A group of volunteers at the Emergence Convergence in 2019 were keen to bring about steps forward for GEN Australia. Several action groups formed early in 2020 and the Sociocratic governance style was used by a small highly experienced ecovillage team forming the General Circle to create an organisational structure with connected circles as shown in the diagram below. Since then, three have evolved: the Management Circle, Education Circle and Communications Circle. Diving in with these wonderful people helped me better understand more about GEN, sociocracy, ecovillages, the connection with GAIA Education and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the educational programs offered.
In March 2020, I took my vision of participating in a social media program for not for profits to the GEN Australia Management Circle because the Education circle had plans for an Australian flavoured Ecovillage Design Education program. So, then the Management and Communications circles trundled through COVID lockdown to kindle GEN Australia’s evolving vision.
November was the time in 2020 that the AGM was held and new office bearers of GEN AU voted in. Then in December, Jason Hilder stepped up as Chair, Shane Sylvanspring continued as Treasurer, and I, Tanya Mottl, volunteered as Secretary, knowing that would be how I’d learn more. From that, monthly meetings have continued the momentum of regenerating our national network.
The GEN AU team has revised the strategy and clarified the Mission, Vision and Aims and are aligning with GENOA to co-ordinate the 2020 Regional Gathering Coming Home: A Gathering for Restoration and Renewal to be held on 27th & 28th November. Working interstate and internationally over Zoom has been wonderful. I’ve felt so privileged working with GEN Australia – Jason Hilder at Crystal Waters while he’s finished his PhD in Ecovillages; Shane Sylvanspring, Public Officer, as he’s been working with his own community, Sue Gilbey and her podcast The Adelaide Chronicles and JJ Blake, a font of wisdom and a Transformation Game facilitator. I’ve come to see what a critical role Trudy Juriansz has played in her role as Network Director in GEN, her volunteering in GENOA and in GEN Australia. We’ve been blessed to have all these people. I was thrilled to do Ambassador peer to peer support work aka “communities in practice” with Alice Güntert, Ambassador with GEN Africa and Amena Bal, winner of the Hildur Jackson Award, at TI Ecovillage in Bangladore, for their multifaceted ecovillage project and look forward to further great outcomes.
GEN Australia and GENOA recently put out a call for volunteers to help with the Regional Gathering. Next step will be funding and partnerships. We look forward to growing the network. I feel this an exciting and crucial time to be involved in ecovillages, sustainability and regenerative actions? Don’t you? There will be some great programs coming using the GEN and GAIA Education resources. If you feel that drive to take action, GEN AU and GENOA welcome your registration to volunteer.
There are many ways to participate. Being involved is a great way to learn about ecovillages, meet the people involved, build meaningful relationships and be part of the regenerative movement. I invite you to connect with our newsletter, Facebook page and other social media channels and websites listed here… it’s an exciting time!
We’re all looking forward to celebrating GEN’s 25th anniversary on 5-11 February 2021 GEN International Online Summit ‘Ecovillages as Sanctuaries of Life’ – showcasing how ecovillages contribute to the mitigation of climate crisis in the face of multiple crises and function as resilient communities of practice under the conditions of environmental breakdown.
Register via email to: email@example.com