Tag Archives: global ecovillage network

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?”


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.


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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