Living and Institutionalising Sustainable Utopia
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In answering our research question: How do people in Ecovillage Boekel construct and maintain their sustainable utopian ideals both within community-life and in relation to outside actors?, it can be seen that Ecodorp Boekel goes through a dynamic process in their journey towards realising their common utopian ideal of an ecovillage as an inspiring example of a ‘life in connection’. We argue that in Ecodorp Boekel, it is often the ideal of trust that forms the very base of the construction of both relationships with outside actors as well as the set-up of the ecovillage. However, it is also this very ideal, and wanting to maintain this ideal in collaborations, that sometimes creates the moral dilemmas they are trying to prevent. In trying to overcome moral dilemmas, when a different perception of ideals is at play, we see that institutionalisation takes place in the development and introduction of tools for decision-making, conflict resolution and social connectedness. The group goes through a process of social learning whereby the development of social competencies and professionalisation is important in order to create and maintain a cooperative culture and to reach the common and individual utopian ideals.