In the “new concepts” section we spotlight new forms of social issues’ management and new models of ethical entrepreneurship. Topics such as moral banks and sustainability, healthy nutrition, barter economy, traditional farming techniques, and many more are presented and analyzed with a hope to propose trends that might substitute conventional ways of social organization and subsistence; that have already begun to take on, transforming the way we live and manage our everyday life. All these endeavors are the epicenter and the basic guideline of metamatic:taf; this means they are very close to our interests and our values as stated in our profile.
Living Routes is an organization offering students the opportunity to voluntarily participate in agricultural work in various ecovillages. The purpose of the initiative is to sensitize the younger generation about the challenges that the environment is facing from human intervention and uncontrolled urban growth and at the same time educate them in the principles of ethical entrepreneurship. Through work, trainees learn about concepts such as organic farming, renewable energy, ecological design of buildings, healthy foods, consensual decision making, etc.
The web site visitor can be informed about the various programs available and when and where they take place with analytical information for each program; information such as the kind of activities involved or the purpose of each program as well as the program’s duration (extending up to 14 weeks), apply for participation, or read blog postings about the experiences of other students that have participated in these programs.
The concept of intentional communities is based on the idea of participating in and contributing to a place’s common matters and is particularly strong in small settlements, where ties among the members of a community are also very strong; the members of such communities share common beliefs which can vary from social issues to religious or political affairs. Among the various applications of this idea, one of the most widespread is that of ecovillages.
The web site ic.org has been online since 1996 and it attempts to record the entirety of alternative communities that are spread all over the world. Although its main use is that of a directory, it also provides a lot of information about the philosophy behind the creation of such communities; its best application as a source of such information being its very detailed wiki. Of particular interest is also the option of buying books from a very broad spectrum of subjects including methods of organizing and managing such communities, sustainable development etc.
Helpx is directed to people interested in exchanging their vacation for work, a quite popular concept according to which boarders, instead of paying to live in a hotel, stay at some private home and in exchange for accommodation and food they help in various everyday jobs. The advantage of such a vacation is that visitors come in contact with a place’s everyday life and assimilate its cultural elements.
The site is targeted to both travelers and hosts: hosts describe the sort of the jobs they need help with (jobs varying from agricultural work to the construction of a building or the repair of a vehicle) and provide information about the area they are located; potential travelers can see reviews from others who have stayed in the particular residence or pictures from the accommodation and surrounding area and also find potential fellow travelers wishing to visit this area.
Airbnb (from Air Bed and Breakfast) is a site that provides users the opportunity to rent their homes as a whole or in part. Potential renters set the dates they want to use the residence and the residence’s desired location and the site returns various possibilities; if they see something they like, they can communicate directly with the residence’s owner. Both the owner and the renters evaluate each other and these evaluations are used as a protective measure against possible unpleasant situations; this model’s advantage is that potential renters can find much cheaper prices than they would in, e.g. a hotel as well as much better services (since their lodgings will be a normal, living home).
Furthermore, and because of a problem that came up in June 2011 and involved certain renters, the site has adopted a $50,000 security policy for the owners; this can partly alleviate the fears some owners might have when they consider offering their homes for rent.