19 representatives from nine European National Ecovillage Networks met in Park Istra in Slovenia, from January 18 to 22, to continue their work on the two-year Erasmus+ funded project “Sustainable Community Incubator Partnership Programme” (SCIPP).
In October, the partners of SCIPP met in Torri Superiore in Italy for the first time to work on the outline of the programme. For the second meeting in Park Istra, Slovenia we started giving the framework shape and content.We carried out an inventory of the many methods and models in order to distil from them a dynamic, three dimensional visualisation outlining ‘Intention’, ‘Structure’, ‘Implementation’ and ‘Feedback’ as the process, synthesising with the four dimensions of the Ecovillage Design Education programme (EDE): economic, social, ecological and cultural.This model will be represented within the ICT platform as the framework for. We are endeavouring to fit all the complexities of community growth into an accessible diagram. What seems to be emerging is a sequence of elements within elements in a fractal structure.
Since SCIPP is all about practice, we took some time to test a few selected group process tools that will be a part of the incubator framework. Mauge from the Spanish network RIE offered ‘Experienced field of forces’ to the Park Istra community. This highlighted the importance of such tools for projects and initiatives. It also reminded us that we need to practice in our daily lives the methods we teach.We, the developers of SCIPP, are an initiative ourselves, experiencing the same group process cycle with its tensions and successes that come with sustainable community development. We drew on the tools that will be offered in the trainings and ICT platform using a combination of the ‘fishbowl’ and ‘way of council’ to resolve a tension in the group and deepen understanding between the partners. We also opened space for feeling with the method called ‘Forum’.
In order to really capture the needs of new initiatives and incorporate this into SCIPP, a proposal was also made to carry out research gathering the key questions they have for existing communities, then carrying out a survey with selected communities. This survey will form the basis of the content of the trainings and provide an FAQ’s for the ICT platform.
Our next meeting will take place in Spain on the 10th to 15th of July to develop further the content of the tools and trainings.