Global Villages are slightly different from the traditional concept of Ecovillages. They are a complete living space for people with high cultural and personal aspirations.
Global Villages is a pattern that claims to be a planetary solution. Its a process of transition, not only energywise, but also technologically, culturally, socially etc.
Global Villages in the special sense we (Research Network Global Villages or Global Villages Network) chose to use this terms means a type of physical locality (mostly, but not exclusively, whole villages or neighborhoods, sometimes farms, monasteries, telecenters, hubs) where people make use of global communication possibilities to enhance rather than neglect the local.
We identified four essential criteria for such a location:
- A Community Learning Center equipped to facilitate education and encounter in all domains of local life, serving the qualification of inhabitants to jointly enable near-urban service levels and standards. Usually such a learning center will work with telecooperative technologies in education, experimentation and joint development.
- A culturally formed Natural Environment that allows for high levels of synergy with "autonomous" natural forces. The term "village" emphasises less on a narrow notion of agriculture, but on a balance between environmental (natural), community and individual energies that are brought to fruition by intelligent cooperation. "Village" means giving space to nature and to local community alike, allowing the individual to find ground, roots and therefore health.
- A constituency of local people that form a common intention or aspiration, an Active Community. Whilst Global Villages do not need to be intentional communities in a narrow sense, they should be guided by a consensus of development revolving around fully unfolding local potentials and centering the quality of life in the local.
- An Open Space that allows for innovation and manifestation; this could be an experimental garden, a workshop, a mini-factory, or a multitude / plethora of project spaces.
This corresponds with seven cultural principles that we seek to establish:
- In a Global Village, every individual is important. We seek to maximise what we can get out of the freedom and creative energy of each member of the community, because we are a few people and each of us represents a potentially global network and a source of inspirations.
- In a Global Village, we respect the Power Of Place. Our natural environment resonates with our cultural identity in optimum ways, we have chosen this place to be a strong center of our lives.
- In a Global Village, we live by openness and collaboration. We seek to establish fair and satisfying relationships within the community, knowing that we must stay attractive to our members, but we also establish cooperative relations around the globe, knowing we are just a knot in a tapestry woven around the planet. The collaborative ties may exceed the exchange of knowledge, but sharing of knowledge is the basic and essential law that connects us.
- In a Global Village, we live not only for individual goals, but we team up and form a personality of our community. This might be a loose one or an active one. It is important that we find a cultural expression that makes us one and brings our common life to fruition. We do never missionize or impose this cultural identity to others. Yet we share this with visitors and people interested provided they respect our ways.
- In a Global Village, we think in cycles. We know that our human settlements could be as elegant, sustainable and effective as plants. We know that there is a lot of ways to turn waste into food, have a bloodstream of metamorphoses nourishing and connecting the various parts of the whole, providing food, shelter, the right temperature and much more for its inhabitants.
- In a Global Village, we consider the global monetary economy not only as an opportunity, but also as a danger and threat] . We try to participate where it really adds to our well-being and pays off, we will retreat and will be able to retreat from where the forces of the market are becoming destructive and dangerous. We will never sell ourselves out. We know that the nodes of another, nourishing culture are growing everywhere, and we will team up with them wherever we can.
- In a Global Village, we will celebrate global diversity and unity alike . Diversity of villages will be cultural wealth, unity in maintaining the conditions for this diversity to grow, unfold and persist, will be essential. We will seek to respect other ways as we can expect respect for our ways. We will respect anyone who wants to change their ways and we will banish forces that hinder individuals to choose. Global Villages even will never be the only lifeform, but just a narrative strong enough to influence the future of this planet. They will seek to cooperate with mother cities, networks, nomads. There will be an ecosystem of lifestyles, rather than an empire. Their unity will be a weak, benign holy myth like the one that prevailed in the Middle Ages. Yet mankind will be strong enough by its shear size to continue unprecedented endeavours. There will be new periods in history when the narrative of mobility will be stronger again, maybe a space age. Nothing lasts for ever. But everything reappears at its given time.
Richard Nelson: I have opened some discussion at this in 2006 in the Global Villages Mailing list Blog entry.