We are the 280 participants of the Global Ecovillage Network GEN+20 Summit.
From 5 continents and 50 countries, we are all engaged in building ecovillages: resilient communities that are models for sustainability and autonomy throughout the world.
With concern, compassion and anger we witness the situation in Greece; families who cannot feed their children, unemployed youth, impoverished retired people, hospitals without medicine and countless homeless people… none of whom are responsible for the debt. Instead, they are victims of a merciless austerity policy, which generates fear and destroys communities, solidarity and trust.
A different vision is needed: different politics and a different monetary system that enable the country and economy to thrive again.
The crisis in Greece is an opportunity for us all to reconsider the ways in which our governance and economic systems impact people’s lives and the resources around us. It’s a wake–up call to re-think and re-assess the current capitalist and trade models. It’s a call to put different value systems in place that respect the primacy of the world’s ecological systems upon which we all depend for survival. It’s a call to politicians and those who govern the banking systems in Greece to seek humane, viable, sustainable solutions that give hope rather than despair, life rather than misery.
We are all Greece.
The issue is no longer just about debt. It is about a fundamental system change. Only on the foundation of healthy nature and healthy communities can a sustainable and equitable economy exist. When the mega-systems lose their power, it is life that will win. We have experienced it in many projects and regions throughout the world: a new system can only be created by citizens who come together in many places and at many levels to build autonomous decentralized communities and cooperate intimately with the powers of nature.
An exit from old economic, educational and social systems can only be successful if it connects with effective global alternatives. These alternatives include modernized regional self-sustainability, industry that produces no waste nor destroys resources, healthy water cycles, renewable energy autonomy, reforestation, and equitable monetary systems. GEN has been working on these alternatives for 20 years.
People in Southern Europe can learn how to regenerate the potential wealth of their land.
We have experienced how quickly a damaged region can be turned into a vital ecosystem with thriving communities. We have seen how community building at local, regional and national levels can lead to the revitalization of regions, with local money cycles and the regeneration of nature. With this knowledge, each region can become independent from so-called ‘aid’ measures, behind which inevitably lie profit-making interests and restrictive contracts.
The global movement to found ecovillages, communities, transition towns and villages can share its experience and expertise to create models for social and ecological sustainability. In Greece, there are many examples on the ground that show the benefits of building community, working in collaboration with nature and investing in local economies. The crisis areas of today can become the green islands of hope for tomorrow.
GEN’s experiences across the world show that community–led development, which is respectful of nature and people and is truly sustainable, leads to completely different vision of how we should live. Such a vision, if scaled up, can be the basis of a new culture, and the creation of new governance and economic systems.
We, the participants of the GEN+20 Summit, want to form an alliance with those in Greece and throughout the world with a common task: building new economic and governance models in which we experience what healthy and wealthy life truly looks like.
We can leave the old system once we know how to build a new one.
As realisation dawns on the corporate world that their current practices are doomed to failure, let Greece be a starting point for a global system change. Let´s support the fledgling ecovillage projects in Greece to become models and training centres for all steps of a global system change: water, energy, food, community building and economy.
Let’s transform the illusion of scarcity into the reality of abundance.
Let’s also work with civil society groups in Greece to try to seek reconciliation and healing, to repair the damage done to societies and communities, to build hope, to define a new economic paradigm that will restore dignity and respect and create a future worthy of the name.
We are all Greece. When life wins, there will be no losers.
GEN takes action:
Greece will be in our hearts and minds and on our priority list for the next five years at least. In the first instance, we will co-host a networking meeting at Skala Ecovillage (www.skalaecovillage.com) from August 28 – 30 as a starting point for GEN´s support of the Greek network. GEN will host a page of its website with current information about activities and actions generating hope for Greece and Southern Europe.
We have 3 specific invitations:
1.We invite experts to share basic skills to build ecovillages, communities, local economies, and transition towns as models for sustainability.
2.We invite students, tourists and volunteers to spend a part of their holidays in Greece, join the activities and help to create the models. We have compiled a register of suggestions for that here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=za4VyxKh7MDg.ks7_WURRXX2s&usp=sharing
3.We invite investors and everybody interested in justice to donate whatever sum they can or wish into the next Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) in Greece.
Please donate here:
or use the paypal account of: [email protected] with the keyword: “We are Greece”
“Water, food and energy will be freely available for all of humankind if we start to cooperate with the logic of nature.” (Dieter Duhm, co-founder of Tamera/Portugal)