6. Participatory Decision-Making

Co-living at the eco village allows everyone to participate in making decisions together.

Participatory decision-making honours all voices

The day-to-day running of the community will operate on a participatory decision-making basis. A community based on respect, honours all voices and has a transparent decision-making process, which is key to a healthy community.

The Native Americans said it best: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”.

Sometimes participatory decision-making is long and difficult, but it’s ultimately the best way for a group to "go far”. A modified consensus approach that draws from sociocracy is used in many intentional communities around the world.


Residents will be trained in consensus decision-making/sociocracy as part of the 'Community Living Course'. The business side of the organisation will be enacted in the usual way as required by law for a registered non-profit company, but the core vision is always that all residents have their voices heard.


Each community will make it's own decisions about daily life; that's the whole point - to empower groups to be who they want to be.


There are some characteristics that identify an Eco Villages Australia community, such as:

Shared Meals

The science is in; eating together is the most effective way to create a close community. Our communities provide a communal evening meal daily in each ‘centre house’. It would not be compulsory for villagers to attend every meal however general participation in the process would be a vital part of living in the village. Residents simply indicate on a calendar if they will be in or out. Residents contribute money weekly to purchase bulk food in a process decided by the community. Eco villagers, of course, purchase additional extra food for themselves with their own money.

Plastic Free and Zero Waste

Eco villagers aim to reduce their individual and group carbon footprint by growing as much food as possible, buying non-packaged foods, composting, reusing and generally managing resources in a sustainable way. In the eco village, people help each other with this process.

Spirituality

Eco Villages Australia does not subscribe to any one faith or religion. The eco village would suit people who align themselves with what could be called universal truths, such as peace, kindness to all living beings, living lightly on the earth, and a deep understanding that we are all connected. Unobtrusive, peaceful practice of any spirituality is welcome. The members of the village may even explore particular spiritual elements such as meditation, full moons, gratitude, etc. yet these would remain generic in nature.

Drugs

Illicit drugs are not allowed at the eco village, and the abuse of alcohol is not acceptable.



This decision making process is from Bundagen community in Northern NSW. This could be used in combination with sociocracy as a starting point.

Broader decisions about the operation of the non-profit company will be made by the board in line with Australian law. Full members are eligible to be elected to the board. See the Eco Villages Australia constitution for full legal requirements regarding the operation of the non profit..

Article 6 of 16. Next article - 7. Restoring Economic Justice

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