Nordic Biodynamic Forum in Tampere 20th of November 2021, speech by Selma Kilpi.
In Finnish language we have a saying ”Oma maa mansikka, muu maa mustikka” – own land straberry, other land blueberry. It originates from times of early farming by burning down small plots of forest to create clearings with soil rich in carbon. Gradually the forest took over again: first in succession was mostly meadows with birchtrees and wild strawberries. Followed by coniferous trees and blueberris. So, while the cultivated area was still growing strawberris, crops belonged to the community that took the trouble of cutting down the trees and burning them. But when blueberries took over, the land returned back to commons. Land belonged to the ones who took care of it.
If you think, that landownership and money are not God given but man made, you might be able to imagine that people can retun land from private ownership back to communities to be taken care of. Beginning of ownership was after all most likely based on physical power and violence or at least threat of violence. Somebody strong or armed took by force what used to be commons.
With Ikikaiku Living Heritage Foundation we are well on the way to return land back to communities. So far we only have about 20 ha to serve as a base for a small community of devotees in Tärkkilä, but with that piece of land we can open the gate for more land dontaions that would make it possible for people to devote themselves to a place and a community taking care of it in a holistically sustainable way without the need of investing money on land. And without the fear of loosing connection to this particular piece of land.
Our intention is to fight global warming and improve quality of human life at the same time. We want to offer anbody a possibility to become indigenious again. Our basic values are sosiocracy and holistic sustainability.
Ikikaiku- land donors could be landowners who wants there work for sustainability and biodiversity to be continued or communities that want to avoid sustainability problems caused by ownership.
”Ikikaiku- family care model” unites likeminded land owners aging alone in the countryside with landless people willing and able to devote themselves both to holistic sustainability and homecare of old people.
Foundations secure and permanent legal structure enshures that the land remains in communal ownership. It can not fall back into private ownership due to the departure or death of individuals within the community.
Our learning system of mutual sharing provides guidance and training for people in transition to regenerative lifestyle.
Continuity is secured not by inheriting property but mission. For example, if one of my daughters or grandchildren wants to continue my work in Tärkkilä, he or she would have the first right to continue taking care of my devotion area. If none of them is interested, it will be given to someone who is.
Many of the tools we use for social sustainability are developed and tested by Global Ecovillage Network GEN. According to their definition an ecovillage is an intentional, traditional or urban community that is designed to regenrerate social and natural environments. Designing processes in all four dimensions of sustainability (social, cultural, ecological and economic) are locally owned and participatory.
Plus to these, GEN-network recongnizes the ”fifth element” that unites four dimensions of sustainability into a triving spirit of mutual wellbeing. They call it ”whole system design”. It could also be called permaculture, but in Finnish language we have an indigenous word for it: sampo. In my interpretation Sampo is the spirit of the place connected to the universe. (This is not undisputed, there is plenty of other theories of this word) In our mythology, when men like Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen tried to steal Sampo from the warden of the North, Pohjan Akka, they found that it was deeply rooted in the place. They had a hard time chopping it of. In a furious battle Sampo fell to piecies and sank in the sea. Only small bits remained. Humans lost there ability to work together with the universe.
Now is the time to build a new Sampo, conciously connecting both intention and connection energies that some people misleadingly call masculin and feminine powers (we all need both in balance). Sampo can be created anywhere when the local community conciously serves fire, earth, air and water – econmic, ecological, social and cultural sustainability.
At the moment our first, small Ikikaiku-community is writing its permaculture or sampo-culture plan. We intend to write it in such a way that it could inspire other communities to look at their possibilities in a new way. Our basic statement is that all these four basic elements – fire as the gift of life itself, earth as abundant diversity of life forms, air as the network uniting all equally valuable beings and water as the shared story of life – have shadows like trade, destruction and waisting, inequality and falsity. Sampo will be resurrected only when a community manages to keep these shadows away.
Tärkkilä Runevillage community is the first Ikikaiku-community, but does not mean that all the future Ikikaiku-communities should follow our way. Each place is different, each communuty is different and each local sampo-creation will be unique.
At the moment the foundation is looking for more people willing and able to devote themselves to a regenerative lifestyle, landowners seaching continuation for their work or wanting to secure safe and communal old age at home. But we also need people willing to invest money or time and skills to promote our values and possibilities.