The Viable Systems Model

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Cloughjordan Ecovillage brings together a diverse group of people to create an innovative new community in Tipperary. They aim to do this in a way that is democratic, healthy and socially enriching, while minimising ecological impacts. The Village is a company limited by guarantee, but with articles of association ensuring that the group operates in much the same way as a co-operative. Early on, members adopted the idea of shared purposes and principles: shared out responsibilities. Since then members have adopted a revolutionary organisational system which gives maximum autonomy to all participants. Project management is highly participative and most of the work is done by volunteers, working in Primary Activity and Support Groups, based on the Viable Systems Model. This form of group structure represents a shift towards a new paradigm of self-organising adaptive systems instead of command-and-control ways of organising.