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Organising for new forms of life

3 realms of enterprising activity

Published onMar 24, 2021
Organising for new forms of life

I am interested in articulating more explicitly three strands of ‘tacit understanding’ that move under the surface of the projects in which I participate.

I view myself as a social entrepreneur invested in facilitating shifts of consciousness in the everyday circumstances of life and work. I develop this work through a set of related educational, agricultural, and cultural projects growing together in the village of Zhongshan, China. These include: a transformative learning center for adults aiming at facilitating personal and organizational transformation, which also serves as a community hub; an organic farm whose main products are herbal teas, body care and healthy lifestyle products; and others growing ecological enterprises like, for example, a cafe, a carpentry workshop, and a guesthouse. 

Through these projects, I see myself as leading in three interwoven realms of activity.

  • Enterprise: a space for new forms of life to happen

    I juggle sustaining the viability of an enterprise, which has to ‘work’ as a business, with keeping it open as a space for people to experience meaning and purpose. I have been trying to think of it as a form of choreography, where discipline and playfulness co-exist together. How not to get trapped in some inbetween that is ‘neither fish nor fowl’, and inhabit this creative tension productively?

  • Navigating colleagueship

    I think real colleagueship is a continual dance of relating rather than a human resource management task. When people work in a joint endeavor, many different needs, patterns, preferences among them come into contact in all sorts of circumstances, which do not necessarily lead directly to consensus. How to gradually build up a field of tacit understanding, from which derives trust, mutual understanding and co-creation?

  • Weaving a community

    This kind of enterprising is not an end itself. I think of this as a process of weaving a growing community of different individuals, families, and groups. Unlike an enterprise that can be founded, a community could only be grown into, always coming into being. How does this ramify into a broader social action that is the work of fermenting a new culture?

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