Tag Archives: ecovillage

Living future now

12 Aug

There are people living according to such values as sustainable, local, connected, resilient, circular, lean … A few hundred pioneers with such values meet every summer at the European Global Ecovillage Network conference and cross-pollinate their visions and plans.

On the third day of this year’s conference I sat in a small circle talking with Charles Eisenstein. A man in the circle said that something new is being born in the world. Charles replied: “What if this ‘new’ is already alive, but we do not see it?” After a pause, he added: “Can you imagine a conversation between two brain cells, in which one says to the other: Hey, what if we are part of a huge organism? What if we’re not alone here?”

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Photo: Ängsbacka

Our conversation continued over that very question: How would we act if we were aware that we are part of a living entity? What if we are actually not alone in the cataclysmic story unfolding before our eyes?

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Assisting GEN at Degrowth conference

12 Sep

Degrowth is a “bomb word” used to inspire in-depth debates on whether infinite growth in a finite world is desirable or even possible. A vibrant and dynamic network developed around this term, bringing together academics, activists, environmentalists and  social (r)evolutionaries, as well as global movements and organisations they belong to.

Degrowth conference in Budapest was the 5th such biannual conference since the first one organised in Paris in 2008. The goal of the conferences is to question unlimited growth, in understanding the challenges faced by society and to implement dialogues about solutions on different levels.

Around hundred degrowth-related events (panels, participatory discussions, practical workshops, exhibitions, artistic performances, concerts and parties) demonstrated the latest research and promoted cooperation in the development of scientific and political proposals, facilitation of networking and the flow of ideas between various actors working on degrowth, especially in academia.

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In the last 15 years Degrowth and GEN have occasionally come in touch and cooperated. During the 4th International Degrowth  Conference in Leipzig 2014 GEN was already represented with two representational stands, including a cozily furnished outdoor pavilion with a huge flatscreen TV showing pictures from the ecovillage life and the freshly made GEN presentation movie. This year some volunteers organised again a stand presenting the newest GEN publications including the GEN playing cards and prepared a particular interactive and well visited workshop.

It was clear that GEN fits into the conference when right at the outset the very first panellist went into etymology of the word ‘community’. Then Degrowth was presented as a young, rapidly growing community; the entire second panel was dedicated to the word semi-periphery – the political sphere between core and periphery. This was just an introduction to an array of complex sociopolitical jargon which permeated the majority of panels and talks, such as:
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Lessons from the ecovillage tour

6 May

I could have put it into an essay, a report, a video, a PPT presentation… but ultimately I spontaneously put it into a poem. It is not the best poem I’ve written, it’s more a concise list of impressions, still I hope you’ll like it… 🙂

These are my reflections from the visit of communities: Schloss Tempelhof, Schloss Glarisegg, Damanhur.

I arrived with the rising sun
greeted by laughter and love,
embraced by a sense of knowing
of what we are all about.

Beauty was vivid,
wisdom was lively,
singing was sweet,
stories were fun.

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I soaked up the best of what
there was to see in people
and things, reflections and links,
the framework of friendship:

common purpose makes a community,
transparency is the basis of trust,
tasty food invigorates the body,
common meals are the axis of a hearty group,
creativity and art empower the soul,
feminine and masculine yearn for a balance,
recurrent activities are aided by rhythm,
whatever you take, give it back
in better shape than you got it,

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A Just Society is Possible:

11 Aug

Diary from Global Ecovillage Network conference 2012

By Nara Petrovič

(The article was originally published in Slovenian in the neswpaper Delo, Sobotna priloga, August 4th, 2012)

I heard a call from across the Hungarian plains! The makers of a better world were gathering in Krishna Valley Ecovillage, south of Lake Balaton, Hungary. I joined them for the fourth time—desiring to give, and with the hope that I will learn something new, something amazing, as I have done three times so far:-

In 2009, I brought from Finland the seed of the idea of ‘cleaning the country’ in one day. In 2010, in Italy, I realized the dimensions of the phenomenon of ecovillages, and their importance in addressing pressing global problems. In 2011, I recognized the importance of water as a strategic resource and saw a practical example of restoring water landscapes; a practice worth implementing everywhere in the world. What will I learn this year, I wondered?

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ADVANCE in Slovenian Istria — August 4 to 19, 2012

21 Jun

From August 4 to 19, 2012, the emerging eco-community Naravice in Slovenian Istria (close to Koper) will host a two week event to delve into nature, people and relationships, called simply ADVANCE.

Here are a few photos 
from the last year’s event; and a nice little video from a permaculture workshop this winter (unfortunately only in Slovenian).

The event won’t be a ready-made seminar, workshop or camp, all the participants will co-create it together using methods, techniques and games for enhancing group dynamics—while working, cooking, dancing, playing …

We’ll sleep in tents and hammocks, the meals will be vegetarian.

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