When people live and work together from a place of unified vision, purpose with the means of respectful and inclusive interaction it is possible to live affordably, increase social connections, regenerate the ecology and develop stronger culture.
Regenerative communities can be ecovillages, cohousing, small scale land share, co-living with formal house sharing in various forms. While different in details the unifying similarity is the purpose to share lives in some capacity or another.
All around the world people experience increasing housing costs and economic instability, social disconnection and poor health, degraded landscapes and ecology, and loss of cultural ties and traditions. At the heart of many is a sense there is something wrong with the foundations of our modern way of living. Regenerative communities offer tried and true solutions.
Co-Creating Communitywas formed by Jason (Djalmbu) Hilder from decades of researching intentional communities and practical experience of the communal life. The organisation aims to practice co-creative development of regenerative communities near and far… together.
Collaborative community living has come of age… again.
The last 5 years a group has been building the concept of a holistic community that is similar to a rural village of old yet with modern functionality.
In November 2022 we will publish a detailed proposal expanding upon the 5 summary questions below.
Why: The goal of the cohousing ecovillage is to apply world’s best methods of ecovillage development and study the social, ecological, economic, and cultural health of the community over a two or more-year period. This will provide solutions to address social, ecological, economic and cultural problems faced in society and create opportunities to share with other communities throughout Australia and the world.
What: As a collaboratively formed community living and working arrangement, it will have 10-25 appropriately sized self-contained homes for residents and visitor accommodation clustered around shared communal facilities that enables shared equipment and resource use. The land use will also include regenerative food production, land care, forestry, energy production and onsite waste recycling in excess of the needs of the residents
Where: The community will be located on the peri urban fringe of a regional centre in Queensland. A suitable location enables the residents to build the cohousing ecovillage development in connection with the existing wider community.
When: The co-founders will invite skilled faciliators to utilise the GEN ecovillage design process beginning in November 2022 for 3 months with the aim to build community core elements of land and co-founder homes by April 2023. The design and operation of the full scale ecovillage will be co-created in stages and complete in yearly intervals over three years.
How: The collaborative efforts of the community will expand throughout the process and be supported by the resources of the network. Some of the key components will be inclusive governance and membership processes; personal and group development practices; sustainable land, water and resources practices; circular economy models and interconnected cultural development.
The community development and stipend for co-founders is invited from founders, aspiring members, and external investment. Funding and clarification of the longitudinal research is invited from universities and institutions.
Jason Hilder PhD (Djalmbu)
At my core I care deeply for regenerative communities based around food growing, resource sharing, living simply and planetary care.
Originally coming from a small crop farming family I studied Rural Management with a hankering for horticulture that lead me to work in the Landscape industry.
Dismayed with the focus upon industrialisation and chemical reliance, I left that career and my family traveled to Europe with the intention to explore and ended up working for multinational organisations. This corporate rite-of-passage showed me how the economic world functions (and is at its core dysfunctional and unsustainable). With the coming of a new member of our family I was deeply reflecting on the future world I wanted to see for my children. That deep inquiry led me to visit Findhorn Foundation in Scotland… which was a life and mind changer. After the birth of our daughter Gabriella and we returned to Australia to where I again studied, this time the interplay of urban design and urban forestry with a realisation of the urban of forests dying under hard surfaces of housing spraw throughout much of Australian cities and town
The light-bulb sparked… we needed to plan our cities, towns and villages to support food production and the regeneration of forests wherever was possible. Water is vital for this. I wasn’t the only one with this thought, yet the mainstay of urban planning and industry seemed to be stuck on something else – economic return.
My experience at Findhorn showed me that when people pool their resources and make collective efforts much is possible and, it feels good too.
Return to Study
There seemed to be one aspect that was unclear to me… how people worked together with respect and inclusive practices. So, again, engaged in studies at the University of Queensland School of Earth and Environmental Sciences I completed a PhD researching Intentional Community Living Arrangements in Australia and Europe.
I am grateful for the University systems and support to study something that I am passionate about and I believe have many, many opportunities for solutions.
Since 2019 I am involved in the Australian Chapter of the Global Ecovillage Network that aims to catalyze communities for a regenerative world and am an Ambassador to the organisation. In 2021 I joined the Australian Collaborative Housing Research Network that shares latest research and advocates for collaborative living across the housing landscape.
While the formal and structured world of academic and planned societal landscapes fills my time, I balance this by walking barefoot as Djalmbu to commune with nature to gain insights and clarity. Much enjoyment comes also from sitting in sharing circles with others passionate about positive societal and ecological change
Knowledge needs to be shared and put into practice. An avenue to do this is through the Co-Creating Community organisation to facilitate the development of regenerative communities and live well in community.
For more information about my background and qualifications please check out my LinkedIn profile.