Over the last year in the Ecovillage Findhorn we have had to come to terms with the changing realities of the Findhorn Foundation (FF). Because of the pandemic and the lockdowns that prevented the delivery of FF’s courses, FF released 50% of its staff.  We also suffered the arson and loss of 2 key buildings – the Sanctuary and Community Centre.

As a result FF is seeking to focus on Spiritual Education as it reinvents itself – and as a consequence also release selected assets of land and buildings.

This is opening up opportunities to change how we own, steward and finance key resources in our community.

In this process we are learning how to develop a new Culture of the Commons. We are learning about the 4 types of commons (Built Amenities, Conservation Lands, Green Spaces, Infrastructure) and the 8 principles developed by Elinor Ostrom from her research on cultures who were successful at operating Commons:

  1. Shared identity and purpose
  2. Equitable distribution of contributions and benefits
  3. Fair and inclusive decision-making
  4. Monitoring of agreed behaviours
  5. Graduated responding to helpful and unhelpful behaviour
  6. Fast and fair conflict resolution
  7. Authority to self-govern (according to principles 1-6
  8. Collaborative relations with other groups (using principles 1-7

We are connecting in new ways in the community as we research the history of our Commons, Community Organizations and how we steward resources (sharing a report of 12 pages). On February 20, 2023, we  gathered 150 people in person and 60 people online, to inquire what Commons mean to us (asking generative questions about our high vision, how we can contribute/participate and finance/resource our recalibrated Commons).

As we are refining our culture of community I notice in Integral City terms engaging through 4 + 1 Voices.

In the Commons meeting we brought together our 4+1 Voices of Resident/Citizens, Civic Managers, Business Innovators and 3rd Sector.