Look at HowThis Guy Is Turning a Former GMO Farm Into a Visionary Eco-Town

Written by on January 14, 2016 in Eco-Friendly, Environment with 0 Comments


By Erik Huston | The Plaid Zebra

The second that he joined the Skype call, energy filled the entire room. From the moment he opened his mouth, to the time we clicked ‘call end,’ I was wholly captivated. His overwhelming excitement could only be attributed to a single-minded purpose – Freedom Culture.

Marc Angelo Coppola’s contagious vision is of a world that is not bound by limiting institutions. In fact, in a Freedom Culture, institutions work in favour of the individual, promoting their freedom so they can contribute their greatest gifts to the world without constraint. For Coppola this is paramount, but it was not always this way.

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In 2010 Coppola simultaneously graduated from school and sold his skate park business, “South-Parc”. South-Parc was one of his first enterprises, and his identity was deeply tied to it. Whether you’re a parent of a child, or a business, letting your baby go will always be a challenge. For Coppola, the decision to sell, although difficult, launched him on a journey of self-understanding and new beginnings.

With the decision to move on from South-Parc, Coppola’s identity had been completely uprooted and replaced with a deep longing. He knew almost immediately that he would not find what he was looking for at home in Montreal, so he set out for answers. His searching led him across many countries and let him experience different cultures. Coppola did not know what he was looking for, but he knew that whatever it was it had to be something of consequence, something that would truly bring about a better world.

Coppola’s ventures were not exclusive to the physical environment; he knew that to find whatever it was that he was seeking, he needed to traverse the realm of the mind. So, he ventured to the places of the mind that most people consciously choose to avoid. To get there he watched hard-hitting and eye-opening documentaries. He committed to watching one documentary a week; documentaries about our failing world, documentaries that made his head spin. And with every tragic story he watched, he could feel a fire burning within.

Coppola’s travels continued for a year, all the while steeping his mind in the despair of reality-based media. In the end he came to a definite conclusion. “What I recognized is that there was so much information on the problems, but very little on the solutions,” says Coppola. “I decided to put my money and mouth where my mind was and step up and do something.”

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This was the beginning of a movement, which has since exploded across the globe and is only growing bigger every day. It’s called the Valhalla Movement.

2.Valhalla movement (1 of 1)

About 20 minutes outside of Montreal, driving southeast, a collective of entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and hard working change agents are constructing Valhalla Montreal – a small city that aims to bring about a shift in global consciousness. And this is just the beginning.

According to Coppola, the Valhalla Movement is “a giant sandbox style experiment, both online and off, to change the culture of ‘sustainability’ and make it mainstream and sexy.”

For Coppola, sustainability is not just a bunch of hippies creating a hemp garden (although, one of Valhalla’s goals is to grow acres of organic hemp). Valhalla’s over-arching goal is to make sustainability appealing to everybody, so that our entire culture will eventually accept it as the norm.

To get the ball rolling towards this, the “Sustainability Learning Center” will begin construction in 2016. The school will teach the values necessary to overcome humanity’s challenges, by empowering students both mentally and physically. Some of these values include community, knowledge, action and sustainability.

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To get the ball rolling towards this, the “Sustainability Learning Center” will begin construction in 2016. The school will teach the values necessary to overcome humanity’s challenges, by empowering students both mentally and physically.

In the Valhalla community, “we” is thought of as an extension of “me”. Their manifesto states that community “is a web of interdependent individuals who strengthen the whole by acting together through their collective values.”

One collective value is knowledge, which for the members is about more that just facts. Knowledge is about developing a passion for learning and deeply valuing educational culture. But of course, knowledge is nothing without action. The Valhalla community sees action as creating measurable targets that can be moved towards everyday. The community’s manifesto states: “We vote every day with our money, time, attention and energy towards what we are effectively advocating with our actions”. Acting with all of these values in mind creates sustainability, which allows people to live with the complex processes of the planet instead of fighting against them.


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