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Questions for Diana Leafe Christian  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22169
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I will be recording a podcast with my buddy Diana on Wednesday. Any suggestions on what I should ask her?

Diana is an expert on community and the author of the community book Creating a Life Together.
 
Tim Canton
Posts: 175
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Ask her about the letter in the activist slamming the Eco village she lives in... Earthaven
 
Dj Wells
Posts: 22
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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I have her book and have been studying community building. Lately, I've come across the concept called "COLLECTIVE IMPACT" that seems to be a new buzzword on the subject. Can she speak on that?
 
Dj Wells
Posts: 22
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Can she also address the idea of co-housing and community building. One of the main features I see about Co-housing is that community is built among the members BEFORE the infra-structure to live in community is planned. How successful is the "Field of Dreams" approach to building a community/eco-village/ or whatever work? Just "build it and they will come"? Does she know of instances of this, i.e. the Disney-led residential village?
 
Dj Wells
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Another model of community I've studied is the kibbutz and the moshav. The later was developed to integrate more individual ownership into the communal kibbutz model. What has she found in her experience about the balance between community/individual, especially regarding to property and assets?
 
Dj Wells
Posts: 22
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Has she seen a progression regarding building communities that might parallel business building, i.e. often a strong personality, entrepreneurial type gets it going, then a more bureaucratic, management type organization takes over to run it. Do the business paradigms apply well to community building, or is it too much of a different sort all together with different growth patterns and dynamics? What can be learned from business to apply to the process?
 
John Saltveit
gardener
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I would be interested in seeing how she has seen successful models of garden areas divided up between group areas and individual/family areas in community and dividing up the work, too.
THanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 563
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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"What do you think of the idea that a community functions best when it puts attention on finding out what the women want and giving that to them?"
 
Leslie Zingarelli
Posts: 9
Location: Northern CA Coastal zone 10/a/b
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I'm very new to the formalized concepts of: permaculture, (with a new PDC), regenerative ag, holistic grazing management, food-soil web, etc., and I see the great value, urgent necessity even, to move beyond mere sustainability in land use. The ideals of permaculture have always informed many decisions, as a young single mom of 2 children. Simply voting with my dollar, pro organic, non-gmo, has never been enough to effect broader change. From my urban perch, I WANT locally grown and raised food! I even WANT to produce it, myself. The ideal is farther and farther from the (financial and energetic) reach of common folk. Now my children are grown, and I am "free to study and pursue"...etc., (currently within the confines of a 8-5, at times 6-7 days a week, HA!) But I know next to nothing about intentional communities. Raising my eyes to search beyond the near horizon: I see the aging population of family-owned small farms and other smaller scale land holdings, with no-one to pass these endeavors on to, leaving a ripe old hole for abusive development and industrial-biz-as-usual to gobble the planet, behind our collective backs. The "kids" with energy and drive, even the "lucky ones" just out of college, shoulder enormous debt pressure with no ability to obtain capital for investing. Are there examples of established, intentional communities engineered around the construct of for-profit businesses? Can communal effort be economically productive and self-supportive? If so what are some examples Diana has seen? How would Diana suggest a middle aged single woman find (or form) such a group? Is it possible to procure required financing, as a small collaborating group of united individuals, of varied limited means in order to obtain land? Is it then possible for the group to become collectively self supportive and regenerative on a small holding with careful use of the land? Is adding in the question of economics antithetical? Sorry, that's WAY more than one question...
 
Suzy Simank
Posts: 4
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Thanks for the great opportunity to ask a question! My question refers to my situation.
this falls into the question asked by John Saltveit - how to divide up the gardens and responsibilities.
1. Are there communities or types of communities that have a place for retirees,- as in over 60, not as in wanting to just sit?

I have been very interested in the idea of growing food and permaculture but have finally realized we are not young enough or strong enough to begin to learn to run a ranch or farm. We became suddenly retired when the economy took a dive and are over 60. We would like to be fairly self sustaining for economic and enjoyment and world uncertainty reasons. We have money to buy a house and could go the house with a garden in the back route but would like a community, and permaculture and gardens, and animals. We have noticed we are slowing down but are generally in good health with no prescription drug needs (or wants).
Is there a place for us? I have read about a couple of sub divisions being developed around agriculture, but they seem very hands off and not self-sustaining nor permaculture. We are not without skills but in no way are we farmers. (Architect, construction inspector, nurse, energy medicine practitioner, herbal enthusiast -go comfrey!) We have been curious all our lives so have looked into many things and have general information. So we would like to buy - or build if we must- , have neighbors with the idea of sharing and self sustaining, have the concept completed or already set up, participate in planning, managing, and have time off when desired and work within our physical abilities.

2. Also what happens in intentional communities when people get elderly or long term incapacitated? (that will never be us of course. LOL)
 
John Saltveit
gardener
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Here in Portland there are cohousing groups with shared trees, gardens, individual units, etc. You don't have to do all the work but you should do some. I am interested in the array of possibilities.
John S
PDX OR
 
Austin Laureski
Posts: 20
Location: san bernardino, california
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+1 field of dreams approach. Does it work? How to start one?
 
Eleanor Justice
Posts: 7
Location: Pennsylvania
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Yay! It'd be fabulous if you asked her some of the ways she's seen places successfully increase socioeconomic diversity within intentional communities, ways she would *like* to see that happen (diverse systems being more resilient and all that,) and what questions she wished people would ask.
Thanks Paul!
 
Upgeya Pew
Posts: 29
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Question#1: Does effective community governance (like Sociocracy) require more than effective methodology and structures? Specifically, does it require a certain level of personal development, self-awareness and self-reflection?
Question#2: When using Sociocracy, if the aim of an "organization" (a group of people who have agreed to work together) does not include fulfilling the needs of it's members (needs in the NVC or Manfred Max-Neef sense), can the organization possibly create sustainable outcomes (as defined by Permaculture)?
 
Mike Schroer
Posts: 28
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I am not familiar with Diana's work so please cut me a little slack. What does she think about the transition town movement?

What is her experience with the success of intentional communities in money grubbing capitalist economies like ours and the more social democracies of northern Europe and more socialist South American countries.?

Thanks,
Mike
 
Sam Eisenbeiser
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I'd love to know her views on the role intentional communities can play in strengthening or stabilizing the regional economy.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22169
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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We just finished recording for today. We will continue tomorrow. Any more questions?
 
mary yett
Posts: 74
Location: Manitoulin Island - in the middle of Lake Huron .Mindemoya,Ontario- Canadian zone 5
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I have a 100 acre farm on Manitouilin Island, Ontario, Canada. The Provencial laws will not allow me to subdivide this land nor will they allow more than 1 dwelling to be built on it. I wish I could sell off 5 to 10 acre parcels to permaculture type folks.

My strawbale home is large enough to house 4 to 6 people ( it would be a bit crowded) but usually it is only me there now- my daughter, son and grandson visit often but have their own homes.

My question is - how can I turn this space into an eco- village equivalent? I am a Quaker and am comfortable with group consensus decision making and being respectful of each individual. However, since the law mandates that I must retain ownership of the entire property, how can I be fair to potential tentants who want to make long term investments to the land? And where would they live? They could rent rooms from me, but if I were them, I would want to own my home and land. They could buy homes in the nearby village, I suppose.

Laws may be different in Canada from the US , but if she could discuss various forms of trusts, etc that might make sense in my situation, I would be very interested in them.

I want to share my land , but I also want to retain some control over my own home. I am 58 now and still active, but as I age I want to be able to stay in my home. How to balance all these issues and be fair to all invloved?

It is unfortunate that our society has drifted so far away from communal living that even the laws of the land stand in the way. Thanks, Diana, for helping us get back ( even if only partially) to the ideal of living in a small tight-knit village. I feel this is the way we as humans were designed to live.
 
Scotia Scott
Posts: 12
Location: Laurentians, Quebec (zone 3b)
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Maybe late with this reply, I would love to hear Diane talk about the individual/communal balance within communities, the difference in effectiveness of communities operating with communal space (ex. gardens, living spaces, other property) and those operating more on the individual property model (i.e. Kin's Domains, each family or individual having their own house, garden, pond, energy...).

Thanks Paul *
 
Dj Wells
Posts: 22
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Oh WOW, WOW, WOW!!! I've been listening to the first podcast and have been dancing around the room! So looking forward to hearing all the podcasts you do with her. Experience is sometimes the best teacher....and at the center of it all, in the donut hole.....what we found out when we came to build community in the country, good governance. Then, the first sector being something as mundane as project management....so much for the romantic notion of the "let's just do it" hippie vision i grew up with. haha.
 
J.D. Burnette
Posts: 30
Location: Kingston, TN
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I am curious about how a nomadic community might function following an iteration of the following thread/post
http://www.permies.com/t/39128/financial-strategy/Renting-multiple-sites-mobile-farm

take care,
JD
 
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