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Reflections on the UK Ecovillage Network

By: Samuel Pendleton

Before I come to a dead end in the search of the UK Network, before it crumbles to pieces without even seeing the light of day, I want to encourage and inspire people to create it and join it by reminding you that a network is not something existent in itself but maybe just a box of possibilities, an open window from which to reach out to your fellows…

The thing is that we never know where life will take us and a month ago, when Robert Hall, the current Managing Director of GEN Europe, offered me to try and build a UK network I realized immediately that this didn’t have much to do with me; but I got involved because I assumed this network would create extraordinary possibilities. Probably not for me, as I don’t live in the UK. However, if we succeed to connect people and ecovillages in the UK, and a new UK office is created, many good opportunities will arise for people, society and the environment.

A network, as I understand, is nothing in itself.  Just as a telephone box has nothing to say, no matter how close or how far – what matters is what it is made for. A network doesn’t exist, it doesn’t “work” or “net” if people have nothing to connect. But in the case of an eco-network you can already connect some ecovillages among one another and to other eco-activists, which is not a small thing nowadays.

In addition, a GEN office supports, creates and also finds budgets and funds for other ecological and transition-related projects. It is an open door for projects to come into existence. Maybe it is just the opportunity someone needs to bring a good idea to life.

We are talking about creating opportunities. Maybe not for ourselves directly, but for other people we might not know, or will never get to know. Maybe people in the future that could be born in a nice, clean community. Maybe the opportunity is for the land, as permaculture ideas and other modern approaches spread and strengthen through the visibility we can give to the successes of many inhabitants of these villages.

At the very least, we could create employment possibilities for some like-minded friends that would work in the UK office; even for that reason only this network is worth bringing to life. Or perhaps we could meet Robert Hall, Kosha and others, quite active and inspiring people, working and focusing on the very things that are being needed at this critical point in human history…

In any case, I just wanted to make it clear that when I write about the UK network I barely have any intention other than exploring this unlimited source creation that our Earth, human society and our own time and life offer us (before industrialization and profit eat and chew up all that is left of it, of course).

Well, now I am going to shut down my computer, I will keep on checking on you, my UK contacts, but it is true that I can’t keep on doing this for too long. There is a “think globally and work locally” principle that is conflicting within me as at this moment I am “thinking locally and operating in UK”… (I have to go to our garden and plant some cucumbers).


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