Members and Community

Lilleoru community is composed of the people who come to study here and help to maintain and develop the place.

In the beginning years the group was small and there was no need for a formal organization- the decisions were made by simply discussing the matter at hand within the group. 
As time went by, the community grew, and the need for coordination arose. The first governing body was created in 1999 according to Native American traditions - the Council of Elders. In 2001, nonprofit organization MTÜ Lilleoru was formed in order to give a clear shape to the activities of the community that had been active and growing for 10 years already.

Currently, the organization has 70 members. These are the people who come to study here, and who want to actively support the functioning and development of the place. One does not have to be a member in order to participate in the studies or activities, but membership does offer benefits: discounts on fees for courses, events, lodging and meals. Before becoming a full member one has to complete a year long candidacy in order to get to know the community.

The community is not limited to members of the nonprofit organization, and a large number of community members do not reside at Lilleoru. About a thousand people throughout Estonia are, to a greater or lesser extent, involved with Lilleoru. Couple of hundred of them regularly participate in activities at the center. In addition, there are twenty to thirty people from other countries in Europe (Finland, Germany, Austria, etc) who are part of our community as well. They visit Lilleoru whenever it’s possible for them – those who live nearby come every week, the ones living throughout Estonia visit several times a month and the members who live abroad come when they can, couple of times a year.

We see as members of the community the people who in addition to studying here also contribute their time, skills or other means towards communal wellbeing. The study and practice of collaboration- the basis of community- has played an important role since the very beginning of Lilleoru as a tool for deepening the exploration of human capabilities. Joint activities are an important part of Lilleoru’s daily schedule. 

The intentional community is composed of people who have made the conscious choice to be here, to share the values and goals of the community and to support each other. During its twenty years of operation, Lilleoru has become the largest and oldest intentional community in Estonia.