“I began my journey with NextGEN when I attended the GEN Conference at Schweibenalp, in Switzerland, in the summer of 2013. When I left that inspirational gathering as one of two elected NextGEN Representatives for North America, I was extremely excited and eager to take action, but also entirely unsure about what exactly to do next. Luckily, I found a community of support when I returned to the U.S., from my friends at Sirius Community, the ecovillage where I live, and from my fellow Canadian NextGEN representative, Nebesna Fortin. Uncertainties dissipated as I learned that one doesn’t need to have all the answers, just a good amount of passion and a team of people who believe in the possibilities. The second step is becoming clear about what you want to stand for. After careful forethought, our team in North America came up with an answer: we are young adults empowered by the ecovillage model and committed to building the interconnected world of our generation, through the teaching of integrated sustainability and offering of immersive experiences.
As we enter our second year of establishing a strong team in North America, NextGEN is thriving. We have created an online presence through our website , and received grant funding from Goddard College for our educational programs, which are now certified as “Inspired by Gaia Education.” We have built a growing network of Ecovillage Ambassadors, passionate youth living in intentional communities across North America. We are thrilled to be collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations in our region, including the Fellowship for Intentional Community, the Ecovillage Network of the Americas and Canada, the Valhalla Movement, Generation Waking Up, and more!
One of our most noted accomplishments: in the spring of 2014 we hosted the first-ever “Youth Ecovillage Summit” in North America. This was a multi-day gathering of close to forty young people, hosted at Sirius Community. Since then we have hosted and presented at dozens of gatherings throughout North America. In the coming year, we hope to continue these outreach efforts by holding more Summits and the first-ever Ecovillage Design Education Course taught in French, at La Cite Ecologique in Canada. Using young energy and creative minds we are pioneering ways to invigorate the ecovillage movement as well as bring sustainability education to youth!”