A Federation of spirtual eco-communities open to the world
Large, collective properties owned by all citizens
During the 40 years since the community was founded, the economic structure of Damanhur has changed many times.
During the first 10 years, all citizens chose to share their individual income by putting it into a common fund that was used to purchase land and houses. This fund made it possible to create the basis for community development and to start work on the Temples of Humankind.
After this first essential phase, the citizens chose to return to fully managing their own economic resources. In this way, every person can have an incentive to express his or her individual potential, being supported by availability of personal economic resources. Today, Damanhur is a great collective property, and all citizens participate in the management of it.
Each community is administered as a family, where those who work participate in covering costs supporting those in need. According to the possibilities of each person, everyone participates in supporting the projects of the Federation, such as the Damanhur School and the Temples of Humankind.
Damanhurians created a housing association called Atalji in order to have collective ownership of all of the Federation's property assets. This association owns the land and the houses in the communities. This economic legacy has grown over time as Atalji has invested in acquiring new land and renovating old houses. Every citizen is a shareholder in the association, and anyone can withdraw their shares if they decide to leave the citizenship, or if they have an unexpected necessity.
In addition to Atalji, a cooperative called Punto Verde owns the facilities and land that is used for the community's agricultural activities and livestock.
A system of complementary currency, parallel to the Euro
The Credito is Damanhur's complementary currency system. The community's objective in creating this coinage was to develop a new form of economy based on the ethical values of cooperation and solidarity. The Credito is a return to the use of money in its original meaning: as a means to facilitate exchange, based on an agreement between those involved. The word "credito" (credit) reminds us that money is a tool through which we grant trust. This currency system raises the concept of money to a more noble status. It is not considered a goal in and of itself, but rather a functional tool for exchange between people who share ideals and values.
In technical terms, the Credito is a functional account unit, active in a predetermined and predefined circuit. Today, the Credito has the same value as the Euro. In compliance with Italian law and administrative obligations, purchases from all economic activities present in Damanhur provide for and favor the circulation of Credito as a system of internal exchange. Upon arrival at Damanhur, it is possible for all guests and friends to convert Euro currency at the Welcome Office or in the designated change machines located around the main areas. Credito that are unused may be reconverted into Euro at any time.
The 50 Credito silver coin, equivalent to 50 Euro, was given the Bulino d'Oro 2006 award by Red Exhibitions Italy and Graph Creative Magazine for the creation of the coin's precious design.
Many companies in various professional fields
Damanhurians have created many businesses in the fields of arts and crafts, design, construction, renewable energy, nutrition, publishing and many more. The common denominator among all Damanhur activities is the vision of the work as a means of spiritual refinement. Work is seen as a way to offer yourself to others, as a way of expressing the creative dimension and an opportunity to choose materials and processes with a low environmental impact.
Many companies are located at the Damanhur Crea center, which was renovated from an old Olivetti factory in Vidracco, Italy. Adriano Olivetti is the namesake of the Conference Center at Damanhur Crea, to emphasize the similarities that we share with his enlightened entrepreneurial vision.
Damanhur's companies are not just for people within the community. They also serve the general public, who appreciate finding so much vitality, quality and variety of initiatives in a verdant town of the Valchiusella area. The presence of so many businesses is crucial for people in the surrounding area to have a good quality of life. Thanks to these activities, the local population benefits from numerous services: from the medical clinic to the natural foods market and organic restaurant, from the art and crafts studios to the hair salon. The staff at Damanhur Crea is mainly comprised by Damanhurian citizens, and there are also numerous collaborations with local companies, professionals and artisans. Many Damanhur citizens work in their own companies, while others are engaged in work at professional studios, schools, factories, hospitals and various other enterprises in the area.