Welcome to the GEN Spring Newsletter of 2013 !
Thank you for taking time to read the news of ecovillages around the world.
Editorial by Kosha Joubert and Leila Dregger
Looking at our world today, it is unclear whether humanity is waking up in time to collectively change our pathways into the future. We see growing tensions in Central Asian countries; economic crises leaving people in Europe and USA without securities they have long taken for granted; continuing tensions in the Middle East and exploitation of resources in Africa. We see nature’s species dwindling and climate change intensifying.
At the same time, care and love seem to be growing forces in our global arena.
The Global Ecovillage Network is part of this healing, positive movement growing from civil society: people coming together, building and strengthening communities, transitioning traditional villages into ecovillages, creating human settlements where we can share with each other and take responsibility for our lands, the surrounding nature and our fellow beings.
Read the full editorial
Journey to Senegal – Our Common Future. An African experience of traditional village transition to ecovillage
Senegal is the first country to utilize ecovillage strategies for sustainable development with a Government Agency for Ecovillages, dedicated to transitioning 14.000 traditional villages to ecovillages! The government was inspired by the work done within the grassroots network of GEN-Senegal, a network of 45 ecovillages.
In February, 2013, Jane Rasbash of the Gaia Education Board, Kosha Joubert, President of GEN-International and Advisory Board GEN-Africa, and Ousmane Pame, President of GEN-Africa, travelled to Senegal to witness and support the progress of the movement – and to plan a Global Ecovillage Summit in Senegal in 2014. More
Ghana Permaculture Institute
GEN Ghana was founded in 2013. One of its members is the Ghana Permaculture Institute, a non profit organization in Techiman, in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. Paul Yeboah shares the work of this initiative, which has been supported by the UK based company Lush. It shows how permaculture and ecovillage principles provide solutions for regions that are ripe for making the change to a more sustainable lifestyle. More
GEN Asia and Oceania – and NextGEN
Spirit of Asia: NextGEN in GENOA (GEN Oceania and Asia) gaining momentum
Half of the world´s population is under 20 years old. It is the young people of the planet – their resilience and positive power for a change – who are the vital future decision makers and responsibility holders. NextGen, the youth movement of GEN, has created educational and action tools to empower the youth of the villages – and to make them aware of alternatives to the current destructive power of globalization. In Thailand, Japan, Ladakh, Bangladesh and Australia, NextGEN has connected with networks and established activities to support young people in their visions and concerns as well as their power to make a change. At the same time NextGEN is building bridges between the youth generations, the traditional value holders, and the spirit of the existing villages. More
Ecovillages as Alternatives, Models and Learning Places to Overcome the Economic Crisis in Southern Europe
How are ecovillages affected by the economic crisis in Southern Europe? From the answers of initiatives and ecovillages in Spain, Portugal and Greece it seems that the crisis actually empowers and accelerates the ecovillage movement. As old securities fall apart, people start to look for alternatives. And so, ecovillages face a challenge to demonstrate their knowledge and to develop into best practice models, ecovillage ‘midwives’, and training places to foster regional autonomy. By Leila Dregger. More
Community Convergence for the Fast Growing Ecovillage Movement in Romania
The last two years have shown a real trend of growth in new initiatives in Romania, and all over Central and Eastern Europe. There is an accelerating pace in the starting of new projects, and in the connections being made to the existing global and European networks. In June,2013, the new community Aurora, in Romania, will be the venue for Community Convergence. By Andrei Iuroaia. More
CASA – GEN Network of South America
The “Rain Boat” of the Amazon
Expedition Barco Iris is a home, a means of transport, a stage of a conscious theatre and an itinerant school that shares knowledge amongst indigenous people and settlers. Barco Iris is one contribution to an intentional sustainable future as well as being Carleton Vaux´ and Henny Freitas´ house, floating through the heart of the Amazon. More
ENA – GEN North America
LAEV – an urban eco-village in Los Angeles
Every second person on this planet lives in a city or town. We definitely need vision and solutions for a sustainable and humane urban lifestyle. We need in other words – eco-villages in cities. Los Angeles is the second biggest city of the United States and in its urban heart, the Los Angeles Eco-Village of forty inhabitants works to strengthen communities, and bring neighbors, art, and environmental action together. It intends to ‘reinvent how we live in the city’. This update is about three areas where the Eco-Village has inspired the City: urban gardening, a bicycle program after a role-model in Bogotá, and an alternative economy. More
ENA – GEN North America
Why Earthaven Ecovillage, USA, Changed Its Decision-Making Method
Decision making processes are a big and challenging topic for communities and ecovillages. While many started with the consensus principles, most have changed that in the meantime, as they feel it gives individuals too much power to block the group. Diana Leafe Christian, longtime editor of Communities Magazine and member of Earthhaven Ecovillage in USA, has observed the processes in different communities and gives an overview. More
Earth Day on April 22nd
In collaboration with the Earth Day Network, GEN invites ecovillages worldwide to invite neighbours to visit the site or offer a presentation on ecovillage lifestyles in a city! Any kind of awareness raising activity is welcome – set up a local market, play games, open meaningful conversations, build community! On this day, we all will share a sense of mutual support and connection around the world in an hour of silence, reflection and meditation. This will happen at 9.00 am in Rio, 12.00 am in Dakar, 2.00 pm in Berlin, 4.00 pm in Moscow and 9.00 pm in Tokyo. Please check on worldclock to find out what the time will be in your location. To make visible our network, we ask you to please enrol atwww.gen-europe.org/ed2013 – your location will show up on our worldmap and we will know you are with us! If you have any questions, please contact Katie at[email protected].
Ecovillages Online Solution Library
As the cradle of human civilization, Africa provides a rich archive of humanity´s wisdom within its tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The online Solution Library gleans this traditional and contemporary knowledge, publishing solutions from the global sustainable development models, and specifically from the cultural heritage wealth of Africa. The initiator, Niveen Adel Morsy, is a GEN-Africa Ambassador and the Islamic Heritage Manager of CULTNAT (the Egyptian Centre for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage). More
New GEN International Office Opened at Findhorn Ecovillage, Scotland
In a quiet corner of one of the newest co-housing developments of the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland, the GEN International office is opening its doors for business, as the fresh Scottish spring brings new life to the land. It is a fitting location for the international headquarters of the ecovillage movement, as Findhorn is one of the nine seed group members of the Global Ecovillage Network. More