Soraya El Hag from Egypt compares the transition process in the Middle East with the birth-giving of a baby. The principles needed during these, often, painful times of change are the same that are applied in the founding process of an ecovillage.
Birth-giving is composed of two words. Birth, which is the time when a baby comes out from the womb of its mother. So, it is the beginning, or origins, of something. Having a series of revolutions in the Middle East that started in the beginning of 2011, (for example in Egypt), this process can be likened to the birth giving of a child. For that child to grow, there needs to be a sense of establishment; a foundation or a stepping stone.
The same applies while forming an eco-village. This foundation is a set of ‘rules’ and social ‘mores’. This foundation could be the good governance model, for example, which has eight elements. These elements are: the implementation of law, being participatory, being in consensus ( i.e. in harmony), being responsive, accountable, transparent, equitable and inclusive, efficient and effective. These concepts could be applied as a set of rules that guarantee a good community, institution or state. The implementation of rules means that there are a set of ‘laws’ or agreements that each person of the community abides by.
Besides this, there needs to be room for participation, some points where there is consensus between members of the community, the ability to be responsive, and being able to receive feedback, or deliver it, to the people in charge.
Accountability is an important element, meaning that there should be accountability between the individuals within one community, as well as between different communities.
Transparency is an important element as well, which means openness to one another, between members of a community, as well as between communities and each other. Therefore, exchange is important, between one another, and between the different communities to make transparency easier.
This leads to the next point which is being equitable and inclusive. Being equitable means that there is equality between all members of the community, as well as inclusion. The indicator here is that efficiency and effectiveness is achieved, and this occurs by creating an equilibrium. This equilibrium is what holds the community together, by achieving the eight elements.
The foundation is essential for any growing community, or for countries that need a good foundation in order that they may step into a new era of environmental sustainability. This foundation is essential as a basis for youth to be able to grow in a sustainable world. They can be part of it, as well as being able to, themselves, build on the foundation.