I am sharing something with you all that I had written just for my community in Ganas, and never intended it to be public. However, I thought it was a good idea to share it because it contains the raw and fresh passionate feelings I experience working with NextGENNA for the first time!
Here is how I keep hooked on inspirational energy: I hang around the people in NextGENNA. Right now we are small group of 5 people, but it feels like I am behind a massive force to be reckoned with. At the forefront of this force are Audree and her partner Thumbs.
I first met Audree when she visited our community for the first time. Many people in the community are drawn to her high energy spirit, and heartfelt dedication to ecovillages. She brought an accordion to play for us, after some prompting to me because I heard her play before and I loved it. I told her that people would definitely want to hear her play, and then she said ok. After playing the accordion, she gave us a wonderful talk about ecovillages and the pillars of sustainability. People wanted to hear her speak, so I also organized an event in Manhattan to open her message to the greater public. Many Ganas people who had already heard her already are ready to hop on the ferry to see her speak again.
I first met Thumbs at the Twin Oaks Communities Conference in which he gave a workshop on living as a nomad and the gifting economy. My mind was blown away by how differently he was even conceiving the world we can live in. Again, like Audree, he was able to draw a crowd. It is not simply how Audree and Thumbs were able to connect with people, but it is the heartfelt sincerity in their mission, and their ability to express this in a positive, undogmatic, and uncoercive way that is attractive.
I am drawn to their leadership because their positive energy, dedication to make a difference, and vision on how the world can transform is so contagious. Just being around them makes me feel like a better person — they help me see how I can see things in a paradigm-shifting way.
They will be leading an event in June, which you can consider joining — be ready to be inspired! I’ll tell you about it: the 5 of us packed together in a mid-sized room for a whole weekend, where we both slept and worked, in a community in upstate New York called East Brook Farm. We are putting together the event in June called “Ecovillage Pathways 2020,” which is the 6th Annual gathering of people who want to learn about sustainable practices. Our theme is “Healing in Communities,” in which we bring together tools used in different communities for dialogue and resolving group conflict. It will be filled with intelligent discussion and presentations, heart-to-heart experiences, simulated lived-in community experience, and movement-related activities. Come ask us about it here, or message me directly at email@example.com.
“You’re real, and you’re bigger than my laptop screen!”
We’ve converted a bedroom at East Brook Community into our retreat center headquarters. The walls are covered with butcher paper and the faint scent of colored markers permeates the room as we graffiti the walls with flow charts and picture notes manifesting from our brainstorm. This year we’ve been meeting weekly through virtual conference calls, but that can’t compare to the thrill of collaborating in person.
The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), and its youth oriented sub circle of North America (NextGENNA) are currently buzzing with growth and opportunities. This weekend 5 members of our team came together to use this potential energy to update our organizational structure and create strategies for our shared projects. We did this with the goal of creating clear new ways for people like yourself to plug into our network and feed your community passion.
Before expanding our team we need to understand what each of us are doing this for, because like all mostly volunteer non-profits time is limited so the work must nourish our higher selves. A series of memes we drew capture what part of our heart song this work helps play.
Following the unconventional passion of community building on your own is difficult and ironic, so our team shared the value of trusting their own insights more when part of a like minded team.
A focus of this retreat was also planning Ecovillage Pathways, an intimate annual event which combines ecovillage education with a community experience. Ecovillage Pathways 2020 will center around “Healing in Community” and how it shows up in the four pillars of community: social, culture, economy, and ecology. We will introduce various community tools which ecovillages can use to address these four pillars. With a balance of intellectual discussion, heartfelt connections, and hands on practice this will be an experience of community from the very start.
The experience of designing, organizing and facilitating workshops at this event is in and of itself an incredible learning experience for young people interested in applying professional skills to their ecovillage passion. However, we’re also ready to serve a broader audience by fostering an online community of ecovillage enthusiasts. We’re lucky to be friends and partners with the already vibrant virtual community network, but are discovering the unique niche we can serve as well. For example, would you be interested in a monthly virtual discussion group on ecovillage life, opportunities and challenges?
A unique gift of NextGEN is to expand ones ecovillage education through immersive experiences, and also to invest in trainings which will help you fuse community passion and career.
There are many ways for you to become part of the NextGENNA team, and the best way to learn more about all of them is to join our Welcoming Meeting in November. It’ll be an opportunity for us to get to know you, and for you to learn about how to plug into the rich global network of ecovillage builders. Please email us at NextGenNorthAmerica@gmail.com to receive an invitation for the Welcoming Meeting. This event will also appear on our Facebook Page, and sign up on our website to receive infrequent but exciting email updates!
Watch our Welcome to Ecovillage Pathways 2020 Video
- Is something inspiring happening in your community?