Rome, ItalySeptember 1, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C
Last stop Roma! Where I managed to learn a bit of Italian "a-llor-a" and stay with very hospitable, warm hosts!
Here I am with my certificate, post-ecovillage design education (EDE). 25 days of intense, challenging, motivating and above all rewarding experiences. In this update I will summarize my intentions for taking this course, the educational take aways from the course, and how I plan to implement them.
Why did I choose to engage with such an intensive course so far away from home?
For me, an EDE equates to a deeper understanding of whole system issues while offering tangible solutions that we can implement during these unsettling political, ecological, and social climates. Another huge selling point was that finishing this course qualifies me to be able to teach ecovillage courses to others. Although ecovillages are taught all over the world I decided to take the one in the Netherland because it included visiting the an Earthship community and teachings by a transition town (sustainable cities initiative) professional.
My biggest take aways?
- new tools: workshops I can use to convey a powerful, uplifting message
- tools to build and organize community
` - a recollection of education and experience I have gained in the past five years of study in a way that is easily able to replicate and teach others
- a clear starting point in which I can design a multifaceted project that is based in ecological, social, economical, and world view dimensions.
How did this course contribute to my future endeavors and goals?
-immediately I will be using some of the exercises in the next gen north America event in September
-i will be applying the Ecovillage concepts in Austin Permaculture Guild's organizational model and teachingsRead more
I am now 10 days in to my Ecovillage design course. The Gaia education model (which is the organization that is certifying this course) offers a mandala with four dimensions; social, ecological, economic, and worldview. Each of the classes we are taught falls under one of these categories or more (simultaneously). An intention of this model is to show us the interweaving of each of these components as a whole system and as the details. During this process, we as a group have realized that this model is an ideal, a picture that we want to create, but it cannot relate to our currently reality. It is important that we recgonized these gaps so that we can build bridges from our current systems towards a thriving, resilient future.
The course has been excellent in giving me tools that I can use to teach my local community back at home and an inspiration in what I can create and co-create with others. 10 days in, 15 days left!
See the mandala and Ecovillage I've been visiting down below 💓🙌Read more
I spent the past few days in Copenhagen, the most bike friendly city in the world. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with my experience. I think it was just to materially based for me. There is an awesome part of the city called Christinia. 40 years ago squatters took over this abandoned village and made it their home. Today they still live there and it has become one of Copenhagen's most financial bearing attraction. That being said this anarchist community is also very materialistic even though it boasts it's green efforts...I have to say the botanical garden was it's saving grace.
Let's see what Amsterdam has to offer ;) I'll be in the Netherlands for five weeks taking my Ecovillage design education. Stay posted 😚😊😘😎Read more
This journal entry is my overall experience of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Europe conference at Angsbacka Retreat center in Molkom, Sweden. Written below is highlights, critiques, and fulfillment reflections in that order. Please do not take anything to heart without reading the whole journal article. And feel free to reach out to me email@example.com
My intention for the gen conference was to connect with change makers all over the world. We become more resilient when we unite together as a global community. Some of these inspirational being I had met via Skype/ zoom, email, and other media platforms. I knew that it would be much more integrative and impactful if I met them in person. I knew that I would feel much more supported in the world when I create this connection to the network. Now, after the conference, I can say I my intentions came to fruition as well as much more!
Bonding with the GEN, NextGEN, and angsbacka network has been such a gratifying experience. Most importantly, the connections that I already had became much more dynamic. I got to know my gen friends as people who had relationships, goals, dreams, food preferences, etc. I got to see some of them in their peak experience; dancing, speaking in front of large crowds, holding workshops, snuggling. I feel so grateful that I was able to support my friends and engage in these experiences as well.
Another take away was a new perspective of what is still needed within the GEN/NextGEN movement to make it more cohesive.For NextGEN: A contact page on the GEN website is definitely a must. A general email contact would be good as well. Also a more unified voice as a youth movement. Something we need to more clarity around is the age range of NextGEN. Currently it is between 18-30 but I feel like people outside of that age range should/ would like to participate in the youth movement. Participation of a more experienced voice is still critical aspect of our youth movement. And people who are in the later thirties may still resonate with the youth movement.
As for the my growing perspective of GEN, I now can understand the set up and history of GEN as a whole and the region of GEN Europe. I also was able to see the connection between GEN Europe and GEN North America as we had a few informal representatives of North America at the conference including myself, Cynthia, Daniel Greenberg, Charles Eisenstein, and others from U.S. Our voices were very necessary during this conference. In GEN, I also feel like I am reinspired to contribute to the larger movement and specific aspects like refuGEN, emerGENcies, and GEN consultants. As these projects are on stand still, I'd like to help support their emergence and evolution.
Some of my critiques were that patriarchy was spoken about but a majority of the immediate participants did not seem to have a clear awareness of how they were supporting the patriarchal structure. An example is men who did not openly pay recognition to women holding this movement or wanting self recognition first. It seemed that many of these men did not hold space for women to have an equal voice and through their actions I perceived that they felt more qualified to answer questions etcetera. Also as GEN Europe, I felt overall lack of awareness how patriarchy affects the dispersion of resources and education while affecting the overall global environment. Even if this awareness is known through GEN members it wasn't outwardly taught and emphasized as much as it needed to be. I believe that we as white, westernized people need to be re-educated on how our privilege as white people affect the rest of global resources. All that being said, I do feel like we are still an overall progressive group. Meaning that GEN International is very aware of this separation and impact on global degradation. On webcam meetings I have experienced that awareness much more but as GEN Europe I feel like that awareness needs to be deeply integrated.
Angsbacka as a space was so healing. I have bonded with my volunteer group so much. I already miss the space and the people. I think that what held the container of space was the sharing time that happened every day. It was a time that everyone had five minutes to share their current state while having full attention of the group. Sometimes it was sharing feelings or stories. Sometimes it was cuddle puddles or massaging on person. Sometimes it was eye gazing or meditation. This time really brought depth to our group after a day of work. Another aspect of Angsbacka was the healthy food! There was so many sprouts, raw foods, local, organic, and just so many veggies!!! Also there was hardly any meat which felt good. Also angbacka is a drug and alcohol free space. I personally have nothing against these substances but it was so refreshing to connect with people deeply and intimately without any intoxicants. It held people more accountable for their actions no matter the time or place. Also it brought a deeper clarity to the space and relationships. I definitely appreciate that space AND people were not afraid to be theirselves which is also so refreshing and fr some reason validating for me.
This overall experience has been so fulfilling. I seriously have more hope for humanity as a whole. I almost see how I was burnt out before I came to this space. Even though I live an alternative reality than most of society it hasn't been this elevating or nourishing. Saying that is strange because I caught myself saying again and again how much Austin TX is like this space but now reflecting I feel like the GEN conference at Angsbacka was different in that it was a full integrative space that had no outside influences. I now see the importance of having a retreat like this. Read more
London was simply delightful ;) I can hear the british accent in my head these days. I had a great time in London. I stayed with my good friend, Ilana, and her family. I am soooo grateful for their genorosity.
- I went to gay pride (yes!!!)
-Saw a local sustainable project called Skips Garden by Global Generation; an organization that has a mobile growing space using giant trash (rubbish) bins , a greenhouse, and earthbags structures
-Briefly went sight seeing
Now I am in Sweden for the Global Ecovillage Conference at Angsbacka. More soon <3Read more
Chloe already embarrassing herself...just finished Amsterdam is not in the UK...at least I made the UK border patrol laugh 😜. My trip to the southeast was so healing and nourishing before my new beginning...here we come world!Read more