I believe this is our work in 2024. The APDC is the organization, the Asociacion Colectiva; and what we covered in our General Assembly is the official business - the things we are required to do! However, we set out on a more noble, higher purpose, one that the legally registered org and the membership desire to do. As my brother Ki shared in a recent online discussion, “it’s time for a new approach”.
There’s what we must do, what we said we would do, and what we are here to do. We are working with the current systems, staying in legal compliance by holding Board Meetings and General Assemblies, serving notifications and following due process for passing resolutions and appointing members into roles, budgeting and tracking and reporting etc.
And there’s the practice of ecological, social, economic, worldview dimensions and in the management of goods and resources of all kinds in a sustainable, adaptive and regenerative way.
While we have the opportunity to be personally sustainable through these practices, sustainable is an aim of the organization for the management of our goods and services. As we honor and respect the ways of traditional peoples and places, so too we seek to be adaptive and make changes where our collective perspective can see a new way to approach the management of goods and services.
As discussed at our 2022 General Assembly, the membership registry is not the Community. The Community is the people who participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the activities of the organization. A driving context of the formation of this organization and the building of community relations, has always been land stewardship.
We. Are. Creating collective models of coexistence based on the practice of ecological, social, economic, worldview dimensions, as our APDC purpose states. Coexistence does not just mean as Associates, or even just as humans… The models this collective and community are creating together start with the land beneath our feet, the ancestors who cared for it before us, include all life that dwells upon it and depends on it for their own lives, and sets a path forward of legacy and succession to leave something better for future generations - even if that means, doing nothing with the land as humans at all. The community is the ecosystem in which we live.
So that brings us to The Commons. This new approach to land ownership, stewardship, donorship and tenure is not the easy way! The easy way is the way it’s always been done, which is actually also very hard too… And very expensive. People invest their money in land to get back more later than what was put in, that’s what an investment is, putting something in now to get more out later. In our current system, it’s for personal benefit, you worked for your money and you spent it on land and improvements so it provides for you in your lifetime, and in many cases for your progeny when you pass.
And so, we go slow. This is not a race, there is not one way or even a certain way! It’s a few steps forward, then take a step back. It’s looking sideways at what advances are being made by others, diving into uncharted waters, and yes… Experimenting. A failed experiment is not a failure, it’s a discovery that illuminates something we didn’t know, and now we do. It feeds the next iteration of learning, tells us what we need to know in order to take the next steps in a different direction… Practice is what helps us know our course of action.
What will be our next course of action? Where will our next steps together take us?
The Collective has an opportunity, presented to us by the Community, on how to use the Commons.
The DBC, its membership and community, has invested a significant amount of work into the Commons at Diamante Luz, with the intention of gaining the rights to steward it well, and the responsibility to govern it wisely.
This opportunity is in full alignment with all that has come before, in the 3 years of the DBC and in the 4 years of the founders visioning their legacy, and in the lifetimes of work - of goods and resources acquired, skills developed and services provided by many that are or have been here.
The opportunity for the APDC is to receive a grant for use of the Commons at Diamante Luz.
And with it to the Collective comes the rights and responsibilities of deciding best use of the Commons for the benefit of the Community.
A long held intention of the Collective AND the Community has been el Centro de Buen Vivir on the lower plantel of the Commons at Diamante Luz. Receiving the grant of land use by the APDC puts the power to implement Buen Vivir in the hands of the Collective.
Another long held intention has been to create a space on the top plantel for community gathering that supports the women and children of our vicinity. A proposal and strategy for funding, building, and maintaining a Coliazul Learning Center has been drafted and presented to the Trustees of Diamante Luz, and as one of the Trustees, it is my recommendation that the proposal be presented to the APDC as part of the land use grant.
As President of the APDC, I would like to commission a working group to evaluate this opportunity and draft a Land Use Agreement that facilitates transition of power and responsibility for the Commons at Diamante Luz into the hands of the Collective.
What say You?