What is ENA

What is Experimental Network Autonomy (ENA)? Our idea is to build a local production system and ecosystem that is able to thrive, parallel to the existing capitalist modes of production.

Our 21st century consumer lifestyles have negative impacts beyond the obvious social and environmental harm; we risk losing our ability to correct the course of the super tanker that is globalized society. We see more and more people less integrated and engaged in society and community, and many feel themselves as permanent migrants in an insecure world. It is time for a lifeboat! One that can sustain ourselves for some time and that fosters the values that we need: respect for each other, space for nature, freedom of expression and equal opportunities. So, we started a life experiment by designing an "urban survival unit". Since the start of this project 6 years ago, we have rebuilt our community to its 4th version. We foster these above-mentioned values on a local level for our community, by gardening, cooking and fixing things together. Our unit consists of community-run, locally based, food, energy and water production systems, which are described in detail in this manual.

The overall question is to identify to what extent we can take (back) control of our basic life conditions in an urban environment in order to autonomously foster the values we strive for. To what extent are we able to empower ourselves on a local community level? Can we change society by not depending on the traditional institutes, such as state democracy, or market-driven technological solutions? How can we be a good citizen, a good friend or a good neighbour in a society that seems to reduce options for attractive future perspectives, and trustworthy guidance?

The political-economic system, as it currently operates, produces a dangerous level of negative social and ecological side effects, such as economic insecurity, inequality, environmental degradation and loss of habitats and biodiversity, to name a few. We can say with sufficient certainty that the paradigm of progress, namely that we need economic welfare to repair the damage done by said progress, has lost its appeal. The degrees of freedom to act against the negative side effects are reduced so much that we see people start to revolt everywhere on the planet.

Our idea is to build a local production system and ecosystem that is able to thrive, parallel to the existing capitalist modes of production. On a local level, with a small group of dedicated people, we can make a real difference for ourselves, and for our surroundings. This new local praxis is indeed challenging but, as we will show, does not necessarily imply destroying or avoiding the current system.

How does it work? How can the preference for the economies of scale and concentration of property and power of the current system be reversed to foster more power and influence for the local praxis? What are the keys to success in our ENA paradigm, described in detail below, which can best neutralise the damaging tendencies of the current system?

Feel free to contact us!

Handbaalstraat, 10, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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Peer Production license.
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