We are 280 participants of the GEN+20 Summit (Global Ecovillage Network), from five continents and 50 countries, working and engaging ourselves in building resilient communities, ecovillages, 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 anymore, unemployed youth, impoverished retired people, hospitals without medicine and countless homeless people , all of whom are not responsible for the debt. Instead, they are victims of a merciless austerity policy which destroys communities, solidarity and trust and generates fear. What is needed is a different vision, different politics, and a different monetary system in order to let the country and economy thrive again.
However, there is hope. The crisis of Greece can be seen as an opportunity for the planet. For it is not only Southern Europe that needs system change, but the entire world of forests, oceans, animals and climate. Life itself is threatened under the rule of capitalism and free trade politics, profit maximization, and the consolidated corporate power that has led to war and destruction of the earth’s last intact ecosystems. Greece is only the first of the domino pieces to fall.
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 the old economical, educational and social systems can only be successful if it connects with a really effective global alternative. These alternatives are autonomous regions, industry that produces no waste and does not destroy resources, healthy water cycles, energy autonomy, reforestation, a just monetary system and modernized regional self-sustainability. 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 vital ecosystems with diverse economic possibilities and thriving communities. We have seen how community building at local, regional and national levels can lead to the revitalization of villages and regions, with local money cycles and 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 transition villages can share its experience and expertise to create models for social and ecological sustainability. Also in Greece already, there are many examples on the ground that show how building community, creating trust and solidarity, collaborating with nature and investing in local economies liberates people from the stress of endless economic growth and makes them more and more independent from the Euro system. The crisis areas of today can become the green islands of hope for tomorrow.
All these experiences can now be applied on a larger scale. They can be the basis for a movement of a new culture, for a global change of power, for a new deal for the Earth, for the training of an entire generation in strategies of sustainability.
For this vision to be realized, we, the participants of the GEN+20 Summit want to form an alliance with all sectors in Greece, all over Southern Europe and throughout the world with a common task: building models where we can experience what a healthy and wealthy life looks like without the Troika, without corporate power, and without the destruction of nature.
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, economy. We can leave the old system if we know how to build a new one. Let’s transform the illusion of scarcity into the reality of abundance. Greece could give the starting signal for a global system change.
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 aciivities 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 will compile a register of suggestions for that on our website.
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:
To summarize: “Water, food and energy will be freely available for all of humankind if we start to cooperate with the logic of nature.”