I recall doing a term paper back in my business school days in the United States in the early 1960’s, when we were asked to look into the future and identify the key problems that our generation would face. One of my central predictions was that it would be a time of great change, probably greater than anything seen in our history. A key need would be for us to be flexible, and to be open to the change that was coming. I was thinking mostly of the anticipated effects of computer technology.
But little did I realize how true it also would be for me at the personal level. I could not foresee at the time that I would undergo a personal transformation and come to reject many of the most basic assumptions of my education, as I tried to pull together the different strands of my life into a coherent whole. As time passed, I saw more and more clearly that we – in the sense of our civilization, were embarking on a very questionable path, and many of my business colleagues were leading the way.
I eventually saw a way out – and put all my efforts behind the ecovillage movement. Ted Trainer may or may not be right in his judgment of the importance of the ecovillage movement. It is still early days. But from this vantage point, it seems to be the right initiative at the right time to deal with what I expect will become a major polarizing issue in the coming years – with an outcome vital to what kind of a future we will create for this planet – the issue of commercial globalization versus local community values.
What is special about the ideal ecovillage is that it is truly holistic, integrating all aspects of our lives in a single place, where social, environmental, and spiritual aspects meet – in a vibrant local community that can continue forever in harmony with nature. And what is special about ecovillagers is that that are not writing papers for the next conference, or philosophizing over the back fence about what we ought to do about the global crisis. They ARE doing it, walking their talk, blazing trail – founding a new culture for a new millennium, based on new values, or more correctly, very ancient values that are being rediscovered.
|JT Ross Jackson||Copenhagen, spring, 2000