Utopian communities are society’s dreams.
(Kanter 1972: 237)

As stated in the introduction, ‘my organization’ is also ‘my community’. This is important for this study and deserves explanation. Having spent my adolescence in Germany and Holland in the sixties of the last century, I was very impressed and influenced by the cultural revolution that swept Europe at that time. I threw myself with gusto into the battle against authority, capitalism, sexual repression and the bomb. Influenced at university both by the critical impulse of   Horkheimer (1947), Fromm, Marcuse (1964) and Habermas( 1968, 1971, 1973   ) and eastern philosophy, something in me cried out for a radical break not only with certain thought structures but also with my immediate personal life-style. Although eventually entering relatively ‘established’ and well-paid professions, marriage and parenthood, both my partner and I in time became deeply interested in alternatives to established society and to what we then perceived as normative life styles. We were also interested in a renewed personal and transpersonal spirituality. The issues triggering this interest were the experience of de-sacralization of   world and universe, de-soulment of   life-world and humankind, increased self-centredness of social actors and increasing disregard for community, manifesting themselves in wide-spread alienation, social exclusion and paralysis, and in an increasing threat to the human and natural environment. Together we began to search for radically new models of human relations and social institutions, which could be lived now, not ‘after the revolution’ or ‘in retirement’, and in a practical, everyday-day way. After a move from the city to the country, where I retrained in biodynamic horticulture, my partner’s engagement in voluntary work with severely disabled persons and my interest in ecology and direct work with nature, led us to join a...