The common pool
Svanholm can be leading on the path towards a sustainable life, because of its small size and its self-government. The ones, who are to carry out the decisions, are the same as those who make them. It is not a representative democracy veiled by different economical and political interests, but a direct democracy where it isn't necessarily far from word to action. No view weighs more than any other, because the one presenting it coincidentally has a big bag of money. This, among other reasons, is because of Svanholms economical system. It means that when you've been admitted in the collective, your capital and what you earn go into the collective economy. Twenty % (the 2004-rate) of your gross income gets back to you and can be used on luxury items. Everybody has an equal say on how the collective part of the communities income is spent. If you've taken capital into the collective and choose to move out later on, you can take it with you out again. During the time we live together, we share both conditions and - in a large extent - economy.
To take chances
The people of Svanholm decide together how much they want to go in and support the production groups that are here, which have all, for shorter or longer periods, resulted in a deficit. Because of our common economy, we're not tied up by only having to look at the profitability of a production. We can also put emphasis on the human or ecological factor, that which is helping us further on towards a sustainable life. It is of great importance that we have these common funds, so we can allow ourselves to experiment and take some chances. That way we can start different projects and let them run for a period of time, till we can judge if they meet our demands. If we are to find new and realistic suggestions to sustainable solutions, it is very important to have this possibility. Had the people of Svanholm leaned towards the more liberal ideas of self-financing, that are so popular now, our organic farming for instance would have been a dead duck.
Joys for free
If you should need a new pair of dancing shoes, a winter coat, a new stereo, a ticket for the local cinema, or want to go for a tent trip somewhere, it has to be covered by the before-mentioned 20 %. The percentage of the gross income that each person at Svanholm gets is decided at the yearly budget rounds. It is usually not a sum that gives possibilities of excess living, but then we use the free joys to the full, like our beautiful nature, the company of one another, wild visions and working the land.