The Convivium Manifesto
We grow and maintain a small, thick community of 60 engaged persons (cf. Goldilocks principle: “not to small, not too big, just right!”) who value achieving — in their lifetime — the most excellent and meaningful social arrangements among themselves (based on wisdom and habits of the ages down to the most current scholarship and most effective practices for individual and communal flourishment/eudaimonia). We do not accept the perceived or actual failures and disappointing performances of corporations, governmental agencies, other institutions, but we also don’t accept excuses for ourselves and our too-often mediocre, self-congratulatory life stances and performances. Instead, we uphold a strong sense of responsibility, agency, creativity and generativity over our lives and those around us, our neighbors — as truly we must live in the most amazing, even the best, of times and places.
We envision and seek to embody the potential of small committed civil society communities (sometimes called mediating institutions) to heal significant portions of the world around us and to find creative remedies to what ails ourselves and the more unfortunate among us. The Convivium, as a social arrangement, as a contract, even covenant of sorts, is a tool (an Illichian tool) to directly benefit and nurture ourselves and, in the same process, our neighbors. Just as significantly, the Convivium is also to be an organic organization model, an exemplar, a template, a paradigm for all to see — and for all to be encouraged by what a set of 60 average Americans can accomplish in unison — in their lifetime, if they put their minds, hearts, hands and spirits to it. We are better together. Wanted: attention, courage, dedication.