In September 2019 the YouthLink team of 9 members welcomed an additional 7 prospective members to join us for a month-long integration program. The 4-week course took place between 9th September - 5th October 2019.
The first week offered an orientation program to Auroville through the lens of alternative economy, Auroville’s social dimensions, ecological successes, and unique worldview. We had a larger group for this week as we invited the community and the French Service Civique group to join us as well. Together we explored Auroville by visiting places and units in Auroville and the bioregion, having talks by prominent facilitators and by conducting hands-on activities. We got to explore topics such as Auroville’s history and alternative governance and evaluate how far Auroville has come with its alternative economy efforts. This week was about exploring the element of Air as a free moving energy, connecting to various of places and ideas.
In the second week, as a smaller team of YouthLink members and potential members, we explored the individual uniqueness of each member. We shared stories through intimate sharing and public Human Library. We also used tools such as Ayurveda to explore our constitution and tendencies, and Multiple Intelligences to understand our strengths and weaknesses in learning and work. We also explored where in the world we came from, understanding Collapsology, Deep Adaptation and the sources of deep suffering our world endures today. This second week about the element Fire, getting to know each one’s stories and passions in life.
In the third week we introduced YouthLink and its existing vision and organisation structure, orienting people to its history and current projects. We also explored NVC as a tool for conflict resolution, and tools such as Family Constellation for bringing us closer together. We finished by creating a space for Deep Sharing, where we told one another about our past and experiences that have shaped us. This week was about the element of Water, connection and flow, forming a sense of togetherness of the group.
In the fourth and final week we explored how each individual could join YouthLink according to their unique offering. We did this by allowing each one to express their preferred type of work and project they would like to work on for their own life. We then re-shaped the YouthLink organisation slightly in order to accommodate the new members. We took time to form new agreements and schedule of weekly meetings. As older members shared their need to “graduate out” of YouthLink, new subgroups were formed. The existing subgroups of Social, Education, Projects and Admin remained, but the need for a new Succession Planning subgroup and Collectiveness subgroup emerged. This was the week of Earth, grounding each one in their domain of work and project, so that in the coming month we could begin our work as a team.
Following the course the members were given a one-month timeframe to join the subgroup of their preference and shadow the previous members with their work and see where and how they could start taking leadership. Each new member has been able to choose how they would like to express themselves best through the area of work chosen. We agreed collectively to design, organise and attend one Retreat monthly, to Introspect, Evaluate and Celebrate our individual and collective efforts. Overall the integration program of one month was a great success. We came into the room hardly knowing one another, and came out feeling like family !