Auroville is an experimental township in Tamil Nadu, India, that was founded in 1968 with the aim of creating a model community based on human unity, spiritual progress, and sustainable living. One of the key aspects of Auroville’s vision is its economy, which is based on sustainable livelihoods that support the community’s values and principles.
At the heart of Auroville’s economy is the concept of “appropriate technology,” which refers to the use of technology that is appropriate to the local context and does not harm the environment or people’s health. Auroville has a range of small-scale, sustainable businesses that produce handmade and eco-friendly products, such as textiles, paper, ceramics, and food. These businesses are often run by Aurovilians themselves, who have developed skills in traditional crafts and sustainable production methods.
One example of a sustainable business in Auroville is the Upasana Design Studio, which produces a range of clothing and accessories using organic cotton and traditional handloom techniques. Upasana is committed to fair trade and sustainable production, and it provides employment and training opportunities to local women. Another example is the Auroville Bakery, which produces organic bread and pastries using locally sourced ingredients and solar power.
In addition to these small-scale businesses, Auroville has a number of larger enterprises that support the community’s economy. One of these is the Auroville Foundation, which manages the town’s land and properties and provides infrastructure and services to the community. The Foundation also promotes sustainable development and tourism in the surrounding area, which helps to generate income for the community.
Another important aspect of Auroville’s economy is its emphasis on volunteerism and community service. Aurovilians are encouraged to contribute their skills and talents to the community, and many choose to do so by working in community service projects, such as organic farming, afforestation, and waste management. These projects not only provide valuable services to the community, but also create employment opportunities and help to promote sustainable living practices.
Auroville’s economy also benefits from its emphasis on education and research. The community has a number of educational institutions, including the Auroville International School and the Auroville Earth Institute, which provide training and education in sustainable living practices and appropriate technology. Auroville also hosts a number of research centers, such as the Auroville Renewable Energy Research Centre and the Auroville Institute of Applied Technology, which conduct research on sustainable energy and technology.
Overall, Auroville’s economy is based on the principles of sustainability, community service, and appropriate technology. The community’s businesses and enterprises support these principles by producing eco-friendly and sustainable products, while its emphasis on volunteerism and community service helps to create employment opportunities and promote sustainable living practices. Auroville’s economy is an important aspect of the community’s vision for a sustainable and harmonious world, and it serves as a model for other communities around the world.