"Based on Auroville’s Ideals – how can we make a better Auroville?"
In the early months of 2015, during the preparation leading up to the planned March Auroville Retreat, it was felt that youth were rather left out. Themes of Governance, Economy, Growth, TownPlanning, BioRegion and Education were defined.
Youth began to meet occasionally at the Youth Centre to discuss if they would like to participate in the Auroville Retreat. It was in these meetings that many ideas were shared, and many frustrations too. These discussions led to the realisation that the youth wanted to host a larger event, which they called the “Festival of Ideas” – with a simple guiding question being, Based on Auroville’s ideals, but can we make a better Auroville?
The event took place on Saturday the 21st February at the Youth Center and was attended by all age-groups who came to share their time and ideas, in positive collaboration, for building a better community. Some of the highlights of the event were compiled throught the Suggestion Booth. Youth walked around the event talking and handing out sheets to the visitors to collect all the good ideas. There were many sugegstions, such as one good example – to create an Auroville Youth Council, with a budget, that would represent and support the youth for many generations to come. Other concerns touched many contemporary, urging issues such as Housing, Employment, Maintenances, Gift Economy, Higher Education, Internships, and Security, relationship with the Villages, and relationship to the world. Instead of creating a forum for complaints and frustrations, discussions were focused around Auroville’s ideals, starting from values such as ‘unity,’ ‘unending education,’ and ‘Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole.’ Many of the ideas were also communicated though poetry, song, and performance. The entire list of ideas emerging from these discussions were compiled by a handful of Youth ambasadors and presented the three most outstanding themes that emerged at the Auroville Retreat in March. The three themes were Housing, Education, and Employment, under which youth further defined a number of goals and milestones which they aimed to achieve over the coming years. And thus, Youth Action Group was born.