At our annual assembly, the Federation was inundated with new, freshly-forming communities. It was amazing! It was overwhelming! And it was viewed by many as a valuable opportunity to reinvigorate a stalled project...
"Community in a Box" has been a project fantasized about by FECers for many years in order to solve a reoccurring problem. In fact, you can tell how old it is by the original name, conceived of at a time that the word "commune" was considered out of favor, despite our orientation in the project being specifically about communes. There's plenty of information out there about how to start ecovillages, co-housing, and other community-building movements... but egalitarian, income-sharing communities? There isn't much.
So it's not unusual for the FEC to receive e-mails or other inquiries asking: "How do we create an egalitarian, income-sharing community? How do we get started? How can we transform an existing community into an income-sharing one? Can you help us?" Our answers have been slow, faltering, and dependent entirely on who gets the message, how much time and energy they have, how much experience they have, and whether they can recruit anyone with more experience and energy to help.
But, we thought, we could make a box. We could put all the required information in the box. Then we could simply hand the box to new communities and stand back as they flourished!
A grand idea. Perhaps too grand. The project stalled, occasionally to be picked up and dusted off by new delegates before being gently placed back down.
But this year, we shall strike! and triumph!
Our fearless leader is GPaul, an eleven-year veteran of rural Acorn Community, who struck out into the wilds of Washington, DC over a year ago to gather comrades together in order to create one of our new communities in dialog, ACDC. GPaul has been one of the organizational leaders of Point A, an ambitious project that aims to create a network of egalitarian income-sharing urban communes.
Through his work in Point A and forming ACDC, GPaul gathered a wealth of information--interviewing community members and founders from across the globe, analyzing corporate structure and court cases on tax structures, seeking financing and grant opportunities, gathering existing policies in different communites, and more. In doing so, he realized two things:
1. This information is useful to everyone tooking to start a commune.
2. This information is still not complete.
On the first day of our annual FEC assembly, GPaul led us in a brainstorming session: What is useful for forming communes to know?
Our delegates and forming communities had a lot to say.
And how could we possible present all of this information?
Whew. That's a tall order.
But here we go. We held our first organizational meeting on Sunday, April 24th at Acorn Community. I didn't manage to take any pictures of the meeting itself, which was held in our beautiful herb garden, but here's the herb garden shortly after the meeting ended. Okay, obviously this is the obligatory photo of my favorite creature in the world, who incidentally made me miss the last half-hour of the meeting by wandering out of the field and trying to walk onto the half-finished handicapped ramp in front of our kitchen. She is, in this photo, safely contained and posing in front of the herb garden.
Attendees discussed their commitment to the project, their relevant skills, and where they'd like to focus their efforts. We decided to divide ourselves into some subcommittees in order to gather information more intensively, based roughly on the following flowchart:
And hopefully small groups of us will work together and reconvene back with information and awesomeness at our next meeting.
Our next meeting is going to be held in Louisa county in the morning of Sunday, June 12th. If you'd like to attend, or get involved remotely, or if you think you have resources that we want, please send a message to GPaul @frompointa.org or Rejoice @acorncommunity.org. If you want to make information available to the entire working group, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook