A Place-Based Action-Learning Commons
The heart of the model is a living experiment focused on maximizing quality of life within a sustainable footprint hosted in an experiential, place-based learning and retreat centre.
All our work is based on the idea of the fair share footprint as the foundation of sustainability. We see this as the key to a new, healthier way of thinking about resources and the economy, one that can heal the damage done by extractive capitalism.
A small team of dedicated caretaker/farmers are given the challenge of providing the equivalent of a complete diet for the footprints we steward, with minimal outside inputs in a way that is carbon-neutral or carbon-negative and resilient in the face of climate chaos.
Visitors have the opportunity of living and working alongside this team to experience for themselves the beauty and benefits (and challenges) of a regenerative lifestyle. We hope in this way to inspire new lifeboat builders’ around the world and support their efforts through webinars and online support.
A Social Benefit Company Based on Food Sovereignty
Ultimately, community resilience depends on local food sovereignty. We believe everyone should have access to their fair share of resources, which comes with an obligation to care for those resources responsibly. And we believe that caring responsibly and cooperatively for the land is good economics.
That vision is baked into our organizational DNA. The enterprise will be set up either as a Social Benefit Corporation (B-corp) or a community services co-op, so our commitment to the community and the environment will be written into our by-laws and, as part of an on-going experiment, those commitments will be converted into tangible goals against which our performance can be measured.
The work will be guided by a Stewardship Council with one seat to represent each footprint and the diverse needs and interests of the people served by this common pool of resources, building on Elinor Ostrom’s rules for effectively managing the commons using Sociocracy 3.0 as a framework for cooperation.
The Stewardship Council coordinates efforts for the overall good of the whole and tasks out access to and care for particular assets through agreements or leases. For example, a local arts organization could use their access to the commons to host community events in exchange for managing and caring for the event space.
Interim Stewardship Council & other partners
Bernie Amell, Ecological Designer & founder of Heartwood Cooperative, Quadra Island
CoHo BC, Collaborative Home Ownership
Paula Caird, Manager, Government of Canada
Jake Enns, Founder of the Renewing the Future Society
Lisa Fleming, Ptarmigan Arts
Ronnie Gelman, The Lifeboat Academy
Brooke Hayes, PhD, Soil Science, University of Victoria
Ben Kadel, PhD, Emotus Operandi; The Lifeboat Academy
Rebecca S. Krantz, PhD
Roland Maurice, The Lifeboat Academy
Deb L. Morrison, PhD, CLEAR Environmental
Jim Peacock, Southern Gulf Islands Community Justice Program
Heather Pritchard, Foodlands Cooperative of BC
Benji Ross, Founder of the Bioregional Catalysts and Weavers Guild
April Struthers, Social Change Consultant / Owner Wit Works Ltd.