Family Take Year Out to Research Sustainable & Cohesive Living Henley Project

The Campbell Family are off on an exciting journey to research intentional living communities around the world over the next year for a sustainable and cohesive village they hope to build back in Henley.

Setting off on 6 October, Campo and his wife Katie with their children Tatty (7) Kiki (6) & Indie (3) will be staying at six communities around the world, spending two months at each.  They will be starting off at the co housing community Marmalade Lane in Cambridge and then hope (Covid restrictions allowing) to travel to Denmark, Costa Rica, West Coast of America and Israel.

Campo, a filmmaker will be capturing their journey over the next 12 months and we’ll be sharing his videos along the way.  Campo and Katie who is a school teacher have been living in Henley for 20 years.  Campo said, “I’ve been talking about this for 10 years and it’s been eating away at me.  Ultimately my firm belief is we cannot carry on building our own castles.  I cannot listen to Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough telling me what they are telling me and not do something that I feel is equivalent to what they are saying.  In 15 years time, when the world is on fire, my kids are going to ask me what did you do?  My answer hopefully is going to be – what we did was a big research project and we’ve created our own intentional living community, totally re-thinking the way we live our lives.  Community living is much more sustainable as we will be sharing resources and therefore we will have less impact on the planet.”

As well as sustainability, there are two other areas Campo will be looking at and those are happiness and inter-generational living.   Campo explains, “We need to understand what makes people happy.  We are actively going against the science.  The science says that community & connection is everything.  To be happy is to be part of a community. We are seeing a mental health crisis that is emerging.  Rampant consumerism is bad for mental health.“

Campo thinks old people have an amazing value to give to the younger generation.  He comments “We have in the UK slept walked into this scenario that we lock our old people up.  They reach a certain point and they go to a home and they see out their days there.  The biggest scandal of that is that our old people believe they are a burden.  They should go into a home.  That’s not the way it used to be or the way it is in a lot of other parts of the world. I think inter-generational living is a really successful model elsewhere.”

What does Campo think the Henley intentional living community will look like?  Camp replies, “I don’t know really know at this stage.  I’ve got more questions than answers and that’s the whole point of this year.  What I do know is we want our intentional living community to be really solid and fact based.  We will have academic institutes to back up our learning so that we can come back and create our own set of values and our structure on real stuff.  We will have seen and lived with people who have been doing this for a long time.  This is going to give us the best chance of success and ultimately the ideas for us to create and structure a way of life that can be lifted and placed somewhere else.  We can then create a model of a mini-society that can thrive and flourish elsewhere.  If we do that suddenly the goals of having a genuine impact on the planet is quite exciting.”

Tatty and Kiki will be connected to their Valley Road School friends whilst they are away as Campo is planning on doing some live link ups from around the world – bringing their learning into the classroom.

Campo concludes, “It’s a big risk to do this. I’ve sold my business and hope that we can fund some of our year through monetising it through our social media and Youtube channels.  We would love to do the project in Henley and see no reason why we can’t.  The beauty of doing something communal is when you successfully pool resources, your buying power and what you are able to achieve increases infinitely.  Rather than being sold to by building companies you become your own collective.  It’s the right time as the government have released grants for self build and it will be  super eco friendly.”

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