News & Notes 836:Calling the Future Survey Part 3 – Suggested Changes
Calling the Future Survey Part 3: Suggested Changes
Asked in which fields Auroville needs to change, an overwhelming majority of respondents (72%) listed the economy, followed closely by farming/ food distribution (64%) and water and energy supply (51%). Social interaction/collective life (48%) and spiritual life and aspirations (39%) were also frequently mentioned as areas where we need to improve.
Respondents were asked to identify one or two of the most important changes that needed to happen in the areas they identified. Those who identified the present economy said there is a need to rethink it. We should support the basic needs of all residents, possibly through providing a universal basic income, and minimise or eliminate money exchange between residents through some kind of prosperity system for essential goods and services. The PTDC concept should also be developed. Others said far more Aurovilians should work directly for the collective, there is a need to find an alternative to tourism as the mainstay of the economy and, more generally, “move away from the money mind”.
Ways of moving towards food self-sufficiency included providing additional financial support to existing farms, allocating more land for farming, encouraging communities to grow their own food through the cultivation of circle gardens, and encouraging more people to participate in farming. In this context, suggestions included building 50 houses on existing farmland to encourage people to work there, and requiring all residents to work one day a week on farms or in food distribution.
The environment was another area of concern, and suggestions for changes included a more conscious use of our water resources and the need to become independent of the TNEB grid through the widespread adoption of solar power.
Others mentioned the need to strengthen our collective life through better communication, collaboration and participation in collective activities. Strengthening our spiritual life was seen as vital. Respondents emphasised the need to follow the spiritual goals of Auroville and to have a spiritual practice as a means of developing love and compassion and, ultimately, of changing our consciousness.
Some initiatives to effect change were proposed during the lockdown. Many respondents had not read them, but of those who had, 43% supported Solitude Krishna’s proposal to accelerate food sovereignty for Auroville through the creation of circle gardens in communities and eating local foods, 35% supported Jasmin’s call to improve food security and distribution, while 28% endorsed the Exploring Prosperity proposal which seeks to provide the basic necessities to all Aurovilian residents. Other initiatives which received support included Chandresh’s ‘Basket of Needs’ (25%), David’s post-pandemic planning proposal (25%), Noel’s action plan for food security (25%), the Aura Platform (19%), detailed suggestions for preparing Auroville for future emergencies from the Deep Adaptation group (19%), and Yves’ ‘User Manual for a Revolution in Auroville’ (16%). Existing proposals, like those for the Birth Centre and the Lotus proposal for re-inventing our economy, were also mentioned.
The survey was only the first step. The next step has now begun. Focus groups are forming to promote and materialise change in the different areas identified, with the possibility of integrating them with the ‘Prosperity: a Letter to the Divine Mother’ concept now being presented regularly to many small groups of Aurovilians. The focus groups also plan to approach other groups working on topics relating to change and development in Auroville.
Hopefully, those who have proposed specific initiatives for change will use the survey as an inspiration and practical help to implement those changes. They will be heartened by the fact that many respondents said they were willing to change habits, while 60% said they were willing to participate in projects that may emerge, or be given new life, as a result of the survey, particularly those related to the economy, food production, and the environment. A further 21% said they might be willing to help.
The full survey report, including graphs and respondents’ anonymous comments, will be published on Auronet very soon for those who wish to examine the results in more detail. Please inform those who do not have access to Auronet but would like to read the full report that they can contact us at callingthefuture (at) gmail.com and we will send it to them. You are also welcome to send your thoughts, ideas and proposals to the above email address.
Calling the Future survey team
(Alan, Amy, Dan, Dominique, Fred, Laurence)
- News & Notes 832:Calling the Future survey analysis - Part 1
- News & Notes 834:Calling the Future - what needs to change