The Asia-Oceania Region is one of the most diversely rich human ecosystems in the world. Home to most of the oldest civilizations on Earth, it hosts the second and third largest economies as well as the two most populous nations on the planet.
Given the region’s sheer size and complex diversity, the Global Ecovillage Network of Oceania and Asia (GENOA) has been evolving continuously, striving to create a dynamic community network that effectively bridges the ecovillage realms spanning Oceania, South Asia, East Asia and South-East Asia.
Within GENOA, ecovillage refers to intentional communities; indigenous and traditional villages and communities; faith-based and spiritual communities; and urban eco-neighbourhoods – and where people identify themselves with an intention to live in a holistic sustainable manner. There are many projects, networks, organisations, government agencies and alliances within the GENOA network who play a key role in transitioning communities to ecovillages in the region and help spread ecovillage principles and design into the wider community.
The Network Ecosystem
GENOA recognises that ecovillage networking is already happening in the region, independent of GENOA the organization. GENOA is one organization within this network fabric, working to grow and strengthen relationships, collaboration, cross-pollination and the emergence of joint projects in Asia and Oceania.
History of GENOA
GENOA was established in 1997 after the first international conference of ecovillage members, Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities for the 21st Century, was held at Findhorn, Scotland. Max O. Lindegger, one of the founders and designers of Crystal Waters Ecovillage in Australia, set up the GENOA office in 1997, and for its first nine years, the headquarters was located at Max’s office at Crystal Waters.
In October 2006, Max brought together a small group of people from the Oceania and Asia region and held the organisation’s first meeting in Thailand.
In 2009, the headquarters moved to Tuwa Laughing Fish Ecovillage, in the Philippines, where the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in from 2008 to 2010. From 2011 to 2014, the GENOA office moved to Konohana Family, Japan, with Michiyo Furuhashi as president.
Between 2015 and 2016, GENOA went through a restructuring process, transforming from a top-down structure towards a flat horizontal organisational structure, integrating into a whole-systems approach. GENOA has since been self-regulating and self-organising, and becoming a learning organisation. The past years, GENOA has been able to increase engagement and participation in the network, helping to strengthen the network fabric that it is part of.
GENOA is registered as an incorporated association in Queensland, Australia. The registered name is Global Ecovillage Network Oceania & Asia INC, ABN 47 711 730 831.