for Declan Kennedy and four others of the Global Ecovillage Network - GEN.
Gaia Trust presents the Gaia Award 2012 to two global peace and sustainability projects:
The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and Gaia Education, which has collected the experiences of GEN into one common curriculum for the whole Earth.
The 3 men, Declan Kennedy, Max Lindeggerand Albert Bates travelled the 5 continents and created GEN networks in all parts of the world from 1995-2008. They share the prize with the present head of GEN, Kosha Joubert, who just set up an African network and May East who for 7 years now has been at the head of Gaia Education and facilitated a network in South America. Together they have been important midwifes in giving birth to a new global culture.
They get the award on the darkest afternoon, the 12th of Dec 2012, Lucia day. That day the sun starts its return in the northern Hemisphere culminating on Dec 21of Dec, the shortest day. The shortest morning is then one week later. We want to acknowledge this major turning of our sun and celebrate the birth of a new culture.
Idea and Text by Hildur and Ross Jackson on behalf of Gaia Trust, Stavnsholt Gydevej 52, 3460 Birkerød, Denmark +45 45 42 55 11
We are at the end of one calendar and the beginning of a new. Let us think of this as the beginning of a new era—the Gaian Age with the Gaian Calendar, when a new global sustainable culture will be born, a new beginning for humankind. It will be the beginning of a new consciousness, a consciousness of Oneness where we are at one with nature, each other and the cosmos. It will be a time where the planet and all the inhabitants of Mother Earth will finally understand our common responsibility to live within global boundaries and to change our philosophy, thinking, lifestyle, social organization, ecology, culture and politics.
A few people all over the world perceived these problems correctly many years ago and set out to build communities based on a worldview of oneness and with the vision of a double transformation of self and society. They pioneered defining a new lifestyle. Since 1995 they have built global networks of ecovillages (GEN, Global Ecovillage Network) all over the world.
Gaia Education, an organization of educators from ecovillages on 6 continents, has now collected and systematized all these experiences in one common curriculum for the whole world, now in 9 languages to download for free (www.gaiaeducation.net) and in two educational programs:
- The EDE, Ecovillage Design Education, a four weeks course, which has been carried out 130 times on six continents in 30 countries since 2005 and endorsed by UNITAR and UNESCO. - GEDS, Gaia Education Design for Sustainability, an 8 month virtual education through OUC, Open University of Catalonia—in Spanish and English since 2009.
To have one single curriculum for the whole world has by now proven its feasibility and justification. We have shown that we are capable of cooperating. We do not compete as we reject the neoliberalism and are proposing new ways of making the economy work for all. Ecovillages from all cultures and continents share a common worldview, vision and values. They are allowing a new global culture to be born, which minimizes the footprint while creating a more fun, creative and beautiful lifestyle that is possible for all.
Thousands of beautiful, courageous ecovillagers have been the pioneers of this movement and we want to celebrate them all and thank them all for giving this gift to the world—that it is possible to solve the global problems facing us. You may visit them and see for yourself. It is not just theory and good ideas; it is lived experiences.
As exponents of this huge group Gaia Trust has chosen to give 5 “Gaia 2012 Awards” of 10.000 DKK each to 5 key people of the movement:
The 3 men that travelled the planet and created the GEN networks on 5 continents from 1995-2008: Declan Kennedy (Lebensgarten, Germany), Max Lindegger (Crystal Waters, Australia) and Albert Bates (The Farm, USA)
The two women who are now at the head of respectively GEN International and Gaia Education: Kosha Joubert (Germany, South Africa and Findhorn), and May East (Brazil and Findhorn), the Mother Goose of Gaia Education since 2005.
The Gaia Awards was given at a celebration on Duemosegård on Dec 12, 2012 at 12.12. The presentation ceremony was video-recorded by Rolf Jackson, published on our website and sent to the GEN and Gaia Education networks.
About the 5 Award Winners:
Declan Kennedy, Lebensgarten, Germany
Former vice-president of the Technical University Berlin, he cofounded Lebensgarten ecovillage in 1985. For years he was president of the Permaculture Institute of Europe and taught in many countries. He was a cofounder of GEN, the Global Ecovillage Network—founded in Istanbul in 1996—and its first chairman. He travelled all over Europe to build national networks and was the head of GEN-Europe for several years as well as GEN International. Every day during the years and at all meetings of GEN he has been leading us in circle dancing, helping to create a culture where the whole body is alive. An architect, he has designed many energy-efficient houses and has developed his own Permaculture plot. Together with his wife Margrit he cofounded an NGO to promote local currencies in Germany. In recent years he has been the Chair of Gaia University, while healing has become his primary passion. See www.declan.de
Max Lindegger, Crystal Waters, Australia
Initiator of Crystal Waters, a model Permaculture ecovillage near Brisbane in Queensland, and consultant to several other ecological settlements in Asia, Max has taught Permaculture and ecovillage design in more than 60 countries, always starting with experiencing local nature in his very knowledgeable and humoristic way. He has a profound knowledge and love of plant and animal systems. During all these years he has been an invaluable member of and contributor to GEN, taking on the giant task of networking in Oceania. He now edits a newsletter “Ecovillage Musings”. See www.ecovillageresearchgroup.com.au.
Albert Bates, The Farm, Tennessee
Albert has been Director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology since 1984 and the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Tennessee since 1994, where he has taught sustainable design, natural building, Permaculture and restoration ecology to students from more than 50 nations, and is also a former chair of GEN. For years he has been building ecovillage networks in North and South America. When travelling to meetings he used to film and videotape but now also makes blogs. At the Cop 15 in Copenhagen he sent out 500 photos as part of a daily blog about progress or lack of it. He has a brilliant mind capable of getting to the real heart of every issue, always focusing on solutions. He was one of the first to write about Climate problems 30 years ago. His latest book is The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change, a very important and interesting topic to get CO2 into the ground. See www.thefarmcommunity.com.
Kosha Joubert, Findhorn, South Africa, Sieben Linden
Kosha is a fire soul charged by her childhood in South Africa and the injustices there. She recently was instrumental in building the new GEN-Africa network and has been teaching the EDE in many places in Africa as well as several times in Sieben Linden ecovillage, Germany, where she lived for many years and raised her children. She co-edited the Social Key, Beyond You and Me with Robin Alfred, her husband to be in the near future. For that reason she moved to Findhorn recently. This was the first of the Four Keys published to accompany the Gaia Education programs. She has been the chair of GEN-Europe and is at present the charismatic chair of GEN International. See: www.ecovillage.org
May East, Findhorn, Brazil
Since 2005 May has been the program director of Gaia Education, our Mother Goose. (GEESE: Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth, flying in flock, helping each other). She has flown all over the world and been a teacher in many countries. Originally a Political Science graduate, she became a well-known singer in her native Brazil, writing and singing her own songs, before meeting Greg from Findhorn at the Rio meeting in 1992. She has brought the EDE to Brazil in a big way having, taught in many places, not least Rio and Sao Paulo. She was instrumental in setting up a South American network of Gaia Education in cooperation with the Transition Town Movement at the Rio + 20 UN Conference. For many years she has been the liaison to UN and was responsible for getting the endorsement of Gaia Education by UNITAR and patronage by UNESCO. Two years in a row she has been nominated one of the 100 most influential environmental leaders of the world. She is always a joy to work with and to listen to. www.gaiaeducation.net
"Lebensgarten – (Garden of Life) Steyerberg is a settlement community, where the goal is a common desire for a harmonious coexistence with people and nature.
A non-profit association founded in 1986, starting with 27 row houses built in 1938 for workers in the Nazi armaments industry; it now has 62 houses. It's located in the town of Steyerberg, in Lower Saxony, Germany.
There is no guru or chief here, no common faith, religion or church affiliation. All spiritual paths are respected.
Declan and Margrit Kennedy were among the 20 founders. Declan is a world renowned architect, permaculture designer and healer. Born in Ireland in 1934, he loves dance and work on the land.
Video tape by Dimitri Devyatkin during one of the Workshops run by Declan in 2011. -- website www.devyatkin.org"
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