Ecovillaggio Torri Superiore
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the resident community

The community residing in Torri Superiore began with a first small group in 1993, and now has about 20 permanent members, including 8 children and teen-agers. Although it is not easy to define what holds the residents together as a community, they can be described as people engaged in a common project of reconstruction of the abandoned village, education and responsible, low impact living.  Each household is a living unit with its own kitchen, but residents prefer to eat almost always together in the common rooms of the guesthouse.

Residents of the community follow the daily activities that take place in Torri: the organization of events, celebrations, parties, artistic activities; they coordinate and manage the restoration work, and develop agriculture programs (which currently include olive oil production, vegetables and fruit for self-consumption) in collaboration with local farmers and small farms.

The community meets once a week and makes its decisions with consensus decision making method. The common language of the group is Italian.

To join the community it is necessary to attend the ecovillage on an ongoing basis, to know personally all the residents and as many non-resident members as possible. After an initial period of mutual acquaintance, it is possible to apply as “resident candidates” and, if the community agrees, start the period of the trial year. Every three months the candidate’s experience is examined and it is decided whether or not to continue the program. At the end, if the outcome is favorable, the candidate becomes part of the community in all respects. Candidates, like all residents, must bear the cost of their maintenance (food and accommodation costs).

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Private and Common Life

Each household has a living unit with its own kitchen, but we prefer to eat almost always together in the common rooms of the guesthouse.

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The decisions

The community meets once a week and makes its decisions based on the consensus method. The common language of the group is Italian.

The decision-making method of consensus

The decision-making method of consent is based on the responsibility of all group members and avoids the rifts between the majority and the minority that can undermine the internal climate and the trust between people. It requires readiness for dialogue and mutual listening, to find meeting points and agreements that satisfy the needs of all members as much as possible.

The first phase of each decision is the debate: each proposal is presented by a contact person and discussed openly by all the participants, who can make changes, even substantial ones, until reaching a final formulation shared by the whole group.

In the decision-making phase, three positions can be taken: those who give their consent also guarantee direct participation in the realization of the project; whoever stands aside agrees, but does not participate for personal reasons. The third position is the block, a position that must be explained openly to everyone. In the presence of a block (also expressed by a single person) the proposal is not approved.

Our community has used the consensus method for many years, with satisfactory results. In the case of new residents, the block for personal reasons also applies to us.