Auroville – also known as the “City of the Dawn” – is an international city in South India founded in 1968. Currently, it has 2,800 citizens from 54 countries, with the capacity to grow to 50,000 citizens.
Auroville is a “collective experiment in human unity” based on the worldview of Indian yogi Sri Aurobindo. The idea is if people from all cultures and castes can learn love each other in Auroville, maybe the rest of the world can follow suit.
The township was created with support from the Indian government, UNESCO and well-wishers around the world, but is becoming more and more self-sufficient over time.
In Auroville there is no individual ownerhip of land, housing or businesses. Everyone is given a basic living “maintenance,” whether they work for one of the commercial units, doing community service or are unable to work.
When they go to the store, they take what they need, tell the clerk their account number and it’s deducted from the Central Fund.
It’s an economy designed to serve humanity, rather than the other way around, Aurovillians say.
“We give our work, and we are given what we need,” says citizen Jean-Yves Lung in the documentary below. “It’s very simple. If you give your work, and you are happy to give it, you don’t need money to evaluate the quality of your giving. We can still be productive, creative, innovative, and what happens is people discover that they feel better. We take what we need and that’s it.”
”There is group of countries which have done remarkably well in the face of the challenges to our modern, democratic societies… Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden might just hold the clues to solving the security, social, political, environmental and technological threats and challenges of the 21st Century”.
– These are the words of Project Director András Simonyi in the foreword to a book of essays, “Nordic Ways”.
Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges is a joint initiative by the Prime ministers of the Nordic countries. We want to invite the world to share Nordic knowledge and experiences of six priority flagship projects. These Nordic solutions will be effective tools in our common work to reach the United Nations Sustainability Goals before the year 2030.
Many of the so-called modern democracies still run the same way they did almost two centuries ago: as citizens we only get to interact with the political system once every couple of years. In an era where online access starts to become commonplace around the world, we are aware of how the internet changed the way we work, communicate and relate with each other. But politics and governments haven’t changed at all. So we set out to find a reliable way to hack the system.
Our first step was to create an open source, free software with an easy user experience for citizens to get informed, debate and vote on every single bill presented in Congress. DemocracyOS evolved to become one of the most used platforms for collaborative decision-making and it got translated into 15 languages…
«We are 21st century citizens doing our best to interact with 19th century
designed institutions that are based on an information technology of the 15th century.»
Pia Mancini – The DemocracyOS at TED Global 2014
This information comes from the website of DemocracyOS.
openDemocracy is an independent global media platform publishing up to 60 articles a week and attracting over 8 million visits per year.
Through reporting and analysis of social and political issues, openDemocracy seeks to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. With human rights as our central guiding focus, we ask tough questions about freedom, justice and democracy.
We give those fighting for their rights the agency to make their case and to inspire action…
GNH is a much richer objective than GDP or economic growth.
In GNH, material well-being is important but it is also important to enjoy sufficient well-being in things like community, culture, governance, knowledge and wisdom, health, spirituality and psychological welfare, a balanced use of time, and harmony with the environment.
Gross National Happiness is a term coined by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970s. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing. The concept of GNH has often been explained by its four pillars: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. Lately the four pillars have been further classified into nine domains in order to create widespread understanding of GNH and to reflect the holistic range of GNH values. The nine domains are: psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards. The domains represents each of the components of wellbeing of the Bhutanese people, and the term ‘wellbeing’ here refers to fulfilling conditions of a ‘good life’ as per the values and principles laid down by the concept of Gross National Happiness.
This information comes from the website of Gross National Happiness.