all globally connected and EarthSkyLab is also intended as a retreat for our extended community. A place where we can bring our collaborators and for a time work together closely. However EarthSkyLab is not a rental event center or a curiosity for day visitors, all visitors are considered temporary community members with corresponding rights and obligations. Once a year we will open our doors and create a festival for invited guests. A festival focused not on consumption but on collaborative co-creation. No spectators!

Growth & Networking

The purpose of EarthSkyLab is to create a deeply connected community of close relationships, sharing and mutual support. Learning from hunter gatherer tribes, recent research in human psychology and the communities which have come before us we believe that the optimal size for this is 10-15 families. EarthSkyLab will not grow beyond this size. Instead EarthSkyLab will expand by creating an extended family of sister communities. Our dream is to create an open model for community which others can easily copy, to create a world-wide network of like-minded communities. A network we can share ideas, learnings, and best-practices with. A network of free-to-learn communities our children can travel to and collaborate with.

Why?

So that we can Imagine, Design, Create, Play, Decide, Collaborate, Celebrate, Cook, Eat, Share, Learn, Garden, Build, Dance, Laugh, Cry, Live and Meditate together in Joy, Gratitude, Beauty, Nature, Harmony

Because we believe that with conscious design we can create a better world, a better home, a better life for ourselves. Because we believe that the only way can do this is together, as a community. Because we see that we have reached the limits of individual struggle, the limits of what we can achieve within the framework of the existing system. Because we think that this is the right time to live the life we have dreamt of.

We can create a better world.

A life of meaningful and deep interaction with people we care about. A rich nurturing environment for children. A beautiful natural environment. A life full of art and craft. A life lived in a deeply connected community of skilled, passionate and dedicated people. A life with a shared vision, a new kind of sustainable community. A life lived together with friends who are passionate about creating beauty in the world. A community garden bringing abundance to all. A place where craftsmen, artists, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, marketers can collaborate and cross-pollinate without limitations.

A new way of life is possible.

We believe that through conscious effort we can improve ourselves, our lives, and our relationships. We believe we can learn from those who came before us and build on their wisdom and experience. We want to contribute to humanity's holistic progress. We believe that humanity needs a new model of a deeply connected small community. A model for living in harmony with each other, nature and modernity. We understand that life long learning gives a happier more fulfilled life. We know we can learn to master our emotional states. We think that in order for the community to continually renew itself it’s members must continue to learn.

Time is Now!

We believe The Time Is Now: The progress of our virtual lives, the lowering of life-quality, rising real estate prices and degrading mental-health conditions in the city. The commoditization of our food supply. The difficulty of raising children in the big city. Our growing distance from nature. The worries about stability of basic national and global economic structures. The availability of cheap land in many wonderful corners of the world. Our growing realisation of what needs to be done. Our growing network of friends and supporters. Clearly, the time is now. For centuries our celebrations have become captured, institutionalised first by religions then by consumerism. Idols attached themselves to our festivals sapping their power. Celebrations losing their raw human spirit, this power taken away from the people, weakening communities. The time has come to reclaim celebrations from churches and corporations and give their power back to the community.

We are adventure.

We love adventure and love big challenges. We know that it will bring us joy much above the effort it will require.

Who? - Join Us!

Who is it for?

EarthSkyLab is for creative individuals, enthusiastic about community and collaboration. Those who can make an income pursuing their dream away from the city. It is the place for those who love to learn and share their knowledge. Families who want a free-to-learn environment for their children and are eager to co-create it in community. EarthSkyLab invites those who want to create a new way of life, are willing to think differently, take risks, imagine.

Creative Intentional Community

We create EarthSkyLab with specific intentions and commitments, meaning we practice conscious approach towards community building.

Our intention embraces following aspects of community life:

  • Inter-generationally integrated - no “school”, no “retirement”
  • A culture of collaboration
  • Community bonding activities
    • Communication (NVC, circle-way/forum, etc.)
    • Celebration
    • Creating together
    • Gardening together
  • Sustainable and meaningful lifestyle
    • Economically vibrant - we create wealth for sustainable and comfortable lifestyle
    • Culturally & communally vibrant
    • A place where our children and their children will want to live
  • Repeatable
    • We document our learnings and share our model with the world
  • Size: 10-35 adults, 5-15 households

Life-long Free-to-learn Community

We understand that mastery starts from first small step. But we are also aware that mastery is a path filled with audacious experimentation and continuous remasterings of one’s own personal story in the light of larger processes. There is no limit to how deep one should follow one’s passion and how many unexpected turns can be taken. We encourage learning experience free from constrictions of mainstream education system - a self-directed, responsible and fulfilling experience, driven by inner necessity and the spark of creativity rather than obligatory curriculum and imposed uniformity.

Free-to-learn approach encourages healthy attitude to failure as a necessary and integral part of the learning process. From fear of failure to embracing change and finding creative opportunity in every circumstance, we expand perception of what achievements, success and sense of fulfilment are.

EarthSkyLab will work together to create a supportive learning environment for everyone, from the youngest child to the most elderly member. Each of us willing to be student, teacher, coach or learning peer. Eager to learn new skills and ideas, eager to share what we know.

To create a rich learning environment for children and youth all community members must be open and engaged, willing to share what they know. As free-to-learn is a founding pillar of EarthSkyLab, all EarthSkyLab children will free-to-learn in the community.

Creating a free-to-learn community is still a very new idea so this is an area we will be pioneers in. We will network widely with other free to learn communities to share best practices and give our children a map of places they can visit and collaborate with.

Life-long-learning means that all community members devote a part of their time to learning new skills and sharing what they learn with the community. This includes skills important for the community and it’s members enterprises such as permaculture, natural building, wood crafts, web marketing, software design, ceramics, communication, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, leadership, organisation, coaching etc.

Celebration

Celebration creates connection in community. As we eat, dance, sing and attain extraordinary states together we create deep human bonds. Celebration creates not just time together but time out of the ordinary. Peak experiences creating shared moments and memories to last a lifetime. Celebration is how we express our gratitude to life, earth and each other. Celebration is how we mark the passage of seasons, seasons of nature and of our lives. In EarthSkyLab every celebration is a festival, an art performance, an experience accepting no spectators. Creating our own calendar of festivals. Celebrating nature’s seasons, each other’s lives and the community’s joint achievements.

Natural Cycles

We celebrate the nature’s cycles. In recent millennia these natural astronomical cycles have been squatted by religions, EarthSkyLab reclaims them for the community! EarthSkyLab has a cycle of festivals to celebrate:

  • Solar Cycle
    • Solstices
    • Equinoxes
    • Seasons
  • Lunar Cycle
    • New Moon
    • Full Moon
  • Eclipses
  • Harvest festival, celebrating the bounty of nature is a favourite festival in every society.

Cycle of Human Life

We celebrate the cycles of human life together in community...

  • Birth
  • Marriage
  • Beginning building a new building, new enterprises, new projects
  • Completing buildings, projects
  • Building completed
  • New Citizen entering community
  • Anniversary of Entering community
  • Leaving community
  • Death

EarthSkyLab Cycle

We celebrating EarthSkyLab our joint creation.

  • Community foundation day festivals
  • EarthSkyLab Camp
    • Once a year we would like to do an open festival. A few weeks long, welcoming creators of all kinds, artists, designers, hackers and builders. A festival both for celebration as well as collaborative co-creation.
  • Long cycle events - once every 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 years cycles, or some such - maybe Mayan calendar cycle

Potlatch - Celebrating each other’s success

Potlatch events are created by members when they want to share their wealth with the community. It enables us to celebrate each other’s success and have the whole community benefit. An EarthSkyLab Potlatch could be just a shared party or a member buying equipment, building materials or even land for the community. EarthSkyLab Potlatch culture enables members to voluntarily share their surplus wealth with the community hopefully preventing wealth differences to grow into unhealthy levels. At the same time it encourages members to help each other as all successes are shared.

Organization, Ownership & Sharing

A key goal of EarthSkyLab is to create a good balance of private ownership, sharing and community commons. We believe that by creating a rich “community commons” - that is resources owned together by the whole community with fair access for all, we will enable an abundant lifestyle for all, whilst requiring less resources than modern city life. Co-working, children and youth spaces, studios and of course centrally - The Garden, all these will be part of the community commons.

Legal structure & Land Ownership

The community is a registered legal entity. This legal entity owns all the land, community buildings and communal property. The best legal structure needs to be researched, quite likely it will be a non-profit entity as this sends a clear message as to the purpose of the entity and makes it possible to accept certain government grants, tax benefits, etc. The country of registration also needs to be researched however it is expected that an entity in the country where the community is located will make most sense.

One citizen one vote

Every full-citizen of the community becomes an equal partner in the legal organisation. It is likely that at the start some community members will be able to invest more money or more time into the community, this needs to be accounted for but it will not give them greater voting rights than other members. The extra funds can be either given as a gift to the community or as a loan to be repaid when other members enter the community.

Community budget

Community has a basic budget to which everyone contributes equally for providing for essential community infrastructure. Community budget will be decided through the decision making processes. Costs for utilities such as electricity or studios is assigned on a usage basis. All of the community budget will be transparently open to all members. The goal is to keep the mandatory contribution to the budget reasonable.

Leaving the community

The details of how members’ funds are returned when they leave will be decided at the time the legal entity is created. The most viable option is that a newly incoming family will buy out the share of the leaving family. The valuation of this after many years of contribution is very hard. When creating the legal entity we will create a valuation formula which is reasonable. The key point is that community-membership is not freely tradeable, the community chooses candidates for incoming members and everyone must go through an initial trial period and after that be accepted by the community.

Children & Inheritance

Every citizen of the community must go through the same trial period and membership process. This includes children of the community. While children of members can inherit the membership in the community they must nevertheless pass through the membership process. In the rare case they are not accepted for membership in the community the “leaving the community” agreement takes effect.

Community Sharing

In addition to the commons we want to create a strong sharing culture within the community encouraging members to make their private resources available for the use by other community members. For example specialised tools or cars or spouses, etc. In order to facilitate this sharing within the community will have a system for tracking of shared resources and time-banking.

Empathic Communication, Decision Making and Governance

Empathic communication is the basis of all the relations within EarthSkyLab. Being an Intentional Community means all members make a conscious effort to improve their communication skills.

We will govern ourselves using a clearly defined fair and participatory processes for decision making, assigning responsibilities and process change. We will document our agreements, as well as the discussions which led to them. We start with sociocracy as the basis and fine-tune it to best suit our community. We strive to proactively discuss and improve all our processes including these for decision making and governance.

We strive to share our learnings and best practices, contributing them to the global knowledge commons.

We recognise that effective decision making requires emotional maturity and empathic communication from all community citizens. Following sociocratic rules our agreements include review dates. When the founding group assembles a number of long-term agreements will be made forming the constitution of the community.

EarthSkyLab in this first iteration is planned as a 100 year project, thus the fundamental agreements will have a 100 year review date. It is our hope that they will be useful enough to be renewed, we leave our descendants the decision whether to continue or make new covenants.

As a modern community we will use appropriate online and offline technology to enable effective participation by all members in discussion, decision making and governance.

It is possible that as need and opportunity arises we will modify or create software for intentional community to support us and enable others to follow The EarthSkyLab Model easily.

We recognise that Governance and Decision Making are just a few of the processes needed for a successful intentional community, we put equal emphasis on healthy communication and maintaining the vision.

Children, Elders and Demographics

EarthSkyLab is a a fully intergenerational community designed to make people of all ages feel equally at home. From the smallest children to the oldest citizens EarthSkyLab is an environment welcoming to all. We will consciously think of infants, children and the elderly in the design of the village. In order to create a community which is supportive of the elderly we need to include elder members from the early days of the community. For the long-term survival of the community we will need to consciously engineer the demographic balance. With such a small population it is easy to fall into a situation where everyone becomes old at the same time and the village fades away. For the long-term survival of the community this perhaps will be the most difficult thing to plan.

Incomes

EarthSkyLab community members generate income engaging in the global economy. Activities and skills are diverse and there are various enterprises created by community members. Most of these operate online.

Sustainability is rooted in balancing resources, skills, technological innovations, creative collaborations and partnerships and integration into diverse markets. We generate new business models, explore outside the box approaches to unlocking potential of traditional makers and innovators, through collaboration and cross-pollination.

EarthSkyLab members have a rich set of complementary skills making collaboration and mutual support natural.

EarthSkyLab will be a source of employment in the region, bringing in international sales and customers for local products, employing local craftsmen.

Community Service

In the long run each community member will spend one day a week on community tasks such as governance, maintaining the garden, the land, our commons and shared infrastructure. Of course this does not include time spent on celebrations! The goal is not to focus on time accounting and enforcement but to create a deep community spirit where contribution to the common good is a joy, this is a key motivation for keeping EarthSkyLab small. We hope to organise as much as possible of the community service as group activities to ensure it is a joyful time. The goal is to organise activities so that the community can be maintained through members community service contribution exclusively without any paid positions. Of course many members will choose to contribute much more of their time to the community, we will create rituals and celebrations to recognise their contribution.

Although we will help each other build and collaborate on each other’s businesses this is not considered community service.

Abundant Commons

EarthSkyLab is built on a vision of an abundant community commons. By sharing more we create great abundance for all. We share equally the gifts of our land - all food grown on our land is distributed equally amongst the community members. EarthSkyLab has many shared workshops and studios. For privately owned items we have a Sharing network enabling easy sharing of resources within the community. As part of the life-long learning ethos everyone shares their knowledge freely within the community. Our land the foundation of a rich commons including the garden, food forest, wilderness and sacred spaces.

Shared space: Co-working

A the shared co-working space is at the heart of the community. A building with ample co-working space for all the community members, meeting rooms and other facilities. Making a living in the modern world necessitates much online time, collaborating with virtual teams. Being in a shared space gives the camaraderie which the virtual world does not adequately provide. Being in close proximity makes it easier to collaborate within the community and support each other. This area is located close to the children's area to allow everyone to work whilst caring for the children.

Shared space: Children’s and youth spaces

The community will create spaces which are for, and administered exclusively by the children and youth. These gives them areas exclusively of their own, a playground to practice autonomy and collaboration.

Shared space: Workshops

EarthSkyLab will have shared studios and workshops for woodworking, pottery, sewing, metalwork and more with a balance of traditional and modern equipment. Some spaces will be used mostly by a particular member to earn an income, however all spaces will be accessible on a reasonable basis for use by any community member. Skilled community members will strive to creating learning opportunities for all. Some specialist equipment be perhaps be owned by individual members, but will be made available for borrowing through the sharing network.

Shared Space: The Garden

See section on garden.

Shared space: Wilderness and food forest

The greater part of our land will be a wilderness designed to create local ecological diversity. A part of the land will also be designed as a permaculture food forest. A forest takes decades to reach full size and hundreds of years to develop, but it will provide abundance for generations to come.

Shared space: Meditation spaces, sacred forest sanctuary, sacred spaces

EathSkyLab will have sacred spaces reserved for community, group and individual meditation and rituals.

The Garden

The Garden, our shared source of joy and abundance. We nurture it happily as a communal activity and we accept it’s gifts with gratitude. We are gardeners but not farmers. We tend to our garden with joy as a community activity, not an attempt at self-sufficiency. The garden is the space for contemplation, getting in touch with nature, learning about the source of our life. We do not sell or trade the gifts of our land but, when we can, we gift food to our extended community and those who need it. We create harmonious permaculture designs holistically integrated into the landscape.

Where?

Country

An EU country which permits unschooling. A country not likely to break up or go to war in the next 100 years...

Climate

Somewhere warm.

Access

Within 2 hours drive of regional airport, 3 hours of international airport.

In Nature

We want to be in a beautiful place, in nature, 2-3 hour travel from a big city or town which is a cultural center.

Legal

Land with permission to build houses and other structures the community needs.

Beauty

An inspiring landscape, with wildlife, freshwater, trees, and the sea is an absolute dream!

The Village

Creating a home which is beautiful, harmonious balanced with nature is a the dream of EarthSkyLab. EarthSkyLab is a landscape designed to be beautiful, bountiful, easy to care for. An environment rich for us and a supporting environment for local flora and fauna. A balance of permaculture design and wilderness. A 100 year plan with an eye to the next 1,000.

Sustainability

EarthSkyLab is a 100 year plan with an eye to the next 1,000. We intend to create an ecosystem and a community which will live and renew itself for a long time. We will work with experts in permaculture and sustainable design to create a plan which fits this vision. As with everything striving to share our learnings. At the same time the goal is not just to survive but to create a thriving culturally rich community which continually renews itself thus the sustainability of human systems is main focus of our research.

Natural Building

Natural Building fits with our values of formosa, harmony with nature and long-term sustainability.

Village design

EarthSkyLab is designed for humans first. A place where all generations can feel completely safe. This means cars are kept outside the village. The center of the village is a shared community space, children's space, a place to meet, relax, celebrate. EarthSkyLab is designed for easy contact and interaction between members.

Homes

Our homes are beautiful, and integrated into the landscape, each house with character but still fitting into the overall spirit of the village. To reduce our energy usage we will use the latest ecological techniques such as passive heating and cooling, etc.

Infrastructure

In order to get a large plot of land at a reasonable price EarthSkyLab will most likely be located in a somewhat remote area, thus we will necessarily need to create much of our own infrastructure. At the same time in order to create a degree of independence from the global economy having our own electrical and water grid will be advantageous. Furthermore local energy generation creates ecological benefits.

Internet

EarthSkyLab will provide a minimum of 1 Mbps down, 0.5 Mbps up for every community resident. If at all possible we would like 4Mbps down & 1Mbps up for every resident.

Electricity

Whilst electricity generation through solar has become very price effective, local storage is much less efficient. Thus ideally we would like to have a connection to the grid for night-time and feeding in any generated surplus. Research needs to be done on what is feasible. EarthSkyLab will share a community-wide micro-grid but electricity usage will be metered.

Water

In order to provide a good water supply we will need a property with good water catchment, a spring and wells. Appropriate sharing and metering scheme needs to be investigated.

Road

The road to the property will be maintained together by the community.

Sewerage

Sewage management technology needs to be investigated.

RESEARCH
RESEARCH

Research

Creating a new model for human community is an epic undertaking, fortunately there is a long history for us to learn from. Epicurean communities in ancient greece, Quakers, Kibbutz, eco-villages and the intentional communities, there is a rich basis of experience for us to learn from. We will make mistakes no doubt, but let us at least start with an understanding of the learnings of those who came before us. The goal of this research is to collect ideas and best practices into a shared-knowledge base for all EarthSkyLab community members.

Sociocracy

Sociocracy is the basis of the EarthSkyLab decision making and governance system thus all citizens need to have a deep understanding of how it works and the reasons behind it. We need to have a strong knowledge base of it in the community and multiple people who are able to teach it to new members.

Legal structures

We need to investigate what legal structures are possible the pro-s and con-s of each.

Micro Grid - Electricity, Water, Sewerage

What facilities will be available where we choose to locate, however in order to be aware what options exist we need to have a fair understanding of what the micro-grid options are for providing electricity, water and sewerage to the community.

The Forum

The forum is a group communication method developed by Zegg and Tamera communities. It is said to foster a very open and positive community environment. The Forum is a relatively new technique, requiring highly skilled facilitators and a very deep level of transparency from all members thus perhaps it is hard to put into practice. Research is required to see if or in what situations it is appropriate.

Circle Way

Another technique for group synchronisation. Needs investigation.

Potlatch

Potlach culture could be an interesting way to create a voluntary positive sharing of wealth which financially more successful members are able to accumulate. Much more research is required.

Alternative Economic Systems in Community

How do alternative currencies, time-banks fit into the context of a small community.

Natural Building

EarthSkyLab is going to be a community of beautiful homes harmoniously integrated into the landscape. Natural Building offers the most promising path towards achieving this at a low financial cost whilst creating buildings which will last centuries. Appropriate techniques have to be researched, what is appropriate for the climate, what techniques allow for reducing energy consumption, etc. Natural Building has lower material costs but requires a higher labour input than conventional building techniques, as we support each other in community this should be a happy trade-off for us.

Internet Infrastructure

EarthSkyLab will provide a 21st century internet infrastructure, the technology for doing this effectively in a place where there is no local fiber-optic infrastructure needs to be carefully researched since we can only settle in a location where we can guarantee a high-quality internet access to all members.

Collaboration

How to create a collaborative environment in community. How collaboration can change culture. Examples of successful collaboration projects. Collaboration best-practices. Collaboration - a process of intentional and whole-hearted dedication to make dream a reality by fusing our passions, ambitions and individual dreams.

Epicurean communities

Epicurean communities were set-up by followers of Epicurus and continued for a few hundred years until being forced out of existence 1,500 years ago as christianity enveloped Europe. Let us see what has been published about their structure and what can be learned from them.

Quakers

Known for their dedication to peace and supportive communities, let us see what we can learn by studying the Quakers.

Kibbutz

The Kibbutz were perhaps longest running true communist experiment. Whilst they were much larger than the intended EarthSkyLab size there are things we can learn from their experiences. Their story is a fascinating piece of the history of intentional communities.

Ecovillages

The learnings of the European Ecovillage movement starting in the mid 20th century is one of the main knowledge bodies which EarthSkyLab is built upon. EarthSkyLab's focus is on culture, celebration and living a modern life in nature rather than ecology nevertheless we are in deep debt to the ecovillage movement. We need to decide how we participate in this movement.

Hunter Gatherers

Homo-sapiens spent the first 95% of it’s history in small hunter-gatherer tribes, our ancestors before that a few million years. Thus living in such a small close-knit, egalitarian, supportive group is our natural state of being. We do not romanticise or intend to return to the days before medicine and the internet however we do believe there is much to be learned about human relations in community from this longest part of our history.

Free-to-Learn in Community

We believe that free-to-learn is the most suitable learning framework to prepare our children for a happy and successful life in the 21st century. At the same time there are no patterns yet how to create a free-to-learn community. We need to follow developments in this area and connect with others attempting the same.

Non Violent Communication

Non Violent Communication is a key technique for creating a harmonious environment. At the same time it takes a lot of learning and practice to change our fundamental communication patterns. EarthSkyLab needs all members to be knowledgeable about NVC, and needs multiple NVC workshop facilitators.