The first meeting of the national GEN networks in Europe was successfully held last January, with the participation of more than twelve networks. The discussions were conducted and brilliantly facilitated by Lucilla, from the hosting community Torre Superiore. Lucilla has been working in the secretariat of GEN Europe for many years. Alfonso Flaquer Carreras reports.
Since it was the first space for an open dialogue between the national networks, the main sessions were focussed on trying to define what are the areas in which the networks want to work together. The results were summarized in a series of questions that deepened into small working groups on the following days:
How can national networks politically influence the environment?
How to use the new Erasmus as heir to the Grundtvig scholarships?
How to deal with conflicts caused by the exclusive use of English in communications?
What is the Ecovillage Incubator and how it can help national networks?
What should the relationship be between GEN Europe and the National Networks?
Some proposals to encourage the free exchange of people between ecovillages, or an initiative to create an ecovillage caravan to cross Europe spreading our knowledge and values, were also collected.
All these issues were discussed in small groups, or plenaries, without the intent to achieve conclusions, but with the expressed intention to continue working following the meeting.
There was also space for celebrations, project presentations, and to experience the market, and tasting of local products. The result was very satisfactory to those present and, indeed, it was decided that such meetings should be conducted continuously. The next will surely happen during the GEN Europe Conference 2014 at ZEGG, Germany.
A record of what happened during the meeting is available to interested people.