Auroville, a Utopian Community for Real

Auroville, a Utopian Community for Real

Xavier Pavie 16/11/2019 8

Happy to share with a few students a new trip to Auroville for Asian Strategy Consulting Project, a partnership with ESSEC Asia Pacific and Capgemini Invent.


I was lucky to meet Manoj Das Gupta who is the “head” of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 85. Very close to The Mother he is also in charge of Sri Aurobindo International Education. We had a very interesting conversation about this amazing school with no exams, no grades or evaluation. For the very first time one year ago we welcomed one of this school’s student at ESSEC (his first exam was the GMAT).

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His father is on the right side. Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, an integral part of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, serves as a field for experiment and research in education. For years Sri Aurobindo has considered the formation of a new system of education as one of the best means of preparing the future humanity to manifest upon earth a divine consciousness and a divine life. To give a concrete shape to his vision, the Mother opened a school for children on December 2, 1943. 

After a third stay in Auroville and despite the many meetings, I keep having more questions about what is a real aurovillian? Are people contributing or benefiting from it? Is it behaving as one even outside the community? Are they following the teachings of Mother and Aurobindo? Are they developing one's spirituality or are they looking for new ways of life? There are so many initiatives and ideas, constructions to develop new worlds bringing however many paradoxes in this small city of 3000 people. Nevertheless, they are pioneers, it is an experiment like no other, that must inspire ourselves. Since the Greeks and especially Socrates we’ve come to realize that the search for spirituality, has never taken away mundane life. So let’s be inspired by this community’s initiatives, and consider Auroville as a spiritual exercise so as to bring back the meaning of the banality of everyday life, just as Thoreau wanted to bring back his Walden.

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  • Mark Andrews

    There's just one problem with Auroville: it's freaking HOT.

  • Clive Wilkinson

    When people say communism doesn't work...It does but only on a very small scale

  • Dean P

    A place like Auroville is a dream place. ZERO per cent of crime!!!!!! WOW!

  • Kumar Mohit

    I hope every towns around India be like Auroville.

  • Gary Bowman

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Michael Doyle

    India & "no religion" are the two things I never thought would exist together, having said that it's India anything is possible.

  • Stephen Garnham

    Auroville looks and sounds like the most perfect place on the planet

  • Paul Hailstone

    From the way you described, it's exactly a utopian world.

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Xavier Pavie

Higher Education Expert

Xavier Pavie is a Professor at ESSEC Business School, he is Director of the iMagination Center, Associate Academic Director Grande Ecole (MiM) - Singapore - and Research Associate at the IREPH (Research Institute in Philosophy). After spending nearly fifteen years in various organizations (Nestlé, Unilever, Club Méditerranée) in marketing and innovation roles, he joined ESSEC in 2008 as Director of the Institute for Strategic Innovation & Services.  In 2014, he founded the iMagination Center whose activities are centered on imagination, innovation and transdisciplinarity. In 2015, iMagination Week received the Prize for Pedagogical Excellence. In 2017 iMagination week is recognized as one of the most innovative pedagogical method accross disciplines by AASCB and The Wharton - QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards.  Xavier has published numerous books and articles in management and philosophy both academically and for a wider audience. He also regularly contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Les Echos and La Tribune. Xavier holds a Master in Management, a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Université Paris Ouest. He also holds a further teaching qualification -International Teachers Programme of HEC Paris.

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