Global Villages Network

local community - global networking

GlobalVillages is an expression that some people "borrowed" (with expressed consent from Eric and Corinne McLuhan in 1998) from a very popular concept by MarshallMcLuhan.

We changed the notion, though. The McLuhans said this was fine because it was part of Marshalls Intention to show and play with this dialectic from virtual to real.

For us, "Global Villages" are real settlements, physical neighbourhoods, that meet the challenge and are based on the possibilities of todays global communication tools. Think of it as a village that suddenly, without growing physically, can meet the intellectual and cultural needs of urban people, because it has many functions which are "empowered" by networks. Be it education, work, healthcare,production, suddenly we do not have to leave the village to get a lot of things done. We can learn, work, play, socialise, communicate, improve, produce better in an interplay between decentralized living and global thinking and virtual meeting facilited by media.

Thus we can focus on improving physical quaity of the village itself and "use cyberspace to create sustainable living space", as was the motto of the '''Global Village Symposium''' in Vienna 1993, 1995 and 1997. We think that IT can be a catalyzer of ecologically sustainable lifestyles - and that together with this, IT could provide elements of empowerment, autonomy, improvement of quality of life, enhancing community and cooperation (based on Open Source).

The subject of GlobalVillages therefore is a specific form in which we will organize life and work tomorrow, empowered by global communication, new technologies and shared knowledge, centered around values as:

* The natural rather than the artificial: the connection between humans and landscape, the cultivation and care of a ground that embodies human and cultural values as much as it preserves the integrity of vital biosystems through the stewardship of man. ("cultured landscape")

* Informal rather than formal: Conviviality within a smaller community which we nowadays can choose and leave freely. Independent thinking might be a core value. "Big systems demand order, they have to rely on the thourough execution of a lot of intertwined rules. The inspired, the ones who have fantasy and creativity and talents tend to break these rules, that is simply part of their nature" (Frithjof Bergmann)

* Cooperation rather than competition: a global cooperative economy and culture connecting those communities ("open source economy") We think that nowadays smaller communities benefit enormously from empowering and enabling global networks. ("empowered village"). We think that it is mainly this power of global associations of villages (aka association of regions) which can and will reverse the current trend towards the city and introduce this new synthesis between urban and rural.

here we can draw conclusions:

* Global Villages are small in size and add "urban effect" by maintaining a "piazza" or "center" with lots of infrastructure and services for remote cooperation with other places. The most important element of this center is educational.

* Global Villages are not primarily directed towards farming and growing, although this might be an important part. The life in Global Villages and their culture is centered on exchange of knowledge and improvements within the local habitat. Yet their emphasis on embeddedness with nature is bigger than, lets say, in a small city.

* Global Villages have a "theme" in particular. They know they are not complete, they must work together, either with neighbouring villages or other places, and they take pride in the particular strength they can give to others. Their culture is built on openness.

In the long run, GlobalVillages are a pattern that claims to be a planetary solution. This network is a meeting place for those who want to pursue this solution together.

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