Challenge & Opportunity: The Need for Change
Everything that humankind has created started with imagination, vision and belief and was brought into manifestation through design and action.
We believe that we humans have the capacity for great beauty, love and kindness. We believe that we can create a more abundant, well & enlightened world. We believe in a world that is loving, kind, life-affirming, equitable and regenerative.
We have arrived at a point in our evolution where the technologies of extraction, industrialization and mass consumerism have created a world for machines, not humans. The world that humankind has created has become a toxic - the air we breathe is polluted, the water we drink is contaminated, the food we eat contains harsh and poisonous chemicals and our homes and offices are often harmful to our health.
We have become disconnected from each other and the planet. Our idea of a “community” has become a collection of unsustainable “McMansions” behind locked gates where neighbors rarely connect with each other. Our healthcare and educational systems are broken, and our energy policy supports pollution, war and terrorism.
Our hoarding, waste and greed have led to the destruction of fragile ecosystems and climate change that may endanger humankind and the planet’s flora and fauna. As well, our economy is collapsing under runaway greed and corruption and 80-% the world’s population lives in or near poverty. According to WWF, in the 1970s, Earth’s human population began consuming renewable resources faster than Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate. In 2007, this situation, called “ecological overshoot” required 1.5 planets for the Earth to regenerate the renewable resources that people consumed.
The expanding awareness of the global environment, resource and economic crises has lead to a growing demand for sustainable, self-sufficient, smart growth communities and whole systems practices and “Collaborative Consumption.” Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping reinvented through network technologies on a scale and in ways never possible before. From enormous marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist, to emerging sectors such as social lending (e.g., Zopa), peer-to-peer travel (e.g., Airbnb), car sharing (e.g., Zipcar) and the increase in Intentional Communities (e.g., ic.org), Collaborative Consumption is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what we consume, but how we consume.
AWE Communities addresses the growing need and demand for conscious, connected and sustainable living by providing a new model of living and working that addresses the issues of carrying capacity, pollution and dependence upon a grid-based extractive economic models.
AWE Communities are designed to be self-sufficient, regenerative, energy efficient, carbon neutral, and balance the community’s population with its internal carrying capacity. This is accomplished by an integrated and holistic planning and design approach that makes it easy and rewarding to be sustainable, inclusive, conscious, connected, collaborative, generous, respectful and loving.
By sharing resources (e.g., facilities, community farm, community kitchen, cars, tools and equipment) owned by the community and employing meritocratic cooperative ownership of community businesses, AWE Communities reduces the time, expense and environmental impact related to the ownership, packaging, shipping, maintenance and storage of “stuff” while increasing economic abundance, passive revenues, free time, quality of life and access to a wide variety of amenities.
AWE is confident that its communities will become demonstration models for abundant, well and enlightened living that inspires conscious community design, development and planning in both urban and rural settings.