My name is Niki and I'm a senior at the University of Arizona completing my bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies with focuses in environmental science, plant science, and topian societies. My two friends/ fellow students and I set out to, after visiting an almost completely sustainable off-grid community in the southwest region, create somewhat of a manifesto of: How to create, live in, and sustain a community that is not only geographically and environmentally ethical but that is also educationally and socially inviting. The three of us- Annie, Tiernay, and myself decided that we would each address a specific portion in the "how to's" of building such a community as part of an independent study we would each be initiating through the university. For my portion of the project I wanted to focus on the education in, of, and through communities. How do we relate to each other as people given time and space? What does it mean to be human, with ourselves and with others and what really is the difference (in relation to community)?
All of these questions are concepts that I wish to find answers to through research, observation, and personal interpretation. My interest for this stems from my own desire to know what clear and honest communication looks like in this day and age, and to know if it's possible for myself and the "topia" I will hopefully help to create. The word utopia translates to "no place", where the concept of "topia", as proposed by Alan Weisman author of Gaviotas means that it is or that there is such a place.
I am committed to sharing and speaking the truth (as I see it) with my team members and with all of you and am inviting you to be a part of this process and exchange. In other words- don't be shy and let's start communicating :)