Community Overview

"The choice is clear: either we do nothing and allow a miserable and probably catastrophic future to overtake us, or we use our knowledge about human behavior to create a social environment in which we shall live productive and creative lives and do so without jeopardizing the chances that those who follow us will be able to do the same. Something like a Walden Two would not be a bad start."
B. F. Skinner (1976)

Our Vision

We see a world in which the creative spirit is alive, in which life is an adventure full of joy and hope, based rather upon the impulse to construct than upon the desire to retain what we possess or to seize what is possessed by others. It will be a world in which affection has free play, in which love is purged of the instinct for domination, in which cruelty and envy have been dispelled by happiness and the unfettered development of all the instincts that build up life and fill it with mental and physical delights.

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Our Mission

To create an international network of community-based, social entrepreneurial, high-tech, educational enterprises where people live, love, learn and work together in reason for the betterment of all life and the planet on which it depends. We will facilitate the establishment of a large number of diverse, fully cooperative communities, which will federate with one another to create the 'new organic whole'.

We will educate the educators. We will socialize the socialists. We will communalize the communitarians. We will utopianize the utopians. We will help break the cycle of domination, in which the prevailing ideology, imaginary, ethos, and institutional structure all reinforce one another.

As Communards we will create the community milieu that delivers optimal individual freedom and a rich and fulfilling life experience for everyone who contacts it, both now and into the future. We will recognize the humanity in every person we encounter and respond with compassion and respect. We will honor the earth and its diversity of life and improve the ecology of those areas of the planet we inhabit.

As Social Entrepreneurs we will develop and disseminate resources, systems and technologies that foster sustainable human development, strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for marginalized people.

As Social Change Agents we will apply compassion, reason and technology to activism and educational activities to promote the goals and asppirations associated with Anarchist Communism, Egalitarianism, Environmentalism and a Naturalistic worldview.

Each of our interdependent enterprises shares our organizational mission, plus they each have unique Missions (and Goals) that are specific to their community function.

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Our Values

Life & Diversity
People: we will treat everyone with kindness, compassion and love.

Animals (non-human): we will treat all animals ethically.

Diversity: we will strive to increase the cultural and biological diversity of our community and the natural world within which we live.

Individual Freedom and Community Strength
Voluntary Association: we will support the notion of voluntary association with our organization's design, institutions and practices.

Contingencies of Reinforcement: we will engineer our culture so that we experience true freedom, and develop a compassionate Membership that is passionate about working to improve our culture and the lives of others.

Community: we recognize that it is only through a strong cohesive community that we can optimize individual freedom and experience all that it is to be human.

Sharing: we will share the fruit of our efforts among ourselves and with the local and global communities.

Social Justice: we will design our political and social structures to deliver social justice to our community, and work to increase the equitable distribution of wealth and opportunity, both locally and globally.

Environmental Justice: we will work to improve the environmental circumstances for marginalized people everywhere.

Creativity & Innovation
Art & Science: we will promote all forms of creative expression and encourage innovation in everything we do.

Educational Pedagogy: we will strive to 'think outside the box' when designing and delivering education; the scientific method will inform all educational practices.

Production & Distribution: we will strive to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns and relationships in all of our production and distribution activities.

Science & Reason
Ethics and Philosophy: we will contribute to the development of a Naturalist System of Ethics, and proselytize for Secular Humanism.

Society & Politics: we will employ the scientific method to the design and evolution our institutions and cultural processes.

Products and Services: all products and services we employ within Walden, and share with the global community, will be derived from empiricism.

Life-long Learning: we acknowledge the importance of ongoing education, to individual Members and the community; we will provide and encourage our Membership to continuously develop their personal, professional and creative skills (vertical and horizontal).

Relevant: we will strive to ensure that all educational programming is useful to the student and directly contributes to the execution of our Mission.

Experiential: as much as possible, all educational programming will include practical application opportunities in real-world settings.

Individual: we will all contribute what we can, and strive for excellence in everything we do.

Collective: we understand that it is only through working as a team that we can execute our Mission and achieve our goals.

Sustainable Self-sufficiency: we will employ creativity, prudence, effort and natural resources to achieve community autonomy as expeditiously as possible.

Resources: we will responsibly develop and manage all of the human and natural resources we have at our disposal.

Energy: all energy systems will be selected and designed for optimization and sustainable self-sufficiency.

Effort: we will design and manage all systems for efficacy and efficiency.

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Our Goals

  1. Establish the Ecoversity
  2. Establish our Wellness Resort
  3. Establish an Organic Farm
  4. Develop sustainable, comprehensive self-sufficiency
  5. Develop, promote and utilize an alternative local economy
  6. Develop, promote and work in concert with other organizations who share our ideals
  7. Replicate our educational community enterprise model around the globe
  8. Enjoy life to its fullest potential

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Live, Love, Learn & Work Together in Community

Albert Einstein

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men—above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.”
Albert Einstein

This project is, at it's core, an effort to create a compassionate volunteer community, where we can live happy, ethical and fulfilling lives. It's a place where we are both truly free and connected to our fellow communards (emotionally and physically). It's where we have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and engage in creative expression and an ongoing quest for knowledge and personal improvement. It's where we can participate in productive activities that provide us with security, comfort and a sense of individual contribution, personal achievement and appreciation from others. It's a place where we can let loose and have a freaking blast.

"(Humans) ...are happy in an environment in which active, productive, and creative behavior is reinforced in effective ways.”
B. F. Skinner

The overreaching goal of our community-wide therapeutic setting then, is to provide the stable and coherent physical and social environment, within which continuous, incremental and socially valid improvement of those specific intellectual, creative, vocational, technological and social skills, that are necessary for optimal individual and collective functioning, can occur, evolve and improve over time.

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Who, What, Where & When

E. B. White

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savour the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
E. B. White

By attracting people from across the cultural spectrum, we intend to create a pan-global multicultural communal experience. We will begin with one, aesthetically inspiring, self-sufficient Ecoversity commune, populated (eventually) by about 500 Progressive Naturalists who want to live, love, learn and work together for the betterment of our lives, the lives of those within our circle of influence and the lives of those who follow us in history.

We intend, over time, to create a network of ecovillages and other grassroots organizations, to advance social and ecological justice at the local level; the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka is a model not distant from our own conceptualizations.

The socio-political philosophy of our Sociocracy is Anarcho-Communist: our businesses will include a combination of non-profit and for-profit enterprises. We will share equally in the fruits of community production and distribution and we’ll promote the free association of persons and groups, economic and political egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy, private property and money.

We’ve yet to identify a specific location for our first campus, and are open to establishing the first Walden Ecovillage almost anywhere in the world. However, it seems the nations of the world, through their respective immigration policies, have (unwittingly or not) conspired to prevent us from developing a community with the breadth of international diversity we desire. Despite this significant and ubiquitous legal obstacle, we are committed to creating a culturally diverse community and will do everything we can to actualize that important community feature.

Our penchant for creating a multicultural international community, is not solely based on the cultural advantages we'd derive from that diversity. An important part of our strategy, to actualize our Mission and Vision, includes creating a network of Walden-like enterprises across the globe. The most prudent and efficient way to do this, is to develop individual capacity, return those competent emissaries back to their respective countries and support their efforts there.

Several methods for obtaining a long-term visa, that most countries offer, relate to research and education activities: study, teaching and research visas. As we are an Ecoversity, we will develop the capacity to facilitate the acquisition of these visas, and post-educational residency permits as well.

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Our 'Start-up Plan':

The outline that follows in anything but comprehensive; it's more a short-list of milestones. Preliminary work, for many of the items, is currently underway, and we expect to increase momentum once we've secured professional and technical assistance and established a functional on-line presence.

Should you be sympathetic to our cause and have expertise in any field or area relevant to this project (see Advisory Boards), and you'd like to help- please, join us! There's a lot to do.

  1. Prepare a comprehensive community sketch (breadth over depth) and business plan
  2. Recruit professional assistance: develop the Advisory Boards and obtain website development assistance
  3. Establish a functional Internet presence (capable of capturing donations) and other promotional materials
  4. Identify and begin educating a Pioneer group (15-20 community members with skills essential to initial community development)
  5. Identify and convene Boards for the two Trusts
  6. Obtain Legal status (establish the trusts)
  7. Fund-raise; and recruit community members
  8. Fund-raise; and acquire the land and the basic resources necessary for the Pioneer group's survival and work
  9. Fund-raise; and move the Pioneers to the community site
  10. Continue fund-raising, recruiting and developing the community

Without question, any timetable would be highly speculative. It is affected by many variables, including but not limited to: everything after 'Step 2' above; on-hand resources; initial community configuration; and factors specific to our specific site location. The information on this website reflects our progress with regard to the Start-up Plan.

Additionally, we'll likely begin with a much smaller version of Walden than the comprehensive Ecovillage described here. It may be the case that we begin with a farm and develop the resort and educational facilities later. We could begin with a resort and install a farm and then develop the educational entities. Or we could start with the educational entities and develop the farm and resort over time. We are open to any viable entry point, and will enthusiastically respond to all valid opportunities that present themselves.

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Paul Kurtz

"The intrinsic value we seek to achieve is eudaemonia: happiness or well-being. A better word to describe such a state of living is exuberance or excelsior; it is an active, not a passive, process of perfecting our talents, needs, and wants.

The end or goal of life is to live fully and creatively, sharing with others the many opportunities for joyful experience and moral conduct.

The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm. On the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.
Paul Kurtz

Secular Humanist ethics is based on the proposition that ethical conduct is determined by applying critical reason to decision-making; this is true for individual behavior as well as for collective actions. Because of this 'rational imperative', all known facts must be logically considered and, Cēterīs paribus, the more facts that are known, the more likely an ethical decision will result.

Peter Kropotkin

"A new, realistic moral science is the need of the day, a science as free from superstition, religious dogmatism, and metaphysical mythology as modern cosmogony and philosophy already are, and permeated at the same time with these higher feelings and brighter hopes which are inspired by the modern knowledge of man and his history, this is what humanity is persistently demanding.”
Peter Kropotkin

We assume that ethically planned social systems are more likely to result in an improved quality of life over that engendered by social systems that are produced by historical accident, superstition, and momentary convenience. Subjective, intuitive and revelational sources are unreliable (with respect to objective reality) and are more likely to result in illinformed and unethical decisions. Additionally, a growing body of empirical evidence supports a negative correlation between religiosity (household and cultural) and the prosocial behavior and morality of children (Decety et al., 2015).

Arthur C. Clarke

"The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”
Arthur C. Clarke

The scientific method is the only reliable way to establish facts (objective reality), so critical reasoning and the scientific method are the only means to determining right or ethical behavior. It is our contention that a culture built on the principals and practices associated with Scientism, Humanism, Behaviorism, Cultural Materialism and Systems Theory (e.g. Cybernetics) will result in an ethically sound and dynamic social system.

Marvin Harris

"The theoretical principles of cultural materialism rest on the assumption that certain categories of responses are important to the survival and well-being of human individuals and that it is possible to identify among such responses more and less efficient means of achieving an individual’s survival and well-being."
Marvin Harris, 1991

Additionally, because of the increasingly improved representation of objective reality (biological, social etc.) and the ever more ethical set of premises from which new arguments and decisions are made, we will endlessly improve the very environment that fosters our increasingly more ethical behavior; we will have designed a positive feedback loop for ethical cultural evolution.

Walden’s cultural design is grounded in this rational strategy. It will deliver successive approximations to an accurate depiction of objective reality that, not only provides for a more efficient and effective milieu, it also contributes real-world data to the social engineering literature on strategies to shape informed, autonomous and ethical individuals who are committed to social and environmental justice.

Detailed arguments for our philosophy of ethics can be found in Bertrand Russell’s The Elements of Ethics, John Rawls' A Theory of Justice, Lattal & Chase Editors Behavior Theory and Philosophy and in Peter Kropotkin's Ethics: Origin and Development. Paul Kurtz's book Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism, as well as the Humanist Manifesto I, Humanist Affirmations and a Secular Humanist Declaration provide a comprehensive account of Secular Humanist ethics.

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Individual Freedom & Community


"(Communism) the best basis for individual development and freedom; not that individualism which drives man to the war of each against all- this is the only one known up till now—but that which represents the full expansion of man’s faculties, the superior development of what is original in him, the greatest fruitfulness of intelligence, feeling and will.”
Peter Kropotkin

Both individual freedom and the welfare of the community are paramount at Walden. The historical debate over the 'conflicting interests' of the individual and the community is extensive and well beyond the scope of this discussion. However, there are valid arguments that challenge the validity of this view.

"... the only liberty worthy of the name, the liberty which implies the full development of all the material, intellectual, and moral capacities latent in every one of us; the liberty which knows no other restrictions but those set by the laws of our own nature.

Consequently there are, properly speaking, no restrictions, since these laws are not imposed upon us by any legislator from outside, alongside, or above ourselves. These laws are subjective, inherent in ourselves; they constitute the very basis of our being.

Instead of seeking to curtail them, we should see in them the real condition and the effective cause of our liberty—that liberty of each man which does not find another man’s freedom a boundary but a confirmation and vast extension of his own; liberty through solidarity, in equality.

Michael Bakunin

For a comprehensive dialectical challenge to the validity of the 'conflicting interests' argument see The Impossible Community: Realizing Communitarian Anarchism by John P. Clark. From an anthroplogical and archiological perspective: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber & David Wengrow. Bertrand Russell's Proposed Roads to Freedom challenges from the perspective of Analytic Philosophy, and many of B. F. Skinner's works, most notably, Walden 2, Beyond Freedom and Dignity and Contingencies of Reinforcement challenge from the behavioral science perspective.

We agree that individual freedom cannot be achieved without others: without community. And because...

"“No society is possible without certain principles of morality generally recognised."
Peter Kropotkin

...a few limits on individual freedom are necessary. The most noteworthy of those limitations is on violence: violence against other people and violence against the community.

"If everybody grew accustomed to deceive his fellow-men; if we never could rely on each other's promise and words; if everybody treated his fellow as an enemy, against whom every means of warfare is justifiable- no society could exist."
Peter Kropotkin

Our Mission (to create a community model that optimizes individual freedom) forces us to be extremely cautious about establishing rules and practices (contingencies) that encroach on liberty (except for a prohibition on violence). Communards can be assured that, within an Anarchist Sociocracy, not only are all affected stakeholders involved in decisions that involve their liberty, it is also the case that all communards, including the 'designers' are subject to the same contingencies.

"Built into the structure of any equitable group must be the fundamental requirement that the rulers be subject to the same contingencies as the ruled- indeed, that there be no such distinction as ruler vs. ruled”
E. F. Segal

At Walden, there are no "rulers and the ruled"; we govern ourselves by Informed Consent. We will establish a particular set of cultural contingencies that will evolve as individual and collective needs warrant. Our ethics, socio-political structure and processes, Vision, Mission, Goals and Values will all work to both empower the individual and strengthen the community.

"Optimal Individual Freedom for All!”

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Kahil Gibran

"And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”
Kahlil Gibran

As a secular community, we hold interpersonal intimacy (as well as art and ecological intimacy) as a primary means of experiencing ‘spirituality’ and achieving individual and collective happiness. We are interested in supporting everyone in their quest for reciprocal human connections, and toward that end, will avoid promoting any preferences or biases regarding adult-adult interpersonal relations and sexual practices.

Emotional and physical intimacy between majority aged members therefore, is to be worked out between the parties involved. As a private matter, they are generally not subject to public scrutiny. General Humanist guidelines for ethical behavior represent the only caveat; members will behave with integrity and strive to treat each other with kindness, compassion and respect.

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Physical Pleasure

"The principles of hedonism, utilitarianism and adaptation were not wrong, they were simply not precise”
B. F. Skinner (1969)

Sensual pleasure is essential to the good life. It is spiritual, and will be prioritized as such at Walden.

The hedonist informs us about both the tendency of humans to pursue pleasurable and avoid painful stimuli, and the ethics associated with those tendencies. Despite criticisms of the approach, it could be argued that any possibility for the good life includes the opportunity to respond in line with these contingencies.

Other Eastern traditions, most notably ancient Greek Philosophy, Buddhism and Hinduism, contribute greatly to both our understanding about the value of pleasure in life, as well as the path and means to experience pleasure.


Despite certain 'problems' with the Hindu doctrine (e.g. mysticism, dualism, cognitivism, genderism and a caste system), we appreciate much of what Puruṣārtha and (more specific to this discussion) Kāma and the Kāmashastra texts offers our community in its quest for the good life. We have incorporated much of the Puruṣārtha (as well as our criticisms and adaptations) into Walden's Right Living© program.


"To know when you have enough is to be rich beyond measure."
Lao Tzu

Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.”

Our appreciation for balance, moderation and love, in the pursuit of pleasure (and in life generally), is also consonant with the Eastern traditions. So, our approach to pleasure will be something like:

"almost, All Things Pleasurable- in moderation”

Culinary Pleasures: It is our intention to become renowned for the quality of our multicultural culinary offerings. Home-grown organic produce, meats, spices and artistic presentation will be combined to create a variety of local and ethnic dishes from all over the world for members and guests.

Physical Contact and Sex: By embracing ancient and modern techniques, massage and a healthy appreciation of the human body, we will welcome nudity, physical contact and sex into the sphere of acceptable- even revered, human activities.

Movement: A variety of physical activities including dance, exercise, sports, yoga and other non-violent eastern arts will be promoted to advance health, art and spirituality (non-mystical).

Concentration Induced Euphoria: Meditation will be taught and encouraged to facilitate relaxation, peace and strength of mind and euphoric states.

Substance Induced Euphoria: Because we support a rational drug policy we have developed a ‘risk to the community vs. freedom for the individual’ scheme to inform the community’s stand on specific substances. However, we prefer, as much as possible, to avoid involving ourselves with the choices that individual community members make regarding their private use of substances to create physically pleasing and sensual states.

We intend to engage in the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages, however, we will avoid community involvement in the manufacture, cultivation and procurement of controlled or prohibited substances (as determined by local law).

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Engagement vs. Withdrawal

Dalai Lama XIV

"We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”
the Dalai Lama

It is often the case that life within Intentional Communities involves a certain amount of isolation from the outside world, while within community relationships are intensified; in many cases this is by design (e.g. the Amish). Separation from the outside world influences community life in many ways, including (but certainly not limited to) the adverse effects on individual members that are associated with trying (with varying degrees of success) to meet their numerous and varied spiritual or intimacy needs (that change over time) within a small, relatively static group of people. The Walden model is designed to ameliorate these limitations.

Our success as Social Entrepreneurs and Activists is predicated on our ability to develop and nurture multifarious relations with, and serve the broader society. It demands that we engage the world community on all fronts: individually, socially, culturally, aesthetically, economically and intellectually.

Additionally, because our community is organized around a farm-based Ecoversity, a wellness resort and numerous ancillary businesses, we will definitely find ourselves involved with many ‘outsiders’ who increase the size and diversity of the pool from which we can enjoy companionship. These include: our guests, clients, allies, students, the beneficiaries of our philanthropic activities and people from the surrounding communities with whom we will trade and engage socially through our Eupraxsophy Center and cultural events.

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Personal Privacy

Henry David Thoreau

"I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
Henry David Thureau

Privacy is paramount at Walden and will be supported by physical infrastructure, cultural design and practices (Infrastructural, Structural and Superstructural).

There are times when everyone prefers to be alone, away from the 'watchful eye' of the community; some intentional community members have complained about feeling as though they are "living in a glass bowl". In light of the liberal access to our community that outsiders will have, factors related to 'living at work' and the heightened intimacy between members that is typical of intentional communities, it will be very important for each of us to have sufficient personal space and the time to experience varying levels of privacy when it’s desired.

Arthur Schopenhauer

"A man can be himself only so long as he is alone, and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom, for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

The primary means for attaining privacy is through access to individual private quarters (PQs). Every community member will be provided PQs, that can be used and decorated as desired. Members will also be able to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the more remote areas of our land, for short-term retreats, by accessing the campsites and dwellings (cabins etc.) that we build primarily for Resort Guests and forest management crews.

We consider the privacy, liberty, security and autonomy that PQs provide, to be a modern human right, and as such will hold without regard to a member’s relationship status with others. Members ‘in relationships’ (lovers, married, polyamorous etc.) can ‘live together’ (multiple sleep-overs) if they desire to, but each Member will always retain access to their own PQs.

Free time (See Leisure Time vs. Free Time) constitutes 2/3 of each day and is the Member's opportunity to disappear on-site or off-grounds. Community funded vacations and 'business junkets' will provide opportunities for members to experience extended periods of time away from the community (See Vacations & Travel): as we are in the business of tourism, we will eventually acquire seaside, mountain and other ‘vacation’ type properties (around the world) and these will be available to Members as well.

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Our Children

"Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless. It enslaves him almost before he has tasted freedom."


"...Considering how long society has been at it, you'd expect a better job.”
B. F. Skinner

The society, within which a child lives, determines the kinds of experiences she will have, and that experience shapes both her future and the future of her culture. As a society, we have a responsibility to both the child and our culture, to make every possible effort, to ensure that all childhood experiences align with our Values and Vision for the future. In light of the gravity of this responsibility, we have developed a strategy to increase the likelihood that we will serve the short and long-term interests of each and every child, our culture and the carrying capacity of the planet.

By providing each Member with PQs and placing responsibility for child-rearing in the hands of childcare professionals and the educated Walden community- which may include the biological parents, we have essentially dissolved the nuclear family. We acknowledge that the communal raising of children is, at the same time, one of the most controversial and one of the most important aspects of our social structure.

Section Under ConstructionWe will establish a responsible and compassionate process by which established families who join Walden, initially live together as a unit and gradually transition to this system. An elaboration of the structure and reasoning for this community feature is forthcoming.

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Educating Walden's Children


Our children (like all community members) will be immersed in a comprehensive community-based educational experience, that will develop the capabilities, skills, compassion and passion necessary for individual autonomy and happiness, and for contributing to the quality of our culture and the execution of our Mission.


"A new day is dawning when the school will serve life in all its phases and reverently lift each human child to its appropriate place in a common life of beneficent social efficiency, whose motto will not be unifirmity and discipline but freedom, expansion, good will, and joy for each and all.”
Emma Goldman

The Social Importance of the Modern School

The educational experience necessary to accomplish these lofty goals includes curricula, pedagogy and cultural support to develop the competency requirements for citizens of any knowledge society plus the unique contributions of the WSC. Music, art (in all of its forms), and traditional crafts are high on the educational agenda as well. These activities, described elsewhere as Leisure, are vital to the quality of a child's life, so children will have access to those same resources as adult Members.

Because our children will experience this comprehensive education via 'Best Practices' instructional methods, within the context of our educated community and Farm School, they will have fun, learn quickly and subsequently develop a love of learning.

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Walden Socialization Curriculum

Lewis Carroll

"Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat. 'I don't know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The Socialization process at Walden (WSC) is designed to facilitate the expeditious acquisition of the knowledge, skills and behaviors related to our community structure and our Right Living© program. Our intention is to shape-up those basic factors that are necessary for individual efficacy and happiness, and for the functional success of our community.

The WSC is comprised of didactic instruction, programmed instruction, experiential learning and practical application of new learning, designed by learning facilitators (experts in learning theory) from the Ecoversity. As much as possible, the student's daily work activity will be tied to their current place in the curriculum.

Instruction begins when an Ally (new volunteer) enters our milieu and continues until full Membership is acquired. Membership designations, in fact, represent the individual's current level of progress through the curriculum. Everyone, children as well as adults, by virtue of access to this curriculum, the resort amenities, and the therapeutic milieu within which it is experienced, will contribute to and benefit from the common experience.

The WSC contains information about every topic addressed on this website (in more detail of course), but only to the level necessary to function as an efficacious community member; it is not intended to make experts in every field of every Member. People will naturally migrate toward activities that are most reinforcing (to them) and that's where they will build expertise.

Curriculum Topics

Right Living
- Experimentation
- Cultural Materialism
- Political Processes
Secular Humanism
- Eupraxsophy
Anarchist Communism
The scientific method
- Applied & Basic Research
- Inductive & Deductive methods
Logic and reasoning
Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis
- Functional Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (FREBT)
- Organizational Behavior Management
- Instruction
- Child Development
- Permaculture
- Holistic Management

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Right Living: Physical and Psychological Well-being

Our approach to the good life starts with good health: mental and physical. Good health begins with establishing resilience, is maintained by a wholesome diet and a healthy life-style and is put back on track (when problems occur) by appropriate interventions.

Walden's Right Living program is a comprehensive, evidenced-based wellness program for Members, Students and Resort Guests. As an essential part of the WSC, the program will educate nascent Members about the Walden life-style and put them on the road to good health.

As the Right Living program is the province of the Wellness Resort, a more detailed description can be found on the Resort Page.

Is it Socialization or Brainwashing?

Albert Einstein

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein

The WSC is not about changing the metaphysical stance of prospective Members, nor is it about interfering with intellectual autonomy. As a self-selected group of Naturalists, we need little convincing about the value of the scientific world view, and it's only by promoting intellectual autonomy that Walden will develop in the direction we desire.

The WSC is about building a strong cohesive culture around our existing, commonly held, Scientific (and Humanistic) orientation. To that end, the WSC will familiarize everyone with our organizational framework and processes, and it will establish a common language; it will get us working together from the same page(s): and those pages will necessarily undergo continuous revision as we evolve.

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Health and Medical Care

William Mayo

"The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life, the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.”
William Mayo

The primary focus of our approach to health and medical care is prevention. This tact is by far, the most compassionate, efficacious and cost effective. Our primary prevention tools include: practicing environmental safety; mandating that everyone participate in farming; the Right Living Program (by outlining a community-wide approach to healthful living); and our Medical Clinic (by providing preventative medical services).

Health Care: Clinic & Staff

We intend to establish an on-site medical clinic that will, like our other businesses, provide services to both Walden and the outside community. It is likely however, that we will still require access to medical facilities (hospital) outside the community for care that we cannot provide.

We will recruit health care professionals, including Medical Doctors, Nurses, Midwives, Dentists and the like, to join our community. Ideally, our medical staff will establish working relationships with local hospitals and other medical service providers.

Empirically validated and best-practices medical treatments will be practiced over those proffered by alternative medicine. This stance does not prevent appropriate and ethical experimentation; it does however, eliminate the wholesale adoption of systems and practices that are based on unfounded belief/faith and pseudoscience. For example, it would be perfectly appropriate for us to empirically test the tenets associated with Chi-based massage.


Our bias against alternative medicine is solely based on a preference for science-based treatments; it is not, for example, due to some affinity for the pharmaceutical industry. We are astutely aware of the motives and inhumane practices of big pharma, as well as their political influence and the effects of that influence on the general Western zeitgeist.

Our Mission compels us to jump into this fray. So, we will participate in the development and empirical testing of plant-based medicines (Botanicals, Phytotherapy). We will incorporate medicinal plants into our farming operations, and the Ecoversity will be responsible for processing and empirically testing (for safety and efficacy) the claims for these treatments (already on the market). We will publish those results, and develop for market any remedies that prove safe and effective.

Environmental Health & Safety


"To the extent that health and safety problems are caused by humans, they can be managed by humans.”

The responsibility for Environmental Health and Safety at Walden, lies with every person in our Ecovillage; general guidelines are part of the Right Living curriculum. The Ecoversity is responsible for development, oversight, and management of environmental health and safety programs that protect the environment and provide safe and healthy conditions for work, study and life at Walden. It will provide fire & life safety support, educational programs, technical assistance, and health and safety services to the community.

Section Under ConstructionThe business management arm of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), has a long and rich history of contribution to this critical community function.

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Naturism & Nudity

naturalism: henri-matisse-la-pastorale

"And the weaver said, Speak to us of Clothes. And he answered: Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful. And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy, you may find in them a harness and a chain.

Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your body and less of your raiment. For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.

Some of you say, "It is the north wind who has woven the clothes we wear." And I say, Ay, it was the north wind. But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread. And when his work was done he laughed in the forest.

Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean. And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind? And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."

Kahlil Gibran, The Profit

As was discussed in Physical Pleasure, our intention is to bring "physical contact, nudity and sexual behavior back into the sphere of acceptable- even revered, human activities". The human body is as natural as any other part of nature and will be treated as such. We will celebrate all of nature with infrastructural, structural and superstructural practices.

We will accommodate naturist members by providing clothing optional areas and residences (perhaps Hamlets); common areas and recreational facilities can be reserved for clothing optional activities; we can host naturist events, etc.; we’ll promote a healthy appreciation of the human body through our Socialization process and superstructural practices. However, because it might interfere with executing our Mission, we are not embracing the naturist lifestyle wholesale; we are not a Nudist Colony or ‘Naturist Community’ per se.

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Private & Personal Property

Karl Marx

"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths.

You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.”
Karl Marx

The historical and contemporary debate over property ownership (Private and Personal) within the Anarchist, Communist and Socialist literature, and the relationship between property ownership and both societal ills (E.g. classism, domination, property crime etc.) and individual freedom, is extensive, controversial and beyond the scope of this discussion.

Our discussions however, have been a bit less contentious, because we've not been discussing Private Property; as Anarcho-Communists, we've taken "The abolition of Private Property" as a given.

We have been discussing the effects of Personal Property ownership on the social fabric of our community, and the effects on individual liberty of preventing ownership. At this point we've decided that if we can provide for the needs of our members, and everyone shares equally in the distribution of our resources, then many of the philosophical and practical concerns about limiting this particular liberty, are somewhat mitigated (admittedly, this explanation is an over-simplification).

Therefore, we've decided that we should start from a sort of middle ground and allow for personal property, but to limit the value of those things possessed. We, as a community, will undoubtedly revisit this issue on an ongoing basis.

"Communism deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labour. The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations.”
Karl Marx

With the exception of 'Personal Property' (Eg. clothing, knick-knacks, pictures and possibly furniture- items valued <$100?) and a Community Funded Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for each member, there will be no ‘Privately Held Property’ at Walden. Members will not own, keep or bring any property of value (perhaps >$100) to Walden except that which they intend to donate to the community. Usage and care-taking are the explanatory concepts for our relationship with land and the other ‘things’ that make life safe, pleasurable and convenient.

In anticipation of membership, individuals will place all of their assets of value in trust, outside the community and beyond their casual reach. It might be possible for vacationing members to access those resources when they are without the community, but knowledge of any privately held assets of value or the use there of, will not become part of the Walden Community experience.

Members will neither bring debt to Walden nor incur new individual debt while at Walden; an individual plan will be co-designed to facilitate debt relief prior to obtaining full membership.

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The terms ‘Membership’ and 'Member' describe the relationship, and designate the reciprocal obligations and benefits between an individual volunteer and Walden Ecoversity; it is a contract. As such, it will serve to protect both parties from the unintended consequences generally associated with uninformed commitments. The specifics of the ‘Member’ designation will be worked out by the founding group with assistance from legal experts and will likely contain some of the following features.

Levels of Membership: It’s likely that there will be several levels of membership that vary with regard to financial cost to the individual; responsibility to the community (mandated obligations); ability to participate in the structural activities of the community (governing); and access to community resources (remuneration, vacations etc.).

Despite the fact that these designations fulfill the criterion for a social hierarchy, they are not meant to establish an elite ruling group (Members) and subordinate groups (I.e. Student, Ally, Newbie and Provisional Member). Prudence dictates however, that we manage some sort of a step-wise membership process.

To mediate against the possibility of significant power differentials between groups: all groups will be empowered to manage themselves; all Member designation and stakeholder groups will be represented on governing boards (See Organizational Structure); and extreme care will be taken to ensure that everyone- without regard to designation, is treated ethically.

Membership Designations:

- paying customers of the Resort or the other businesses
- non-matriculated students and workshop attendees
- non-paying invitees including short stay communards from other ecovillages
- matriculated students attending the Ecoversity
- a 30 day minimum designation- then consider membership track
- includes Woofers and other new volunteers
- a 60 day minimum designation
- In order to screen-out people with a documented history of violence, we are considering the advantages and disadvantages of requiring a Criminal Records Report from persons desiring to become Members
-- of course this requirement will not identify people whose violent history has not been documented
-- we are not necessarily concerned about criminal histories that include 'victimless crimes'.
Provisional Member
- a 90 day minimum designation
- a 30 day ‘Apprenticeship’ period for office holding may apply

Movement from one designation to another (in the direction of full Membership) will be determined by at least three factors related to the Socialization process and participation in Community activities:

  1. knowledge acquisition of community principles and practices (WSC- the curriculum has yet to be developed)
  2. practicum- some number of consecutive days of acceptable participation in (technical and social) community activities (WSC)
  3. a vote, the opinion of both the prospective member and of others who have regular contact with the individual

Movement in the opposite direction (away from full Membership), as well as outright expulsion from the community (e.g. committing an act of violence), will also be possible should an individual violate their current agreement (related to their status). The details, associated with this course of community action, will be worked out by the founding group with advice from legal experts; all contracts, guidelines and actions will be informed by our community ethics and principles.

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Gelett Burgess

"There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lies happiness."
Gelett Burgess

There is an extensive behavioral science literature on the strategies and value of making work a pleasurable and rewarding experience. These empirically derived practices will be thoughtfully employed to every work-related activity Walden Members perform.

It is also the case, that many writers (e.g. Skinner, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Marx, Russell and Gilbert- and more) champion the lifestyle that includes variety, leisure and a combination of manual and intellectual activities. Toward that end, and for the benefit of the individual and the community, members will contribute eight hours each day to a wide range of productive activities in exchange for access to an equal share of all the products and amenities the community network has to offer.

Equally important, is that every member becomes familiar with our version of ecological farming and participate on a regular basis in the cultivation and harvesting of our food; some days the Member's job will be farming. This requirement is not solely based on the demands associated with food self-sufficiency. Farming is also about fresh air and exercise and setting the pace for life. This earth-based work will ground, and keep us securely tethered to the land and the principles that support our version of well being.

This total individual contribution is achieved by combining time allotments from three different areas of community need: four hours from infrastructural activities (a job); two hours from structural activities (government); and two hours from superstructural activities (leisure: art, crafts, science, philosophy etc.).

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Selecting & Scheduling Productive Activities

Given that we are going to arrange the contingencies so that everyone will engage in a predetermined amount of productive activity, it becomes paramount that we ensure flexibility and options with regard to the what, where, and when of those performance requirements.

Some responsibilities or certain tasks associated with a particular job might, by its nature, mandate that it be performed at a certain time or by a specific number of members (e.g. preparing meals, harvesting crops etc.), so for those incidences, different contingencies will apply. However, wherever and whenever possible open scheduling of some sort will be employed and individual preferences will be respected.

A member’s preferences, passions and particular skill set will of course influence the choice of a ‘Primary occupation' (specialization); this is how the Member will spend the majority of their infrastructural productive time. Members will be encouraged to continuously develop expertise in their primary field.

As much as possible however, members will be encouraged to experience a variety of occupations; we want to create a 'Community of Generalists': perhaps 'Generalizing Specialists' is more apt. This community preference will not only increase the functional utility of each Member, it will also increase our (individual and collective) capacity for innovation.

The 8 hours per day commitment will not necessarily have to be performed each day. For example, it will be possible for Members to contribute more than 8 hours on some days in order to have partial work days, free days or additional Vacation Time. We will use Vacation Time, not only to manipulate the relative reinforcement value of certain tasks, we will also use it as compensation for Infrastructural and Structural contributions that exceed the basic requirements.

Finally, no bias for daytime hours will be supported at Walden. There are twenty-four hours in a day and as broadly as it can be applied, each hour can be used for productive time.

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Member Compensation

"All belongs to all. All things are for all men, since all men have need of them, since all men have worked in the measure of their strength to produce them, and since it is not possible to evaluate every one's part in the production of the world's wealth.

...All is for all! If the man and the woman bear their fair share of work, they have a right to their fair share of all that is produced by all, and that share is enough to secure them well-being.
Peter Kropotkin

Remuneration for an individual's contribution to our common effort will vary with Membership designation, and will take several forms. For Members however, we will all have equal access to available resources and amenities. We intend to develop the capacity to provide everything that's necessary and desirable for living a safe and comfortable contemporary existence.

Members, by way of controlling the budget and expenditures, will decide the what and when of purchases and infrastructural investments. The process, by which these decisions are made, will include provisions (like wish-lists etc.) for eventually accommodating everyone's needs.

As was discussed in 'Personal Property', we want to avoid the negative consequences to Walden's social fabric associated with capital (accumulated wealth). We have argued that the IRA stipend, because it is inaccessible unless the Member leaves the community, poses no threat to Walden and it supports the Anarchist tenet of voluntary association, by providing the financial capacity to leave the community- should a member desire it.

Under discussion however, is a second, much more controversial stipend that would provide Members with a nominal amount of 'spending money' that could be used during Free time outside the community and to fund individual vacations. This form of compensation is less defensible and it embodies certain Benefits, Costs and Risks to both the Member and the Ecoversity.

Below is an example of one possible Member compensation scheme. Members will likely receive:

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Other Designations Compensation:

Remuneration for other membership designations will be worked out at a later time; at this point the designations themselves are under discussion. The following list however, is a sketch of our current thoughts on compensation for the other designations. For the Other Membership Designations listed below, "access to community resources" actually means 'access to some, yet to be determined community resources'.

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Vacations & Travel

Personal time spent away from the community with sufficient resources to enjoy it, are what constitutes a vacation. These regularly scheduled opportunities for multiple consecutive 24 hour periods of free time, travel and fun are a necessary part of the good life and will be prioritized and budgeted for accordingly; also the rate by which vacation is accrued can be manipulated to change the relative reinforcement value of work-related activities. Seaside, mountain and other ‘vacation’ type properties (we are in the wellness resort business) will eventually be owned by the primary Trust and access to these resources will be made available to vacationing members.

Also, as we realize our vision for a network of communities (Walden and affiliated projects alike), trips to other sites will be made available. Conferences and other business related travel can be annexed to vacations; this option will not only benefit the individual, the community and planet see advantages as well: business travel is tax deductible, so the 'vacation' would be a business expense; and traveling over distances uses fossil fuel- so doubling up conserves energy and creates less pollution.

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"When productive contingencies become so efficient that a great deal of time is left for nonessentials, the strength of a culture is dependent on what happens in that time.

…Leisure-time activities do not by definition give the culture much current support, but they have a bearing upon its future development and upon its ability to meet future emergencies.

…The culture is clearly strengthened, however, when its members turn to other kinds of leisure behavior. Arts, crafts, and games develop important skills. Scientific exploration and research …make an obvious contribution.”
B. F. Skinner (1969)

Leisure activities provide long-term benefits to the culture as well as immediate and delayed enjoyment to the individual who engages in the activity. But, despite the pleasurable aspects of the activities, daily participation in leisure activities- superstructural activities (of the individual’s choosing) will be a requirement of membership. Opportunities and resources for a diverse set of art, craft, scientific and athletic activities will be developed.

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Free Time

While Leisure Time represents a requirement of membership, Free Time is exempt from membership requirements. This allotment represents 2/3 of the 24 hour day, and is the period when members exercise the most discretion over their activities.

Of course people will, on many occasions, ‘choose’ to engage in those same activities from which free time represents a respite, if only because they are really enjoyable. Free time options include just about any ethical pleasurable or recreational activity imaginable, both on and off-site.

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Legal Structure

Much of what we've been presenting thus far, has assumed that Walden will be located somewhere in the Western World, with some aspects assuming establishment in the USA (E.g. individual retirement accounts and non-profit business advantages). There are many cultural and social differences between the East and West, not the least of which have to do with legal systems; even Greece, with full membership in the EU has an Eastern system.

The following structure, like much we've already outlined, assumes establishment of Walden in the West. The East is not as familiar with trusts as is the West, so should Walden be established in the Eastern World, our legal structure will necessarily change.

Additionally, this is just a sketch: an overview of what we expect will be possible. We have yet to obtain legal advise at the level necessary to commit to a specific scheme. So, some aspects of this plan we expect to change.

The Dual Trust Model


The Dual Trust Model involves the establishment of two interacting trusts. The first trust, Walden Group, is a Charitable Organization, established 'for the public good'; it holds all assets and does not engage in trade nor does it incur debt. The second trust Walden Ecoversity, is an educational trust (a 501(c)3); it owns no assets but does engage in trade and can incur debt.

All assets and financial resources (liquid and investment capitol, land, structures, equipment, electronics etc.) everything that the Walden Ecoversity and (by extension) Walden Ecovillage (the campus and staff) has access to (as well as resources that it does not have access to), will be owned by Walden Group. Walden Group will loan, lease and donate (in the case of commodities) certain of its assets to the Walden Ecoversity and Ecovillage.

Walden Ecoversity, the 2nd Trust, will be established as an educational institution (501(c)3)) and will employ the resources provided it by Walden Group to execute its mission; which includes providing for the needs of the Walden Ecovillage community. Walden Ecoversity will engage in trade, and will therefore, be responsible for any debt it incurs as the result of its business activities. Additionally, Walden Ecoversity will gift its net profits to Walden Group, thereby protecting them from claim and making them available for Walden Group to execute its social justice mission (not described here).

The Dual Trust Model protects all assets, while allowing for commerce. Neither Walden Ecovillage, Ecoversity, nor any of the Ecoversity's ancillary businesses, Members or creditors will have claim to any infrastructural assets or financial resources.

This general model is outlined in Bill Mollison's, Permaculture: A Designer's Manual; the image that follows (click for a larger view) is from that text. A very similar Double Trust structure was suggested to us by legal experts, during several (superficial) conversations.

From Permaculture: A Designers Manual, Bill Mollison

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Organizational Structure & Process

The dual trust model provides the legal framework that will safeguard assets and facilitate the execution of our Mission. The decision to organize ourselves as a Ecoversity Enterprise, makes sense for a number of reasons: the primary being that, research and education is who we are. We are uncovering a more accurate depiction of objective realty; using that information to develop better ways of doing things; teaching those improved ways to others; and facilitating the implementation of those improved social systems and technologies for clients.

All intentional communities are experimental, in the sense that they are trying something new. Walden is no different in that regard; we are definitely trying something new. The uniqueness of our format lies in the fact that the scientific method is one of the primary organizing features of our structure, and it drives our processes and practices.

In addition to the university, our milieu, farm, resort and ancillary businesses are all educational enterprises that function as experiments (in education, psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, business management, agronomy, ecology and etc.); and the majority of the 'products' we'll share with the world, will have been derived from experimentation. Walden is, in fact, a 'Living Experiment', in the truest sense of the expression.

As mentioned earlier, our chances, to create the multi-cultural international community that we desire, are enhanced by establishing ourselves as a university. Another reason for this organizational structure, has to do with zoning laws. Many states and counties in the United States restrict (by zoning laws) population density in rural areas; numerous intentional community start-ups have run-up against this limitation. These regulations however, in most states and counties, do not apply to educational institutions (universities and colleges). This fact expands our options for community location.


Sociocracy is derived from a combination of Sociology and Cybernetics; over the last two centuries both of these disciplines have developed a comprehensive scientific literature. Sociocracy, in that same time-frame, has become a legitimate approach to democratic egalitarian governing: its supporting scientific literature however, is not as extensive as its constituents.

Simultaneously, and quite independently, Radical Behaviorism has developed a comprehensive scientific literature, and matured into a powerful force for explaining, predicting and controlling human (all animal) behavior: of both the individual and the group.

"Behavior analysis has been characterized as a “border science” because its subject matter provides a substantive bridge between biological and cultural subject matters, much as the subject matter of biochemistry provides a bridge between the subject matters of chemistry and biology.

The subject matters of border sciences are emergent processes that allow for new orders of complexity in nature.
Sigrid S. Glenn

The overlap of Sociology, Cybernetics, Sociocracy and Radical Behaviorism is sufficiently extensive to warrant scientific inquiry, with an eye toward improving the reliability, parsimony and predictive validity of each discipline. Walden's Behavioral Science approach to Sociocracy is our first effort to amalgamate the disciplines and contribute to Sociocracy's nascent scientific literature.

All boards and 'businesses' will be organized as semi-autonomous, self-managed groups. They will be staffed by periodically rotated, double linked Members from all stakeholder circles. A version of Management by expertise, modified by 'democratic' processes (E.g. electing 'leaders') and safeguards (E.g. mechanisms for the removal of ineffectual 'leadership'), within the 'Elections by Consent' framework, will deliver high levels of functionality and excellence within each circle and for the community as an organic whole.


" ...The leaders and the followers, the by-products of an authoritarian society: this is the raw material from which we must build the free society. We do not have the option to fast forward to some post-revolutionary utopia in which everyone is whole and healthy, and in which capitalism is just a dim memory.

...We must begin our egalitarian relations today, among our damaged selves, if we are to live in a free world tomorrow.

The question, then, is “How do we accomplish this feat?” ”
Prole Cat

Power dynamics is likely the most difficult challenge we face when designing the 'starting place', for our non-hierarchical volunteer organization. The objective is to create structures and processes that both foster and develop individual autonomy and capacity, and that facilitate our individual and collective ability to get things done (efficacy).

These challenges originate from our Libertarian ideals and radical objection to 'authority', and from our individual life-experiences within authoritarian societies. Our prefigurative politics demand that we live our lives and behave in ways that run counter to our socialization (and reinforcement history): a daunting task. Therefore, the 'system' we are creating must both take this learning history into account and reinforce (shape) alternative (dichotomous?) political processes and individual behaviors.

We are advantaged in this endeavor however, by our commitment to systematic experimentation. While working exclusively within a 'power-with' (Starhawk, 1987) framework, our semi-autonomous, self-managed groups (Circles) will experiment with various processes (E.g. consent, consensus and technological methods) across a range of decision-making scenarios and contribute applied data to our local and global communities.

For a comprehensive accounting of this discussion (and much more) within the contemporary Libertarian movement, see: Uri Gordon's, Anarchy Alive (2008)


Consent, within a Sociocracy, is the process for most decisions. Decision processes, for a specific situation (Consent or Consensus), will be selected for optimal diffusion of power, social validity and expediency.

Sociocratic methods will be used to determine many choices and courses of action. The others, some decisions that have traditionally been left to groups and Ceremonial Methods, will instead be made by Technological Methods, so fewer decisions will require group (Circle) deliberation, and fewer decisions will be 'intuitive shots-in-the-dark'.

Additionally, in order to guard against the tendency of people to acquiesce to group influence- and give Consent (despite private reservations or alternative desires), we will establish a system whereby alternatives can be researched and piloted; other functionally similar accommodations will be developed as well. This system will also safeguard against the passing over of great ideas, because they aren't recognized as such: perhaps they seem avant-garde.

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
Albert Einstein

Walden Group

The structure of Walden Group, the primary trust (possibly a 501(c)4), is relatively typical for Charitable Organizations: legal requirements and process force a particular structure. It differs from the 'typical trust' however, by its horizontal orientation and Sociocratic processes.

Board of Directors

The all volunteer board will be comprised of both Inside and Outside Directors: some Outside Directors will likely be people already serving on the Ecoversity's Advisory Boards.

Many factors regarding the Walden Group Board have yet to be determined: from which Circles will Inside Directors come; what will be the distribution of Inside and Outside directors; what powers will the Board have; will the Board serve an Advisory function to the CEO who is the decision-maker; and many more. These decisions will be made once legal advice has been secured.

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Walden Ecoversity

Walden Ecoversity is an education and research institution; the trust will resemble the typical university (possibly a 501(c)3), minus the structural and operational hierarchy. Walden Ecovillage and its (all Volunteer) Membership constitute the campus, faculty and staff; all community Members are learning facilitators and (informally) students.

Board of Governors

The Ecoversity's Board Of Governors is a Member's only, all volunteer board (exclusively Inside Governors). The eight Governor board will be comprised of representatives (two each) from the Innovation Group, Learning Group, Syndicate Group, and the Residential Group.

Advisory Boards

A host of professionals, from around the globe, who share our Vision, appreciate our strategy and possess expertise in fields relevant to our organizational design, processes and Mission, will be invited to voluntarily assist with the design, development and management of our enterprise. Recruiting is underway.

Initially at least, the Advisory Boards will be an on-line community, whose function will consist of commenting on, and editing the information presented on this website, and facilitating the development of the comprehensive functionally sophisticated website we need; we have completed the first step by establishing the Walden Ecovillage wiki at; we are developing project management capability in another forum. Once the community is established in geological space, the cyberspace Boards will continue to meet on-line, all-be-it in another forum, and will provide strategic advise on ongoing operations and innovation.

Board Members of both trusts, Walden Group and Walden Ecoversity, as 'Honorary Community Members', will be invited (sponsored?) to the Ecovillage at regular intervals for 'all-hands meetings' (coordinated with festivals- etc.). We hope that by experiencing the community first-hand, and sharing in the fruits of their contributions, they might be influenced to join the Walden community as resident Members.

The following Table represents our current thinking on what Boards to establish and what expertise we think appropriate for each Board; we fully expect this configuration to change as we move forward.

The Boards       Relevant Expertise

Agriculture Permaculture Holistic Management Aquaculture Veterinary Medicine
Architecture & Construction C. Alexander Architects Natural Builders Real Estate Development
Business OBM Finance Banking Internet Marketing Sociocracy
Community ABA & OBM Sociocracy Anarchism Cultural Materialism Venus Project Intentional Communities
Education ABA Cybernetics University Development Software Development
Health & Medicine Medical Practice Environmental Health Psychology REBT Medical Ethics
Law Business Tax Trust Immigration Environmental International Development
Science Cybernetics Behavior Analysis Ethics Cultural Materialism Agricultural
Sociocracy Sociocratic Management Cybernetics OBM REBT
Start-up Non-Profit Management OBM Intentional Communities Cultural Materialism Internet Marketing University Development
Technology Internet, Website & Communications Energy Environmental Engineering Mechanical Engineering Appropriate Technology

Innovation Group

The Innovation Group is comprised of two representatives from each Innovation Circle. The Innovation Group will elect two representatives to the Board of Governors.

Innovation Circles

Innovation Circles are comprised of Representatives from the Learning Circles. The specific Innovation Circles have yet to be identified, but might include: Science, Supradisciplinary Curriculum, Ethics, Art and Eupraxsophy Center Circles. The Innovation Circles elect two representatives to the Innovation Group.

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Ecoversity Governance

Learning Group

The Learning Group Circle is comprised of two representatives from each Learning Center Circle. It represents the community of educators and researchers, by electing two representatives to the Board of Governors.

Learning Center Circles

Each department within the Ecoversity will organize as a Learning Center Circle. All Learning Facilitators within the department will comprise the Circle. The Learning Center Circles will elect two representatives (the Center Leader and another representative) to the Learning Group Circle, and two representatives to the Innovation Circles. The Leader of each Learning Center Circle will also be part of any Business Circle that is a direct extension of their Learning Center; both she and the manager of that business will serve on the Syndicate Group as representatives of that business.

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Ecovillage Governance

Syndicate Group (Producers)

The Syndicate Group Circle is comprised of two representatives from each Business Circle. It represents the community of producers, by electing two representatives to the Board of Governors.

Business Circles

Each business will form a Circle that is responsible for managing itself as an enterprise. These Circles will elect two representatives to the Syndicate Group Circle. If the business is functionally related to a Learning Center Circle, the elected leader of the Business Circle, together with the respective Learning Center leader, will be the representatives for the Syndicate Group. If the business is independent of affiliation with a Learning Center Circle, representation will include the business leader and another elected representative.

Residential Group (Consumers)

The Residential Group Circle is comprised of two representatives from each Hamlet Group Circle. It represents the interests of community Members (and non-Member Circles)- as Consumers, and elects two representatives to the Board of Governors.

Hamlet Circles

Each Hamlet will form a Circle that includes two representatives from each Residence Circle within the Hamlet. This semi-autonomous team will be responsible for managing their Hamlet, and electing two representatives to the Residential Group Circle.

Residence Circles

Each residence will form a Circle that includes all residents. This semi-autonomous team will be responsible for managing their home, and electing two representatives to the Hamlet Circle, of which their residence is a member.

Non-Member Residence Circles

Like the Residence Circles, all non-Member residences (those for Allies, Students and Children) will form Circles and elect two representatives to the Residential Group Circle. Participation in decision-making by Non-Member representatives will be limited (the specific limitations have yet-to-be-determined).

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Land and Space

Christopher Alexander

"This is a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build a thing you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it."
Christopher Alexander

Without the ability to design for, and describe a particular parcel of land, specifics regarding the layout of the community will be few. What follows then, is an overview of our site preferences, and the guidelines we'll use for the layout of our Ecovillage. As indicated earlier, we are open to establishing ourselves in almost any country in the world. The ideal location however, would be, to a relatively greater degree, culturally supportive of our presence; in the USA we are looking at Vermont, Oregon and the Ozarks.


The ideal site would be: 1000+ contiguous acres (400+ hectares) of land that boasts forests, hillsides, a fertile valley with fields and meadows, and in addition to an ample water table and aquifer, a significant above ground water resource; it would be located within a reasonable commute from a small city.

The community’s design aesthetic will feature the unique natural features and beauty specific to the location, and we’ll further enhance the Walden experience by integrating organic contemporary designs, technologies, amenities and a sampling of the artful landscape, architectural and public-space influences the global community has to offer.

There is an extensive literature about functional, aesthetically inspired community design, and we will utilize and build on that valuable resource. Most influential to our plans are Christopher Alexander's work and Permaculture.

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Frank Lloyd Wright

"Form follows function- that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union."
Frank Lloyd Wright

Section Under ConstructionThe community's built infrastructure will be designed and situated for optimal social and ecological functionality and aesthetics.

Social functionality...

Ecological functionality...

Organic natural aesthetics ...

Together these design features will

"We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed and a context which we cannot properly describe. ”
Christopher Alexander

Access Roads

The general strategy for our road system is based on efficiency, functionality and ecological integrity. Our naturally surfaced roads and pathways will be designed to manage water and accommodate bicycles, possibly electric vehicles, animals, walkers and runners. We do what we can to keep motorized vehicles outside the community.

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Activity Nodes

We will place our social and cultural activity centers (warehouse distribution centers, performance spaces, meeting places and the like), around the nucleus of the campus, at primary intersections, within the network of paths and roads.

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Conservation of Resources

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! The efficient use of resources is a primary consideration. This applies not only to on-site resources, but to those that can be garnered from the external community as well (without expending a disproportionate amount of resources to acquire them). We intend to develop ancillary businesses that recycle raw materials, as well as finished products (, appliances, organic materials and etc.)

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Conservation of Surface Space

To the extent possible, we will work to efficiently utilize all land area, and where possible replace occupied land areas by way of natural building techniques (e.g. roof gardens etc.). Additionally, subterranean space will be exploited where appropriate.

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In an effort to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, we will employ existing alternative energy technologies and contribute to the development of nascent technologies. This is one of the most important aspects of our Goal to "Establish sustainable comprehensive self-sufficiency".

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Gray & Rainwater

All structures and Hamlets will be outfitted with the capacity to recycle gray and rainwater which will be used for local (Zone 1) agriculture.

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Human Waste

Our objective is to create no waste, therefore humanure and urine will be recycled and used to improve the ecosystem. We will participate in the development of the technologies that make this strategy possible and safe.

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Internet, Intranet & Communications Technology

In addition to employing IT for internal and external communications, we will develop a community-wide network that will facilitate the processes associated with our social, cultural and financial systems and the execution of our mission. We will also develop ancillary businesses related to IT: website design; software development; green web hosting; and the like.

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Natural Building

It is our intention to build as much of the community infrastructure as we can, with materials garnered from our site. Natural building designs (passive solar etc.) and technologies therefore, are our primary means. We will, like with all other technologies related to sustainable development, do what we can to advance these practices.

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The key factor in designing the infrastructure for utilities, is to keep it as local as possible. Water, waste and electricity will be provided and managed at the Hamlet level; as much as possible, communications infrastructure will be wireless. In cases where prudence dictates community-wide service provisions (other than IT), utilities will be buried and follow the road/path network.

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Hamlets, Housing & PQs


It is likely that our community housing will be organized as a network of small 'Hamlets' that surrounds the main campus (the Ecoversity, Wellness Resort, our larger scale farming operations [Zone3] and ancillary businesses). The layout of residences, perhaps 4-5 units within each Hamlet, will allow for centralized (Zone1) agricultural facilities that will be collectively developed and maintained by the Hamlet's residents. The optimal number of residential units within each Hamlet is an empirical question we intend to answer.

Multiple PQs Residences

In order to: provide each Member with individual PQs; achieve optimal social and cultural functionality; and responsibly manage our resources, Member housing will consist of group housing 'units'. These residences will include (6-10) individual PQs and common areas (kitchen, dining area, socializing space and bathroom/showering facilities).

The optimal number of people to occupy a single residence is an empirical question we intend to eventually answer. We hypothesize a positive correlation between the size and functionality of individual PQs and the number of Members who can comfortably inhabit a single residential unit; additionally, the economics related to scale, and our construction capability factor into the equation.

The PQs & Other Accommodations

Every community member will have access to individual private quarters (PQs) that can be used and decorated as desired (minimal health and safety standards will apply). Ideally, all PQs will feature a private entrance and access from the common space, a bedroom, a sitting room, a comfort station (compost toilet and wash sink) and a patio.

Young children will live together in multiple-bed rooms within group quarters (like a hostel). As children get older, and more competent, they will experience increasingly greater degrees of autonomy: fewer roommates, less oversight, more responsibilities (etc.), until the point when, having achieved full Member competency and responsibility, they are (ceremoniously) granted access to individual PQs (teenagers?).

Ecoversity housing, for matriculated students and Social Entrepreneurial program (SEP) participants, will functionally, but not aesthetically, resemble the typical university/college dorm: groups of 2-6 students will occupy a room; bathrooms will be common. Housing for Allies, and some Resort guests, will be multiple-bed rooms (like hostels) and common bathrooms.

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