As ecovillagers, we value in-person connection: the ability to sense the mood of a room when facilitating, to truly see one another – and of course, to hug your friends! So when Covid-19 forced the cancellation of our General Assembly, we were nervous: would our GA be just one more of the exhausting online meetings we’re all becoming so used to?
We had nothing to fear: thanks to an experienced team of online facilitators who knew how to raise the energy of a Zoom room with music, games and online tools, as well as the focused and generous participation of our members, we were able to run a smooth – and even enjoyable – online GA for the first time ever.
Besides reviewing the ups and downs of 2019 (check our our annual report for details), we looked forward, gathering in breakout rooms to brainstorm fundraising strategies, improvements to our structure, and ways to adapt to the extraordinary times we live in.
We also had our first online sociocratic election for new council members: the election process is by nature challenging, and we have gladly received some constructive feedback to improve for next year, but in the end we were very pleased to welcome two new council members: Charlie Lenglez from Los Portales, Seville – bringing the wisdom of decades in community and national networks – and Abdul Otman from Suderbyn – whose youthful energy and tech-savvy truly helped the GA shine. We also thanked outgoing council members Camilla and Ricky for their years of service and dedication.
We look forward to a year of energy to meet the challenges – and to seeing friends, members, and curious newcomers to our next event, open to everyone: What If? Ecovillage Solutions for Extraordinary Times, the very first Online European Ecovillage Gathering this 7-8 November.