Ecovillages and regenerative initiatives are gaining momentum in different countries of Oceania and Asia. Japan, South Korea, and Australia are some of the nations where a National Network has already been established. The exciting news is that we are seeing strong intention from our network members in China and New Zealand in creating a National Network too. Creating a thriving network of ecovillages takes a lot of ingredients. From having a deep understanding of regeneration, inspiring actors who can translate those ideas into concrete actions, communication efforts, ambassadors who can connect and weave different communities and initiatives together, to the active participation of all members, are all essential elements of a thriving network. Let’s take a look at the various activities happening in different countries around the region:
Our Ambassador Tanya Mottl has been a busy bee going around Australia visiting various ecovillage initiatives cross-pollinating pollens of ideas, skills, and information between them. She visited Moora Moora Co-operative near Melbourne and found that they have advanced solar technologies. During that visit, she did a 90-minute session using the Ecovillage Design Cards. On the other trip, she visited Balaya Buyal and met with Shane Sylvanspring (another core member of GEN Australia); and some others who attended a GEN Design presentation in Tasmania. During the visit, she gifted them the Earthcare Game so they can create local community events to play the game and have conversations.
Tanya also visited Bundagen Intentional Community in New South Wales where a Communities Gathering was held back in 2013. In this community, she witnessed the weekly Helping Hands sessions where community members choose to assist neighbors with projects or activities on their individual properties. She is exploring the possibility of hosting another gathering when the weather gets warmer.
Narara Ecovillage is participating in the Resilience Project that is held by GEN. Through this project, they have been forming local collaborations to deliver resilience workshops for nearby communities affected by fire and flood as it is expected that they will continue to have increasingly ferocious fires.
Tanya also attended the training for the 2030 SDGs Game which she describes as being like “monopoly on steroids. It’s collaborative rather than competitive and is a good insight into what happens when we collaborate on projects”. The game can be delivered in person and online. An invitation will be extended to GENOA sometime in August, so be on the lookout for that!
Moving forward, Tanya is currently putting together a series of How Resilient is Your Community? talk series and scheduling online games. She looks forward to more people being involved in the ecovillage – movement – creating a regenerative impact in Australia and beyond. Let’s celebrate Tanya’s work and wish her the best in her noble journey ahead!
After holding their Gaia Youth program earlier this year, GEN-Japan will continue to create similar programs making it consistent. Building on their strength of having ScienZ as a methodology to cultivate dialogue skills which is a key ingredient to having a healthy and functioning community, they will continue to share these findings through their education programs. This year, international participation in the program has increased with participants coming from Singapore, China, Vietnam, and other nationalities. Some of the participants have been inspired to challenge themselves by making more regenerative decisions like deciding to live together with other people to save and share resources and also taking more responsibility like learning how to support and hold programs like Gaia Youth.
NextGEN Korea is currently preparing for its 7th Innun Janchi Connecting Festival. It is an experiment in creating a dream community and a festival where people co-create the festival together and learn from each other through the process. It is also a space of connection with nature, all the people that are involved, and also the self. Check out their registration page here.
In addition, they are holding the next EDE (Ecovillage Design Education) (only for Korean speakers) from Aug 25th ~ Sep 24th At Inje, Gangwon-do. Application form here.
Emerging Network in Aotearoa – New Zealand
The second gathering of the Women’s Revolutionising Housing Retreat (hosted by Zola Rose from Commonground) was attended by a small group of wāhine (women) who ‘packed in a load of information sharing’ over the weekend (24-26 June 2023).
There were inspiring presentations of past/current projects, including solution-based workshops including many insights & learnings, which included dialogue, bringing energy to activate more initiatives. It was a beautiful gathering of women who came from the North and South Islands of Aotearoa (NZ), to gather and discover potential synergies to similar projects across Aotearoa!
Thalea Tane (GEN NSC – GENOA Council) also facilitated a workshop using GEN’s ecovillage design cards – providing an experiential example of how we can utilize the cards to co-create solutions and match our individual aspirations to each card dimension, chosen. What a privilege it was to introduce this awesome tool to these wonderful women! Part of our dialogue session included bringing GEN Aotearoa to life! So, watch this space!!! Thalea Tane has indicated, having new energy to embark on this path, for the benefit of our Aotearoa eco-communities.
We also acknowledge all of our presenters throughout the weekend, including our wonderful host – Zola Rose (GEN Ambassador) for her commitment to organizing our 2nd WRH retreat. Special thanks also go out to Robin Allison (Earthsong Eco-neighborhood) for her continuous contribution to the greater good of humanity, co-housing initiatives, eco-village advocacy, and being an inspiration to all!