Tamera versus Twin Oaks

Tamera is the community i probably should live at.  It has a mandate to be a model to save the world.   In the midst of the Portuguese dessert they create lakes and grow food.   They bring in all manner of experts and geniuses to teach and model all manner of sustainability philosophies and technologies.  They are thinking big and bold.

The other night i had the privileged to share the stage with Kate Bunney from Tamera.  She was an interesting mix of eloquent and pragmatic and a bit new agey.  She spoke and showed a short video about Tamera and it was quite impressive.

And comparisons are a bit foolish, because we are very different communities.  They require donations and workshop tuition to survive financially. Twin Oaks has 5 cottage industries and are income sharing.  They actively are looking for solutions to the worlds problems and promoting them widely, we are looking for solutions to our own collective problems and being somewhat insular about what we find.  Tamera is a culture that celebrates experts, Twin Oaks promotes egalitarianism and all contributions being valued equally.  Tamera is explicitly spiritual, we are clearly secular.

We both consider ourselves Eco-villages, but this is a big class of community types.

But as i watched the crowd, i ditched my prepared remarks and went to story telling.  If you are the second speaker in a long night, if you are not punchy and entertaining, your audience is going to drift off.

What i wish i had more time to do was to investigate the venue where we spoke which is the cool sustainability project in Oakland called PLACE.  Which describes itself as:

We are a public-serving, experiential learning center to showcase and foster sustainable living practices, urban homesteading, community resiliency & preparedness, social justice and artistic expression.

This collection of energetic twenty somethings were converting this old warehouse space into a show case and test bed for various different urban sustainability techniques.

The name PLACE is an acronym for People Linking Art, Community and Ecology.  Which i will certainly stop in the next time i am in the East Bay.