The$Challenges$of$Providing$an$ Alternative$Lifestyle$



The$Challenges$of$Providing$an$ Alternative$Lifestyle$
Emil Folke Schneider
Stefan Dahl
Raminta Sakinyte
Kristina Høgh Nielsen
Adnana Oana Cucu
Christian Franklin Svensson
Social Entrepreneurship and Management
Master’s Module 1
Roskilde University
Fall 2014
Table of Contents ABSTRACT MOTIVATION AND PROBLEM AREA 1 LIMITATIONS 5 CASE PRESENTATION 6 METHODOLOGY 9 PROJECT DESIGN AND APPROACH A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO HERMENEUTICS WHEN DOING FIELD STUDIES INTERVIEW PROCESS INTERVIEW PERSONS INTERVIEW GUIDE OBSERVATIONS AT SVANHOLM STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF COMBINING INTERVIEWS AND OBSERVATIONS VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY CRITIQUE OF METHOD EMPIRICAL CONTEXT 9 10 11 13 14 21 22 22 24 25 THEORY 29 THE EMES CRITERIA SOCIAL CAPITAL 29 34 ANALYSIS 42 THE SOCIAL DIMENSION THE GOVERNANCE DIMENSION THE ECONOMIC DIMENSION 42 58 62 ONE BIG EXTENDED FAMILY 76 CONCLUSION 80 FURTHER PERSPECTIVES: THE MOVEMENTS OF A NEW ECONOMY 83 LIST OF REFERENCES 87 APPENDIX-­‐ INTERVIEW GUIDE 89 Abstract Through a motivation for finding sustainable ways of living we have used our problem formulation to analyse and discuss strengths and challenges that occur while maintaining the eco-­‐village Svanholm. We have used the qualitative research methods of interviews and observations. We have analysed the obtained data using Bourdieu’s theory of capitals and Putnam’s concepts of trust, bridging and bonding, and we used the EMES ideal type for a social enterprise to guide our focus through the analysis and discussion. We argue that the lifestyle Svanholm offers can be seen as a service, which is on many levels co-­‐produced, co-­‐governed and co-­‐owned by the residents of the community. Through this approach we found that their way of living presents certain strengths, these can however also be challenging. Their consensus-­‐based governance system, shared economics and their high prioritization of the social aspect strengthen the community, but it is also challenging to maintain these features. Characters (With Spaces): 203.587 Normal pages (2400 characters/page): 84,8 Motivation and problem area “It is then a question of developing institutions capable of guaranteeing a plural economy within a democratic framework – exactly what is compromised when the rationale of material gain without limit has a monopoly. To face this challenge we must seek new institutional forms anchored in social practice; these will point the way towards the reinsertion of democratic norms in economic life.” Jean-­‐Louis Laville (2014) This quote is a part of Jean-­‐Louis Laville’s concluding remarks in his addition The Social and Solidarity Economy to the EMES research network publication Social Enterprise and the Third Sector – changing the European landscapes in a comparative perspective. This quote contains many interesting aspects, but even more importantly it contains the motivation for the makings of this report. The whole group was from the beginning set on finding an alternative. An alternative to what you might ask? Well the mission was no less than to find an alternative to what we saw as the modern day consumerist and unsustainable behaviour, which does not capture the social aspects of human nature. In light of the now more or less established facts of global climate change this seemed like a very relevant mission, but not a small task indeed. Much of the process leading up to this final report have been spent on finding the right angle in order to both narrow our scope, but also still keep it relevant to our initial motivation. In the quote by Laville we found the right phrasing of how we could reconcile our own motivation and an academic mission. In order to figure out how to live alternatively we have to look at already existing institutions, in which this is already done, for future inspiration on how to organize our society in ways to live in better harmony with each other and the planet. We will not be trying to give the final answer on how to solve global crisis, but strive to give an account of institutions that might contain a part of the answer. A more plural reality of the economy, including democratic solidarity, has the possibility of paving the way for the democratization process that Laville speaks of. He argues that economic reality is plural and that this is masked by capitalism, which explains economic action purely as the expression of material self-­‐interest -­‐ and does not take into account that economic behaviour might also be an expression of a sense of 1 belonging or of interest and disinterest combined. The concept ‘economy’ is used only in a formal sense, this reduction of the field of economic thought has led to a rupture between the economy and life (Polanyi argues). Like Laville, we view the economic system as having its focus solely on individual gains and egoistic behaviour. As Nobel-­‐prize winner Muhammed Yunus has explained in his book Building Social Business: The new kind of capitalism that serves humanity’s most pressing needs, and interviews, the current capitalistic system only serves one dimension of the human nature, the profit seeking, non-­‐empathetic, and egoistic part that is. In order to complete the system we need to open the scope to “The essential fact about humans”, which “is that they are multi-­‐dimensional beings” (Yunus 2011, XV). Laville in many ways agrees with this statement and with inspiration from Karl Polanyi and Marcel Mauss he explains, “When an economic worldview becomes an end in itself, there is no room for an alternative human project” (Laville, 2014: 110). This is a tendency Laville sees in today’s modern society in which a neo-­‐liberal agenda is gaining more and more ground. According to Laville, we should refrain from talking about capitalism as being an all-­‐encompassing system, but instead view it as a mindset, which is currently dominating. With this approach we can go into a discussion where economy is not an end in itself, but a means to an end and we can open the door for a different and alternative end to that of economic growth. This is what Laville means when he talks about the plural economy, where pure capitalistic thought is not the answer or solution to all, if any, of society’s challenges. In short, Laville and Yunus believe that the old system is failing in answering the challenges of modern society, poverty, inequality, global awareness, and global climate change. We need a new system that is up to these challenges. In these statements it becomes clear that our bias is not just academic, but to a high extent political as well. The stands by Laville and Yunus each pose a need for a restructuring, or at least a reassertion of our economic, institutional, and political structures. Or as Laville puts it, we need “A movement to limit the disruptive consequences of the market economy” (Laville 2014, 107). This movement will, according to Laville not be a revolutionary one in the sense of a sudden overthrowing of the current system with a new made up political ideal. It will be a bottom up initiative, and according to Laville we have to start from “real economic movements”, meaning that we have to look at the already existing institutions which in 2 some way or another are already advocating the above mentioned movement of keeping the market economic system in toll. Institutions in this sense are a part of a Maussian inspired system of framing and reframing social action “within which practices unfold” (Laville, 2014: 106). The answer is already out there, in institutions, organisations, companies etc. We need to find and establish these institutions: “We must rely on practical experience for information and analysis -­‐ in other words, start from ‘real economic movement’” (Laville, 2014: 110). With Laville’s relation to the EMES network and his article being a contribution to an EMES anthology regarding the third sector, using the vague term “institutions” he is in most cases referring to social enterprises, which in short strives not for economic gains, but for social aims, where “true worth lies in social ties rather than in the maximization of individual gains” (Laville 2014: 110). In many ways the EMES research network and their contributions and findings regarding the field of research of social enterprises correspond to the ideal of Laville’s aforementioned “movement”. Social enterprises are supposedly the institutions already advocating and indeed performing this new system. Enterprises, which still conform to the market idea of selling and buying, yet have a focus and mission to only let that be a means to a “higher” social goal. The EMES network has suggested a list of what they call criteria, 9 in total, of which to analyse a social enterprise by. With the ideological frame of Laville, and other EMES contributors, these criteria can just as well be seen as describing the ideal for the institutions of the new movement. Laville’s article comes to a halt at the point where he calls out for studies regarding such institutions. Problem formulation
With this report we try to provide an analysis of a practical example of such an institution. We have gathered data through interviews and research regarding the eco-­‐
community of Svanholm as we see it as a “new institutional form” with the various prospects pointed out by Laville. The reason for choosing Svanholm was simple; we were looking for an institution that in some way stepped outside the conventional way of living in Denmark. We view Svanholm as being such an alternative to a certain extent. Both in terms of their economic activities, but coming back to our initial motivation, we also found Svanholm interesting since they have chosen to have a focus on making a 3 minimal impact on the climate, while also emphasising on strong relations between the community residents. From our preliminary fieldtrip to Svanholm we got the impression that Svanholm offers an alternative lifestyle. It was clear how highly they value the communal living, and we saw that their shared economics had a large impact on the social life in Svanholm. Another strong feature of Svanholm is their focus on sustainability. We got the impression that the residents move to Svanholm because it is a place where they can truly live their ideals and values regarding social life and the environment. We were introduced to the governance structure of Svanholm; their consensus-­‐based decision-­‐making. This made us wonder: Letting everyone be heard must be a huge advantage as it can strengthen the engagement of the residents. However, it could also pose challenges, as it must be time-­‐consuming to let everyone be heard in all decision-­‐
making, and we suppose that there is a risk of these discussions leading to social tension among the residents. We also questioned whether it is possible to have the feeling of an extended family when there are more than a 100 residents in the community. However, if they do, it must be a huge benefit contributing very positively to their social life. We assume that the shared economics makes it possible for each resident to ‘have and do more’ for their income than they would individually. However, we also suspect that it must be difficult to reach agreement on how to spend the collective fund. In addition, we wondered whether it is a challenge for the community to keep from drifting away from their social goals in the financial decision-­‐making; we asked ourselves what restrains their budget puts on the achievement of their social goals? All of these questions and wonderings have been a part of our process and have led us to our problem formulation: Which strengths and challenges arise for Svanholm when producing a different lifestyle and capitals? 4 Limitations In order to answer which challenges and strengths there are to Svanholm’s way of living, we have chosen to discuss three major themes; the social, the governance and economic dimensions of the EMES ideal type. This has allowed us to investigate Svanholm’s shared economy, consensus-­‐based decision-­‐making and their social mission. In order to answer the problem formulation, we first give an account and a discussion of the EMES ideal, to shed some light on some of the implications inherent in this approach. In our analysis of Svanholm we will then use the dimensions of EMES, not as a checklist, but as guiding tool for our structure. The EMES ideal will be compared to empirical findings to show how some of the characteristics might be both a strength and at the same time pose challenges in the case of Svanholm. We gathered data through observations and interviews at Svanholm and used secondary data: their own website and newspaper articles about the eco-­‐village. To analyze the gathered material we have chosen to use the theory of capitals; social, economic and cultural capital as described by Bourdieu. We chose to use this theory because it can help us explain the dynamics of Svanholm, which we needed to understand, in order to answer our problem formulation. The conversions of capitals reflect the complex dynamics of the community and how the three dimensions are intertwined. We have used four different authors, because we saw them as complementing each other and all contributing to our understanding of the forces at work in Svanholm. However, we have limited ourselves to having a Bourdieuan focus on the capitals, and only included the concepts of trust, bridging and bonding from Putnam’s theory, the concepts of strong, weak and absent ties from Granovetter’s theory and the continuation of Putnam’s bridging and bonding from de Souza Briggs’ theory. Choosing four complementary authors provides us with a broader understanding of Svanholm and therefore a better foundation when answering our problem formulation. 5 Case presentation This part of the report will give a short introduction to our case Svanholm, both in short about its origins and how it looks today and this description is based both on info from the Svanholm website and from residents' explanations. A posting in the Danish newspaper Information back in 1977 became the start of what is today Svanholm. The posting was a contact-­‐advertisement that stated: “We are some people who want to establish a large scale farming-­‐, production-­‐, and much more collective” ( The advertisement was a success and within a year or so, a group of around 80 adults and 50 children was engaged in the project, and a year after the posting the group took over the Svanholm estate in the western part of the island Sjælland. Kirsten who is a part of the administrative and finance group at Svanholm today, told us at one of our visits that one of the reasons for the economical hardship Svanholm has today is still something that can be traced back to the “bad deal” that was made when buying the estate. But the collective had become a realization, and was the first and only one of its kind at the time. What made Svanholm special was its combination of large scale farming in combination with the collective ideals of shared economics, shared labour, and shared decisions. A structure that to a large extent still holds true today. In many ways Svanholm have brought their core principles with them into the 21st century. Although they have expanded both their production and community size (in spatial terms) over the years, they seem to have maintained the founding principles. The residents live in either regular apartment styled housings (mostly for families) or in collectives, where they share utilities such as bathroom, shower and such. There are currently around 80+ adults and 50 children living in the community. About half of the adults work inside Svanholm meaning that they are a part of the everyday caretaking of the farming, cooking, management and general maintenance of Svanholm. While the other half works outside Svanholm. Although Svanholm does sell some of their produce, the residents themselves consume the most of the community’s production. This production is to a large extent paid for by its residents working outside Svanholm, who contributes with their higher income to the community. We can unfortunately only talk about the financial situation of Svanholm in such vague terms since we have not had access to their actual budgets. 6 The economy is still shared among the residents, although the structure of this has changed. When the community was first established it was determined that everyone would pay a 100% of their pre-­‐tax, salary income to the community. The community as a whole would then pay the taxes and the residents would receive what was called “pocket money” from the community. Every resident would receive the same amount no matter how much they had initially contributed to the community. This was changed in the beginning of the 21st century. Although there is still a high degree of contribution to the community it has been lowered from a 100% to 80%, the residents now get to keep 20% of their pre-­‐tax income. What is paid for by these 80% is a variety of things: what you could call the rent for the housing at Svanholm, utilities, Internet etc. The communal breakfast, lunch, dinners, with all organic, and often “home grown” food. There are also communal cars the resident can use for free when it is for work transportation or for a small kilometer-­‐tax when used for private purposes. In many ways the 80% is a part of the overall economy of Svanholm, and it helps sustain the farming projects. The principle of shared labour is also still present in the community. Although there is the division of labour as explained above, every resident still has to help out with various activities from time to time, such as helping with the cooking and doing the dishes one-­‐two times a month. The way in which they govern themselves has not changed much from the beginning to now either. Once a month they have a big meeting “fællesmødet” where all of the residents can attend, and at which decisions regarding Svanholm’s present and future are made. The Fællesmøde is the highest level of authority within the community. There is no top leader or manager of Svanholm and all major decisions are made in plenum at the Fællesmøde, and in consensus. The consensus agreement structure means that if just one person at the meeting objects to a motion, it has to be re-­‐evaluated until all parties are satisfied with the decision. The only place where the Svanholmers, as they call themselves, vote is when they have to constitute the small council FÆR – Fællesmødets Repræsentanter (The Communal Meeting Representatives). FÆR is a group of residents who takes care of smaller issues in the community, with weekly meetings, and prepare subjects for the Fællesmøde. Beyond the FÆR group there are several other work-­‐groups designated to different areas of Svanholm, such as the: auto group, kitchen group, building group, and finance group. These groups consist of both 7 the people working inside and outside Svanholm and sets the framework is in charge of organizing each area. The political visions of Svanholm also need to be explained. Even though Svanholm, according to their website, does not have an official political standpoint the Svanholmers are often of Danish left-­‐wing party orientation ( The most political aspect of Svanholm is their extensive focus on climate sustainability. "We insist on treating earth, animals, and humans respectfully and we try our best to promote a sustainable development in the world"( To live up to this vision Svanholm has invested in many sustainability projects over the years. They are currently producing about 61% of their private electricity consumption and 42% of their farming consumption, which is of course produced through sustainable energy production methods, such as windmill, solar panel, and heating with wood chips. According to a research study conducted in 2009 Svanholm's CO2 emission pr. resident was 1.84 ton, comparatively the Danish citizen average is 6.22tons. Although Svanholm themselves agree that such numbers can be called into questions as approximations at best, they still believe that the numbers show a "significant difference". The farming activity at Svanholm is to large extent based on organic farming principles, they are currently experimenting with the concept of permaculture, and a predominant amount of the food that is produced and consumed is organic. 8 Methodology Project design and approach This first chapter of our methodology will describe the process we have taken with this project that has led to the creation of this report. When we began this project work we had a clear idea that our project should be about how people can live an alternative life, and if this in some way could be related to the idea of living more sustainably. Inspiration for these preliminary thoughts was drawn from Tim Jackson’s book Prosperity without Growth. The book underlines a need for change in society, and encourages a better balance of human activities with natural resources, instead of an endless consumption of resources. From there we looked into alternative lifestyles in Denmark. Our initial research was dedicated to figure out if and how different eco-­‐villages or intentional communities were able to live according to such ideals, and found that Svanholm as an eco-­‐village was worth further investigation. This investigation let to many group discussions about what the main problem area and following statement should be. The discussion about Prosperity without growth combined with the realization that only discussing the implications caused by capitalism on society, and how Svanholm maybe presented an alternative would not completely align with that of the SEM masters program. So a new angle on Svanholm was chosen. We then wished to see how Svanholm could be defined as a social enterprise. The search for such a definition was discarded as we found it unfruitful, and we were put back on track by our original thoughts. A lot of time and effort was put into this previous approach, and all of these changes to problem area gave us a lot of great discussions and great knowledge about what it is our project is about. An issue with this way of working has been that it has been time consuming. So the knowledge created versus the time consumption have both given us a lot, but in the same way prolonged the process. When deciding on how to collect the empirical data for this project it became obvious early on that in order to answer the problem formulation, the best way was by doing qualitative research through interviews combined with observations. This choice of empirical data gathering seemed to be the most suitable approach due to the nature of our problem area and the community set. With a limited number of residents that could help us by doing the interviews, since they only live 84 adults at Svanholm, doing quantitative analysis by sending out questionnaires with the risk of receiving an 9 inadequate amount of answers would not be a very viable option we decided. Furthermore when doing a research project like this it would not be in the best interest of the project to use a questionnaire, where there would only be a finite number of answers and where we would not be able to enter a dialogue with residents of the community. Thus not get the chance for having them elaborate on certain perspectives that would be interesting to know more about when answering the problem formulation. We have used a hermeneutic approach when doing the qualitative research in order to get a clear understanding of Svanholm so that we were able to do the analysis competently. We have, as a group with different academic backgrounds, used that knowledge when forming this project. The “composition” of the group consists of: three with business backgrounds, one with a bachelor in psychology and one with a bachelor in philosophy. This has in many ways helped us in some aspects of the project. The different disciplines have given us a more interdisciplinary approach, where different angles have been suggested and discussed that would not have been brough up, had we come from the same background. This has given us some great insights when defining our problem area and throughout this project. It has also been an advantage when finding the structure for our project, where the students with business backgrounds have been used to working with models and a completely different approach to how a project is done, whereas the psychology and philosophy students have been used to working in a more fluent way, which have been the way we have tried to do the analysis and discussion. A brief introduction to hermeneutics when doing field studies In consultation with our supervisor we have chosen not to put too much emphasis on the philosophy of science in this paper. Although it is not obligatory to thoroughly describe our philosophy of science, we thought it interesting to still briefly touch upon how it has played a part in our empirical research. When conducting the interviews and observations we have used a hermeneutic approach where it has been important for us to understand the inner workings of Svanholm. We have not sought explanations on why things are the way they are, but instead used the understanding created through the interactions when doing the interviews and observations to become more reflective when doing our analysis 10 (qualitative-­‐ One of our goals with the interviews was not to be able to create a neutral description of what the intentional community of Svanholm is but rather “a sympathetic engagement with the author of a text, utterance or action and the wider socio-­‐cultural context within which these phenomena occur” (qualitative-­‐ This means that the interpretations of our interviews and observations are of a situated nature, where it is impossible to find one foundational God’s eye view. This does not necessarily mean it is a liability to not be able to get one clear explanation from the qualitative research, it should instead be seen as bringing individual insights into understanding what the nature of Svanholm is (qualitative-­‐ Bearing in mind that what we see is, according to hermeneutics, an outcome of the interactions we enter into combined with our own preconceptions. “If one acknowledges that: understanding is as important as explanation, that interpretation is situated, that language and historicity inform interpretation, that inquiry can be viewed as a conversation between scholars, and that ambiguity is inevitable—and one seeks to integrate such understandings into one's approach to research, I suggest that inevitably, one cannot help but recognize the necessity of qualitative research as a medium to attend to these insights, and furthermore recognize hermeneutics as an implicit philosophical underpinning for research in the qualitative tradition.” (Elizabeth Anne Kinsella, qualitative-­‐ A critique of the hermeneutic approach could be that it does not contribute to the creation of new knowledge (Juul et. al., 2012; 115). This consideration we do not see as applying to this paper since we only use this approach when doing the qualitative research for the project. Interview process The purpose of the interviews has been to create new knowledge about the strength and challenges that Svanholm experiences as an eco-­‐village. We will try to use this knowledge we got from our interviews and observations combined with that of our theoretical approach to answer our problem formulation. These sub-­‐questions have 11 been posed to give us a sense of direction when trying to answer our problem formulation. When setting up the interviews we as a group had a lot of discussions about how we could conduct the interviews in a way that would contribute positively to answering our problem formulation. It has been of high importance that we did not try to influence our interviewees answers by asking leading questions. We have avoided this by focusing on mainly asking open ended questions. We also let their stories guide the interaction with the interview guide. The interview guide was used as a semi-­‐structural base so that the interviewees had room to form their own answers and elaborate on other areas they find interesting and of importance to their own stories. This way of doing the interviews gave us room to explore some of the answers and gave us the option to pose follow-­‐up questions so that we could get a deeper understanding of what was meant. In order to gain our interviewees’ trust it was important for us that the interviewees were made aware of the purpose of our interviews. We made sure that they had been prepared in a way that made them confident in us as interviewers and in that they could clearly see how we would use the data from their interviews (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 30). This has also been needed since the interviews have been conducted as much like a regular informal social interaction as possible, instead of that of an interviewer interviewing his subject. Before setting up the interviews we went on a preliminary excursion with the rest of the SEM program to Svanholm to experience their guided tours called Svanholm Oplevelser. We did this to get a better understanding of the community and most of all, to see if we were able to find a contact that could help us with setting up our interviews. After the tour we got in touch with the woman leading the guided tour Jeanette, who also runs their organic café, she was happy to help us and proceeded to set up four interviews -­‐ from which one did not happen. Jeanette was the one who facilitated the interviews. She posted a request on Svanholms intranet looking for volunteers that had time, and were willing to participate the interviews in English. Besides the three interviews we got through Jeanette, we have tried contacting a couple that grew up at Svanholm and then proceeded to move away, and now have moved back in to start their family in the community. These supplementary interviews could have given us some interesting insights regarding what makes Svanholm the community it is, how it was growing up at Svanholm, why they moved out and what had made them move back in. 12 We also tried contacting one of the founding members, but again with no luck. Our efforts in contacting more people than those we got through Jeanette came from a realization about Jeanette being a gatekeeper for our possible informants, and thus the information we were looking for. We considered that in a worst-­‐case scenario we could end up with not getting to the right people to interview (Seidman, 2006; 45). We did the interviews together on a Saturday where all of our interviewees were supposed to be available in the Svanholm cafébutik. This was to make it easier for us to conduct the interviews and get the most out of them. We wanted to do the interviews in a face-­‐to-­‐face and calm setting to get the best possible interaction with the interviewees. Interview persons We will use this subchapter to briefly introduce our interviewees; how they are relevant to this project and why they can contribute constructively to the answering of our problem formulation. First we interviewed Jeanette who is a huge source of knowledge about Svanholm and of what Svanholm strives towards. Jeanette has been connected to Svanholm in one way or another for more than twenty years but did not become a true Svanholmer until she decided to become a part of their shared economy in 2006. Jeanette works at Svanholm where she runs the Svanholm café where they sell organic goods both produced at Svanholm and from other organic farms. She is also in charge of their guided tours where they show people around and try to give people an idea of how they live. Jeanette talks about how these tours have been created to make Svanholm more open and inviting and therefore knows a lot about Svanholm’s economical situation and why a change has been necessary. A deeper analysis of this will be given in our analysis chapter. With her insights we have been able to get a clear picture of the inner workings of Svanholm both socially and economically. Our next interviewee was Hanne who has lived at Svanholm for four years. Hanne lives at Svanholm with her husband and their two children. Hanne works at a school outside Svanholm and therefore has a lot of knowledge about how it is to work outside Svanholm and still be a part of the community. Hanne’s situation can be seen as different when compared to Jeanette’s, who according to herself, rarely goes outside Svanholm. We felt that this differentiation in interviewees was important for our ability to get a 13 well-­‐rounded look at Svanholm. Hanne also has a lot of thoughts, which are different from Jeanette about how much people at Svanholm should work. She was able to tell a us lot about how life at Svanholm is socially and ecologically; where Svanholm is and what they strive to be, which have given us a great understanding of Svanholm. Our last interviewee is Ulrik who moved in to Svanholm only half a year ago. He lives with his girlfriend. They chose to move in because they had a wish to live sustainably at a place where they would know their neighbors. He works in Køge municipality where he is a volunteer coordinator. He knew a lot about all the workings of moving in to Svanholm; what is the process, what made them choose Svanholm. Ulrik is a part of their transportation-­‐board and is deeply involved in getting a new more sustainable carpool to the community, since that is one of the areas where the community does not live up to their own ideals about sustainability. We have been able to learn a lot about how it is to be new in Svanholm and, what could be seen as difficulties when moving into a new place. He has provided knowledge about how their consensus work and together with Jeanette and Hanne’s view on their form of governance we have gotten a clear picture of how this functions aswell. All of our different interviewees had different needs when it came to what they wanted to get out of living at Svanholm but they all had a deep understanding of what it takes to create and uphold the community they live in. An important part to mention and reflect upon when we are writing our project is the fact that we did not choose our interviewees ourselves. They volounteered to let us interview them. Jeanette who acted as our gatekeeper and posted our request on their intranet; stating that we were looking for people who were interested in helping us with our project by letting us interview them. Another issue was also that we needed the interviews to be in English, which could possibly deter some relevant residents from wanting to do the interview. We tried to make it clear that if they did not want to do the interviews in English that would have been okay, but Jeanette did not include that in the post. We are aware of this process and we accept that a different process could have given a different result (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 33). It will be assessed what this might have done for our project later in this chapter. Interview guide 14 When doing the interviews for this project we decided to all visit Svanholm the five of us and split up in two groups when doing the interviews. We did that to create a better conversation with the interviewees without swamping the conversation with too many interviewers. As a frame for our interviews we built an interview guide (appendix 1) in which our questions were created around themes that would help us answer our research questions (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 40). We used the same interview guide for all of our interviewees. This was done since they all are familiar with the processes of Svanholm, although some more than others depending on how long they have lived there and also where their interests in the community lie. We tried to get information about our interviewees beforehand, but we did not get much from Jeanette so there was no way for us to really understand what our interviewees knew before the interview. If we had had more information about the interviewees we could have created individual interview guides, but with the scarce knowledge we were given by Jeanette it would have been hard to get different views and stories. Because of this we would not have been able to use or make differentiated interview guides and it made more sense to only do one. We used a semi-­‐structured approach when conducting the interviews on the background of our interview guide. We were aware of our preconceptions and used them to understand our interviewees, but tried not to influence the answers formed. This is not completely possible since preconceptions will always be present, and you as an interviewer enter into a conversation with the interviewee (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 38). One the basis of our research questions, the questions asked during the interview were formulated more like everyday questions. We did this to make the questions more relatable for the interviewees, and also as follow up questions if a deeper understanding of the topic was necessary (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 41). One final consideration was that we could have had an even better result if we had memorized the interview guide beforehand so that, we as interviewers, would have been able to hold a complete focus on the interaction with the interviewee. This would have been preferred looking back but since we were more than one interviewer per interview we were able to complement each other and diminish this issue. 15 Use of interviews All of our interviews have been recorded by two smartphones to make sure that no interviews were lost. This gave the advantage that we were able to completely focus on conducting the interviews without having to take notes. After doing the interviews we chose to transcribe and code them. This was done so that we could use quotes to back up our findings in the analysis and discussion. After conducting our interviews it has been important for us to thoroughly analyze the interviews by having many long sessions of reflective dialogue and discussion to reach the understanding needed. Reading through and listening to our interviews many times also helped us get more confident in our material and the knowledge produced (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 47). When these discussions took place we started writing the analysis since the writing process in itself also helped us reflect about how we have wanted to build and finish our analysis and discussion. Since our interviewees were not native English speakers it has been necessary to correct some of their language when using quotes from their interviews in our project to make it easily comprehensible for the reader. When doing so it has been important to us that we were as true as possible to the original quote so as little meaning as possible was lost in translation. Critique of the interview quality First and foremost we assessed the interviewees we have had access to as competent and articulate in answering our questions from many perspectives. Their answers have created much value for our efforts towards answering our problem formulation and to our project in general. As earlier described the interviewees are all knowledgeable in different fields. So when they have been asked to answer the same interview guide they have together given us a great understanding of Svanholm. It is our assessment that their knowledge has complemented the themes we sought knowledge about in a good way. In general our interviews have run smoothly. The interviews were conducted satisfiably and in accordance with the intentions of a semi-­‐structured interview guide. It let the interviewees tell us their stories in a seemingly natural way, where the flow of their story gave us what we needed. Instead of us asking them generic questions for them to answer. Though, as mentioned, our knowledge about the interview guide beforehand could have been better if we had strived to memorize the guide and keep a 16 better focus on the interaction. This would have made us, as interviewers, be more present in the conversation. Instead of sometimes looking through the interview guide to be ready for the next question when needed. Furthermore we are aware that we only did three interviews with residents of Svanholm, where maybe one or two additional interviews could have enriched our analysis even further. This is because we sought their views and individual knowledge on Svanholm, and more data would only have helped us even further in answering our problem formulation. It could also have helped us to create an even better interview guide, if we had had more information about the residents prior to the interviews. Information such as in which boards they were a member, what and where they worked (inside vs. outside Svanholm), how long they had lived at Svanholm, what their like situation looked like etc. With that information we could have designed separate interview guides designated to each of our interviewees to really understand their life world and what parts about Svanholm they had most knowledge about (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 43). Interviewing in our own and our interviewees second language might also have caused some issues. The interviewees might have had troubles with expressing their answers, and we might have been misinterpreted or unclear in our questions. We tried to get around this problem by letting the interviewees know that it was okay if they needed to switch to Danish to fully explain what they were saying. To let the interviewees have this possibility we made sure that there was a least one Danish interviewer present at every interview. Another big issue with our interviews was, as mentioned, our access to residents who we could interview. In our process to acquire people to interview and also to get a better preliminary understanding of Svanholm we went on the guided tour of Svanholm where we met Jeanette, who agreed to help us with setting up our interviews; our gatekeeper (Seidman, 2006, 43). We had the understanding, from her, that it was better that we let her take care of the contact and getting the interviewees for us. She told us it was better if we did not try to contact any of the residents on our own, since we had to respect their privacy. We were fully aware of the effects a gatekeeper can have on the outcome of a project like this. As a group we discussed if we should follow her instructions to not contact residents on our own. In the end, we decided against it and went ahead and tried to contact others from Svanholm who seemed relevant to our project. We did this to get a better representation of the different people who live at 17 Svanholm, especially one who sat in the administration and one who had been a member of Svanholm when it was established. After our interviews though, we understood that what she had done by setting up our interviews through the intranet had worked out well. Jeanette did not mind that we had contacted other relevant residents for our project. Though it had been ideal if we had had free access and also if we had had a deeper knowledge about the residents. This is of course not possible without using a long time to cultivate the relationship we have with Svanholm. Transcribing and coding of the interviews We have chosen to transcribe and code all of our interviews so that we were able to get the most out of any relevant interactions that happened during the interviews, and also to be able to use the knowledge that we got as written quotes in our project paper. Another possible way for us to have used the interviews could have been only transcribing what we found most interesting in relation to our problem formulation (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 43) but transcribing and coding them all meant that we could review the entirety of the interviews afterwards easier and thereby get more from them. When choosing the transcription strategy for the interviews we chose a simple one where the most important thing was to get the best possible translation of the verbal interaction into text. This was done by transcribing soon after the interviews had taken place so that the transcriber was still able to have a clear memory of how the unspoken communication had unfolded during the interview (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 43). This way of transcribing has helped us to be more reflective about the project’s problem area in both our discussion and analysis. Since transcribing is a form of translation of the spoken word into text, it is important to get the interviewer that did the interview, to also do the transcription. As mentioned earlier, this is because they will have better ability to understand what the interviewee meant with what was said. Two of our interviews were transcribed by an interviewer that was present at the interview, which meant that the transcription was easily conducted and if something was not completely understood then the interviewer had a clear recollection of what had happened during the interview. Our third interview transcription was done by one who had not been present at the interview which presented us with some difficulties since the transcriber in some cases were not able to get a full understanding of what was said. This meant that we had one of the interviewers, who had been present, to read it 18 through and correct any misinterpretations and misunderstandings. We could have done a new complete transcription but decided not to. Both because the quality of the transcription was as high as the two others and that we had limited time and the time we had was better spent on other parts of the project. Along with our decision to transcribe the entirety of all of the interviews, we also decided to code. This coding was meant as a “meaning condensation”, where we marked different passages from the interviews by four themes. This helped us get an overview of the knowledge that was created and also to be able to compare the different interviews to each other. Especially if a theme had come up in all of the three interviews with different opinions of the same topic then that needed to be analyzed (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 47). The four themes used when coding the interviews were: •
Personal values and ideals •
Community life at Svanholm •
The project of Svanholm •
Not covered by the three themes but could be relevant We chose these themes so that we could get the best understanding of how Svanholm is governed, how they produce value for the community and how the personal values of a Svanholmer helps create this value and in general to answer our problem formulation. Considerations when doing the qualitative interview When doing qualitative research, the use of interviews is probably the most used tool for analysis today. The main reason for this is that, when interview research is done correctly by scientists and students alike, it is seen as one of the most important and most effective ways of understanding our fellow human beings (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 30). This type of interview cannot be seen as a neutral technique to gather empirical data but rather as an active interaction between interviewer and interviewee (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 30). We have, in line with this, acknowledged our own preconceptions and the responsibility of coloring the interviews as little as possible with these. As Brinkmann and Tanggaard argues; 19 “No research interviews are fully unstructured since the conversation is always guided by the background of the scientist’s interest in getting new knowledge about something.” (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 34) The interaction that happens between the interviewer and the interviewee leads to socially constructed answers, where both interviewer and interviewee are responsible for the outcome. Howver, it is up to the interviewer to get the knowledge that is sought out of the interview. The idea, that the conversational interaction socially constructs the interview, makes the purpose of the interview to get as close to the life world of the interviewee, in order to get the best understanding of the phenomena that is researched as possible, and for us to get the best possible point of departure when writing our analysis. When conducting our interviews we came to the realization that it was necessary to get our interviewees personal opinion and stories since we were limited by the way our interviews were set up. We needed this because of the fact that more than 80 people live at Svanholm and to some extent they all have their own views of Svanholm. We do not claim that our empirical data would not be representative for the personal opinions of all of the residents of Svanholm. This does not mean the gathered data is not worth something though. The data has still given us an understanding of how Svanholm works and when answering our problem formulation this understanding is exactly what we need. Another consideration when doing interviews is the number of interviews needed for us to answer the problem formulation. How do you know when you have enough, and is it even possible to get the amount needed in order to get the best possible understanding of the phenomena. What do the limits of time and resources mean for the collection of empirical data (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 32). We have been limited by time, since we went through Jeanette, and the process of setting up interviews through email and on the intranet of Svanholm took more time than expected. We accept then that more interviews could have helped us get a deeper understanding, but know that the three interviews we got, combined with the guided tour we went on, and our observations when volunteering at their Christmas market, have given us enough data to do a thorough and relevant analysis. Furthermore, our preliminary research into 20 Svanholm, leading up to our interviews, prepared us to produce what we at the time thought to be the most relevant questions to get the best possible knowledge out of it (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 38). Observations at Svanholm We have in this project chosen to use observations in a preliminary fashion to get an introduction to what Svanholm was and how they had their community set up. In general, the main point of the observation was to learn as much about Svanholm to be better prepared for writing the interview guide and for conducting the interviews. We also asked if it was possible for us to come do some volunteer work at Svanholm after our interviews to see if it was possible to enrich our understandings and better the knowledge we had acquired out of the interviews. Jeanette agreed to it and invited us out to be a part of their Christmas market on December 7. We could have been better prepared for this field trip but accepted that it was in fact too late in the process and chose to put our focus elsewhere in the project. The strategy of the observations was to do them in a casual way without too much preparation, just to see if we could observe how they as Svanholmers worked together to prepare and execute the Christmas market. We especially wanted to see if we could observe any of the dynamics explained to us in the interviews for ourselves (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 82). It might be that there were some differences between the residents that work outside Svanholm compared to those who work at Svanholm. It might give us the opportunity to see how the dynamics of new residents versus old residents functioned. To get the most out of these observations we debriefed on the 40 minute car ride home, and as the first thing at the following group meeting. By having these discussions about our observations at Svanholm and combining this knowledge with our interviews, we were able to create a better understanding of Svanholm. Furthermore a more reflective analysis has been created where, we as student scientists, have been able to experience a small part of what was been introduced to us in the interviews. What we could have done different could have been to pay more attention to detail when doing our observations by creating a written observation strategy. This could have made us even more focused on understanding the dynamics going on at 21 Svanholm and we could also have been better at writing down field notes to use later in our project (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 85) but, as mentioned, we agreed that that time could be better spent elsewhere. Strengths and weaknesses of combining interviews and observations Since choosing interviews as our primary source of data and observations as a secondary source, we have been able to experience some of what our interviewees have told us in their interviews in real life. This made us more aware of how the structures of Svanholm work. It also helped in making us be more critical, since we are able to question some of the things that were shared with us during the interviews. As Ulrik touch upon in his interview about how there “Is a big difference between people working here (At Svanholm) and people working outside” (Ulrik, p3). We saw this when we visited Svanholm to do volunteer work, where people who worked outside Svanholm were not part of the planning in the same way, but were ready to help with whatever was needed. Another thing we noticed was how residents with more seniority were more in control of what was going on and steered some of the newer residents with their lesser seniority. This is of course not representative for all the residents, but to some extent it gave us an idea of what was going on. This deeper understanding of the workings of Svanholm has definitely made us better equipped to answer our problem formulation. When doing the observations after our interviews we had to be attentive towards any bias created during our interviews, so we were able to be as meta-­‐reflective and open as possible to observations that could be important to our project. Validity and reliability When defining the validity of the project one have to look at the gathering of empirical data, combined with the use of the theories we have chosen to answer our problem formulation. And as described earlier in this chapter we find our three interviewees relevant and competent in answering our problem formulation. An interview, without the gatekeeping of Jeanette, might have given us a different take, but after reviewing our 22 findings combined with our analysis we find that the empirical data collected is sufficient when answering the problem formulation. We do have the responsibility to make it clear to the reader that the findings of our interviews have been created through an interaction between us as interviewers and our interviewees, using a different interview guide or even three different interview guides could have created different empirical data leading to a different outcome in our analysis (Brinkmann & Tanggaard, 2010; 492). After highlighting this we also have to point out that we have been confident and reflective all the way through our method, and also in our findings and thus feel confident in concluding that we have a high level of validity in doing this project. Reliability in a project describes whether our findings are accurate and correctly executed thus if we did the interviews and observations again would we then have the same outcome. Our interviewees, had before the interviews, been introduced to our project through their intranet by Jeanette; using our written and short introduction about what the interviews would be about. This was thus brought to the attention of the interviewees and they were made aware of our intentions. However, they were not fully aware of what the interview would be about, which was also highlighted in one of the interviews, where it was asked what we should use the interviews for. Because of the semi-­‐structured interview guide and the fact that our findings have been created through a semi-­‐spontaneous social interaction. We do not believe it would be possible for us to get the exact same findings if we went to Svanholm and did the interviews again. We could have sent our complete interview guide in advance to let the interviewees prepare themselves for the interviews, but that could also have given them time to think too much about the answers and maybe then construct answers on the basis of beliefs, instead of how things actually are. So the reliability of our interviews could have been better though it seems that when conducting semi-­‐structured interviews a high level of reliability is hard to reach, and indeed might not be worth striving for. Another way we could have reached a higher degree of reliability could have been by performing pilot testing of our interview guide to see if there were any difficulties in understanding the questions of our interview guide. This has not been the case though, since all questions seemed to be understood as they were intended. 23 Critique of method First of all, the process of the project in general and also the writing of this report have been a great process where we as a group have had many and long discussions about the subjects of investigation. There has from all sides been a clear understanding of what we have thought to be the problem area though we have had some difficulties really identifying it. That has partly been because we have seen a need to relate our problem area to the SEM program. This has made us change our problem formulation more than once. Shifting our focus from what we really found interesting so that we were able to accommodate the connection to the SEM program. However, we found out at a late point in the process that it was an unnecessary concern since the problem area we addressed first was related to the field of Social Entrepreneurship after all. The long process of discussion did present us with issues when creating our problem area, since we had spent a lot of time discussing if and how we were able to have a problem area that could fit with both our motivation and with that of the SEM program. During the project writing process we got into many deep and interesting discussions that we could not use in the final paper. Since our group members are from very different educational fields and since we had many different interest we found ourselves in the process of getting deep in the themes that in the end was not used in the narrowed problem formulation. The discussions were fruitful, but it has not been used for the paper. One of our limitations as well as strengths is our choice for the case study. Our choice of Svanholm was quite straightforward. This was because of a fortunate coincidence, when we were invited on a field trip to Svanholm that was organised for the third semesters SEM master students. Our group took part in this arranged trip, where we realized that the case fitted pretty well with our field of interests. But looking back to our starting point, when we were considering to look for alternatives to society at large, we might have spent more time to search for other forms of alternative living in Denmark. 24 Empirical Context As mentioned, we see Svanholm as having many traits of a social enterprise, however explicitly defining Svanholm as such is not an easy task and maybe it is not beneficial to try to do so. In general, defining an institution as a social enterprise poses some problems. The challenge of finding one definition has resulted in an abundance of literature. But in spite of the many attempts to tackle this issue of defining the social enterprise, a consensus has not yet been reached. The field itself seems to be not only complex and diverse, but also very contextual. Many scholars have pointed to how various socio-­‐
economic contexts in various regions of the world have led to the emergence of different understandings and practices of social enterprises (Defourny et. al, 2014; Dart, 2004; Kerlin, 2010; Nichols 2010). We will first try to discuss the views on the concept of social enterprise from the point of view of the most prominent voices in the field: Muhammad Yunus and Ashoka Foundation. a) First of all, we could refer to Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist that founded the Grameen Bank in 1983 with the aim of giving credit to the poor. His success was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2006 and received global recognition. His view on social enterprise, described in details in his book “Creating a World Without Poverty” (2008), is as follows: “Social business is a cause-­‐driven business. In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. Purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company, no personal gain is desired by the investors. The company must cover all costs and make profit, at the same time achieve the social objective, such as, healthcare for the poor, housing for the poor, financial services for the poor, nutrition for malnourished children, providing safe drinking water, introducing renewable energy, etc. in a business way.” 25 While referring to them as social businesses, the primacy of their social mission is very clear. These businesses are allowed to make profit, what Yunus seems to stress very much is the retaining of the profit within the enterprise so as to serve the mission and the beneficiaries. This understanding is very much stemming from the context he lives in, where poverty is one of the biggest societal issues. His vision is that more and more companies take the path towards social businesses, and by that redefine and broaden the current economic framework so as to “create the world that we all want”. Seeing these organizations as businesses, it also clearly delimits them from NGOs that also address social issues but do so by support of philanthropic donations. b) Since Svanholm is located in Denmark, another worth mentioning view on social enterprise comes from the Council for Social Enterprise ( “A social enterprise is an enterprise that earns income through regular market terms, but uses the profit for creating workplaces for the disadvantaged or find solutions to the challenges such as related to the environment or health. It differs from e.g. voluntary work by selling products and services to the public, other companies or private consumers. A social enterprise uses the same business principles and is working under the same conditions as traditional businesses. They have the same desire to make money and the same expectations of employees.” It here seems that the Council for Social Enterprises shares to some extent the understanding of a social enterprise with Muhammad Yunus, in that they use business practices to generate income and address societal problems. A clear distinction from non-­‐profit organizations is thus made. However, it does not put a profit distribution constraint, like Yunus’ does. It also does not speak about who initiates this kind of organizations or about how they are being managed, this leaves a great openness to the definition. c) The American rooted Ashoka Foundation, on the other hand, has a vision inclined mostly towards the role of the social entrepreneur in leading the change for the better in society: 26 “The social entrepreneur develops innovative solutions to social problems and then implements them on a large scale. Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to move in different directions.” ( This definition, although not referring specifically to social enterprises, reflects their view on the necessity for bottom-­‐up movements and initiatives from visionary people that have concrete solutions to social problems. It has an understanding that citizens have the power, the resources and the solutions for their problems -­‐ which the market or government have failed in addressing. This definition does not say anything about the tactical approaches to solve the problems, and thus it leaves room to include any kind of organization that aim at a social cause, be it through income generating activities or not (i.e. NGOs or third sector organizations). These are a few examples of suggestions for a definitive definition of the social enterprise. They all emphasize different characteristics and each have a different focus. Co-­‐production and co-­‐governance are not included in many social enterprise definitions including the ones we have just mentioned. Why we consider these two concepts too important to be left out will be discussed later in the report. The above-­‐mentioned definitions have different focuses, and therefore they all seem to leave something out. In addition, they seem to be describing three different things. It can be argued that it is in fact possible to fit a ‘traditional’ enterprise with a CSR strategy into the definition of the Council for Social Enterprise. We see the field as still evolving/being underway and this might be the reason why it comes off as undefined and somewhat blurry, the same is therefore true for the definition of the institutions making up this ‘field’. A consensus on one definition that can capture all aspect of social enterprise has not yet been agreed on and we question whether such a definition is possible or even desirable. The existing definitions all seem to have one of two problems; either they are too broad; anything goes, or too narrow; nothing qualifies. Taking into consideration Young and Lecy’s (2013) analogy of the ZOO, which have been extended by Pestoff (2014b), several species of social enterprise can be revealed: a) for-­‐profit business corporations that engage in corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability 27 or corporate philanthropy; b) social businesses; c) social cooperatives; d) commercial nonprofit organizations; e) public-­‐private partnerships; and f) hybrids (Young and Lecy 2013:18-­‐20, in Pestoff, 2014b: 54). Furthermore, this zoo metaphor leads to some important questions, these include: Which species belong in the social enterprise zoo? How is each species best nurtured/taken care of? And how will the different species evolve over time? How does the species interact with their surroundings? To understand Svanholm, we accept the similarities the community has with those of a social enterprise and perceive Svanholm as one kind of social enterprise in a field of many. We do not find it relevant to try to define Svanholm as one kind or the other and do not try to find a definition that captures all kinds. We have used the EMES dimensions because they provide insight into the characteristics of the ideal type of social enterprise and thus can be a guiding tool for what we want to investigate. To definitely define Svanholm would take research 28 Theory The EMES Criteria Intention of EMES The EMES criteria are the result of an attempt to describe the characteristics of social enterprises rather than defining what goes and does not go. Most academic research on social enterprises acknowledges the wide diversity of forms, contexts and dynamics. The aim of the EMES European Research Network was to account for such diversity. Through a theoretical and empirical project the scholars were able to identify various characteristics of the social enterprise. The EMES scholars state that these characteristics were not intended as a set of conditions that an organization must meet in order to qualify as a social enterprise. In order to make this point clear, it was stressed by the scholars that these indicators describe an ‘ideal type’ rather than constituting prescriptive criteria (Defourny, 2014). The characteristics describe an abstract construction in Weber’s terms which helps scholars identify subsets of social enterprises that they want to study more deeply. Ideal Type Max Weber formulated his theory of the ideal type as a response to Heinrich Rickert’s claim that there were only two methods of conceptualization available to the scientific investigator. These were 1) The development of individual concepts which seek to preserve the uniqueness of the phenomena under investigation and 2) The development of general concepts which seek to synthesize the common elements of the phenomena (Hekman, 1983). Weber rejected this claim; that concepts used by social scientists are either individual or general in the sense described by Rickert. Weber argued, that even though social scientific analyses also seek to examine the uniqueness of a given social phenomena this is not their main purpose. Instead: “Their purpose is most often to synthesize meaningful, characteristic aspects of individual phenomena in order to explain the occurrence of social events. If concepts cannot be labeled individual, they cannot be labeled common either” (Hekman, 1983, pp. 121). 29 Weber, who by many is regarded as the father of modern sociology and hermeneutics, argues that such a sharp line cannot be drawn; individual concepts can be used to say something general, however only to a certain extent. Weber’s ideal type is an attempt to provide an epistemological basis for the concepts of the social scientist. Weber claimed that it is the ideal type -­‐ not the individual concept -­‐ that is the characteristic tool of the social scientist. The ideal type is a theoretical concept created through the selection and cultivation of certain typical features of reality by the researcher, to obtain a meaningful, coherent and manageable whole. This framework of thought is not an exact representation of reality, but highlights certain characteristics for the purpose of research, thus the ideal type should be perceived as a methodological tool in investigations of reality, not as descriptions of reality; it is a means of gaining knowledge by defining hypotheses and by characterizing phenomena. Though an ideal type is formed from characteristics of a given phenomena, it is not intended to correspond to all of the characteristics of any particular case. Instead it stresses certain characteristics common to most examples of a given phenomena. The ideal type is an idea-­‐construct and should not be mistaken with an ideal in the sense of something to be pursued. The ideal construct is not a description of the perfect thing, a moral ideal or a statistical average. It is a useful tool to analyze social or economic phenomena, by having the ideal to compare such real entities with. Thus is has advantages over Rickert’s two options described above; a very general, abstract idea or a specific historical example. The EMES Criteria As mentioned, the EMES scholars identified characteristics concerning both economic, social and governance dimensions of the ideal social enterprise through a theoretical and empirical project. These nine characteristics are referred to as ‘criteria’ in the EMES discourse and are divided into three dimensions: The social dimension: The first criterion concerns the aim of the social enterprise; it has an explicit aim to benefit the community. One of the main objectives of a social enterprise is to serve the 30 community or a specific group of people. The ideal social enterprise is an initiative launched by a group of citizens. The social enterprise is created by a group of people who shares a well-­‐defined need or aim. Thus, the social enterprise is part of a bottom-­‐up movement. Lastly, the ideal social enterprise has a limited profit distribution. The social enterprise may distribute profits, but only to a limited extent, to avoid a profit-­‐maximizing behavior. The participatory governance dimension: The second criterion describes how the ideal social enterprise has a high degree of autonomy. It is created by a group of people as an autonomous project, and it is governed by these people, not managed by public authorities or other organizations, though it may to some extent depend on public subsidies. The social enterprise has a decision-­‐making power not based on capital ownership. This criterion refers to the principle of a decision-­‐making process in which voting power is not distributed according to capital ownership or shareholders, but rather ‘one member, one vote’. The decision-­‐making rights are generally shared with the other stakeholders. The social enterprise also has a participatory nature, which involves various parties affected by the activity. Including users by allowing them to participate and be represented, involving various stakeholders and having a participative management are important characteristics of the ideal social enterprise. One of the aims of social enterprises is to further democracy at the local level through economic activity. The economic dimension: The ideal social enterprise has a continuous activity producing goods and/or selling services as opposed to having advocacy activities or redistribution of financial flows as the major activity like some traditional non-­‐profit organizations. Secondly, the group of people who start a social enterprise assume the risk of the initiative; the financial capability depends on the efforts of those people to secure the resources necessary. Thus, they carry a significant level of economic risk. The ideal social enterprise also has a minimum of paid work; it may combine monetary and non-­‐monetary resources, voluntary and paid workers (Defourny, 2014). 31 Pestoff (2014b) argues that what makes the EMES criteria unique to other descriptions of the social enterprise is the existence of the dimension ‘participatory governance’, which includes both the concept of co-­‐production as well as that of co-­‐
governance. Co-­‐production was developed as a concept within the New Public Management approach which considers public services as service processes rather than manufacturing. Co-­‐production was initially based on a synergy between the activities of citizens and the government, and it thus implies the creation of a partnership between the service users and the service providers. It aims at an effective public services delivery and sees the role of public services as the means to achieving societal ends. It has great emphasis on the experiences and knowledge of the service user in the service design and delivery (Pestoff, 2014a). Co-­‐production is more than just consulting users. Co-­‐production transforms the relationship between service users and providers, and through this transformation ensures greater influence and maybe even ownership for the user. Thus, it should be more than simply allowing the users to have a say in the design, delivery and assessment of the given service. Because co-­‐production also enhances the degree of transparency and accountability, it is assumed that it results in better service quality too. Collective acts of co-­‐production often imply collective interaction rather than just collective action, and through this collective interaction social capital, mutualism, and reciprocity is developed. Users are not just consumers and co-­‐producers of services in social enterprises; they are also member of the social enterprises. The importance ascribed to participatory governance/co-­‐governance by EMES can, according to Pestoff (2014b), be explained by several interrelated factors. Among others, he mentions how it is a key component to keeping the economic activity in line with the social activity of the social enterprise as it can help to limit or avoid mission drift. In addition, stakeholder participation can contribute to social innovation. Using the EMES Criteria There is, in our opinion, a risk that the EMES criteria can be misused; to define what a social enterprise is or should be. This is due to the discourse of EMES, which does not always signify that the scholars are describing an ideal type. In the descriptions of the criteria they tend to use phrasings such as ”in many cases”, ”social enterprises are”, 32 “social enterprises do not normally” which does not correspond very well with the intention of describing a constructed ideal type. In addition, choosing the label “criteria” in itself gives an impression of a categorizing definition rather than an ideal type. However, other aspects of their discourse underlines that they are describing an ideal type; the criteria are very relative. Phrasings such as “a limited amount”, “a significant level”, “a minimum of” and “a high degree” are used in the criteria, which makes it difficult to use the EMES criteria as an exact definition. In addition to the discourse, EMES actually claim that “ [the EMES criteria] can be used to identify totally new social enterprises, but they can also lead to designate as social enterprises older organizations that have been reshaped by new internal dynamics” (Defourny and Nyssens, 2014: 48-­‐49). Thus, they themselves argue that the criteria can be used to categorize and define rather than examine and analyze, which very much contradicts how they describe their initial intention of constructing an ideal type. EMES even state that the criteria make up a definition: “The EMES approach gave priority to the choice of various indicators which would help identify social enterprises over a concise and elegant definition” (Defourny, 2014: 25). This exactly opposes what the scholars claim to be their intention; a definition is in many ways contrasting the ideal type. Regardless of how others use the EMES criteria and of the confusion of the EMES intentions, we consider them as describing an ideal type and will use them as such rather than viewing the criteria as boxes to tick off in order to define Svanholm as a social enterprise. We have used the characteristics to identify the subsets of Svanholm that we wanted to study more deeply. We will use the EMES dimensions as a guideline for the structure of our analysis. 33 Social Capital The relevance of Social Capital We are not the first to use the EMES characteristics to identify which aspects of a social enterprise we want to study more deeply. So have Evers (2001) and Laville and Nyssens (2001) which all emphasize the importance of social capital theory when studying social enterprises. Taking into consideration social capital-­‐building makes us able to consider not just the social and economic goals of the organization. Evers (2001) developed a socio-­‐political analysis to make evident that the structure of social enterprises -­‐ which includes multiple stakeholders and multiple goals -­‐ is easier understood when making use of the theory of social capital. Evers (2001) argues that the creation of social capital also can be the objective of social enterprises. Evers (2001) argues how new forms of social and economic action often have to be conceptualized and that this is also the case with social enterprises: “The theoretical and conceptual sketch that we want to put forward suggests that to understand social enterprises we need to see them as organizations that intertwine a multiplicity of goals and resources … The argument proposed here is that studying specific resource and goal structures of social enterprises is particularly interesting when we take into account the mobilization of social capital” (Evers, 2001: 296). Evers (2001) claims that the element of social capital in the resource mix of the social enterprise is very often underestimated. He also argues that it is important to note the fact that, while third-­‐sector organizations may survive without income from sales, a certain level of social capital is fundamental for their survival. Using Putnam’s social capital theory, Evers (2001) argues that building social capital and creating trust is the key to making democracy work. The struggle for a more democratic decision-­‐making process is one of the goals of many third sector organizations; especially in the case of social enterprises. Third sector organizations structure themselves around and search for co-­‐operation with others. The actions of a social enterprise are often more than the sum of the specific services provided for individuals, because of its objective towards groups, communities or a social problem 34 area (Evers, 2001). Including citizens and volunteers as participants and co-­‐producers not only results in cost advantages for the organization, but also strengthens trust. Taking social capital-­‐building into consideration makes it possible to take into account not merely the social and economic goals of the organization, but also other dimensions and effects of its activities, which are specific to social enterprises. Taking into account social capital-­‐building as one of the goals of social enterprises, helps give more visibility to a number of their concerns about the social issues, including the democratic dimensions. Social capital-­‐building may be an aspect or effect of the actions of the social enterprise but it can also become a clear objective and purpose of the organization. Building on the EMES criteria, Laville and Nyssens (2001b) created an integrated theory of an ideal type combining the economic, social and governance dimensions of the social enterprise. Like Evers, they emphasize the role of social capital which is mobilized and reproduced by social enterprises. Laville and Nyssens (2001b) argue how social capital is a big part of the different characteristics of the ideal social enterprise. For example, a distinction between an economic resource and a factor of production is made by Laville and Nyssens (2001b). They describe how economic resources can contribute to the economic activity of an enterprise. A resource is developed into a factor of production when it becomes a part of the production process. Social capital can too be a resource within a production process and thus it can help improve the performance of the enterprise in question. In addition, it can an end in itself because it contributes to a democratization process (referring to Evers). A distinction is also made between the intrinsic and instrumental benefits by Laville and Nyssens (2001b). The concept of social capital can be linked to that of relational goods which is defined as ‘intangible capital assets that inhere in enduring interpersonal relationships’ (Laville and Nyssens, 2001b). Relational goods are valued either as an instrument or as an end in itself. The development of social capital depends, positively, on how much people value its intrinsic benefits. Thus: “In social enterprises, we can hypothesise that the accumulation of social capital, being part of the collective project, is valued as an end in itself. As Evers points out in his contribution, this is why the social enterprise not only mobilizes social capital but also reproduces it. 35 Indeed, the development of a collective project is closely tied to the mobilization of social capital” (Laville and Nyssens, 2001b: 319). Social capital will not just be used to analyze the various dimensions of social enterprises; the nature of the governance, the shared economics and the social aims of Svanholm. We also want to use social capital theory to show how Svanholm produces a lifestyle by creating social capital. Theory of Capitals As mentioned earlier, the community of Svanholm focus’ on building strong relations between its residents, so they feel they are part of a bigger whole, and family almost. This sparked our attention and raised our curiosity. Thus we wanted a part of our investigation to focus on the intra-­‐community relations and how this is affecting the ideological priorities of the Svanholm residents. Pierre Bourdieu and Robert Putnam’s work on capital theory, and especially social capital, have been selected as the theoretical tool, to further the study of the internal community relations in this project. Choosing to involve Putnam’s theories on the matter of social capital stems from observations we had during our data collection at Svanholm. We experienced in many ways that there was a strong emphasis on the social aspect of the community. Although at times Bourdieu and Putnam can be seen as being opposing ideas, we believe that in some ways the two theories of social capital can actually complement each other, in our efforts of trying to explain some of the tendencies in the Svanholm community. Bourdieu’s System of Fields Before we start describing the theories of capitals, which we will be using in our analysis of Svanholm, we thought it relevant to also give a short description of Bourdieu’s ontological theory. Since his ontology in many ways represents our own ontological ideas, but also to show how Putnam’s ideas of social capital can be seen as a part of Bourdieu’s overarching system. Bourdieu’s theoretical scientific position has been a topic of much debate. Indeed Bourdieu himself has made several comments trying to clarify the confusion. Confusion is in order when trying to specify Bourdieu to a specific school of science, since the most of his scholarly work has many sources of inspiration, and even contradicting ones at times. Hence, we will not be trying to ascribe Bourdieu as a post-­‐structuralist, critical realist, constructivist, or whatever box one might try to pry him into, since doing so 36 might lead to misinterpretations of his work. Which is also why our own ontological ideas cannot be said to be anything else than inspired by Bourdieu. The following will therefore only be a description of Bourdieu’s ontology without trying to put a label on it. One of the founding principles of Bourdieu’s theory is the idea of competing social fields of interest. Inspired by the Marxist theory of struggles between classes, Bourdieu develops this theory and he suggests that the struggle is not only related to classes based on economical terms, but indeed on interests of the agents. This is what Bourdieu calls the social realities and the various fields are competing with each other in order to gain the power to promote their own agenda’s and ideas. These fields are in a dialectical relationship with the agents acting within and around it. On the one hand the fields are objective structures that “form the basis for these representations and constitute the structural constraints that bear upon interactions” (Bourdieu 1989). Wherein the agents actions a determined by the field in which they are acting, creating what is in a way the agents habitus which is their “social inheritance, habit, or unthinking-­‐ness in actions, and ‘disposition’.” (Greenfell & James, 1998: 12). On the other hand the agent’s individual habitus is also a part of what constructs and “contributes to consitituting the field as a meaningfull world” (Bourdieu in Greenfell & James, 1998: 16). So the fields are both constitutive and constituted by the agent’s own habitus. The Fields and the agent’s relation to them should not be seen as a static entity, but in a constant motion of negotiation and re-­‐negotiation in order to gain the advantage in the “game” between the fields. This constant redefinition of the fields begs a re-­‐evaluation of what is deemed valuable within and across fields, what sort of goods, products, traits, and norms is the most amiable. Which is what Bourdieu calls the capitals. The Capitals Bourdieu (1986) has been the one who has promoted the idea that capital should not be seen just in the economic capital, form conveyed in economic theory through mercantile exchanges since “It is in fact impossible to account for the structure and functioning of the social world unless one reintroduces capital in all its forms” (Bourdieu, 1986). Bourdieu’s theory of capitals suggests that other less tangible forms of capital should be taken into consideration in order to have a more actual view on the value an agent possesses. The capitals are in the sense part of a system of exchanges of “accumulated labor”, where agents or groups of agents, can actively invest with time and effort, to 37 build up one sort of capital and convert into another through various transaction. Bourdieu proposes the distinction between three forms of capital: economic, cultural and social. In the following we will elaborate on the cultural and social capital. Cultural capital in short consists of the agent’s cultural links. Cultural capital stems from different sources in a sense, or at least the forms of cultural capital manifests itself in different ways. The Embodied State/Embodied capital as Bourdieu (1986) calls it regards the level of cultivation an agent has internalized into it. Competences such as reading and writing, knowledge, and codes of conduct, which also regards the more physical sphere of human performance such as choice of clothing or situational awareness, is a part of what makes up an agents cultural capital. This embodied capital refers in many ways to an agent’s habitus, and a lot of the embodied capital have been transmitted to and internalized by agents through its’ childhood upbringing. The objectified state is the objectified artifacts that in some way carry meaning and cultural value within them. Although the items themselves can be seen as goods within an economic capital understanding, it’s actual value stems from its’ cultural importance, and its’ properties are therefore “defined only in relationship with cultural capital in its embodied form” (Bourdieu, 1986) When an agent has in some way acquired knowledge through various educational institutions they will be given a certificate, guaranteeing the value of this knowledge. This is what Bourdieu calls the institutionalized state. It is in a way an objectification of the embodied capital an agent has acquired, Social capital is a concept that has first been used more than 100 years ago but gained more prominence since the 1970s with authors like Pierre Bourdieu, Mark Granovetter, and more recently Robert Putnam and Xavier de Souza Briggs. What is interesting to notice in Bourdieu’s perspective on social capital who defines it as “The network of relationships is the product of investment strategies [...] aimed at establishing or reproducing social relationships that are directly usable in the short or long term.” (Bourdieu, 1986). The focus is thus on the capital’s usability in the future as a mean of fulfilling self-­‐interest through a network of people the agent can call upon for help to acquire various goods or services. This network of relations the yields social capital is acquired by the agent through “an endless effort at institution” (Bourdieu 1986) meaning that agent has to actively act in accordance, or live up to the social institutional rites. When we here use the term institution it refers to both formal (collaborative 38 associations, union, clubs) and less formal ones (friendships, family, etc.). In other words you could say that if an agent wants to gain access to a certain group of people, he has to match the signs of recognition that produces said group, and in turn reproduces it as well. Social networks in this way demarcate themselves from what constitutes their mutual relations and what does not. This does not mean that the agents, once initiated, has no say in the constitution of the group, quite the opposite actually. When an agent becomes a part of a group Bourdieu argues that he becomes a custodian of said group, and in turn can be a part of “modifying the limits of legitimate exchange through some form of misalliance”. So even though an agent initially has to conform to the ways of a group, once a part of it they can be a part of redefining it. But only to some extent Bourdieu argues since “The profits which accrue from membership in a group as the basis of the solidarity which makes them possible.” (Bourdieu 1986). So Bourdieu in many ways sees the mechanics of what makes the social capital function to be the constant search for selfish gains of the agent. On the other hand, the American sociologist Robert Putnam had a slightly different approach to it. Putnam sees social capital as “the connection among individuals -­‐ social networks -­‐ and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (Putnam, 2001:19), thus a view inclined towards functionalism, towards mutuality and trust. Martti Siisiäinen captured very well the difference between Putnam and Bourdieu’s perspective: “Putnam's idea of social capital deals with collective values and societal integration, whereas Bourdieu's approach is made from the point of view of actors engaged in struggle in pursuit of their interests.”(Siisiäinen, 2001) Putnam agrees that social capital “enhances the benefits of investment in physical and human capital” (Putnam 1993), and through his research within the American framework argues that strong social communities (agents participation in clubs, volunteering, going to church etc.) within a society i.e. social capital, heightens the quality of civic life in general (Putnam 2001). The key factor that enables this social capital is not selfish gains though, but mutual trust. Putnam sees trust as an important asset of a community that “lubricates the inevitable frictions of social life” (Putnam 2001, 135). He further argues, “people who trust others are all-­‐round good citizens, and those engaged in community life are both more trusting and more trustworthy” (Putnam 2001, 137). A way to measure this 39 effectiveness of the trust relations is to look at the levels of trust within networks, which he separates into two: thin trust and thick trust. Thin trust is the one found between people that rarely interact with each other or complete strangers, “the generalized other”, while thick trust in embedded in strong relations to people we know very well. Putnam (2001: 137) claims “thin trust is even more useful than thick trust because it extends the radius of trust beyond the roster of people whom we can know personally.” Of course, trust between people, organizations and businesses will be based on different principles, but according to Putnam, the higher the trust, the more effective the relation is because the conditions do not need to be negotiated each time. Another quality of social capital, as seen by Granovetter (1973), lies in the strength of ties which he defines as a “combination of the amount of time, the emotional intensity, the intimacy (mutual confiding), and the reciprocal services which characterize the tie”. Granovetter thus classifies ties into strong, weak and absent: strong ties are the ones with people with whom one shares intimate issues; weak ties are linking people perceived as distant acquaintances; and absent ties stem from either the lack of any relationship or from a relation between people that does not have any important significance. Continuing the work of Granovetter, Putnam (2001: 22-­‐23) discusses two different ways of developing social capital: bonding and bridging. Bonding social capital is an inward looking activity and rather exclusive, which usually occurs between people that are similar to each other, reinforces homogeneous groups and can be seen frequently in family and friendship relations, as well as ethnic groups, religious organizations etc. On the other hand, bridging social capital is an outward looking activity and more inclusive by encompassing different kinds of people and spanning over “diverse social cleavages”. Bonding and bridging can occur at the same time and are not mutually exclusive. One network of people can make use of bonding social capital within itself, while at the same time bridge with other networks or people. This segregation is therefore aimed at highlighting different dimensions of social relations that can make comparisons possible. Bonding and bridging social capital can provide important social value depending on the way they are being used. In the words of Putnam (2001: 22), “bonding social capital is good for undergirding specific reciprocity and mobilizing solidarity”, mainly because 40 they benefit of thick trust relations that create loyalty and encourage mutual help and support. Conversely, Putnam (2001:22) states that bridging social capital is “better for linkage to external assets and for information diffusion”. As Granovetter was discussing in his paper “The strength of weak ties” (1973), the links with distant acquaintances become valuable because they can give access to different information and the possibilities for new ideas to circulate are higher when bridging over weak ties. This is how weak ties are seen as more valuable for job seeking, for example. On broader terms, it is also bridging social capital that gives a high potential to engage masses of people in civic movements. Xavier de Souza Briggs complements these ideas when he states that bonding social capital is “good for ‘getting by’, but bridging social capital is crucial for ‘getting ahead’. We choose to see these two ideas of social capital from Bourdieu and Putnam not necessarily just as conflicting concepts, but also somewhat as mentioned earlier as complementing ones. Even though Bourdieu and Putnam has very different points of view on the motivations for that gives rise to accumulation of social capital, we still believe that Putnam’s ideas does not break with the Bourdieu’ian ontology of competing fields and agents. We see Putnam’s concept of trust, bonding and ties merely as a ”how” that enables the agents and groups of agents to accumulate social capital. Although the intention between agents actions can be seen as being different, where social capital from Bourdieu’s perspective is built with the intention of getting ‘ahead of the game’, and in Putnam it relates to the ideas of community building. Both concepts agree that social capital is a resource that benefits the possessors of it. Within our theoretical framework we see Bourdieu as the overarching system where capitals can be exchanged and converted, and Putnam’s concepts of trust as the way in which social capital in particular is constructed. 41 Analysis The social dimension In order to answer our problem formulation we will discuss different aspects of life in Svanholm to see what strengths and challenges these bring in maintaining their way of life. We will do so mainly by using the capital theory presented earlier. Moreover, we will also be keeping in mind the three criteria from the social dimension put forward by EMES in their view of social enterprises as analytical tools. These were: the aim to benefit the community, the initiators of this community as well as the “production” of their own lifestyle, which in a way could be seen as a service they co-­‐create. The beginnings of Svanholm Two families who invited other like-­‐minded people to join them in creating a large-­‐scale community initiated this unique place. The ad, which was published in 1977, said "We want to contact people of all ages and all walks of life who want to help create a better lifestyle" ( From the perspective of EMES criteria, Svanholm is undoubtedly launched by a group of citizens that shared the similar ideas and aim. The Svanholm pioneers had a goal -­‐ to build a better lifestyle, which meant living together (even literally in the same building) and sharing everything they had equally (they had common budget with the same amount of pocket money regardless of one’s incomes). The embodied cultural capital of the starters of Svanholmers can clearly be seen here, and our interviewees named it in short with the description of “hippies”, which basically refers to people pursuing alternative lifestyle, free from societal restrictions. It is interesting to notice that although over the time the fundamental ideals remained the same for Svanholmers, the focus and extent has changed in order for community to survive. One of the major challenges came from people feeling that what they got left from the personal income was an insufficient for them. As Jeanette explains, “The situation was that people who had a good income didn’t want to join. Because they felt it was too expensive. They had to give everything.” People who had a high income were not willing to pay everything for the lifestyle that Svanholm was offering. Therefore in order to sustain the community and attract more newcomers, “the fee” for joining Svanholm had to be changed. They decided to change the contribution to the 42 communal fund from 100% of the residents’ salary to 80%, even at some dissatisfaction from some of the residents. Jeanette tells us about the reaction from some of them: “It was so fundamental that it was shared economics. <…> Yeah, some people got very mad and left, and some people stayed here, but were very mad about the decision because it was squeezing the community in a way that that they didn’t want.” It is not just in the economic area that there have been made changes from the original structure of Svanholm. Also the majority housing arrangements are now organized is also different than originally: “When the community started everybody was living in living groups, smaller communities. Nowadays most people have their own apartments because habits are changing.” The motivation to keep up with time is simply to keep Svanholm attractive for people to join the community. Svanholm would not be an attractive option if they did not try to keep up with some of the values of the “outside”. They simply had to change their structure since the “needs of the people living in Svanholm are changing” (Jeanette). We observe here an aspect discussed in the theory section from Bourdieu, namely that even though an agent initially has to conform to the ways of a group, once a part of it they can be a part of redefining it. The change in how the home of Svanholm is organized might indicate another change. If in the beginning, due to the similarity if their cultural capitals, people were more comfortable to live together under the conditions that they did, they also enjoyed a stronger social capital from the bonding relations that, as Putnam (2001) argues, reinforces exclusive identities and homogeneous groups. With more and more people from the outside joining the community, this homogeneity might have been reduced, which also could have affected the strength of the ties and the bonding of social capital. What seemed to stand in the way of the initial ideals was the economic capital, in both the form of money and personal goods necessary for a living. If that is the case, we notice a change, although very subtle, towards individualism and fulfilling of self-­‐interest, which confirms to some extent Bourdieu’s thinking of the habitus. Whether these changes occurred as a result of an accumulated hindrance of the people living there, or it came with the influx of newer people from younger generations that have had the influence of the modernization of society that promotes the need for personal growth and materialism, is hard to say. Nonetheless, Jeanette is in favour of the change since “If Svanholm didn’t change our 43 habits, we wouldn’t have Svanholm”. Jeanette believes that Svanholm needs to keep up with time and “if the difference in what we can do and the people outside can do is too big then we feel squeezed and maybe we have to do some changes”. Jeanette in particular talks the most about how things have changed from the way it used to be, both because she is the one among our interviewees, who has lived at Svanholm the longest, but also -­‐ we assume -­‐ since she has been in charge of the tours at Svanholm. She has, in this way, made herself familiar with the history of the community and she notices changes in the way the community is organized. Hanne sees this as a very conscious decision: “Svanholmers discussed whether they should just become like a place where old people live because many of those who moved in the beginning they are getting older and older and many people are in their 50s and 60s and there wasn’t so many people living here. So they decided to build that building so new families get in.” The community had to become better at bridging with the outside to attract new families that could help sustain the community and keep Svanholm afloat. As Bourdieu would say, the newcomers have brought economical capital that was transferred into the social one, and by becoming a resident of the community one had to commit a major part of his/her incomes. In return he/she got a lifestyle that Svanholm would call “better”. But what is this the “better” lifestyle? How is it special? What kind of services do the residents get in Svanholm? These and other relevant themes we discuss in the following sections. Lifestyle as a service Life in Svanholm differs quite a lot from that of the rest of society, and one of the biggest differences is that the members have a shared economy. By paying 80 proc. of their incomes into a common budget they get a “Svanholm lifestyle package” with a lot of tangible and intangible goods included. Housing and its maintenance, transportation (cars, electric bikes, bikes) and other common living expenses such as food, electricity, heating and childcare are covered. One could say that for the 80 proc. of income this could be easily covered. But what makes the Svanholm-­‐lifestyle special is the intangible goods and services that residents get. The members can enjoy a natural environment of forests and fields that the community owns, as well as a great variety of domestic animals such as horses, goats and rabbits that they do not really have to take care of. 44 Everyday shopping, menu and cooking are also not an object of their concerns. The food is being prepared for them and it is high quality, organic and often “home grown”. Children have a high priority in Svanholm. A safe and enriching environment is created which they can share with many other kids who live in the community. Besides that, parents do not have to waste time by taking children to school. The community has a bus that brings them to, and back home from school. Moreover if residents have smaller kids -­‐ it’s even easier: the kindergarten is set in the heart of Svanholm by the former manor house where even an additional teacher recently has been hired to ensure the quality of the service. To sum up the residents have a high quality of life in terms of environment, food, transportation, housing, childcare services and what is even more important for most of the residents -­‐ extra free time that can be spent with their families or friends in the community or by doing whatever one favours. From our perspective, these services and goods that residents of Svanholm get help make up the lifestyle of Svanholmers. We see this lifestyle as the main service that is being continuously produced by the community. In that sense, the residents become co-­‐producers, not only consumers, of this service. There are many other important features to add about the lifestyle of Svanholm. The next aspect that we wanted to look at, is the requirements of becoming a member of the community, which are pretty strict considering the community’s need for income. Requirements to join Svanholm Although the community is in need for more income, which among other things would mean getting more newcomers in Svanholm, they are quite picky when choosing who should move in. In order to join the community one has to meet many requirements and as stated on the website: “There are some written and unwritten rules about whom we can and want to accept in our community”( Looking from Bourdieu’s perspective the “written” rules are the economic capital. Due to a big financial debt, Svanholm cannot accept people who have big debts themselves, who are under education or who could not guarantee a stable level of income. Single parents with more than one kid are also not welcomed by the community for the same reasons. This simply shows that the community has an interest in gaining more income by having more residents in the community ( 45 Nevertheless, it is important to notice that one’s economical capital is certainly not the biggest interest of Svanholm. Social and cultural capital sometimes can outweigh, and as it is stated on their website: “[sometimes ed.] we choose to break our own rules, if arguments for it are good enough” ( Hanne’s statement illustrates well that the community cares a lot about who they live with: “It's important so when people want to live here, that the best people move in. That we don't take someone just for economical reasons if we don't think… well... is this good for the community? That we can choose the ones that are the best and who do good and will fit in”. Using once again the capital forms, what Hanne refers to can be seen as the cultural capital and the potential to integrate well in the community to enhance the social capital. Although they acknowledge individuals as such with different personalities, opinions and goals, they still seek newcomers who to some extent share the values and ideals of Svanholm as a whole. In addition, even if a person meets economical requirements and agrees with common principles of the community then she/he still has two weeks of “open-­‐face”. In this period both parties have the opportunity to experience each other and make a final decision. Before potential residents move in, the community tries to get to know them better. The contact group makes sure to inform the community about newcomers via intranet and by posters in the common kitchen. Moreover, the newcomers get a host family that arranges meetings with different people where they can get to know the community’s culture and people living there better. As Ulrik said regarding this two-­‐
week period: “is part of the process just to be visible about who’s is in the middle of the process of moving in, because we want to make sure that the new comers meet as many people as possible before they move in. <...> we need to find out if this is the place where we want to live in and they or the people living here need to find out are these people, who we want to let in to our joined living”. It is interesting to notice that Ulrik, when he talks about the community, uses two different pronouns: ‘we’ and ‘they’. One of the reasons for this unintentional mix could be that Ulrik is still a very new resident at Svanholm (since May 2014) and he is in the 46 transition of becoming a “Svanholmer”. Another reason could be that, as a newcomer, Ulrik is still considering “if this is the place where we want to live”. Via the open-­‐face period all of the community’s members can express their opinion and they all have to reach a consensus about whether the newcomer will be moving in or not. The possibility and power that each member has in rejecting a newcomer shows the importance of unity and solidarity, which they have and want to sustain. The economical criterion is just the primary filter that has no big significance later on. What is most important is that newcomers would match with the community and would be able to contribute to the community life. One might of course argue that there is a degree of discrimination by not allowing anyone in the community. However, this must be seen in the light of the fact that Svanholm is their home and in order to be able to maintain their social capital, which is functioning almost like a “family”, they need people who can actually integrate into their way of life and with the people that live there. Furthermore once one becomes a resident in Svanholm she/he can stay and live there for good. It is one of the unwritten rules at Svanholm that they do not kick out someone from the community. Therefore, to maintain a good social atmosphere, the residents have to get along well or solve their conflicts constructively. Jeanette illustrates this by comparing the community with a family: “as we don't kick out anybody we have to live with them, and that means we have to try to make it work, it's a little like being a family”. Also worth mentioning is Hanne’s statement: “when you’re moving here, you are just certain that you will have good neighbours”. What this shows is that there is a high degree of expectation for people outside Svanholm that when moving in, they will get a good social life and atmosphere. This is another reason why Svanholmers try to make sure that just the “right” people will move in, meaning the ones that would match and contribute to the communal living. Moreover, if we consider the lifestyle a service then we have to note that the members are fully involved and responsible for this rather delicate and peculiar “product” that they are producing. They all become not just consumers but also co-­‐producers, stakeholders and partners, thus newcomers have to be carefully selected. And it seems that community are managing it pretty well. Their ideals have not shifted too far away, contrary, they have started to focus even more on their initial goals such as sustainability, which has been emphasized by new generation of residents. 47 Motivation for moving in Another aspect we want to discuss about Svanholm is the motivation for people to move in because it reveals to us more some of the expectations to the ideals of Svanholm (perceived by the residents) and in turn an understanding of the lifestyle created at Svanholm. The reasons why people move to Svanholm varies, but the ones that we managed to figure out were based on values and ideals that closely resembles the ones that Svanholm has: sustainability and communal living. Jeanette describes how the people who get into the community now, are seeking more communion: “they have this stronger feeling that it's not so much about ‘me’, it's about ‘us’ and that's actually the reason why they seek Svanholm”. In a way, it can be seen as people going against the wave of materialism and self-­‐interest of the society today, towards a feeling of togetherness and belongingness. A safe and playful environment surrounded by nature is another reason for young families to move in. According to Jeanette Svanholm is a paradise for the children. And Hanne, who used to live at Nørrebro, confirms that by comparing her life before and now: “If we would live in Nørrebro, he [her son ed.] couldn't go anywhere on his own. And I know [since they live in Svanholm ed.] if he would need help, there would be people all around <…>.And very often the big kids they help the smaller kids”. It seems that among the community members thick mutual trust exists and creates a safe environment. Reciprocal, trustful relationships become a natural part of life in Svanholm from early age, which is an important and unique feature of life in the community. When asked whether Hanne thinks if her kids are going to have different values from growing up in Svanholm than they would in the suburbs, Hanne responds: “Yeah, I am sure they will ... some of the other kids [her son’s classmates ed.] they don't want to go home to other kids where they haven’t visited. They want their mom to go with them. And my son is like: "Oh, great! I am invited at some place"[…] I think people say about him that he is very like.. grounded, like he is feeling secured of himself”. This confirms that Putnam’s theory of social trust can be seen as a big factor in the choice of moving in. 48 Ulrik’s motivation for moving in was also the social aspect, but especially an ambition to live more sustainably: “we wanted to move back to the countryside, to be able to live a little bit more sustainable, environmentally friendly. It wasn't possible in the city and we didn't want to move out to a place where … you had no idea who your neighbours were.” To Hanne’s family sustainability was also a part of the motivation: “and we thought that we would like to live in a place where people would like to do something together and take responsibility together and that fit quite well to this place and my husband is in the environmental business and for him it was important that we are taking care of the environment... So that was a big thing for him”. As Jeanette describes, during the last years, Svanholm had many newcomers moving in, Jeanette calls them the “new generation” because they are mostly young families with kids, who seek the community feeling and also have a great interest in creating a more sustainable way of living. They believe Svanholm is a great place for them since it can fulfil their needs. Though the shared economy means that many things are much easier to be gained: “How much we can do with the shared economics that we couldn't do if we just paid the rent for our apartments”. (Jeanette) Jeanette describes how sustainability has always been a subject for discussion in Svanholm, but they were not able to act on their ideals, especially due to budget restraints. It seems however that the newcomers are taking action and doing what it takes to make sure there is room for their initiatives in the negotiation of the budget: “Now we really have to do it. And everybody felt so good about it. It feels so, especially because some of the things we're going to do doesn't cost any money, it's more a mentality change” The newcomers’ attitude towards sustainability is expressed through their actions. For example they purchased electrical cars and thus converted economic capital into objectified cultural capital while also increasing the economic capital in the long run because the electrical car is a good investment. They are able to take these actions because of their institutionalized cultural capital, Hanne’s husband, for example, has an education as an environmental economist. The cultural capital that newcomers bring -­‐ such as education, experiences and knowledge -­‐ contributes to the vision and ideals of Svanholm, or at least to the execution of the ideals thus creating the lifestyle they aspire 49 to have. This is one of their strengths: to be able to select and attract the “right” people who not only matches, but also contributes to the community. In the end, what the discussion about motivations for moving really underlines is the relation to the EMES ideal that: a social enterprise should have a specific aim to benefit the community. It is interesting in the case of Svanholm that there are two sides of the word “community”. On one hand they are a benefit to their own eco-­‐village and personal lives as just mentioned. On the other hand, we can see it on a broader scale that they benefit the larger society through their efforts to reduce their environmental footprint. Their desire to be an inspiration for other people in that it is possible to lead a “better lifestyle” is also an effect of the community. This view is shared among all our three interviewees and will be discussed further in the section below. Changes towards the ”better life” As we mentioned before, the ideals of Svanholm remained the same over time, but the focus has changed. One of the most significant changes that occurred was a bigger focus on sustainability, which was initiated by new families. In the society at large, the change of interest towards sustainability and ecology has happened as well. Recycling, carbon footprint, organic food and other environmental issues have become a common subject of concern. It could be worth mentioning that “universal market laws” might have caused the change within Svanholm. The community adapted to these tendencies and needs in the society and willingly strengthened their focus in order to become more appealing to newcomers. This point we can notice in Jeanette’s account: “Everybody wants to live more sustainably and … we have had some debate days through the whole life of the community, we had some longer discussions about how to be more [sustainable ed.], but we didn't do so much because when we came to the budget period … then there was an economic reality saying "okay it would be good to change this and this but this year we can't", but these people, […] they say "okay we want this and this money for an unspecified issue in sustainability " -­‐ okay! Now we have to, now we really have to do it. And everybody felt so good about it. It feels so, especially because some of the things we're going to do doesn't cost any money, it's more a mentality change”. This goes in line with Bourdieu’s theory, which stated that agents have a selfish interest in accumulating capitals. The theory helps us to explain the dynamics of how the new 50 members of the group introduce the change. In order to gain access to the community, newcomers had to match the “signs of recognition”, but once they were in, then the new residents could influence the community -­‐ “modify the limits”, by reinforced ideas of sustainability. Bourdieu also mentions that modification is possible to some extent. In this case the alteration was not extreme, since the newcomers caused the already stated ideals to be taken more seriously and ensured that action would be taken in accordance to them. With newcomers moving in, capital transformations also took place in Svanholm. Newcomers brought cultural capital in the shape of interest, knowledge and values, which influences the rest of the community. And the community seemed to be willing and eager to change. In addition to organic farming and production of around 2/3 of their own electrical and heating energy needs (, they recently started a forestry based on permaculture. And now they are focusing on getting their old cars replaced by electric ones, which is also a newcomer -­‐ Ulrik’s big interest. The community is seeking sustainability and is trying to make environmental friendly choices possible in the everyday life for Svanholm’s residents. Although our interviewees did not respond explicitly on how sustainable Svanholm manages to be, Ulrik made a remark: “I think we are much better than 80 people would be alone”. This shows again how the accumulation of capitals and efforts has a potential to lead to higher value returns. We could further say that these innovative initiatives that have been taken at Svanholm come as a result of the bridging social relations with taking in new comers. As Putnam would say, bridging networks help in information diffusion and Xavier de Souzza Briggs would add that it is a mean for “getting ahead” and development of the community. This sustainable mind-­‐set also goes in line with one of the EMES criteria, which says that the social enterprise aims “to serve the community” and “promote a sense of social responsibility at the local level”. Besides doing that in their own community, Svanholm is a pioneer in the organic farming, besides recently starting courses in permaculture. They see this new initiative as an “innovative framework for creating sustainable ways of living” ( They seek to educate and inspire people to live more sustainably and foster environmental friendly behaviour. The kindergarten in Svanholm also has a special focus on that. As we have learned from the 51 first visit to Svanholm, according to Jeanette children in the kindergarten know more about nature and sustainability than most adults outside the community. Svanholm is much more than just an eco-­‐village; it is a community where the social life is highly valued. Svanholmers see it as a great quality and therefore seek to inspire people to live more socially by setting an example. One of the ways is through the café and guided tours, which Jeanette is responsible for. The café and the tours have many purposes, but among the traditional ones, like generating profit, there is a unique with a kind of hidden agenda -­‐ to educate and inspire people to live differently. And this agenda does not only concern a sustainable behaviour. Jeanette’s shared experience can illustrate that well: after walking around and telling about the community: “they [pensioners ed.] start to think over if lives could be lived in other ways that they did, and that's the main thing we want. If they come home and if they live nearby each other and they make a dinner club, every two weeks they meet and eat together, that's a goal.” Another purpose of the tours and Café that goes well with the hidden one is to reach the target audience of potential newcomers. This purpose we elaborate in the further chapter The Finance of Svanholm. In short, it seems that community has a mission -­‐ they seek to improve lifestyles: their own and by their example other citizens. Of course, the improvement of lives is based on their own understanding and their own experiences of what is this “better life”. Svanholmers aim for more sustainability, environmental friendly behaviour and they highlight the social aspect of the community life as well. Being a member of Svanholm Since the social life is highly valued in Svanholm, we believe it is important to look at it closer and elaborate more on the processes that occurs once newcomers move in. Even though the community seemed to be picky regarding new residents, but once they are in, Svanholmers are open and friendly. All our interviewees agreed that it was not difficult to get to know others and become part of the community: “people were so friendly and glad to meet us, very welcoming” (Hanne). Jeanette gives us an expressive illustration of the point: “the moment I stretched out my hand they [the community ed.] helped me”. This does however seem like a contrast of the impression of a picky 52 community. It might be so because we only had the opportunity to talk with the ones who have chosen Svanholm and have been chosen and “approved”. Therefore our interviewees might only have positive experiences to share, but the positive outcome is not always the case. As it is acknowledged on the website, sometimes the community choses “to reject some people straight away instead of them having to go through a long and painful process leading to failure” ( Sometimes people move out after living there for a while for various reasons. We choose not to elaborate on the subject since it is not very relevant to our problem formulation, but shift our focus to the membership. As Jeanette claims, just the act of becoming a member of Svanholm changes the relationships with community significantly: “as I found out that I chose Svanholm I was very surprised how happy people were: “now you became a member of the community!” Because I didn’t exactly know that there was such a big difference between members and not members.” It is interesting to note that this act made such a big difference although Jeanette knew the community form when she was working and living there for around 4 years, before becoming a member. It seems that this formality of becoming a member changed the perception and attitude of the community radically. She became one of them, a member of the extended family, which means that the newcomer becomes trustworthy and is committed to share and carry responsibility together. It goes in line with Putman’s social capital theory where he talks about bonding’s impact on mutual trust, which enhances solidarity, reciprocal help, and support. Jeanette’s statement confirms this: “it is also because we do share our economy and we share our place. We carry it together and the more hands we are the better the place will survive.” However, from Bourdieu’s point of view this act would be seen as the search for selfish gains. Interesting to note is that selfish gain was not apparent Jeanette’s perspective. She was not very interested in becoming a member, because she did not know that there was a difference, while the community seemed very happy and keen on having her as resident. It gives an impression that the community had, in Bourdieu’s terminology, a selfish interests to have one more member that would contribute to the common budget and would help to carry the responsibility. From Jeanette’s case we could also see the mechanics of capitals accumulation and transformation in Svanholm. Jeanette by becoming member of Svanholm brought 53 her economic (80 proc. of her incomes) and cultural capital (professional skills and knowledge) into community and got social capital in return, which in her case was support and help that she needed a lot at the time. Activities in Svanholm Active social life in Svanholm plays a big role in the lifestyle there. There are many organized and spontaneous happenings in Svanholm, which does not accrue so naturally in the society at large. Community’s members spend a lot of time together: everyday they have dinners, Friday bar every week, a couple of times per month they each have kitchen and cleaning duties, the Fællesmøde (communal meetings) once a month and many more unplanned activities arise just by being a member of Svanholm. From our interviewees we got an impression that invitations for dinner or coffee, offered help or advice are a natural part of life there. People enjoy and are eager to socialize, as Hanne says:” I just enjoy that there are nice people living around me who I know would like to share and like to help and would like to talk”. The community members also feel a mutual responsibility for each other and their wellbeing: “We are very concerned about each other having a good health and having a nice stay”. It simply shows that there is a high level of trust and strong ties among the members that work, as Putnam would say, like social glue; improving the quality of life in many aspects. That might also be seen as one more of the great strengths in communal living. On the other hand, could everything be so idealistic about living in Svanholm? Could social capital be exchanged just with an economic one? Even though the mechanics of capital conversion seems pretty simple, it is only so in theory. By moving in, one brings his/her economic capital and become a member of the community. The newcomer gains access to a broad social network, many different activities, and have the possibility to live more sustainable than in society at large. But strong ties have to be gained over the time. To become close with strangers as with family members one cannot just move into a very friendly community. It does take time. This could be noted from the interview with Ulrik, who has lived there for just about half a year. When we asked how he experienced the community life here since he moved in, Ulrik paused for a while and then referred to a difference between people working here and outside: “…and again it is a big difference between people working here and people working outside. And I think we have, we can improve like including all of us in in the 54 community work, or whatever do you call, on the practical level. And I think we are not really good at this. We could be better at least.” It seems that there is a big difference in social life between people who spend a lot of time at Svanholm, meaning the ones that both live and work there, and the ones that leave for a work outside community. Ulrik, as the one who has to leave, seems to be lacking social interaction and inclusion in the community. He reflects on the ways in which it could be solved and one of them are by more engagement in the small practical tasks of the community. When we asked Ulrik, is there is anything that he lacks in Svanholm, he revealed missing his social life: “My roots are not here and of course since I just moved here ... and my friends are in Copenhagen. Some think that it's a really good idea. But there was no problem that we would like to move out here. Maybe they would all move other places, out of cities, somewhere else. But it would be way easier, if my social life was here as well. Of course I have some social life here as well. But it's different because it's not people that I have known for many years in the same way. So that's what I lack out here.” Even though Svanholm is known for emphasising the social aspect of the communal living, it cannot replace the relationships that have been built over many years suddenly. It does have many social resources but to build up a social capital, time is needed. However, it is interesting to note that even though newcomers have to struggle for gaining strong ties with the community, the trust is already there once a newcomer commit and move in. That we could see form Jeanette’s statements that we already have discussed earlier. That is a big difference and contrast with society at large, that people just by moving in gain a thick trust and, interesting to note, that the trust is gained by economical capital, by shared economics. This could be illustrated by Jeanette statement: “The big difference between Svanholm and people outside in the real world, is that we do have shared economics. We have the trust that we in common can manage our total economics together, and it's a big trust if you, if you earn 450 [450 thousands per year ed.] and you put it into the community, you get more in the hand than other people, but still most part of your income go into the community to be taken care of in common.” 55 By agreeing on the shared economic structure, one commits to Svanholm, which means sharing responsibility for all the community. The responsibility becomes a strength and a big social value to the community. Hanne’s statement illustrates that well: “we are less vulnerable because we are so many helping each other”. But on the other hand shared responsibility could become quite challenging if we would consider the risks that might happen. The community is committed to each other for the rest of their lives. It is like being responsible for a family member. But when it comes down to the economic situation it could become a big burden if one or a part of the “family members”, who works outside and brings economical capital to community, decided to move out. Or if people who do not match with community’s values and ideals move in, this could have quite dramatic consequences for the whole community. The very flat structure of Svanholm means that there is a shared responsibility, and this might cause some issues in terms of taking initiatives and making changes: “that's also the biggest issue, that's also the biggest challenge that we have, that we don't have any bosses” (Jeanette). Is seems that there might be a risk if everybody is responsible for everything, and no one has specifically assigned responsibilities, then nobody might actually do anything about an occurring issue or opportunity. Jeanette mentioned that the individual residents must be pro-­‐active otherwise nothing happens. From Jeanette’s point of view we could note that the flat governing system is not always advantageous. This leads to the following chapter about the governance structure in Svanholm that is one more distinct quality, which calls for further discussion. Sub-­‐conclusion To sum up our discussions so far for the social dimension of Svanholm, it seems that social and cultural capital are two very important pillars in building the community and their way of life – “a better lifestyle”. In that sense, social life has great value and importance in community. It is definitely one of their greatest strengths, since they have high trust and strong ties, which leads to a high social capital accumulation. This is made possible through how the community structures its social, work and governance life, on the premises of sharing and co-­‐production, discussed in details above. Effective bonding relations thus occur between rather homogeneous people in the ideals they strive for as motivations for moving into the community (i.e. the embodied cultural capital). Having in mind all the 56 social life aspects of Svanholm, we could say that Svanholm’s way of life is the “service” that it produces for its residents. What is most interesting here is that the residents are in fact co-­‐producers of this different lifestyle. In building their capitals and converting them into one another, various challenges have been observed. To begin we can see it in the way they are sharing their economic capital, through the collective fund, has changed in time. The initial principle of giving 100% of your income, seemed to some, if not many residents to leave insufficient pocket money: the members had to give everything and had very little for themselves. Svanholm struggled to generate more income, because the biggest income generating service – the lifestyle, was not attractive for potential newcomers. That had to be changed for the community to survive, and it showed in the way they opened up to newcomers. Bridging relations that brought new people to their collective, might explain how Svanholm was redefined by its new residents (seen as agents by Bourdieu)-­‐holders of potentially different cultural capitals. That has posed challenges for Svanholm during its history, but in the end they proved to be beneficial and strengthening their vision and acts of sustainability. The new structure of their homes and the collective fund, as well as realizing the need for more openness towards the outside society and new comers has all been made to ensure that Svanholm is an appealing place for modern people to live. After the contribution to the communal fund was changed, new families moved in. The community made sure to select the “right” people to move in, who would match and would contribute to the communal living. We see this as one of Svanholm’s strengths, because they manage to attract people not only with the right economical capital, but also with a specific cultural capital that matched with the community ideals and even helped in reinforcing them. Newcomers were very motivated and active in starting and leading sustainable projects in Svanholm. It was very beneficial for the community of lifestyle improvement especially in terms of sustainability (innovation through bridging networks). At the same time, this selectiveness is also a challenge for them because even though they arrange different ways to get to know the potential newcomers before moving in, they cannot know for sure how well they will integrate into their community. They do take a risk because of their unofficial rule of not kicking people out. 57 In addition, because of the shared responsibility, they have “a security net” for the rest of their lives once they are in. But on the other hand, it could easily become a burden for the community in case of it residents getting old and not being able to attract young and working newcomers, or in the case of not well fitting people moving in. During the last couple years Svanholm has become more open to the society at large both for enhancing economic capital and social capital. With their new initiatives, such as the Café, guided tours, permaculture course, they started promoting their lifestyle, what could be seen as advantageous not only for their own community, but also for the society and environment. The governance dimension This part of the analysis will give an account of how some residents at Svanholm experience the governance of Svanholm. The analysis will show how the three capital forms, social, cultural and economic play a role in the consensus based governing structure at Svanholm, as well as what are the challenges and specific strengths that the community meets when maintaining this structure. Consensus Among Members Every last Tuesday of the month the community has the “Fællesmøde” -­‐ a meeting for all the residents of Svanholm that lasts for 2.5 hours and in which they decide on various topics concerning the whole community. Besides the Fællesmøde, there is a smaller council called FÆR – Fællesmødets Repræsentanter, which consists of 5 elected residents, whose function is to be representatives of the larger community, taking care of smaller issues, and prepare the monthly meetings to make them go along smoother. The community does not have any sponsors or is governed by the state. Of course the community has to function on equal and legal terms as any other citizen or organisation in Denmark. Internally all the decisions on how they govern and organize themselves, are made by the residents. There is a very high degree of autonomy within this structure, a trait from the aforementioned EMES criteria. Consensus based governing is one of the founding premises of Svanholm and is in our view another major strength of this collective. The residents of Svanholm all knew and agreed to the consensus structure when they moved into the community. As Ulrik puts it they all “agree on agreeing”. Ulrik says in relation to the consensus structure: “I think it makes us better to look at the common good in some way and ensures that we 58 actually agree when things are decided”. In that sense, they also have to abide by this way of governing and adhere to a mindset where everything is up for debate and not one person has the final word. How this benefits the community will be discussed in the section to follow. As we have pointed out earlier, every member of Svanholm pays 80% of his or her income to the community fund. This, in turn, also means that every resident has equal rights, and becomes a valued stakeholder of the community, when it comes to decision making at the communal meetings where “everybody is allowed to speak (Ulrik). Since everyone pays and equal percentage of what they earn to the community, the process of decision-­‐making is to some extent based on “capital ownership”, or better said, on membership, but is not influenced by whether or not a resident pays more or less. Equality and democracy is at the roots of Svanholm’s governance. What is influencing the decision-­‐making in the community is what Ulrik himself explains as social capital “of course some people… Social capital… when certain people say a thing then of course it means more than when others do”. Some residents who might have a better network, longer experience in the community, or higher standing, might have more success getting their ideas through, since they will be able to have more people argue in their favour and agreeing with them. With Bourdieu, however, we can argue that social capital is actually the higher valued capital in the community, and the agents who are able to accumulate more social capital than others will have more diplomatic success at the meetings. This raises the question of how far we can extend the understanding of what “capital ownership” as described in EMES ideal entails. In some ways Svanholm underlines the social aspect of social enterprises, since it is not just their goal that is social, but also the governance structure. But perhaps the high emphasis on consensus agreements and social relations among the residents, make social capital within the community undermine the democratic nature of the system, since the residents network might affect the outcome of a debate. It seems that the EMES ideal of “one member, one vote” might not be applicable in the realities of how Svanholm functions, and yet the community still adheres to the ideal if it only relates to economic capital. But even this can be questioned somehow, since you have to be a member to have a say in the community, and to become a member you have to pay 80%. Jeanette lived at Svanholm as a “herregårdspensionær” and only payed 1/3 of her salary, for some time before becoming a full member, and she tells us “I was not aware 59 that there was such a big difference between members and not members”. Jeanette still lived at Svanholm, but did not partake in the community as a true member. Since she did not contribute as much as the other residents, she did not share the same rights and benefits, such as a voice in the community meetings. This raises the question of to what extent Svanholm uses holistic participatory governance. One could argue that Jeanette as a “herregårdspensionær” was actually affected by Svanholm’s activities and should therefore have a say in the decision making process, which it does not seem like she had at that time. On the other hand, one could also claim that since Jeanette did not partake in the community life, she was not actually affected by the activities, or lifestyle, of the community. The only thing we can say for sure is that her situation and status in the community changed when she became a full member of the community. Consensus for the sake of Community If we are to go into details with the governance structure, it seems that there is quite a high degree of co-­‐governance. On the premise that Svanholm’s way of life is a service, all the residents are on a daily basis co-­‐producing it, either by being in a building group repairing the housing, making food, or even doing dishes. Everything is done by the community and for the community, also their governing structure. In many ways the consensus governance structure explained above, functions as a bonding activity between the community members. An effect of the bonding social capital is the reinforcement of homogeneity among the community’s members. The meetings and consensus agreements in turn functions as a way of making sure that strengthens the community and makes sure that everybody is on the same page of things. Hence the community strives to keep a good tone during the meetings and this is emphasised a lot by all three interviewees. Jeanette tells us that they “don't scream much at each other, because if you do you might be in the dishes two hours later with the same person”. Ulrik explains that: “public debates in these years they are really harsh, and of course because we all know each other, then we try not to do it in that way”. And Hanne explains why they keep a good tone “we will meet all the time so it would be very awkward”. Why does all three of the interviewees emphasise the importance of keeping a good tone within the community? 60 First and foremost the community’s governance is build on consensus agreements, which would be made very difficult indeed if there is strained relations between its residents. A reciprocal nature of respectful relations is then encouraged and keeping a good tone. Hanne also tells us that through her time in the community; living together with so many people, she has “learned that, well… If somebody has a problem I think they should say it and else, maybe it's not something we mean.” The respect inherent in the good tone can be seen as the glue that keeps the community together and in some ways make the individuals think beyond themselves and on the greater community. The good tone is in a way, kept due to a fear of awkward, i.e. socially unpleasant situations, but it is also strongly emphasised to keep the strong bonds between the residents of the community. The reciprocal respectfulness the residents try to enforce on themselves might also be seen as one of the factors that enable the consensus agreements which is a part of what the residents feel they get from living at Svanholm compared to their “outside” life. Ulrik says “I am also part of the board in the organizations somewhere else […] and there I think that we don't agree on agreeing because I don't feel that I am being heard at all. That is a difference. That is a strength.”. Ulrik sees the consensus structure as something that sets Svanholm aside. Hanne also tells us: “We all have the final opinion […] so everyone is very important”, which is something she compares to her job where there is a boss in control with the final say. The consensus structure seems to be very strengthening to the community bonds. There are of course issues with this governance approach. Some of our interviewees have admitted that the decisions can be time consuming in the sense that if an agreement is not reached upon a certain matter by the end of the meeting, it is postponed for a later one which happens after 1 month. They have however, found a way to be efficient with it by setting a strict length for these meeting of 2.5 hours, which creates a sense of urgency so a decision needs to be made on that specific day. Another issue is the attendance to these meetings, which, for practical reasons is not very high. Out of the 80 adults our interviewees stated that around 30 residents are usually present. Since there are many families with children at Svanholm and the meetings happen at a late hour in the day, it is a habit that one parent remains home with the children and the other attends these meetings. One could ask, in relation to this, to what degree the consensus would be reflecting the whole community’s opinion if not all members are taking part in the meetings and, also very important, how easy would it be 61 to reach consensus at these meeting if all the residents would be present every time? Either way, what makes everything stand together seems to be a thick trust both among the people present at the meetings, as well as between those who attend and those who does not. The consensus based governance structure and the reciprocal respectfulness this entails, is a part of what makes Svanholm special for the residents. The co-­‐governance of all the community’s residents seem to reinforce the strong ties of the community and is also a part of what sets Svanholm aside. Sub-­‐conclusion To sum up the reflections in this section, we can observe that governance is yet another distinctive trait of Svanholm that strengthens it through a high degree of autonomy as well as the foundations of equality and democracy. The cultural capital that the people who move in bring with them again seems to be the glue between that makes the residents move together in the same direction. The participatory governance, or co-­‐
governance, can be seen as a bonding activity that raises the social capital. It relies on thick trust relations that benefits everybody in the communal meetings is heard and everyone’s opinion matters. This also further reduces the tendency for tensions between people, as they will eventually have to face each other by living in such proximity. The challenges of this governance method are subtle, but show their influence. Time consuming is one aspect, while the other is that by agreeing on agreeing the community can end up implementing proposals that prove to not necessarily be profitable. Moreover, the consensus agreements at Svanholm could be seriously challenged if the attendance at the meetings would be 100%. The economic dimension Having discussed the social and governance aspects of Svanholm, it is worth to also look at the economy of this eco-­‐village, to see how this capital form is helping in building their social capital and what strengths and challenges arise from it. As discussed in the theory chapter, the three EMES economic criteria of an ideal social enterprise provide a good framework to go in depth with these discussions. What we will be looking at is: the specific economic activities that Svanholm has, the profit/wealth distribution through the collective fund, as well as the future projects and the amount of paid work. The 62 implicit economic risk will be discussed along the way. Although not the main purpose, these reflections could also help us in identifying points of resemblance of Svanholm to a social enterprise. Svanholm’s Economic activities The farm As mentioned briefly in the case description, Svanholm has several kinds of economic activities. On one hand, the farm is considered almost a firm in itself due the variety and complexity of what is being produced and consumed/sold. It holds a land area of a bit over 400 ha that covers arable land, forests, lakes and meadows on which it grows grass, vegetables, and fruits for the consumption of both its own residents and animals. They also have a few hundred animals (cows, sheeps, pigs, and goats) that supply a great deal of their diary and meat consumption. According to their website, what motivates Svanholm to initiate these farming activities seems to primarily be the desire of self-­‐sufficiency and ecology (, thus guaranteeing healthy food and a sense of ownership over the food that is being consumed. Organic production stands at the root of Svanholm’s agriculture, being among the ones who started Økologisk Landsforening in 1981. However, there is a side purpose to the farming and other economic activities, apart from just sustaining the community financially, which is to have the residents involved in the “co-­‐production” of their own lifestyle. In that sense, half of the residents are employed inside the community, in production or service activities. This setting enables bonding and bridging among the residents, as well as strengthening ties and building trust. We see this as one of the major differences from the way of life in the general society and by that one of Svanholm’s most important strengths. This creates a feeling of belonging, or as Hanne said in the interview, “a place with the circumstances of sharing, helping and having many possibilities”. The social capital accumulated in this manner becomes in itself a resource within the production processes and has the potential to actually improve performance (Laville and Nyssens, 2001b), as people can collaborate more easily and less frictions occur. It is difficult to say which of the capital forms weigh more for the Svanholmers, but we can at least observe that in this situation, economic and cultural capital become a means of also accumulating social capital. 63 In addition, it could be worth mentioning that Svanholm also sells parts of its production of vegetables, meat and dairy to the outside through its food shop and at food markets around Copenhagen. Not just for the purpose of generating income, but also for raising awareness around the intentional community. As said before, Svanholm wants to be an inspiration for people living outside, showing a better or at least different lifestyle. Here we can notice a conversion of economic capital into cultural capital. Furthermore, part of its milk production is being sold to Hansens Flødeis, an ice cream factory, which is a few kilometres away from the village. There has also been an attempt several years ago to sell Svanholm’s organic vegetables to the national supermarket chain Coop. This transaction was beneficial to Svanholm until the competition increased and pressure on lowering the price of the products arose. Svanholm could not maintain it at a profitable level and so they stopped this activity. This simply shows that Svanholm’s farm is exposed to the same challenges and risks of a normal enterprise of economies of scale, of maintaining profitability and of competition. The remarkable difference is that this farm can be seen also as “the home” of the Svanholmers that allows them to maintain their individuality. Like Ulrik said: “I guess it's almost the only place where it is possible to live in a farm and at the same time as just being academic”. One last important thing to mention in relation to the farming, which can be in fact relevant to other economic activities, is the idea of being self-­‐sustaining. Svanholm is not the type of intentional communities that goes to the extreme with regards to being completely self-­‐sustainable. They produce a big part of their meat, vegetable, milk, and energy consumption, but it seems to be a shared opinion among our interviewees that it is not desired to be 100% self-­‐sustaining. Hanne explains: “I don't think we have to produce everything with our own hands. I think we should also think about expertise sometimes. We don't have to be good at everything.” What seems to be more important is being sustainable on a national or global scale by, for example, working together with neighbours that produce oat and achieve a more effective production overall. Therefore they do not want Svanholm to close on itself, but on the contrary create collaborations with their surroundings. In a similar fashion they prefer “quality over all” and if they cannot produce the quality they desire at an efficient cost, they externalize. For example when a cow is to be slaughtered, they do not send it in a van to the butcher, as this would stress the cow and 64 would reduce the quality of the meat. Instead, they call the veterinary to put the cow to ‘sleep’ at the farm and then take it away. We have seen this approach reoccur in our observations from visiting the community and Svanholm is keen on ecology and quality. It to some extent reveals the embodied cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986) of the people that live there and of the community itself. The risks of these choices to achieve a high quality lifestyle standards are nonetheless clear: it can burden even further the economy of the community, which already faces some struggles as it will be discussed further on in this section. The café The cafébutik is a project of Svanholm that started two years ago. Although it still belongs to the community, it is seen as a side project, a separate business. At the café they sell organic products made at Svanholm (fresh milk and vegetables, meat, bread, Svanholm ice cream) as well as other organic products produced outside Svanholm as a supplement to the boutiques selection (sweets, drinks etc). All these reflect the objectified state of the cultural capital; they are goods with an economic value that serve economic purposes, but they also hold a high intangible value which stems from their cultural importance. The available products can be seen as cultural objects, containing connotations reflecting the values of organic farming, environmentalism, etc. The café seems to serve multiple purposes. On one hand, on our first visit to Svanholm during the guided tour, we were told that the café was thought to be a place where Svanholmers and others can meet and socialize in the weekend, as it is open only from Friday to Sunday. In the words of Putnam, it was aimed at being a place where the residents can bridge and bond and thus strengthen the overall social capital within the community and with the outside of the community. Nonetheless, in our visits to Svanholm we have experienced the café to be somewhat quiet, with a few people coming for some fresh products, to grab a cup of coffee, or an ice cream with their kids. In a way this might be expected, considering its geographical location. This made us wonder how profitable the business is, and according to Jeanette, the one who has initiated it and runs the business, the Café has been unprofitable so far but just managed to turn a surplus after two years from its start. 65 Interestingly, another purpose of the café came up during our interviews. According to Hanne, as well as our other two interviewees, the café is more than an income generating business: “Some people think the main purpose is to like, earn money. But I think the money comes in another way than people buying a cup of coffee. I think it is often that people maybe see it as moving in. That's much more for Svanholm than just 10 cups of coffee.” (Hanne) This stems from the opening up that Svanholm has been gone through in the last years towards people living outside, described in chapter regarding the social dimension of Svanholm. They see it in conjunction to the guided tours that we will look into in the following, as a place where visitors can be welcomed and have the chance to spend more time to experience Svanholm and ask further questions to learn more about it. It thus became a liaison location with the potential of peeking the interest of the visitors and it might procure new members to the community. Or referring to Putnam again, the café can be seen as a place for bridging social capital. In fact, Jeanette says that three families have ended up joining Svanholm after visiting the café and tours. We cannot help but notice a slight shift in the mission of this cafébutik, from being aimed at internal socialization, to raising awareness about the community and a “gate” for reaching to potential new residents. The main point of café is now to be a place to sell the lifestyle of Svanholm as well as an ice cream. This broadening of purpose might also to some extent have come from a need to justify the unprofitability of the café in its first years. The community’s bridging with the outside world is clearly aimed at growing the economical capital of Svanholm. This can also be seen in what Jeanette, the manager of the café, said in our interview: “My biggest dream is that we turn 100 grownups. Now we are 82. If we were 100 or near to 100 the total economic situation would loosen a lot. […] We wouldn’t employ in the kitchen group if they had to cook for 18 people more. I mean stordriftsfordelene (translated: economies of scale) we could use, we also have some apartments free now...” What we notice here is very classical business thinking concerning effectiveness and cost optimization. To some extent it goes in line with Bourdieu’s thinking, i.e. that agents are in a search for pursuing self-­‐interest and of accumulating economical capital. 66 However, it is noteworthy that the “self” here is in fact an entire community; therefore it is not necessarily about the individual agent’s wellbeing, but of the individual within the community, or ‘communitarianism’ as Lars Hulgård (2001) names it. Moreover, one cannot clearly delimitate where this conversion of capitals ends. Part of the reason why a “loosening” up of the economic situation is desired, is to be able to funnel some funds into projects that Svanholmers have for improving and developing the community. Which might be in the form of all three capital forms: economic, cultural and social. Svanholm oplevelser -­‐ Guided tours Another income generating activity at Svanholm is the guided tours, which started around 2010 when the decision to open up Svanholm to the public was taken. The tour occurs every Saturday during the summer season, against payment. We do not know how much income Svanholm gets from these tours, but the main purpose for our three interviewees is clearly another than profitmaking. Raising awareness and bridging with the outside world, as a means of attracting new people in and/or simply being an inspiration for others seems to be the main point. Hanne tells us: “I think that [the guided tours] is a good way to show how we live and that this is a possibility as well. Not that everyone had to live like this, but that they know that this place exists and you can live like this.” One can notice a sense of pride in the way the informants speak to the public about their lifestyle. The residents seem to see themselves to as visionaries in broadening the mind of the general public, to see what they experience as a better and alternative way of living. In this way their desire to enhance the cultural capital they possess by creating ties with new potential residents or simply by informing others. This shows again the dichotomous nature of their activities that aim at a social outcome, while still acknowledging the need for income generation. Social capital in this case is being used towards development of the community, or “getting by”, as Xavier de Souza Briggs (2003) puts it. 67 Other activities We see the farm, the café, and the guided tours as the primary production activities at Svanholm. However, there are a couple of secondary activities that we will mention briefly without going into too much detail. There are a few projects that are being developed within Svanholm, but as separate businesses, such as beekeeping for honey production, the permaculture project, the clinique with alternative treatment (acupuncture, kranio-­‐sacral therapy, Psycho-­‐motor function/relaxation), forestry and production of wooden products etc. These are smaller initiatives that are being managed by some residents with skills in special areas, which can be used for the internal benefits of the community. It can be seen as a way of helping each other, and it allows the residents to be involved actively in the life of the community. This opportunity of giving something back to the community also helps in strengthening ties, thus raising social capital. It is interesting what Ulrik remarks regarding these side economic activities: “I don't think it's easier to start things as a part of Svanholm. I think it's is easier to start from a separate basis… That's how it's being done to with the sheep. It's a separate business; separate because when they started they weren’t sure whether they are an income generating activity or just another costly activity. Of course it's important to ensure that we have to be here in the long run.” From what Ulrik says we notice the community’s approach to taking up new business or production projects. This resembles to some extent a trial and error approach, where some promising and feasible ideas are being given a chance to be started up during the general meetings. As mentioned before, apparently this happens because of the “agree on agreeing” attitude during the Fællesmøde and the expectation to also listen to the other’s wishes. This can be seen in Hanne’s opinion about the café: “I don't know if it's a good thing to have a shop or café or farm like in relation to money, but I think it's a good idea in relation to knowledge about Svanholm.” It seems therefore that Hanne is not convinced of the economic benefit of having the café, and yet it was started on a consensus decision. Whether it is a matter of giving up on own opinion/interest for the sake of the community, the fear to lose face in the meetings by not agreeing or that some people have stronger voices in the meetings, or simply a combination of these, is hard to know. 68 Although the “agree on agreeing” attitude might be seen as a strength from a governance point of view, the challenge comes when too many initiatives are being taking into account without all becoming successful or profitable. Hanne made a clear note on this: “So we're kind of doing everything and then realize: No, we can't do that anymore”. The packaging unit (“green” wooden boxes) is one of several “costly activities” that Ulrik referred to above, and which was withdrawn. This pinpoints some of the economic risks of the consensus governing structure, which can mean losses of significant investments in capital. The collective fund One of the most remarking particularities of Svanholm, which not many intentional communities hold, is the collective fund structure. On one hand, a condition for moving into Svanholm is that residents pay to the common fund “all that they own and have”, meaning both their positive and negative (debt) wealth, alongside with paying 50.000 DKK pr. adult in deposit ( In a way, this resembles an enterprise’s equity fund collected from its shareholders that give them not just ownership, but decision power as well. The significant difference consists in that people do not put a portion of their wealth and with it buy an apartment at Svanholm, for instance, but put their entire wealth at the disposition of the community with the possibility to get it back in full when they leave. Personal debt is also accepted at a limit of 100.000 DKK. This structure provides Svanholm with the necessary money to maintain the well functioning of the community, as well as security for the investments/debts that the community has. On the other hand, for the residents to be given the statute of community members, they need to contribute to the collective fund 80% of their income from which they retain 20% of their gross salary for personal expenses. While the 80% covers all their expenses with taxes, housing and utilities, food, maintenance, insurance, child support and part of work transportation. The 80% does not cover vacation, clothing, medical treatment and private transportation ( This collection of money can be seen as a form of shared economy, which is done on the premise of equality and a concept along the lines of “the broad shoulders should carry the most”. These two points show how dependent the community is on securing sufficient resources from its residents. It is clearly very important to maintain a minimum amount of residents and overall income to be able to function properly. Although maybe 69 unlikely, the eventuality that a large number of people decided to move out within a short time period would pose a great challenge, and risk to the general financial stability. From the individual resident’s point of view, even though 20% may not seem as much, many of the costs a family or a single would have are being covered. This is also the feeling we get from what our interviewees say that they are happy with the budget they have. They admit, however that saving money for bigger expenses is somewhat difficult, but they all seem to appreciate the services they get when moving in. Hanne tells us: “…else I don't really think about it because I get so much of my money. (…) I feel I get great food. I feel I get the possibility of not spending time on buying food and not have to be able to making choice: do I have to buy ecological food or can I do something cheaper? (…) In that way, it's very idealistic that it's just there. I also enjoy the kindergarten and I just enjoy that there are nice people living around me who I know would like to share and like to help and would like to talk and (…) And I also came to enjoy the forest and the fields.” From an organizational point of view, the collective fund is an economic structure that was introduced as a means to enhance the communal living by giving a sense of ownership over what is being used at Svanholm. Svanholmers become not just co-­‐
governors through the decision-­‐making model discussed before, but also co-­‐owners of their own lifestyle. Like Ulrik said: “it's a great place, you can go down talk to the cows if that’s what you want. They’re ours”. One could maybe see the resemblance this system might have with a traditional enterprise that is structured upon capital ownership, and with the investors having the power to decide the direction of the organization. There is a significant difference, however, that was noted in the governance section: Svanholm works on the equality principle. This means that everybody who puts 80% in the communal fund and higher personal economic or cultural capital does not get a higher decision power. There is no hierarchy or leader, but everybody’s opinion is as important1. Conversely, this economic system has been changed and Svanholm continuously experiments with trying to find the best solution for everybody. The previous discussion 1
Of course, this is related to the fundamental principle of the structure. We have discussed already that in the
everyday life it seems that people who are more experienced or who have lived there longer have a stronger
voice in the meetings and thus possible higher influence.
70 around the social dimension went into more details of how in the first decades people were satisfied with receiving 1000 DKK per month from their income, but in more recent times people have demanded higher returns and this lead to the change for 20% of “pocket money”. This is again showing the changing times with increased need of the newer generations for higher personal wealth. This economic system poses challenges to the community in different ways. The amount of resources available for development is dependent on the income of the people that live there. This makes Svanholm selective in regards to what people it welcomes into the community and who to not. Secondly, having the communal services included in the 80%, Svanholm currently has almost half of its residents employed to work within the community. Jeanette sees this as a challenge because it means a significant cost that needs to be carried. She elaborates in more details: “We have a very expensive setup with employed people in the kitchen in the building group in the administration even the farmers we are all employed by the community and we get the same salary meaning if the farmers don’t do good results they still get their salary meaning also that we can’t get ourselves a higher salary we have 23000 as like a person from 3F [Danish Union].” Therefore, Svanholm finds itself in a situation where it needs to bring in more economical capital from “outside”, in order to be able to take into account the wishes of the residents, in developing the community (electrical cars, permaculture etc). This explains to some extent their change in the openness towards the outside world and Jeanette’s wish for Svanholm is to reach the level of accommodating 100 adults, since this would “loosen up the economy”. It also explains the desire to have a generation renewal to bring younger people in the community. They have many who are becoming pensioners, which will become a burden on the active workers. What we notice here is a system that tries to redistribute wealth democratically. Based on the vision of equality that at the same time tie people together to care more for the common good, than solely for the individual one. This seems to resemble, at least in part, the vision of Laville (2014) who proposes a re-­‐democratization of our society’s economic model. In that respect, Ulrik gives an example: “If I want a bigger room for my children, it is also money because then I steal some room from other people who could live here”. 71 Distribution of profit/wealth We have so far seen how Svanholm generates its income, as well as taken a look at its major expenses in relation to the services and goods it provides to its residents (housing, food, maintenance etc). Let us now combine the two and look at the view this eco-­‐village has on profit and its approach to it. This will be done in order to get an understanding of how the pursuit for increasing economic capital works in relation to the other capital forms. Not having access to Svanholm’s financial statements restricts us from being able to see what their financial performance is looking like. The only information we have is from the guided tour, discussed in the beginning of our research, where Kirsten from the finance department said that money is a “big challenge” for them. On one hand because the quality of their lifestyle is costly, and on the other because they have a big mortgage that they need to pay yearly, ever since the beginning of Svanholm when it was started in 1978. This drains a lot of their resources and limits their possibilities of development. Also problematic might be some income generating activities that are not (yet) profitable, such as the cafébutik – which, as said before, produced a big deficit in the beginning and reached breakeven just recently after two years since its start according to Jeanette. Even though we cannot say how financially sustainable Svanholm is, it is interesting to note that the community does not redistribute its financial surpluses (if they have any) as a regular enterprise would do to its shareholders, in the form of dividends. The so-­‐called “retained earnings” are being reinvested in the community in different development projects. Thus reinvested to support and develop the community’s social mission. This is very much the approach of a social enterprise. One could of course argue further that the profit of Svanholm is not just money, but also in the social and cultural capital and that the overall value they create is so much broader. As mentioned by our interviewees, the finance of Svanholm is a central point of concern for the community. On one hand they need to sustain the community economically. This regards how to best design the economics of Svanholm to maintain the collective ongoing. On the other hand there is the need of developing the community, from investing in new projects that can be income generating or not. These – let us call them struggles – have been noticed on several occasions during our interviews, however they seem to not be the primary purpose. Ulrik explains this: 72 “I get a bit sick of talking about growth -­‐ economic growth... That's the only way out of any issue and I think we [the community] try to get out, even though it's hard. We are still a part of the society. So we can't be completely separated from our surroundings.” (Ulrik) Svanholmers seem to be enthusiastic about their farm and the goods they produce themselves, as well as of taking new initiatives for improvement, such as the one with acquiring electric cars. Nonetheless, making money seems to us to be more of a means than an end. The end is their ideals of building a communal lifestyle based on quality of life, ecology, sharing, equality, and self-­‐governance. In fact, as it has been pointed in the previous sections, through the lens of communitarianism (Hulgård, 2001). Svanholm gives the impression to be detaching from the capitalist logics based on self-­‐interest and profit making. Svanholmers seem to be aware of this but not underestimating the role of income generating activities: “The way we try to work, the café, the tour, and so on, it's a way of trying to make income. So in that way we try to [become self-­‐sustainable]. We are not that idealistic as to try to separate from the surrounding systems. I guess we try to be pragmatic, more than pure idealistic. So the question in the long run is -­‐ can we uphold the way of living and sustaining ourselves in the small-­‐scale businesses and with people working outside? It's really.. one of our biggest incomes at Svanholm is us, our abilities, like in normal family. […] But I am sure it's a balance, balancing also being pragmatic and being idealistic at the same time. It will always be a challenge.” What we notice here is a combination of motives and means inclined towards both the social and the economic. Serving multiple goals brings a risk that is vastly discussed in the not-­‐for-­‐profit sector, which is the risk of mission drift. In time, an organization serving a social purpose with economic activities might end up focusing most of its efforts towards the economic goals, and thus under prioritize the social mission that started it. There are many examples of organisations that have successfully managed this multiplicity of missions, however the risk is inherent. Sub-­‐conclusion To conclude on the economic activities, Svanholm does indeed have a continuous production of goods and services which vary from the lifestyle they co-­‐produce to the agricultural products, café, tours and so on. The way the economic activities can be seen as a strength is not in how they represent an economic end for financial self-­‐sustaining, 73 since maintaining profitability has often been a challenge. The strength, which makes Svanholm special, is rather seen in how the activities become a means to enhance the social capital by strengthening the bonds between people and giving a sense of ownership from co-­‐creating their own lifestyle. Moving on, in terms of profits, Svanholm’s structure is to run on a collective fund from which the wealth is redistributed back to the community in various tangible or intangible forms, as well as reinvested into developing the community. The collective fund, in our view, is again a major strength of Svanholm as it also contributes to the feeling of co-­‐ownership and strengthens the thinking for the common good instead of individual gains. Simultaneously it poses a challenge in that it is very dependent on the economic capital of the people who contribute to it and in order to enhance it for the sake of investments it needs to strategically open its arms to reach out to more new residents. On a personal level, it makes it harder for people to save money. It has also been mentioned that half of the people at Svanholm are actually employed in the community, putting a significant burden on the shared economy. Apart from that, while the high quality lifestyle Svanholm produces is a strength from the high cultural capital it reflects, it challenges the economy of the community as it is costly and thus more difficult to achieve economies of scale and reach a satisfactory profitability. They acknowledge the fact that they cannot be good at everything and that when expertise matters, they need to externalize. Svanholm thus faces the same risks and challenges of a regular business in managing its activities, starting new projects, facing competition, achieving economies of scale and maintaining profitability. It almost looks like a tendency towards isomorphism of a profit-­‐making company running in a capitalist system. Nevertheless, our interviewees do not perceive money making as a necessary evil and are aware of the necessity to have income generating activities. It is not the main purpose, not an end in itself, but rather a means to build the community on the principles of shared economy and shared lifestyle. One last aspect worth mentioning is the consensus governing structure. The “agree on agreeing” attitude, although beneficial from a social point of view, often lead to losses of significant investments in capital because of starting up initiatives that proved unprofitable. 74 Overall, we can conclude that Svanholm’s economic structure is distinct in many ways and what makes it be so is through simultaneous and constant conversions between the three different capital forms (economic, social and cultural), without it actually ending solely at the level of economic capital accumulation. 75 One Big Extended Family Through our interviews with Hanne, Ulrik, and Jeanette and the time we spent at Svanholm observing, especially one analogy regarding the community seemed to a reoccurring theme. In many ways it seems that the residents see Svanholm as one big family. What we have come to realise is that in many ways the challenges and strengths of this community do also share many similarities with those in a family. We thought this was an interesting take on the community, and the analogy does to some extent exemplify the various aspects such as the consensus agreements, shared economy, and the close social cohesion of Svanholm. So in this part of the analysis we will be looking back at some of the points made earlier in previous chapters and use the analogy of a family to illustrate and discuss the pros and cons of Svanholm’s situation. One of the fundamental principles of starting a family is creating the bond and relationship between you and another person. When deciding to marry and move in with someone it is often quite important that you have a period of time where you figure out if you are right for each other. Do you see eye-­‐to-­‐eye on key issues, share your values and so forth, with the person you might be spending the rest of your life with? Marriage might be a bit of a strong comparison for the process of initiating new-­‐comers to Svanholm. The Svanholm community does have a long process of matchmaking, to ensure that it is the right people who move into the community. As shown above in previous chapters, both economical, but especially also on the social aspects, matter when deciding whether or not a family or a person is seen as a good fit for Svanholm. Once the match has been made, and the people have moved into the community, they are seen as a part of it, until they decide to leave. This does bring some issues though since at Svanholm they “don't kick anybody out” as Jeanette tells us. Since they do not feel like they can kick anyone out of the community, it is really important that it is a good match from the beginning. Hanne tells us that they have experienced people, who moved in and then shortly after moved out of the community again since it was not their thing anyway and that it creates a “bad situation for them and for us” (Hanne). With a community with more than 80 adults, it is almost impossible to have strong ties with everyone and sometimes the relations between the residents in the community 76 might get strained, but Jeanette explains that “It's a little like being a family, you have these stupid uncles and we have to live with them” (Jeanette). A regular family might have a shared account for various expenses, while also allowing themselves to have a certain amount for their own spending. In many ways this seems strikingly similar to the shared economy at Svanholm. With the 80% they make common investments both to increase the future life quality for everyone in community and also to buy/produce the food. While the remaining 20% of the residents’ salaries the residents can use on their own needs and spend, as they like. Just like in a regular family some might have a higher income and thus make a bigger contribution to the family. This does not mean, however, that they feel that the rest of the community owe them anything, since the money went to the greater good of their big family; the community. If this was the case, most people probably would have moved out of Svanholm by now. Even though this might not always be the most economically sound structure for the individual resident, they instead get a heightened sense of shared responsibility and ownership in the community. Jeanette tells us that the community carried her, meaning that she did not contribute to the economics for a while when she “Broke down for half a year” (Jeanette). Hanne describes how one of the residents had lost her job, and in turn had to live off the shared economy without contributing to it: “just like you were husband and wife and one of them loses their job is not good for the economy[…]But we are less vulnerable because we are so many helping each other” (Hanne). In a family you would not divorce somebody because they lost their job, but you would support them and keep them afloat until they got back on their feet. This could also be seen as how the community might value their social capital more than their economical situation. Since in strictly economic terms the residents that are not providing 80% of their salary to the community are an economic burden. But just like a concerned spouse, the community still expects the resident to get a job eventually, in order to be able to keep the community economically sound. The shared economy gives the residents a safety net that they can rely on. Should it happen that they were laid off or became ill for longer periods, they would not have to move to a smaller apartment or cut back on the quality of the food etc. They do still feel obligated to contribute to the community, because the community expects it from them and because they have a responsibility towards their family to help providing for the community. 77 Another aspect of the community where we see similarities to that of a family is in the consensus structure. You often hear the statement that parents have to agree and be a team. You would rarely see families vote when having to make a decision regarding an important issue. Both because a vote between two people would most likely be futile, but even more importantly because the partnership would suffer if no agreement is reached and thus no decision is made. It might be a long process before consensus is reached, but in the end you come out stronger and with everyone on the same side. Something similar to this mechanic can be seen with the way the residents at Svanholm govern the community. Once you are a resident you become something similar to a parent, or as the website states you are both an “owner and an employee” ( Once you are a part of Svanholm you are not just receiving the different services it provides, you are also contributing as full member when shaping, organising, and maintaining the community. And everybody is on board and has a say. Having to get such a large amount of different people to agree on something is not without consequences though, and it takes more time to reach consensus, but as Ulrik explains “of course it's harder to make decisions, it takes a longer while, but we agree on agreeing” (Ulrik). As shown in the chapter regarding the governance of Svanholm, this consensus structure is in many ways the glue that keeps the community so tightly together. It, at least in its ideal form, ensures that no one does not agree and does not feel that they do not have a saying when decisions are made. It sometimes happens though that some residents “feel like the decision was already made before we got here” (Ulrik). Just like in a regular family you sometimes have to concede your own ideas and back the decision that is best for the family. Consensus will sometimes require the residents to make compromises in order to be achieved, but this is all part of one of the basic premises of Svanholm which Ulrik explains as the concept of “agree-­‐on-­‐agreeing”. It is not the most effective way to get things done, but this structure ensures that the residents function as one cohesive community where everyone can be heard and respected. This strengthens the ties between the residents and heightens the mutual recognition within the community. The consensus-­‐based governing method simply makes the whole community agree. 78 The idea of comparing the Svanholm community to that of a family was to show how many of the challenges that Svanholm has, is also a part of what makes it what it is. The challenges are not just something that can be seen as a burden, but can also be seen as the strengths of the community. The community is to a large extent based on good relationships between its residents, and in a sense the structures that are built into Svanholm gives a dialectical relation with the community to some extent. The structures exist to uphold the good relations in community and the structures could not exist without the good relations between the residents. 79 Conclusion Perhaps by being somewhat idealistic ourselves in striving to find better ways of living and doing business that seek more for the common well-­‐being than selfish gains, we found ourselves very much in line with Laville’s visions of solidarity economy. However, we took the practical quest of actually finding concrete examples and Svanholm seemed to be such a place. We wanted to learn from their challenges and strengths in living their ideals. How has their distinctive lifestyle and experience enhanced our learning? In many different ways! Through our interviews, observations and endless discussions and reflections we have come to the conclusion that the most encompassing word to describe the complexity of what makes Svanholm different is: “lifestyle”. Grounded on the values of sharing and togetherness, democracy and equality, healthiness and sustainability, Svanholm has built a very distinctive community structure. These values stem very much from the embodied cultural capital that the people brought with them in the beginnings of this community. Social life and social capital seem to be the most important pillars in the motivation for Svanholm to exist in the first place. What makes it a strength for Svanholm is that its residents do not simply receive its services, but actually are the co-­‐producers of their own lifestyle through living and eating together, working together, co-­‐governance and shared economy. Our interviewees see their lifestyle at Svanholm as better than the one before moving in because they feel that they live in a collective and get a richer social life with the neighbours, they live healthier and more sustainably, a great part of the food they eat is grown by themselves through their farm and adjacent activities. Apart from that, they live in a safer environment for their children and they enjoy more free time for themselves as many of the daily household tasks are done for them. All these are also occasions to strengthen the social capitals and mutual trust through bonding and bridging. Another aspect which makes Svanholm unique is the collective fund. As discussed, by putting their full income and wealth to a shared economy and receiving 20% of monthly 80 earnings for themselves, Svanholmers get a sense of co-­‐ownership of Svanholm as their home and are encouraged to think more of the common good than they would by not living there. At the same time, this builds shared economic capitals that sustain the community financially. What proved to be challenging here is that this economic structure causes Svanholm to be very dependent on the income of its residents and in order to make investments aimed at development, they need to open up to receive new comers. Furthermore, the quality of lifestyle that they strive for is costly and this, together with having half of the residents being employed at Svanholm in the production of their services and goods, puts a burden on their economy. The stability of the economy would be at risk if many people decided suddenly to leave. What the discussions around the collective fund also pointed out was the changing times at Svanholm. The 1000 DKK that residents received in the beginning as pocket money started to be perceived as insufficient in later years and people become more dissatisfied. This might have been an influence that new comers brought through their slightly different cultural capitals and cultural views, more influenced by society’s capitalistic or materialistic discourses. This was a challenge for the initial visions of Svanholm and it had to adapt to these changes to keep its community alive. The bridging relations towards the new comers allowed innovation but also redefined Svanholm to adopt some more or less radical changes: their housing structure, the pocket money shift to 20%, more sustainability focus etc. The economic activities undergone at Svanholm (i.e. the farm, the cafébutik, guided tours and so on) are another strength in the way that they do not just provide economic capital and enhance social capital, but that the residents can get in the role of co-­‐
producers of the services they receive. This participatory nature or their lifestyle is different from the larger society where citizens become rather passive receivers of public services. In running its businesses, Svanholm seems to face the same challenges of a regular social enterprise in optimizing its resources, maintaining economies of scale and profitability, facing competition etc. A tendency towards isomorphism of business practices has been notices in several aspects of Svanholm. What is interesting to notice here is the dichotomous nature of their activities that aim at a social outcome, while still 81 acknowledging the need for income generation. In this case making money is not an end in itself, but rather a means to build the community and enhance social capital. Last but not least, what consists a major strength of Svanholm is their consensus based governance that seems to reinforce democracy and equality. On one hand, being able to decide on the way they govern they life gives a sense of ownership and belongingness. On the other hand, a tacit approach to “agree on agreeing” during the Fællesmøde allows everybody’s opinion to matter and be heard. This would not be possible it was not for the strong bonding and trust in between the people, or their embodied cultural capital. However, we have observed an economic risks of the consensus governing structure, which has meant losses of significant investments in capital due to too many initiatives been implemented that were not profitable. To conclude, there are many aspects that differentiate Svanholm’s way of life from a how the society outside is structured. Even so, the strengths and challenges that they face when building their capitals seem to be very much the ones a family would face in their daily lives, but also social enterprises. All these have been enabled the creation of thick trust and effective bonding relations among Svanholmers. The embedded cultural capital seems to be at the roots of how the conversions of capital forms into one another occur at Svanholm, based on ecology, equality and sharing. What is interesting in their purpose of existence is that the accumulation of economic and cultural capital is often not an end in themselves, but means of also accumulating social capital. 82 Further Perspectives: The movements of a new economy During our investigation and research of Svanholm we came across a long line of authors that in some way can and to some extent already have framed out understanding of the community. Due to restrictions of space and especially time we did not see how we could manage to fit these theories and ideas into the paper in a way that seemed appropriate and with enough depth. A research paper is the account of a project done. If we as a group sat down today, and had to re-­‐do this project with the knowledge we have accumulated during this process, it would most likely have turned out very differently. Going back to the hermeneutic theory here you could argue that we have indeed reached a new plateau of understanding. Especially regarding some of the surrounding endeavours, both academic and in praxis that are a part of what we have come to understand as the movements of and towards a new economy. So now after we have accounted for our analysis and conclusion about the community of Svanholm we thought it interesting to describe both some of the mind-­‐sets and theories that have had indirect effect on the conclusions in this report, but also to give a few notes regarding other areas that can be investigated further from here. One of the first things we found out about Svanholm was that it was not the only community of its kind. Although there are many traits that make Svanholm different from other eco-­‐villages there are many other commonalities, especially regarding the ideology. Most of intentional communities in Denmark are a part of the organisation Landsforeningen for Øko-­‐Samfund2, which is in turn part of Nordic and global organisations of eco-­‐villages. As said what they all have in common is a mission to change the way we live to be more sustainable, both in regards to climate change but also socially and spiritually ( The vision and purpose of these organisations is to promote eco-­‐villages as a ”solution to the major problems of our time -­‐ the planet is experiencing the limits to growth, and our lives are often lacking meaningful content.” (gen-­‐ The idea is simple that by living together and promoting the praxis and idea of living in close companionship with other people will yield a long row of advantages, as also seen in our interviews with the residents of Svanholm. Both socially, economically but also sustainably. The movement of eco-­‐villages can be seen as, 2
“National Union of Eco-villages”
83 at least ideologically, to also encapsulate some of the mind-­‐sets inherent in what to us seems like a blooming account of academic works within the field of alternative economies. Probably one of the most renown is the Nobel prise winner Muhammad Yusuf, who with his book Creating a New World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (2011), brings forth the point (that was also a part of the introduction to this paper) that capitalism in it current state is and in-­‐complete system, that only encourages the egoistic and consumeristic nature. Instead he sees humans as multifaceted and with a natural tendency not just towards individualistic gains, but also with selfless capabilities. His suggestion to change the economy is to build new types of businesses that differ from the profit-­‐maximizing kind. These he calls Social Businesses and their aim differs since it is not seek to achieve “personal gain, but to pursue a social purpose” (Yunus 2011: 21). Yunus’ main point regarding these social businesses are that they are managed in many ways similarly to it profit-­‐making counterparts, but what set them aside is the aim to provide social benefit. The Social Businesses still have to make a profit through a price or fee of the service/product, or otherwise they would just be another charity. There seem to be clear inspirations and similarities within the EMES research field’s distinction and ideal for a social enterprise, and Yunus’ social businesses. EMES describes the rising academic attention given to the third sector and social enterprises “as a result of the limits and failures of the two other major sectors to solve various problems” (Defourny, Hulgård & Pestoff 2014: 1). Although there are still differences between the two, the underlying premise or maybe political message is more appropriate, of the two theories is strikingly similar: the current market mechanisms and structures are failing to account for all of the needs, be they cultural, social, economical or ecological to human nature and current situation. And the EMES and Yunus address the issues they see by suggesting a new way of re-­‐
organising the market system. Another author who has had a large influence on this report is the economist Tim Jackson. With his book Prosperity Without Growth – Economics of a Finite Planet he argues that we have to make up with the capitalist ideal of endless growth, since this will in tern lead to endless consummation, infinite consummation of a planet’s finite resources. He argues that we need to disconnect the idea of prosperity from the idea of 84 economic growth. Even though an individual is experiencing large economic growth this would only be secondary if the person’s friends and family was in disarray. There Jackson argues that prosperity concerns the issues of eliminating hunger, homelessness, end poverty and injustice, and building a secure and peaceful world (Jackson 2009: 2). With this statement he also poses the idea that a “Rising prosperity isn’t self-­‐evidently the same things as economic growth” (Jackson 2009: 5), but linked multiple other aspect of human conditions. He further argues that even though the global economy is growing, this doesn’t necessarily mean that any more people are prospering in the sense of increased livelihoods. A point recently made very clear with Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-­‐first century, which in broad terms shows that a rising wealth in the top percentage of the population within western countries only yields a miniscule trickle-­‐
down effect on the overall economy, creating an increasing degree of inequality within the societies (Roine 2014: 26). It is not only the economic issues of inequality Jackson sees in the current capitalistic system. Through his book he keeps coming back to the point that probably the most pressing issue for the human race is the impact of our consumeristic behaviour. Without giving any, or only to a small extent, attention to the impact this behaviour will have on the climate and earths living conditions. Taking this challenge and combining it with that of having huge amounts of people still living in poverty that needs economical growth for food and shelter, we find ourselves in a dilemma. In a TED-­‐talk Jackson says that we will never achieve a solution to this dilemma unless “we’re capable of redefining a meaningful sense of prosperity in the richer countries, a prosperity that is more meaningful and less consumerist than the growth based model” (Jackson 2010, What Jackson here argues is that we have to change the minds of the richer civilizations, both citizens and organisations, towards a mentality that in some ways reflects the ideas inherent in the ideas of Yunus’ Social Businesses and EMES Social Enterprises. Jeremy Rifkin has been another influential author to this project. His ideas regarding the empathetic civilisation also relates to what we have here called the movements towards a new economy. It seems Rifkin agrees with Jackson that we have to change the mind-­‐sets of the people in order to change the system and that the human is innately empathetic: 85 If we can harness our empathic sensibility and establish a new global ethic to harmonize the many relationships that make up the life-­‐sustaining forces of the planet, we will have moved beyond the detached, self-­‐interested and utilitarian philosophical assumptions that accompanied national markets and nation state governance and into a new era of biosphere consciousness (Rifkin 2010: 4) Again we are struck by the break with the idea of self-­‐absorbed humankind. Rifkin argues that with the current technological advances we are able to extend the human capacity for empathy to exceed our local geographical state, and also concern the whole biosphere and all living things within it. All of the above authors in some way or another points out the failings of modern economic and capitalistic structures. Often by referring to the lacks of the system in regards to its one-­‐sided focus on the hedonistic nature of mankind. The argumentation seems pretty clear, human nature is not purely egoistical, and we need an economic system that reflects that. According to all the authors we need to change the way we think about the economic system, and implement new structures, institutions and mind-­‐
sets that in some way or another brings about this movement towards a new economic movement. We see all of these thoughts, academic theories, and ideas as resonating with many of the aspect of we have come across in our investigation of Svanholm and eco-­‐
villages like it. These theories are all a part of system changing political agenda that strives to change the way humans organise their lives. Svanholm and the other institutions like it, might just be a small piece of the bigger puzzle. Maybe a small step on the way to a new economic system. 86 List of References Bourdieu, Pierre(1989). Social space and symbolic power. Sociological theory,7(1), 14-­‐25. Bourdieu, Pierre. (2006). The forms of capital.(1986). In Cultural Theory: An Anthology, Pp 81-­‐90. Brinkmann, Svend & Tanggaard, Lene (2010), Kvalitativ metoder – En grundbog, Hans Reitzles Forlag, first edition in Danish. Defourny, J., Hulgård, L., & Pestoff, V. (Eds.). (2014). Social Enterprise and the Third Sector: Changing European landscapes in a comparative perspective. Routledge. Articles from the book: Defourny, Jacques (2014) 1 From Third Sector to Social Enterprise: A European Trajetory Defourny and Nyssens, (2014), 2 The EMES approach of Social enterprise in a comparative perspective Laville, Jean-­‐Louis (2014), 5 The social and solidarity economy: a theoretical and plural framework Evers, Adalbert 17 The Significance of Social Capital in the Multiple Goal and Resource Structure of Social Enterprises in the book The Emergence of Social Enterprise 3 (2001), Routledge, pp. 298-­‐308 Granovetter, Mark S. (1973) The Strenth of Weak Ties, American Journal of Sociology Vol. 78, Issue 6, pp. 1360-­‐1380 Grenfell, Michael & James, David (1998). Bourdieu and education: Acts of practical theory. Falmer Press. Pp 5-­‐27. Hekman, Susan J. (1983) Weber’s Ideal Type: A Contemporary Reassessment, Polity Vol. 16, No. 1 Autumn, pp. 119-­‐137 Hulgård, Lars (2001), Social Kapital, demokrati og velfærd. Social Kritik: Tidskrift for social analyser og debat, 12(75), Pp 12-­‐15 Jackson, Tim (2011). Prosperity without growth: Economics for a finite planet. Routledge. Juul, Søren & Pedersen, Kirsten(ed.) (2012), Samfundsvidenskabernes videnskabsteori, Hans Reitzels Forlag, fourth edition in Danish. Kerlin, Janelle(2010), A comparative analysis of the global emergence of social enterprise. VOLUNTAS: international journal of voluntary and nonprofit organizations, 21(2), 162-­‐179. Laville, Jean-­‐Louis and Nyssens, Marthe (2001) 18 The Social Enterprise: Towards a Theoretical Socio-­‐
economic Approach, In Borzaga, Carlo, and Defourney, Jacques, The Emergence of Social Enterprise, Routledge, Pp 312-­‐332 Roine, Jesper (2014). Introduktion til Thomas Pikettys Kapitalen i det Enogtyvende århundrede. Informations Forlag. Nicholls, A., & Cho, A. H. (2006). Social entrepreneurship: The structuration of a field. in Social entrepreneurship: New models of sustainable social change, 99-­‐118. Pestoff, Victor (2014a) Collective Action and the Sustainability of Co-­‐Production from the book: Public Manangement Review, Routledge, pp. 383-­‐401 Pestoff, Victor (2014b) The Role of Participatory Governance in the EMES Approach to Social Enterprise, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Organizational Diversity Vol. 2, Issue 2 pp. 48-­‐60 Putnam, Robert (2001) Social Capital: Measurement and Consequences, Canadian Journal of Policy Research 2 (1): 41-­‐51. 87 Rifkin, Jeremy. (2010). The empathic civilization. An address before the British Royal Society for the Arts March 15. Found at: Seidman, Irving (2006) Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences, Teachers College Press, third edition. Siisiäinen, Martti (2000), Two Concepts of Social Capital: Bourdieu vs. Putnam. Paper presented at ISTR Fourth International Conference. "The Third Sector: For What and for Whom?" Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland July 5-­‐8, 2000. Svensson, Christian (2014). "Making money is not an end in itself": creating meaningfulness among employees of social enterprises. Antipoda. Revista de Antropología y Arqueología, (18), 241-­‐255. Teasdale, Simon(2012), What’s in a name? Making sense of social enterprise discourses, Public Policy & Administration, 27(2), pp.99-­‐119 Yunus, Muhammad (2007). Creating a world without poverty: Social business and the future of capitalism. PublicAffairs. Pp 2-­‐25. Internet sources:, What’s a Social Entrepreneur?, ULR:, Visited: 20.11.14, Author: Jensen, Christina Adler ,Svanholm Goes Carbon-­‐Neutral, ULR:­‐Neutral. Visited: 2.12.14 Gen-­‐, Global Ecovillage Network Europe, URL: http://gen-­‐, Visited: 16.12.14, Author: Bundgaard, Peder, Europe‘s Oldest Large-­‐scale Community, ULR:­‐estate. Visited: 2.12.14, Landsforeningen for Økosamfund, URL:­‐er-­‐okosamfund/, Visited: 16.12.14, What Is Permaculture?, URL:­‐is-­‐permaculture. Visited: 2.12.14 Qualitative-­‐, Author: Kinsella, Elizabeth Anne, PhD (Education) -­‐ Faculty of Health Sciences -­‐ University of Western Ontario URL: http://www.qualitative-­‐ Visited: 16.12.14, Rådet for Socialøkonomiske Virksomheder, ULR­‐for-­‐socialokonomiske-­‐virksomheder. Visited: 2.12.14 1,StorKollektiv URL: Visited from 5.09.14-­‐ 17.09.14 2, Who‘s moving in?, URL: Visited from 05.09.14 -­‐ 17.09.14 3, Beslutningsprocesser på Svanholm, URL: Visited from 05.09.14 -­‐ 17.09.14, Speaker: Jackson, Tim (2010), An Economic Reality Check, TED Globa, URL:­‐1066612, Visited: 16.12.14 88 Appendix- Interview Guide
Pre-interview considerations
English and Danish policy
What is our project about
What we are going to talk about today
How much time this will take
What is your role here at Svanholm?
Personal life at Svanholm
Can you tell us a little about your initial motivation for moving into Svanholm?
§ Why Svanholm and not another community?
§ How was the process for you when you moved into Svanholm?
§ Did you get to know the others easily?
§ Family at Svanholm?
Can you describe how a regular day looks like for you at Svanholm?
Community life at Svanholm
How is the community life at Svanholm for you and what do you gain from living in
the community?
What are for you the most important things about Svanholm that give you the feeling
of belonging to a community?
Can you explain the governing structure of Svanholm?
§ Why do you prefer a consensus based decision making?
§ Difficulties in reaching consensus? Would voting not be more efficient?
§ Role distribution
§ Participation rate
What responsibilities do you have to the community?
What do you get out of the 80% you pay to the community fund?
§ Would you pay more/less?
§ How do you use the last 20%?
§ Are you satisfied with what you get out of this economic model?
How much contact do you keep with outside Svanholm?
People and market/public
The project of Svanholm
What is in your opinion the vision of Svanholm?
§ How self-sustaining is Svanholm at the moment?
§ How much are you involved with the self-sustaining processes here at
89 Could you tell us about what motivations were there for starting the different business
and farming activities at Svanholm?
How profitable are these production activities?
§ Have there been any economic attempts that were less successful?
§ If not profitable, what makes you keep them?
§ Is Svanholm planning on expanding or starting new businesses?
Dependencies on outside society
What dependencies do you see in Svanholm from the larger society?
Ending - Is it an Alternative?
What do you see as the biggest difference between the way of living in Svanholm
and the way of living outside?
How has your life changed since you moved to Svanholm?
Is there anything that you lack by living in Svanholm? What do you think can be
improved at Svanholm?
How do you see Svanholm in the future?
Do you see the way of living in Svanholm as an alternative to the one in
the larger society? Why?
Is there anything else that you find important and has not been covered by our