The GENOA Team work remotely, ensuring the smooth running of the GENOA virtual office, council and projects, in order to support the network and our organisation’s mission.
GENOA Office Circle
The primary functions of the virtual office (or operations circle) are administration, finance, networking, and communications. We also work with volunteers and a wider group of representatives from the network who support projects.
Thao Kin, Networking Coordinator
Thao Ngo, often called by her friends and colleagues as Kin, is a learner and educator from Vietnam. Kin is passionate about ecology and is on a long exciting quest of her life learning from and caring for Mother Earth. Kin has been a member of NextGENOA since 2016 and joined the GENOA Office team in mid-2020. In addition to her active role in GENOA and NextGENOA, Kin works with non-governmental organizations in Vietnam in organizing and facilitating training on ecological education and eco-lifestyle. Kin believes in the power of reconnection and re-enchanting the world. She is learning to be a Deep Ecology facilitator and trainer.
Luvian Iskandar, Communications Coordinator
Luvian has just completed his studies when he joined GENOA as communications coordinator. As he became aware of the social and environmental degradation in the world, he resonated with the holistic approach within the ecovillage movement in regenerating social and environmental systems. He chose to study the early development stage of ecovillages for his master’s program, thinking that he might be involved in such a project in his home country, Indonesia, in the future. Currently, he is living and working in an aspiring ecovillage community in Hualien, Taiwan. He feels that building bridges between radical ecovillage lifestyle and the mainstream lifestyle is one of the most relevant works today. He hopes to contribute to such a cause through his role as communications coordinator in GENOA.
GENOA Council comprises a collective of representatives from within the GENOA. GENOA Council supports GENOA Office & Project Teams with visioning, guidance and decision-making in their operations as needed. Members of the council are invited and welcome to engage deeper into GENOA’s proceedings on their own accord in project teams as a project team member or coordinator.
Current members of GENOA Council:
- • Thalea Tane – GENOA Network Steward – Aotearoa/New Zealand
- • Karen Xintong Wang – GENOA Network Steward – China
- • Benjamin Bernabela – GENOA Network Steward – The Philippines
- • Amena Bal – GEN Trustee Board – India
Thalea Tane, Aotearoa / New Zealand
Thalea has served as an integral member of the GENOA council and is pleased to continue a role as one of the three NSC members representing the GENOA circle for 2021. As an active indigenous member of her Tribe(s) in Northland, Thalea continues to educate and advocate for the revitalisation and co-creation of regenerative communities across Aotearoa, Oceania and SE Asia.
As a tutor in Sustainable Living and speaker in national judicial conferences, International forums and summits, Thalea has also represented GEN/GENOA in the United Nations COP25 Climate Change Conferences in Madrid. Thalea will continue to dedicate herself to working alongside circles, indigenous nations, governments and key stakeholders who align themselves with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and are responding to the Climate Change emergency in solidarity with grassroots communities.
Karen Xintong Wang, China
Karen has been living in Sunshine Ecovillage since March 2018 and working as the General Secretary until now. She is also the Secretary of China Ecovillage Network. In Sunshine Ecovillage, she mainly takes care of the community by building the ecovillage with 4 dimensions in a holistic system together with all members and in charge of public relations outreaching works as well as Sunshine Eco Academy. She has taken EDE twice and TOT once and organized EDE as the facilitator and translator in China twice. She is very familiar with Ecovillage building & designing and facilitating related workshops.
Before joining Sunshine, she worked as a mandarin teacher for 9 years and organic farming for 4 years in Shanghai. In 2021, she will put most of her time and energy into building the international ecovillage-based education system in GENOA especially East – Asia, and start the Green School Program for children in Sunshine.
Amena Bal, India
Amena joined the GENOA Council to serve Mother Earth and to be an active voice for wellness and oneness in our world. As a permaculturist, living in TI Ecovillage in South India, she is on a mission to spread the ecovillage movement and share regenerative living through the path of loving-kindness and integral ecosystem sensing and designing.
A spiritualist and devoted energy healer, her main purpose is to heal and compassionately harmonise communities and environments. Working with land, youth and women is very close to her heart. As a member of Bangalore Birth Network and Birth Light UK, her dream is to create Birth Homes in nature that empower families to remember their connection to nature and sacred birthing. Her life is dedicated to connecting and working with communities and projects that are creating circles of a new healed humanity living happily in beautiful balance with Gaia.
Benjamin Bernabela, The Philippines / Netherlands
After more than 3 years of soul-fulfilling service to the global ecovillage network as a member of staff of GEN International, I feel humbly honored to join the GENOA Council. This because I was born and raised in the Netherlands, with no connections to this great part of our planet (aside from friendships) until I arrived and began living and working in the Philippines 10 years ago. I discovered the ecovillage vision while in Maia Earth Village in 2015, which was so inspiring that I immediately committed myself to contributing to its realization. After 7 years of exploring and learning, my partner Amalia, our son Amadon and I now live on 1.5Has of land in a hexagon bamboo house, which we hope to be the first of many bamboo homes we will build for other families.
As a new Council member I bring my 9 years of experience as a social entrepreneur with Kayumanggi Organic , and I am looking forward to working with the Council and Operations Team to advance GENOA’s weaving of intra-regional ties and enabling and facilitating regional exchanges. There is no more diverse Regional Network in the world, and our many long cultural histories are overflowing with wisdom. May we of today, work together to bring to fruition the great work done by our ancestors and birth the New Earth seeded in our hearts.
GENOA Network Steward Circle (NSC)
The GENOA NSC holds the overall vision and values of GENOA. The NSC oversees the ongoing visioning process, strategic decision making, advisory processes, general program design and integration, and also team building. The NSC is made up of four representatives from Asia and Oceania. They are elected at regional gatherings, using sociocracy-inspired methodologies. The NSC meets regularly, holds space for network connection and gives feedback to the other parts of GENOA.
The current NSC members from GENOA are: Thao Ngo (Kin), Benjamin Bernabela, Karen Xintong Wang.
Any member of the Operations and Council circles and the wider network are able to also initiate and contribute to projects. We have many amazing volunteers and dedicated colleagues who also support our projects both internally and externally.
GENOA Wisdom Keepers
GENOA Wisdom Keepers is the circle of elders and senior members of the Global Ecovillage Network in Oceania and Asia who have extensive experience and knowledge about the ecovillage movement, people who embody the spirit of GENOA and deeply understand its culture and purpose.
Read here for the detailed description of the GENOA Wisdom Keepers Circle and bios of its member.