I. Developmental Economics


Presentation Description

In this presentation we explore: a) the early stages of Ecovillage development, b) the viability of different types of appropriate revenue streams, and c) reducing the revenue required for start-up by modifying the stages of development.


Presentation Transcript

Developmental Economics of an Educational Ecovillage:

Developmental Economics of an Educational Ecovillage

Necessary Development:

Necessary Development 1. Purchase land 2. Develop basic infrastructure 3. Housing construction 4. Community building construction 5. Community economic development Our purpose today: Consider variations of how these might work together

One Option:

One Option Develop all five of these in order The most natural progression Land has to be purchased first, then buildings constructed, etc. Minor variations are possible: e.g. one community building before residences Primary downside: no economic return for several years means that considerable finances are needed

Another Option:

Another Option Create revenue streams as early as possible Creates employment opportunity Faciliates members moving to community without having to commute to work May expedite community development May be easier to attract capital Primary downside: could change community model

Community Model:

Community Model Goal: simple living, high thinking To get there > need money > use practical models > w/o losing goal Community economics must be based on our core principles Community should have community-operated businesses Private business is secondary

Types of Businesses:

Types of Businesses Community cottage industries Agricultural products Green construction business Education in sustainable techniques and practices Yoga classes, spiritual topics Workshops and retreats

Business Costs & Margins:

Business Costs & Margins Within our principles, costs & margins should be considered in early stages Cottage industries: land, buildings, some equipment, raw materials, extensive labor Agriculture: land, no buildings, some equipment, raw materials, extensive labor Education: land, buildings, some equipment, raw materials, far less labor In later stages profit is less important

Supply, Demand, Competition:

Supply, Demand, Competition Cottage industries (handmade products) Low supply, low demand, low competition Agriculture (organic foods) High supply, high demand, high competition Education (in sustainable living, etc) Low supply, high demand, low competition Education looks the best Deserves further focus

Educational Facilities:

Educational Facilities Land Other physical facilities Buildings with classroom facilities Buildings with lodging facilities Buildings with cooking and dining areas with equipment Natural surrounding environment Requires a major capital investment

Other Necessities:

Other Necessities Instructor-provided course materials (Special facilities: hands-on workshops) Labor: depends on # of attendees Instructors Cooks Hospitality: reception, lodging, entertainment, etc Nice environment


Proposal Buy land Construct community buildings Purchase necessary equipment Provide nice environment Find instructors / workshop facilitators Hire part-time support staff

What we Don’t Want:

What we Don’t Want Typical public experience Convention center / hotel combinations “Sterile” hotel rooms Little interaction with other attendees Large expensive buildings that remain vacant much of the time Convention center – empty at night Hotel – empty during day

What we Want:

What we Want Integrated buildings for a more personal, shared experience More like a retreat; a bed-and-breakfast Interaction between instructors, other staff, and attendees, not only in the classroom Give people a weekend or week long hands-on lifestyle experience

Building Details:

Building Details Cabins with large central room, for: living / dining / kitchen / classroom areas Small adjoining bedrooms Fold down bunk beds (can sleep 1-8) 3-4 bedrooms per cabin People reserve whole cabin for groups, or a room, or bunk beds for individuals Process is scalable More cabins added if demand increases

Public Experience:

Public Experience Greater interpersonal interactions Not a sterile, lonely environment Learn something valuable together Actually DO it - not just sitting in a class Morning yoga class > consensus workshop > cooking class > lunch > gardening workshop > dinner > group recreation An opportunity to see, experience, and help develop community

Other Advantages:

Other Advantages Living facilities for community members doing construction, etc Buildings can later become a family’s personal residence No money wasted on an unused asset Buildings can be partly paid for by Community Supporters (see website) Buildings can accommodate Wwoofers

From Here:

From Here This is only one idea out of many Discuss our community model if needed for better understanding Discuss this proposal, and others as well - get creative ideas flowing Viable community economic models are critical!

Broader Discussion:

Broader Discussion How these might work together: 1. Purchase land 2. Develop basic infrastructure 3. Housing development 4. Community building development 5. Community economic development

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