Intentional Communities and their ability to root our society in the things that matter most (Interview with Sky Blue of the Foundation for Intentional Community)
This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.
Sky Blue has spent the last 20 years living in, working for, and networking intentional communities, cooperatives, and community organizations. He currently serves as Executive Director for the Foundation for Intentional Community (@icdotorg).
On this podcast episode, Sky sheds light on what has led to our hyper-individualistic culture and how has that impacted our collective wellbeing; what intentional communities are all about and how they can root our society in the things that matter most; and more.
To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Sky and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kaméa Chayne.
On the departure from community as an integral part of our modern lives:
"I think the economic system that’s predominated for the past few hundred years is one that’s geared towards the individual.
When you have a system that’s built around corporations trying to make a profit, for the most part, they’re able to make more profit when you as an individual are buying everything, as opposed to a collective making the purchase.
You see that in commercialism and the way the economy is set up–it’s all geared towards the individual experience, and I’d say we’ve moved into a culture of hyper-individualism.
The irony of it is that there’s an incredible de-skilling in the last fifty to one-hundred years—even a hundred years ago, a lot more people had the ability too grow food and do things themselves, and that’s essentially discouraged in our economic and cultural system, which has left people less and less able to sustain themselves, putting people on their own, in a position where they need to work a job to be able to buy everything they need.
We are less able than ever before to take care of ourselves, so we’re more dependent on each other than we’ve possibly ever been in human society, and yet we’re constantly being told that the individual is the focus and that individual freedom and liberty is the most paramount goal.”
On the role of technology and automation in sustainability:
"I don’t necessarily have a problem with automation—what I have more of a problem is automation not making people’s lives easier, but enabling some people to make more of a profit, or automation enabling people to make more stuff that people don’t really need that are consuming nonrenewable resources, or renewable resources at unsustainable rates.
So I think the selective application of technology is key.”
Final words of wisdom:
"We exist in a false sense of crisis that masks the very real crisis that we are facing as people, as communities, and as a global humanity.
We have to slow down.
That might seem contradictory in the face of crisis. But we have to slow down because we don't have time to not figure out how to address this crisis and respond appropriately.
There's a lot of ‘spinning our wheels’ going on in different organizations and in our political system. We have to hold ourselves back from thinking that we know what to do.
That process of slowing down and coming into relation with each other is key. The ability to be in a relationship, be in the dialogues that we need to, and slow down to have those conversations [will enable us to] figure out together what is going to be most effective in responding to the crisis we're in."
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