GEN International Newsletter January 2015

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GEN International Newsletter January 2015

Ecovillage Transition Strategies for Whole Systems Change – Can countries and regions shift to sustainability through community-based approaches?


Dear Friends of the Global Ecovillage Network!

The Global Ecovillage Network was founded in Findhorn/Scotland in 1995, Gaia Education grew out of GEN and was founded in 2005 – this year, GEN and Gaia Education will celebrate our 10th and 20th anniversaries together. From 6-11 July 2015, we will retu rn to Findhorn for a focused time of reflection: where has GEN come from, where do GEN and Gaia Education stand now, and how can we serve best into the future? What is the future calling for?
GEN has grown and evolved over the years. From more isolated ‘islands in the green’, ecovillages have transformed into highly vibrant and interconnected hubs and inspiring living and learning centers for high quality, low impact life styles. More and more, politicians are starting to appreciate the impact ecovillages have on their regions. More and more, ecovillages are recognised as participatory, community-based responses to our realities, e.g. climate change, loss of biodiversity or lack of social cohesion. In the words of Tim Clarke, former EU Ambassador to Tanzania, Ethiopia, Djibouti, AU, EAC and IGAD: “I have no doubt in my mind that GEN has a unique ‘niche’ amongst all international NGO as the ONLY organisation which actually develops models in the field of community development which are truly sustainable.” … Read the full editorial here

Let´s keep holding and living this dream!

We wish you great inspiration!

Kosha Anja Joubert, President GEN International
Leila Dregger, Jenefer Marquis, editors

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GEN International

First Ecovillage Summit in Dakar, Africa – Results, Challenges, and Consequences
From December 10-14, 120 people from 40 countries met for the first International Ecovillage Summit in Senegal – sponsored by the German Foreign Ministry, and organized by GEN International. Leila Dregger reports
Ecovillage Transition – Scaling Up Community Led Change Processes
In order to support societal transition, and the scaling up of ‘grassroots’ solutions to climate change, we need to couple ‘bottom-up’ with ‘top-down’ processes, says Kosha Joubert, President of GEN International. Read more 
COP20, Climate Injustice and the GEN World Summit
During the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP20) in Lima, Peru, the governments of the world gathered in December, 2014 to discuss their contributions to the reduction of carbon emissions. The negotiations were stuck in the old paradigm, unable to think outside our present system to find solutions to the grave challenges facing mankind. By Robert Hall, Managing Director of GEN Europe. Read more 
The Evolution of Money: GEN´s Role and the Proposed Ecovillage Exchange System
GEN could become the place to conceive a new paradigm of money. Jamie Brown (agent of Biomimicry in Switzerland), and Matthew Slater (an economy specialist), share about the background and proposal to create an exchange system of Ecovillages, possibly launched at the July 2015 Ecovillage Summit at Findhorn, Scotland. Read more 
Blueprint” – for Sustainable Aid in Areas of Crisis
In September, a group of specialists, entrepreneurs and representatives of aid organizations came together in Tamera to discuss the possibility of creating a “Blueprint” for coordinated aid measures in crisis and disaster areas. They were invited by Ruth Andrade who called on the friends and cooperation partners of her late husband, Paulo Mellett, to form a team that would continue his work. Leila Dregger reports. Read more 

ENA – Ecovillages North America

EcoVillage at Ithaca: National and International Recognition for TREE Neighborhood
Over the past year, ecovillagers moved into 25 completed townhouse-style homes in TREE, the long-anticipated and award-winning third neighborhood at EcoVillage at Ithaca, the largest, and perhaps most well-known ecovillage in North America. In November, 2014 TREE was awarded a coveted Zero-Energy Ready Home certification by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Diana Leafe Christian, GEN-NA – Eastern US, reports.Read more

GEN Africa

Cross the Bridge, My Friend, My Brother! Ecovillage Approach Salaayel in Mauretania
Severe droughts in recent years have had negative consequences, including impacts on the socio-economic life of people. The initiative, Salaayel, rebuilds original values to establish regional sustainability, in order to re-establish the bonds and bridges between villages, cultures and nations that had been there previously. Aly Ly, participant of the GEN Summit in Dakar, reports and shares the anthem of the initiative. Read more 

GEN Europe

Refugee Aid by Ecovillages – The Journey of a Refugee from Syria
Ecovillages of the Global North can also assist directly, by providing new opportunities for refugees. The example of Fayez Karimeh, from Syria shows the strength of our network. Leila Dregger reports. Read more
Permaculture Approach to Water Flows in the Tentyris Region of Damanhur
In Damanhur, the community region of Tentyris has a special relationship with water, honoring it as a natural force and enjoying an abundance of it on the lands. Quaglia Coco reports. Read more 


Siebenlinden Ecovillage: Sport is fun! Fitness and Games for a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle in Ecovillages.
Arturs Polis interviews Nadine Koch, in order to explore the importance of a physically active lifestyle in the ecovillage context. Read more 


GEN Middle East

Building the Foundations of GEN Palestine
Hakoritna Farm, one of the winners of the GEN Excellency Award 2014, co-hosted a meeting of GEN and Global Campus Palestine with the Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie, in order to meet the many challenges for peace and sustainability in an occupied country and to prepare the creation of GEN Palestine. Frederick Weihe reports.

GENOA – GEN Oceania and Asia

Japan: AS-ONE – The Story of a 14-Year Community Creation Process
In 2001, some volunteers gathered in Suzuka, Japan, aiming to realize a happy society free from fighting and opposition, in harmony with nature. A borderless community named “AS-ONE COMMUNITY” has been created in an ordinary neighborhood of Suzuka, a typical middle-size city and also well known as a city of the Honda company.  Hiroko Katayama, GEN ambassador reports. 
Philippines: Creating a Wholeness Center
Maia Earth Village, in the Philippines, is giving birth to the Wholeness Center, a whole-systems model in the ‘Asia of Transformation Medicine’ programs, that have global applications in supporting inner work-oriented healing centers, hospitals and energy processes around the world.  Pi Villaraza shares

CASA – Latin America

Good News from Mexico
“Why spend time chopping down a tree that is rotting from the inside out when instead you could be focusing on making sure the young trees grow safely?”  These wise words seem quite pertinent to the current sustainability movement across Mexico—and the globe. Fernando Ausin Gomes reports from Mexico. 
Brasil: Piracanga – The Power of Youth
Nara Nalinii Pais recently visited Piracanga, an ecovillage, community and human development centre in Bahia, Brazil, where she spoke with co-founder, Angelina Ataide. Read more 


GAIA Education


Ecovillage Design Education Programme – EDE in 2015
Ecovillage Design Education programmes, commonly referred to as ‘EDEs’, are a 125 hour courses which have been carried out over 190 times in more than 34 countries on six continents since 2006. More than 5,000 people have participated in these sustainable design programmes worldwide! Read more

The Global Ecovillage Network is a registered charity: SC043796 and has consultative status in the UN – ECOSOC.
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GEN – Global Ecovillage Network