No. 25




On the Threshold of Community Leap

  • Madis Masing

    Chairman of the Board, Estonian Ecovillage Movement

An ecovillage is an integrated and ecologically sustainable human community that can exist both in a city and in the country.

Members of the communities share the same ecological, social-economic, cultural and spiritual values, their collective identity is formed of similar world view and sense of being members of one group, they follow agreed-upon social norms and rules, traditions of meeting, acting and working together, and live close to one another. Humankind developed in harmony with nature and our planet, but during the last centuries human activity has managed to damage it. Hundreds, maybe thousands species have become or are in danger of becoming extinct, we ourselves are stressed, suffer from bad health and do not care about others. The governments have not found working and universal solutions to such problems as poverty, wars, violence, hunger and other pointless human sufferings. Nothing has been achieved with policies that are centralised from above. Change can only come from below, from the grassroots level – from the civil society. Strong personality, strong family, strong community, strong society, strong humankind.

Community leap is a peaceful, smooth change of social system that results in a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable living environment. Considering the global situation where many resources are drastically diminishing and the number of population is dramatically increasing, we should review our habits, including consuming habits, and behaviour. Estonia has all the conditions necessary for being among the first in the world to carry out the community leap. We have free space, clean drinking water, forests, fertile land, natural building materials and clever, pragmatic and industrious people. Estonia has already exported the Let’s Do It! campaign of cleaning, so that the path has already been trodden in. The communal way of living exists deep in our culture, common memory and identity. The generation of grandmothers and grandfathers who have lived close to nature and economically, and who have the knowledge, skills and experience, is still alive. The future of the planet and humankind, the skills the future generations will have, their sense of belonging together and identity depend on the community leap. The extent of today’s problems – violence, crime, hunger, unemployment, stress and depression – will depend on it. Whether we will achieve harmony with nature and among ourselves, and live on happily, freely and wisely, will depend on it.

Full article in Estonian