We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. To move forward we must recognise that, in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. Established in Findhorn in 1995, the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) today connects more than 10,000 villages, urban neighbourhoods and intentional communities in more than 100 countries worldwide. Spanning all continents, GEN showcases high quality, low impact ways of living that have led to some of the lowest per capita footprints in the industrialised world, and a healthy integration of heritage and innovation in more traditional settings.
GEN has consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. With its 20 years of experience, GEN has a wealth of inspiration to offer, emphasising local solutions to global challenges and demonstrating that the creation of a different world is possible!
As human beings living in community, not only is there no need for us to further destroy our beautiful planet, we are actually able to regenerate the very fabric of life around and within us. We can heal ecosystems: the waters, the soils, the atmosphere, forests, oceans, and coastlines. We can create sanctuaries for biodiversity to flourish again. We can heal social isolation and historic wounds, communicate across all sectors and divides and celebrate the wealth and diversity of our cultural heritage. We can create cyclic economies that serve environmental and societal wellbeing instead of the maximisation of profit. When we pool the best of our intelligence and wisdom to these ends, we can shift from business as usual to an entirely new paradigm. We can live a new story.
With the regional networks GEN-Africa, GENOA (Asia and Oceania), the South and North American networks CASA and GEN-NA, GEN-Europe, GEN provides us with a direct link of friendship and understanding between people and projects from the North and South, East and West – a heart connection that enables us to feel that we are working towards solutions for one planet.
Going beyond the ‘green islands’ or ‘life boats’ concept of its first decade, today the GEN is shifting into becoming a transformative knowledge network that works in close alliance with like-minded organisations and other sectors in order to optimise sustainable development strategies for whole societies.
In conjunction with Gaia Education, GEN has developed a set of trainings to facilitate the transition to resilience – learning journeys for change makers and design processes for communities to chart their own pathways into the future.
We thank all those who serve and contribute, nourish and use the Global Ecovillage Network in the service of a future worth living.
Kosha Anja Joubert, President GEN International
Jenefer Marquis, Leila Dregger, Editors