Over the years we have had hundreds of people come through. Some for just a tour. Some for just a few days. And some for more than a year.
I relish the conversations and our collective decision making process .... what should be our collective path? What is our policy about cement and paint? What about water quality?
The problem is that I have had some people that tell me that our current path is wrong. This has universally been from people that have not listened to any podcasts. This is to be expected. The awkward part is when they effectively wish for me, at the spur of the moment, recite all the bits of all podcasts that would help them understand why I do not obey their words. When talking to people that have listened to all/most of the podcasts, these conversations tend to bear a lot more fruit.
When residents have guests, the guests currently don't have to have listened to any of the podcasts. Although that might change someday.
And if those guests are here for a few months, that's fine. I leave it to the resident to talk to their guests about all the questions the guest has. Easy peasy!
Now that people are staying longer ... I think I wish to express my opinion and state a goal ...
Currently we have the requirement that residents (ants, deep roots, etc.) have listened to at least 200 podcasts. The idea is that these people will be here for many years and that they like the ideals laid out in the podcasts.
It is fair for the long term guests to have some say in things. At the same time, I can imagine that there could come a day when their passion for some issue might become significant and ... things sour.
To improve the odds of general harmony, it seems that it is wise that if a guest is going to be here longer than three months, they should start listening to the podcasts. And by the time they hit the six month mark, they have listened to at least 50. And by the time they hit the one year mark, they have hit 200.
This would be a horribly unfair and rude thing for any normal community. But I think my years of work to buy this land and all the other work is all about "the mission" - which includes do-all-the-permaculture-things and blaze a path into the future of permaculture. I think that having a community is a component to that goal. But people that have not listened to the podcasts have a goal of "a community" as opposed to "a community dedicated to this mission."
A long term community member needs to have a good understanding of the mission.
I think this is a fine idea. What could be really helpful is a list of recommended podcasts - there are well over 200, right?
Perhaps we should use this thread to list our top 3 podcasts, what we would recommend a person take in if they are thinking about living at wheaton labs for more than a couple of weeks. Before I can pick my top 3, I need to refresh my memory by looking at the titles. Now, where is that thumb drive . . . .
[ I make this suggestion, and then run away! ]
Sorry about that - gotta go pick up one of the offspring.