I am incredibly excited to publish online this first version of the EarthSkyLab Community Model. We have been thinking, researching, brainstorming and discussing this idea together with Evgenia Emets for as long as we’ve known each other. I’ve talked about these ideas with many of my friends and I am immensely grateful for everyone’s thoughts, comments, feedback and support.
Of course what we have written here is really just a series of ideas intended to spark discussion. This site is intended as a vessel to be filled with blog entries exploring these questions and refining the vision.
We are publishing this vision as an open model. Starting a community is a huge task, there is so much to consider, plan and agree on. I think that by creating a clear, easy to follow model we can make this process much easier thus enabling many more people to create a deeply connected community.
As I think back on my life I realise that I have been on this journey towards finding a new model for community my whole life. Growing up in a newly built but soulless block-long apartment in socialist Warsaw I viscerally experienced the absence of community in modern urban living. My parents had many friends but we knew no-one in our building or neighbourhood. I instinctively knew such an environment is not natural, deleterious to mental health. I didn’t understand it at the time, but remember feeling better visiting my father?s hometown, being in a multi-generational house, surrounded by extended family and familiar neighbours.
Since then I have been fortunate to have a few experiences of a richer community-fabric: expatriate life in Kuwait, university in a small rural town in Canada, the early days of electronic music festivals, burningman. Alas these were but brief glimpses of the joy of community, fuelling my disillusionment with big-city life.
At the same time I have been fortunate to experience many quite different realities – socialist Poland, petro-dollar Kuwait, Canada, Silicon Valley, 14 years in Japan – all these experiences made me realise how much of our reality is just a social convention. Conventions can be changed, we can create a new reality for ourselves which is of our own design, of our own choosing.
I hope you join us on the journey towards imagining and creating this model for life in a deeply connected community for the 21st century!