I’m a 28-year-old British man and I’ve decided to spend a year of my life visiting and studying communal living projects around the world. I have a deep seated belief that the ways of the wealthy Western world – and the structures of our society – have painful consequences for both ourselves and those poorer than ourselves in other countries. I believe that some clues on how we can shape society to increase global human wellbeing exist in fringe movements which are often labelled as ‘intentional communities’.

By personally investigating these communities, I hope to learn about alternative forms of government and how they work in practice. I want to experience first-hand how the people in these communities view themselves, view their project, view wider society – and how living in that community actually makes them feel.

I first set out on this journey to gather knowledge so I could set up my own festival-commune project – an annual, month-long arts event where participants cook, clean, sleep, build and make art together. As soon as I began my research, I realised I had under-estimated what I’d need to learn.

This blog is a symptom of my investigation. It is a log where I can track my thoughts and help myself understand what I’ve seen and felt. Each community I visit I enter with an open-mind and an open-heart, but I am a naturally critical and questioning person – and I have the urge to write.

I’m also a playwright, a musician, a journalist and many other things that fit into the cliché of being a young privileged man trying to find his way in the world.

This is just a space I come to think out loud.

If you’d like to contact me directly, please feel free: thisisrichthornton@gmail.com