Our World is facing a Multidimensional Crisis
It is becoming increasingly obvious to people across the world that our consumption-based lifestyles and 'sustainable development' paradigms are no longer working for everyone. It is not simply a case of tweaking our mainstream systems or transforming them from within; something is fundamentally 'wrong' with the ways we have imagined our lives and our globalizing civilization is showing the telltale signs of demise.
It's everywhere around us: a growing disenchantment with the 'world-as-it-is' and a panting hunger for something 'different' -
- something different from the industrialized schooling framework that seems preoccupied with assessment, certification, and conformity than it is with creativity, courageous doubt and evolving life aspirations
- something different from the industrial food complex, which is oriented toward manipulating and dominating local food systems to service corporate imperatives for profit
- something different from the global financial complex and the banking systems that ensure our lives are a rat race of 'never-enough'
- something different from today's work ethic and myths of time that keep us away from the things that truly matter - our families, our communities, and our passionate dreams
- something different from the stories of success that isolate us from the things we really want: each other
The vital questions we must ask today are: Have we lost something vital in the art of being human? If we have, how can we re-enchant our lives again? Is it possible to co-create a world that works for everyone?
Community is Tomorrow's Real Wealth: We are the Ones we've been waiting for!
We think that another world is possible, and that we can re-enchant our lives with new stories about how the world 'works' - and we are deeply excited about it! The global collective is at the cusp of a radical reinterpretation of what it means to be 'human'; even though this is a crisis point in our evolution as part of the earth's ecosystem, this is also an opportunity to change our lives and orient it towards each other.
You see, we think that the problems we are going through today are symptoms of an underlying story - a story that has made people into 'human resources' to be 'managed', a story that has converted the promiscuous beauty and sacredness of nature into 'natural resources' to be exploited, and more critically, a story that suggests that we are lords over the earth and we do not need each other. Hence, most of us are conditioned to believe in a world of scarcity, a world in which we necessarily need the nation-state, and a world in which we have to strive to outwit the 'other' in order to be 'noticed' or 'relevant'.
The magical, not-so-secret idea now invading our collective consciousness in today's dramatic moments is that most of our problems will not be addressed with more money, more development, more schools, more technology, more political candidates, more degrees, more banks and more religious exclusivism. Instead, people around the world are proving that with locally generated currencies and gift cultures, home-grown food and organic farming, variations of education that are not dependent on state-approved schooling systems, and indigenous approaches to wellbeing, "another world is not only possible, she is already here!" If we beat the system at its own game, we've lost! This is the time for new systems, new ways of doing and being.
Who Are We?
Koru is a coalition of voices now emerging on the global stage. We think of Koru as a midwife for grassroots change, a playful but sacred space where ordinary folks seeking new possibilities (who no longer feel a part of their civilization and the stories that have co-created it), can be the new gurus poetically shaping the language of the 'next' consciousness.
We excitedly envision a social hub where these small collectives can draw stories from, share their adventures of decolonisation, tinker with the imperatives of today's hegemonic spaces and - more importantly - embark on social transformative experiments into neighbourhoods, streets and communities...co-creating local currencies, affirming indigenous realities, practicing alternatives to schooling, beginning food cultures etc.
A Koru collective is a storytelling, conversational group, based on friendship, support, and community. When a Koru group meets, they are part of a web of other connected groups, and can share their disenchantment-to-reenchantment conversations with them. They will have access to wisdom practices, participate in Koru days, play games that help recalibrate our ideas of what is possible, and find the strength and support to change their lives.
The whole aim of Koru is to make it easier to reconnect with community, and to inspire people to live in ways that do not reinforce mainstream institutions and realities.
Koru is the shared vision of 11 social activists and cultural visionaries from around the world. They are Ej Clement-Akomolafe (India), Bayo Akomolafe (Nigeria), Biren Shah (India), Aerin Dunford (Mexico), Reginald Bassey (Nigeria), Rehana Tejpar (India), Ethan Miller (USA), Kate Boverman (USA), Naveen Kumar (India), and Giovanna Olmos (USA).
Koru is an invitation to celebrate our shared disenchantment as ways out. We are no longer looking for hope in mainstream institutions. We are finding hope in all kinds of amazing places.
You can learn more about Koru from a beautiful document available online. We invite you to co-create a worthwhile future!
What Do We Need and What Do You Receive?
What we need at Koru is a total of 7000 dollars to pay web developers to develop a robust social network. Because we do not want Facebook all over again, we have taken special care to articulate the design so that it truly serves a cross-fertilization of practices, wisdoms and transition stories trans-locally. Each Koru Circle will also be networked into a gift culture that 'empowers' them to embark on dream-quests or experiments to engage local communities in alternative practices. Imagine a global movement of everyday people working with their neighbourhoods, their families, their streets to transcend the dictates of surburbia by growing food, starting community education practices, initiating local currencies or sharing gifts and technologies.
Because we think this transitional framework is, at root, a form of play, we have also created an alternate reality game. The 7000 dollars will go a long way to help us pay for the services, pay for a larger domain (we already have a domain name: www.koruportal.net, but its still in development), and meet up emergent bills.
Your contributions will be more than appreciated. We invite you to contribute anything you can to make this global dream possible. However, if you'd also like to receive something in return, then there are exciting perks you can take advantage of (look to the right of this page!).
The Impact of Koru: Hospicing the Old, Midwifing the New
Koru's real impact will lie in the silent perceptual shifts that will take place as a result of bringing people together to imagine ways the world can work better for all. By valorizing 'community' and interaction, Koru puts the 'social' back in 'social network'. By providing unlearning practices, festivals, and special days, Koru transcends the online platform, and invites people to support each other as they make transitions to new ways of living. Koru is a beautiful concretization of the idea that we need each other more than we need anything else.
In the end, we cannot predetermine what Koru portends for our world; the possibilities are endlessly magical. We imagine:
- New ways of educating spontaneously emerging in the nexus of group interactions and experiments
- Conversations about our failing civilization and support systems to make sure everyone in a group is taken care of in these dramatic times
- Growing food systems in local communities
- Local currencies and gift economies
- Evolving secondary groups dedicated to ecological health
- Radical lifestyle changes that mean more and more people 'falling off the civilizational grid'
An important point to be made is that Koru is not intended to be a monolithic organization with traditional leadership structures. We think of Koru as an art form, an 'experiment into new worlds', and, very importantly, a link to countercultural groups in many parts of the world. In many ways, to support this dream is to inevitably support many groups with which Koru is already affiliated.
For more information, check out out facebook page to know what we are talking about.
Other Ways You Can Help
You can help get the word round, and help our project gain an even wider audience. You can use the resources Indiegogo provides, tweet about it, or visit our Facebook page. Even better, learn about the ways people are re-imagining life and challenging the systems we live in.
Thank you so much!