About the Ecovillagers Mid-Atlantic Launch
In Ecovillagers Cooperative’s network, each neighborhood will be owned and governed by a community land cooperative.
Owners will be renters and renters will be owners. Every household and community business can own equity and build it over time, while every owner’s vote will remain equal. Ecovillagers can buy and sell shares of equity but never anyone’s home. Wealth will reward lasting commitment, not buying low to sell high, and newcomers’ costs will resemble old-timers’.
Even non-residents can join in the investment, to maximize our cooperative power.
Step 1. Have dedicated professional support.
A cooperative business depends on knowledgeable owner-members, and a property business depends on strong legal footing. These hurdles have held back cooperative investment until now.
The Ecovillagers Alliance is a charitable nonprofit organization run by volunteer organizers, teachers, communicators, and social entrepreneurs. It exists to serve Ecovillagers Cooperative’s membership with educational resources, well-vetted financial and organizational models, and legal preparations to assure compliance with state and federal regulators.
Step 2. Start with the Mid-Atlantic.
This region, from New York to Virginia, is a microcosm of America and the world. Once we build a regional network of ecovillage neighborhoods here, we can do it anywhere!
Step 3. Incorporate Ecovillagers Co-op.
An investment cooperative, like any co-op, begins with its members. We will gather for the First Ecovillagers Assembly in Fall 2018 and vote to incorporate Ecovillagers Cooperative, together. Will you be there?
Step 4. Incubate ecovillage neighborhoods.
Ecovillagers Co-op members have the right to band together and propose new ecovillage neighborhoods anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ecovillagers Co-op will provide a professionally-supported incubator program to develop the team, their plan, and the funding to ensure each neighborhood’s ultimate success.
Eve Bratman - Lancaster, PA
Eve is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. She researches, writes about, and teaches subjects related to sustainable development, urban affairs, food systems, and environmental politics and policy.
Harmony Eichsteadt - New York, NY
Harmony is the Head of Community for Good Life Project where she coaches entrepreneurs and consults with enterprises in the use of community building and organizing to drive growth for mission-based businesses. Prior to joining Good Life Project, Harmony was the Evangelist for NationBuilder, a community organizing technology company, where she worked with a wide array of cooperatives, nonprofits, and businesses to use technology and community organizing principles to build sustainable ventures. Harmony also is a mentor with the Mentor Capital Network, where she mentors early stage social venture start-ups from around the world, to help prepare them for fundraising and launch.
Zev Friedman - Earthaven Ecovillage, NC
Zev is a permaculture designer, researcher, teacher, and writer, and Vice President of Living Systems Design. He grew up in a patch of kudzu in Sylva, NC and received his B.S. in Human Ecology from University of North Carolina Asheville. Zev specializes in hands-on, in-depth education in permaculture and earthskills and has been doing residential and community-based professional design and installation throughout Western North Carolina. Almost a decade of study with world renowned teacher Martin Prechtel help feed his passion for re-growing our own diverse indigenous lifeways through youth initiation and ritual.
Dahkil Hausif - Brooklyn, NY
Dahkil is quite simply a professional storyteller. He creates as a writer and director (his last short airing on HBO), a film editor (cutting commercials for Verizon, BMW, Pepsi and ESPN), and as a voice over artist (ESPN’s 30 for 30 commercials). Dahkil has served on the Board of Trustees at the Corlears School in NYC as chair of both their Advancement and Diversity Committees, focusing on fundraising through sharing the school’s story and helping to craft its social justice and equity initiatives.
Janine Hausif - Brooklyn, NY
Before journeying into motherhood, Janine was an international print and runway model then an award-winning tech entrepreneur. In recent months, Janine has built a community of nearly 150 local stay-at-home mothers. She hosts weekly meet-ups where the mothers and their children come together, share, and learn from each other. In her spare time, she makes clothes and jewelry and writes for her personal blog. She also volunteers with local and international youth organizations. Janine holds a degree in Communication from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Brooke Loving Bagwell - Lancaster, PA
Brooke is Ecovillagers Cooperative’s inaugural intern. A recent graduate of American University where she studied international development, Brooke is now shifting her focus to local economic development. With experience in youth development, student organizing, and sustainability education, Brooke is inspired to unite her passions of people, planet, and economy with ecovillage development.
Chris Nettles - Arlington, VA
Chris is a Clinical and Community Psychologist. He is also an ordained Buddhist priest in the Japanese Tendai tradition. As a Community Psychologist, he is interested in the two-way interaction between individuals and the social-ecological system, with the aim of helping people thrive within the various communities they occupy. Chris is committed to the (ambitious) goal of helping transition from the current “Age of Me” to a future “Age of We.” Currently, he is Part-Time Faculty at the George Washington University, where as part of the LGBT Health and Policy program he teaches about LGBT mental health. He also works for the American Psychological Association, managing professional development and mentoring programs for early-career social & behavioral scientists.
Joel Rothschild - Lancaster, PA
Joel is the Ecovillagers Alliance’s founding organizer. With a background in cooperative governance, urban design, and peer-to-peer systems engineering, Joel is an affiliated project manager of CoHousing Solutions’ 500 Communities initiative, and past founder of the Ravenna Kibbutz, a 2000s-era ecovillage neighborhood in Seattle, where Joel is from.
Ravi Saxena - Fairfax, VA
Ravi is a project management consultant who has a passion for serving others and loves to collaborate with teams to solve complex problems. A native of the Washington, DC metro area Ravi was previously self-employed as an IT consulting entrepreneur and has volunteered with Sierra Club chapters in DC and Baltimore as well as other local organizations to create community-based change. Ravi is interested in seeing communities return to self-sustaining habits and culture, while taking advantage of modern-day business practices and technology.
Galina Varchena - Virginia Beach, VA
Galina is a practicing lawyer and champion of underappreciated causes. An immigrant from post-Soviet Latvia, Galina has worked for Defenders of Wildlife International Law division, House of Ruth Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, Women Thrive Worldwide, the Greenpeace Chemical Security team, and Virginia law firms representing clients in Arlington and Baltimore Immigration Courts. Licensed in Virginia and New York, she is a Senior Attorney at the Virginia Legal Aid Society in Suffolk. Galina’s interests include work with social and environmental justice coalitions, business entity organization, landlord/tenant litigation, public benefits law, and learning from her clients’ lessons of courage, empathy and perseverance.