Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) & Gaia Education in Auroville
February 29, 2016
Following the GEN +20 Conference in Findhorn in early July 2015, the GEN desk was started in August 2015 as ‘Pitchandikulam Outreach’, and its office is currently still based at Pitchandikulam Forest, in Auroville. So far in 2016, the GEN desk has really gathered energy and momentum. With a team coming together, January 2016 has been a flurry of meetings discussing and outlining the potential of the GEN desk at Auroville.
The GEN desk at Auroville aims to build and strengthen relationships with other national and international communities particularly the GENOA (GEN Oceania and Asia) network. One of its core missions is to help develop an effective and relevant curriculum for an EDE (Ecovillage Design Education)
course in different contexts whether rural or urban but particularly for Global South challenges, using Auroville and bioregional experiences as tools for transformation.
Having trialed a two day mini-EDE workshop with local and Aurovillian youth in January 2016, the GEN team is gearing up to design a full length EDE training course for Auroville and its bioregion later in the year.
With Ethan Hirsh-Tauber from GEN International facilitating, we held a two day mini-introduction to the EDE at Pitchandikulam Forest with 25 people involved - primarily youth from Auroville and its bioregional area. A very successful workshop, it generated a lot of energy and enthusiasm for a longer EDE later this year, with feedback suggesting the possibility of using this course as a lens to look at some of the issues and workings of Auroville and also more widely, the problems facing India, particularly southern rural India. The workshop ended in a quiet sharing circle, with the participants expressing the potential for inspiration, transformation and exchange in such a course.
Other objectives in the coming years:
Other aims of the GEN desk in coming years include the facilitation of funded exchange programs between communities, the creation of spaces welcoming people moving between ecovillages, creating youth lead educational experiences, being a resource point for best practices within and outside Auroville, working towards the 2018 February target (Auroville’s 50th anniversary) to invite GENOA/GEN international to a humble GEN event in Auroville.