GEN-Japan held the Second Exchange Gathering Online from March 5th to 6th. Unexpectedly, one week after the beginning of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine, it highlighted the meaning of community building and the importance of unwavering cooperation, as well as networking among these communities. In this online event, about 20 communities and initiatives joined. Each speaker and community strongly announced it to the public and as a result, more than 200 participants participated in the gathering. Through the event, we were able to clearly understand the difference between a world that “tries to move people through violence and violent acts” and a world that understands and cooperates with each other through dialogue and we shall move towards the latter.
One audience member sent us her impression after the event;” I was encouraged by the fact that younger people are starting various initiatives.”Since last year, exchanges and cooperation among the participating eco-villages have begun, and at the same time, young people from urban areas are touring the eco-villages and such a population has been gradually increasing. They are beginning to experience a new way of life while there. On the other hand, there is a movement to learn from each other about the efforts of how they keep building ecovillages.
Tetora Tanizaki, representative of WorldShift Japan, an advisory board of GEN-Japan, suggested that we need to clearly show the innovative way of living in harmony to the public. This year GEN-Japan is having a Gaia Youth Education in March and April as well as GEN-Japan EDE course in April. We are trying to steadily promote the creation of a harmonious society through eco-villages.