So what do you need to do to join this community? Are we really going to do this together? How can you be sure that we’ll get on with one another? Who makes the decisions? Is my investment of time and resources safe? Are all the activities freely included in my membership? Is there an age requirement for membership? Do I need to work at all? Can I organise activities? Will my family and friends be able to stay? What happens as we grow older? How do I register for healthcare in Italy? Who gets to drive the minibus? Will I get fed up of all that sunshine and warmth? Who is cooking the food? Am I allowed to have a dog or other pet? Who is in charge of the stables? Can I eat and drink as much as I want? Who will fix anything that gets damaged? Who does the laundry? And finally, will my voice count for anything?
The reality is that we can answer all of those questions, given time. However we are hoping that you will already have many of your own suggestions about these and many other things. This is what we want the Share-It Community to be, a multi member stakeholder mutual venture that grows as we go along. In essence a true co-operative, a way to live peaceably with one another, sharing the responsibility and the decision making in a democratic sense. If we share the ownership of the community in both financial and spiritual terms, we hope that our authenticity in doing things this way, will co-create a space for living, for working and for sharing the fun into older age. But we are also mindful that to have a sustainable future we will need to include people of various ages to continue the Share-It Community long after we have left and gone to our next eternal home.
We really expect that collectively we would inspire many people to take their later years of life as a challenge to reconnect with nature, with their values, with awareness of our place in the universe, what our contributions have been and what legacy we can leave behind. In a place where we share all the activities, the friendships and the duties, we know that many of the doubts and fears we might have about our retirements fade away as far less of a burden. A community that has many generartions involved will almost certainly be more resilient and sustainable. The tasks and workload shared between those of differing ability will absolutley make a community a place of delight and keep us active in both mind and body. It stands to reason that if we share a place, we share the costs of running a home, of the bills and the upkeep, of all those little issues we have in our single home environments. Safety from ‘acts of god’ can never be insured against, but preparation now for the next part of our lives can be.
The idea is that if we create a mutual co-operative we limit the liability for ongoing concerns to a one member one vote system, as part of a community that we collectively manage. Yes we can put in place paid employees of the Co-op to run the day-to-day matters of the Share-It Community. This too is a shared decision about the level of responsibility those employees have, and how they conduct that work. But the strain will be limited to monthly decision forums, as you get on with making the most of your days through collective activities, meals, and enjoyment of the facilities your membership would provide. It may be that you have a passion to run yoga classes, woodworking classes, walking group leadership and so we support that together. You may just want to join in the food growing projects, maintenance projects, baking classes, painting, craft, cooking meals for the community. Whatever it is, we can make the space and opportunities a reality as part of a family team.
We know the benefits far outweigh the concerns you will have, so please think about what part you could play in forming this new living community. We welcome any questions you didn’t feel that we already answered as we cannot do this without your support and collaboration. “There is no I in team”.
Write an email for more information and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We have already received a number of interested messages from people keen to see this project get off the ground. The world is changing quickly and we need to be involved in steering that to good outcomes.
Latest Update 18/09/22
Much has happened in the past two months as you will read. Some people have decided that they cannot see themselves being involved at the level of choices available for the ongoing project, in ways to do with our proposed property choice, the funding possibilities even the size of the possible community. This was inevitable and we wish each of those people a lot of success in finding what they desire. We also lost the opportunity to buy Oasi Verde as we could not raise sufficient capital to make an offer before the dealine set by the circumstances of the seller. It was a shame, and some people felt we should have made more of an effort, but we honestly tried our best, as this was beyond doubt our prefered option at that time. We decided to regroup our efforts after a short break, and are now adapting the model going forward to suit the current availability of properties. We are also going to take a few weeks (of visiting) to consider some other areas of Italy that had not at first seemed to offer the best possibilities, so that we can be sure that we are not fixed upon just one region or property. Once we have done this we will be again making certain presentations to the ever growing group about which of these ideas are best for the Share-It Community. Obviously we will need your collaboration, suggestions and other input. We have a few properties in mind here in, and close to Umbria that we can then present to the group for consideration, or anything new that we discover during our investigations over the next few weeks. One of the key things we resolved to do, following recent events was to re-define the aims of the Share-It Community, the guidelines we propose for your commissioning, and the framework of the project going forward. We thoroughly believe that these things will be welcomed by each of you as a sign of progress and maturity in our development towards a sustainable living community. As always, please speak up if you have an idea or something that you can offer to help this project become succesful in finding a place to be in the world. We have also been heavily working at cleaning up any discrepancies or confusing data, here on the website, and adding material, so please check the pages for new and or additional features.
During a few recent viewings to a property we first viewed in November last year, it became increasingly obvious that we should make a decision and stick to it, as to which property we ought to buy. For so many reasons, some obvious and others less obvious to you the reader. After viewing so many properties (over 45) we felt that nothing else came close as to the resources and space for inclusion of what we hope the community will become, and within a price range that was value for money. So many of the members voiced their opinions as to certain things they felt important in a property, things like a space to relax in relative privacy. Things like rooms for social activities, places to work both for the community and privately for their businesses, online etc. A cafe, an atelier, craft rooms and more. At Oasi Verde, there are these things in abundance and so we set our minds and intentions to this place. It is not a certainty of course, we still have to raise enough money to buy it and pay all the purchaing costs, and maybe have some left over to buy a few missing pieces of machinery. A tractor for example, maybe other garden tools and equipment. If you take a look at the post linked here, you can see an up to date view of why we chose this property. We very much need to move a little more speedily now, the owner has little time to sell it before a bank forecloses on him for depts owed by the company. It would be really great if you can share the project and our ideas with as many people as you could at this time, we are so close to the final outcome to buy this property and need only a few more investors before we can make our offer. It is not all about money as you will see on the pages of our website, but unfortunately at this time we still need enough to get it going forward. We have many dedicated and supportive pledges from members, we are simply waiting for some more before we can commit to buying so please get in touch asap.
As of the begining of January, once all the festivities had been done with we began a new search of properties within Umbria. To be fair we were also considering other areas of Italy, like Lazio, Le Marche and Tuscany. However these other regions are either further south, (Ie hotter in the Summer) more expensive to buy properties (x2 in Tuscany) than in Umbria, or not suitable for the Share-It Community needs (land or resources). We have been getting a lot of input into this process from some early members, and are about to have a meeting with a lawyer to discuss the many legal implications for a purchase, later this week. We are hopeful that the amount of energy the project is producing will quickly manifest into an actual base of members and a steering committee that will organise a way forward for us all. As we have said before, nothing is yet set in stone and although we are looking mainly at Umbria, Manuela and I are very happy to go and look at some of those over the next few weeks, if that is a decision the ever growing group agree with. Both Manuela and I have been investing more than time into this for quite a few years, but we are happy at the moment to expend our personal funds in the property searches and fees, living in Italy expenses etc, as we believe in talking the talk when it comes to getting the Share-It Community into action. We also hope that you appreciate this as you consider how you can also contribute to the begining of a shared living community here in Italy. Please take a look at the new viewing blog posts, including our videos, as we really want you to get the flavour of Italy and of our aims at getting this moving in 2022.
A quick update: 10/12/21
We have decided to actually live in Italy from now on, as we see this as a smarter way to investigate and promote the Share-It Community. Currently we are focussing on Umbria as a potential venue for the project to begin, as many places are available and within what we consider a fair price range. We are still viewing new properties and could even begin the project as quickly as early next year in a smaller way at first, to see how the core team actually get on and make decisions etc. If we can turn our attention to 6-8 members and start a living community we can certainly iron out any potential issues that this project might encounter. In the longer term we see that it is possible to live in a community of approximately 30 people, and we really want to find places that offer us all a level of comfort that our ages require, hence why we are focussing on larger properties with land. However, this also comes with an increased cost outlay, and why we see more than 25 people investing as the minimum to make the investment affordable and sustainable for the future. We left Germany little more than a month ago and only had this website live since 5th of November, so both Manuela and I are very encouraged by the progress this idea has so far made in that time. Once again we know that we cannot make this happen without you, so please come and get involved and help us co-create new and exciting ways of living in older age.
With much Love, the Share-It team x