Tell Us a Bit About You.
I'm Nick Heyming, the representative for the Land and Human Relations Circles at EVO, as well as designated dangerous tour guide, hot tub operator, technical maven, and audio-visual guy. As you can tell, I wear quite a few hats around the Emerald Village, which is the way that I like it. I really enjoy sharing our space with the larger community, and helping people envision how they could create something similar for themselves.
What is the work you do in the world?
I'm currently working on my benefit corp. start-up, Grow Games Interactive, to develop disaster.tools, a web application to help victims and volunteers after disaster identify needs and resources, and then do real-life missions to address those needs and deploy those resources and document their progress to learn and share. It's an outgrowth of a project called Seeds: The Game that I've been working on for a few years now, which is a community gardening and permaculture app. I've got some really awesome partners working on it with me right now, and we're hoping to get a working version of disaster.tools out in the next few weeks to help with the recent hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes, and a beta version of Seeds out in the next few months.
How does living in community support or inform your presence in the world?Living in community is about more than just having some land and awesome neighbors. It's about a chosen family that extends far beyond the walls of our little compound. When we first started at the Emerald Village we'd have frequent work parties where we invited the community at large to come in and help us get our place together. Lately, we mostly just handle our work internally, and try to focus our outreach on providing education and celebration opportunities for our extended network of family and friends. We just found that we really want our village to be in service to those living outside of it, rather than the other way around.
I also take it upon myself to distill the best parts of what we're creating here and help share them with the outside world. One example would be the Flowbrary, a mobile version of our Elemental Flow Dojo with hundreds of different kinds of flow props that I've taken out to events like Youtopia, Original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, and Burning Man. We have an awesome outdoor gym and obstacle course that I've built out here at EVO, and we use it regularly for personal development, physical practice, and accessing flow states. It's important to me to share those skills and tools with the outside world though, and helping make flow states and peak physical and mental performance accessible to those who've never been exposed to them before.
What is your greatest lesson in living in community.
Being in an ecovillage is rife with lessons, both the fun and the difficult kind. My greatest lessons have been humility and patience. I am a big dreamer and have visions of how we can change the world with our various projects, but living in community has helped me become aware of my limitations and humble myself to ask for help. It's also shown me how to pace myself and scale projects up so that they grow organically rather than putting the cart before the horse and running out of steam. That being said, it's awesome to almost be 7 years in, and to see all the progress that we've made. It can feel like we're running in molasses sometimes, then I look around while giving a tour and realize, "Wow, we've really come a long way!"