This is the time when we are reinventing ourselves as humanity. Our capacity to destroy ourselves and most other species on the planet, simply by continuing ‘business as usual’, is right up in our faces. The wakeup call is ringing loud and clear.
We are called to re-own our capacity to be guardians and healers of life and thus truly come home to the planet and ourselves. In GEN, we believe that every community has the right to protect and the capacity to restore their environments. We believe that we can heal our past and invite a future that is in alignment with natural law. We believe that a world that lives within its means and builds bridges of solidarity across all borders is not only possible, but true to our very nature. So, we are doing our best, as GEN, step by step, to fulfil our response-ability, our purpose, our piece of the puzzle.
More than 10 years ago, Gaia Education was born from the folds of GEN, to carry the Ecovillage Design Education into the world. In 2016, GEN decided that, in addition to continuing this close partnership, an own educational arm is needed. GEN Education was born to develop direct support for both GEN Ambassadors worldwide, who wish to consolidate and strengthen their messages, and for the communities and networks on the ground that GEN reaches out to. We need formats and approaches that work for all, for mothers, farmers and youth, in different cultures and settings – visually expressive, playful, short, but continuous interventions and inspirations. In addition, GEN Consultancy was launched to share expertise and solutions from across the world, and ensure that the power of communities is indeed catalysed in any such processes. We are creating tools to teach practical solutions that marry our care for the planet with our need to make a living, and allow us to make social innovation transferable and replicable – so that ecovillage solutions can become a true force for transformation.
In 2017, GEN is calling for consolidation. Time to breathe more deeply and to solidify who we are and what we stand for. GEN and the GEN regions are settling into clear agreements around mutual response-abilities, thus deepening this fruitful marriage between partners that are culturally diverse, yet committed to the same core. Together, we are working with the Ecovillage Impact Assessment to monitor, evaluate and showcase what is happening on the ground; and tracing our outreach to 10.000 communities. GEN is deepening its efforts to bring our skills to rebuilding after disaster, through EmerGENcies. We are formulating the 5 ecovillage programmes, with global examples, and will be present at COP23 to deepen our conversations with government representatives – and civil society from around the world.
It is a privilege to serve amongst such a rich and diverse alliance of people of integrity and heart – where no matter which country or ecovillage we visit, the ones we meet are family. We can go far together. May your heart be safe, your hands be warm and your dreams come true!