By Gus Jaccaci
The forces of fragmentation and alienation within the contemporary world culture are first anesthetizing communities and then tearing them apart. Despite the evermore urgent need for clean food and water, safe dwelling and schooling, free energy, empathy and honest responsibility in governance, community itself is evermore under attack. Yet, over the centuries humans have known that their communities were the true seat of their salvation as well as their personal and family fulfillment.
In recent years, communities across the country have again recognized that they must increasingly depend upon their own resources. As state and federal funding diminishes and oil and gas prices rise, many citizens are struggling to heat their homes and pay their mortgages. Federal programs may provide some relief, but ultimately integrated communities will be the most important and reliable source of support for the welfare of citizens as well as the stability and growth of the towns’ business communities.
What does integration mean to a community and how can it happen?
The word ‘integrate’ means to “form, coordinate or blend into a functioning or unified whole” (Webster).
Enter the communiversity!
A communiversity is an ongoing citizen-led process of learning and creating change within a community. The purpose of a communiversity is to weave people, ideas and projects together in ways that:
• inspire and support communiversity members and all the residents of a town or region;
• help good ideas become real projects for the health and growth of all life;
• provide free technology for continuous feedback from and communication to citizens;
• bring projects to completion through the diverse contributions of communiversity members
and other supporters in the community;
• generate new green businesses by assessing needs, and drawing on resources and talent
available in the community;
• Create a clear and recognizable identity for the town or region;
• Find enjoyable and inclusive ways to celebrate real on-the-ground successes!
In its ideal form, the communiversity does not fragment and departmentalize human knowledge. It convenes the whole local family of life in real-time continuous learning everywhere, everywhen, everywhat, and everywhy. Communiversity whole community learning thrives on:
IN REAL PLACE
IN REAL TIME
WITH REAL HOPE
The communiversity is a vessel for the voyaging of love at home and on earth:
Is a learning conversation
Within a whole family of life
In a place they hold in common
Dear to them all.
Is a sharing of mutual needs
In a place of mutual dwelling
In a process of mutual learning
This continuous conversation
Is the voice of the soul of life
Expressing the sanctity of all life
For the future of all life
In the home of all life.
Where are communiversities being created?
Today they are inventing themselves in Thetford, Vermont; Coudersport, Pennsylvania; Deer Isle, Hope, and New Gloucester, Maine; Gainesville, Georgia; Willimantic and New London, Connecticut; Berkeley, California; and Ntan Ekere, Nigeria.
A conference entitled COM’V 08 will be convened from July 25-27, 2008 in New Gloucester, Maine will bring these new social inventions together into a collaborative network. Held from Friday night through Sunday, it will also provide opportunities to learn from and share your own ideas with diverse communiversities from many sections of this country and a town in Africa, each unique in its creative contribution to the family of life.
After COM’V 08 an optional four-day design seminar will follow from July 28-31. It will be open to all those interested in applying nature’s principles of growth to social design. For more information about both the Conference and the seminar, contact Unity Scholars at 207-926-5933 or email them at
August (Gus) Jaccaci has worked with leaders throughout the world to help them envision and architect an ideal future for themselves and their enterprises. Jaccaci is the author of Chief Evolutionary Officer: Leaders Mapping the Future, General Periodicity: Nature’s Creative Dynamics and the forthcoming Thomas Jefferson Returns. Jaccaci is the President of Unity Scholars, a nonprofit organization founded in 1983. He is the founder of the project, Creating Communiversities: Partners in Whole Community Learning. A communiversity is an ongoing citizen-led process of learning and creating change within a community.