Once the sale of the Tivoli Housing Co-op was complete in 2014, the Common Fire Foundation shifted its focus dramatically, limiting itself to providing basic support for the Beacon Co-Housing community. The Foundation previously had a much more expansive vision of helping to support the creation of numerous intentional communities nationwide that shared our values related to communities as a foundation for personal and collective transformation. The information on this page represents our PREVIOUS more expansive vision and is provided here in the hopes that it may help to support or inspire other people’s efforts in this field.
One of the greatest challenges in manifesting our vision of transformational communities is the question of how to create communities that do not simply replicate the norms of the broader society and that address the deepest needs of this time. This will require an intentional commitment to certain principles and practices. Everyone who lives and works in the communities will commit to being part of the larger experiment of creating and nurturing a community that reflects the kind of world we wish to live in. And beyond that, there are four essential characteristics of Common Fire communities, characteristics that we believe are critical for the time we’re living in.
- Ongoing Personal Growth and Dialogue – We have largely been inspired by the organization, Be Present, in our thinking on this topic. We believe that the health of an intentional community, and our progress as a larger society, depends on the ongoing personal growth of each of us as indivduals. Through a commitment to ongoing dialogue, we can continue to deepen our understanding of ourselves and each other, and ways we can individually and collectively transcend historical and current issues.
- Engagement of a Diversity of People -- Diversity allows us to create visions of the world and strategies for change that better reflect the needs of all of us, and that better reflect our collective wisdom for how to address those needs. We are creating communities that are accessible and meaningful to a broad range of people.
- Aligning Our Lives with Our Beliefs -- Much of the violence and destruction in the world today arises not from malice, but from people being invested in the current systems and contributing to them in small ways that add up and give the systems power. We’re committed to helping people within these communities weave integrity into the many facets of everyday life – continuing our commitment to green building; eating local, fair trade, organic and cruelty-free foods; being in partnership with indigenous people; exploring alternative financial models; and more.
- Bridging Transformation in the Community to Transformation in the World – These communities will not be places where people retreat from the world, but ones that allow them to more powerfully step into the world. And in the traditions of the “tipping point”, the “butterfly effect”, “emergence”, and “field theory”, we never know at what point the number of people affected or the quality of deeply-rooted transformation will cause massive shifts on a larger scale.