European Ecovillage Conference 2017- Ӓngsbacka, Sweden “Conscious Happiness: Living the Future Today Solidarity, Resilience, and Hope”

“This is an opportunity to take a drink from the wellspring of knowledge offered by people who are living a new normal.”-Charles Eisenstein, visionary and conference keynote speake

The European Ecovillage Conference’s vibrant programme is brought alive by co-creators offering talks, workshops, and interactive sessions centered on the theme “Conscious Happiness – Living The Future Today: Solidarity, Resilience, Hope.” Highlights will include keynote addresses by acclaimed speakers, authors and activists Charles Eisenstein and Helena Norberg-Hodge, who will engage some of the great challenges of our time – and invite participants to explore solutions offered by the ecovillage movement.

Norberg-Hodge, creator of “The Economics of Happiness” notes, “There’s been a really dramatic [cultural] shift, just in the last couple of years, and yet it needs more awareness. It’s the consciousness that’s missing…. There is this huge need for global communication and interaction… We need that flowering of connections which we can start with right now at home but also reach out across internationally into a global movement. ”

The Global Ecovillage Network is a membership-based coalition of Ecovillages, or intentional communities, that holistically integrate ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability into regenerative living models. The GEN Europe network connects, sustains and diffuses the work of ecovillage and communities across Europe, within ecovillage communities and also to those who are curious to learn about the movement. Solidarity During the 5 day conference, participants will explore a particularly timely series of events centred around our theme of solidarity.

At a time of great change and political divisiveness, there is an urgent need to address hardships with insights gained from living intentionally together. Norberg-Hodge describes a part of the work of solidarity this way: “Let’s get away from this idea that we don’t need anybody. We do need others. Let’s not be afraid to express that to one another.”

Workshops exploring the Eroles residential in Grenada, which put migrants at the centre of community co-creation, and the Sustainer, which combines permaculture principles and ecovillage innovation to build an autonomous shelter for those who’ve had to flee their homes, will showcase some of the many ways in which ecovillages are acting in solidarity around Europe. Resilience Personal and collective resilience in the face of changing climate, cultural upheaval, and spiritual emptiness is a key theme of many of our workshops and exhibits.

Workshop leader and evolutionary biologist Bjorn Grinde describes how ecovillages meet a biological need that increases our happiness and well-being: “Humans are adapted to live in tribal settings. Research shows people need to find meaning in these [smaller] units. For the future of the world, finding a meaning of life in a setting of ecological balance is even better because that will point towards a way of living that benefits future society.”

The Ecovillage Sustainable Technology Exposition will feature open source solutions for reducing carbon emissions and producing energy efficient systems, many demonstrated and built on site by their ecovillage inventors. Conference participants will learn how to build simple wind turbines or try out superefficient energy-saving cookware.

Exploring other aspects of resilience, workshop leaders from Spain, Sweden, Holland and beyond consider our human relationships and spiritual development, from addressing “the shadows” in our lives to learning innovative conflict resolution strategies to inviting attendees to try out organizational structures used in ecovillages. The conference will build an atmosphere that offers participants hope and inspiration. As Eisenstein, author of “The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible”, puts it, “hope is the feeling when you glimpse a real possibility. Hope is what comes when you have an experience of what’s possible in the future, even if you don’t know how to get there. This is an opportunity to take a drink from the wellspring of knowledge offered by people who are living a new normal.” Young people help us see the path to our collective future, and therefore our conference team is supported by an international team of young volunteers from across Europe. The conference will also feature a children’s festival and provide people of all ages a chance to connect across generations and cultures to create new friendships.

In addition to workshops, participants can expect opportunities to celebrate and practice healing arts, interactive events like a living map of ecovillages across Europe, and plenty of time to relax. The conference is a family-friendly drug and alcohol free experience, offering managed campsites with outdoor facilities and full vegetarian catering.

“A more beautiful world IS possible… and you will experience a part of it during the gathering at Ӓngsbacka” welcomes Ewa Jacobsson of Ӓngsbacka.

About the conference:

Facebook event:

General enquiry: [email protected]

Press contact: For interviews in English and Italian: Evan Welkin +39 334 259 0522, [email protected]

In Swedish: Annette Ericsdotter Bettaieb, [email protected], + 46 70 777 91 00

GEN–  Global Ecovillage Network.  The Global Ecovillage Network was founded 20 years ago and represents over 100 countries in the 5 continents. GEN-Europe is a network that connects, sustains and diffuses the work of ecovillages and communities. The network offers consulting and coordination for member communities across Europe as well as supporting projects of interdependence, including an international youth exchange program, a community-sponsored forced migration relief project, and advocacy in grassroots climate change networks. GEN-Europe has representation in Brussels under the umbrella of ECOLISE, together with other intercontinental networks; also, it has a consultative status at the UN for educational material for 10 years.

Ängsbacka, outside Karlstad in Sweden, is a vital meeting place for people who want to live a more conscious life, live from the heart and care for our planet. Since 1997 thousands of people have been touched by the warm, open, loving atmosphere during workshops, festivals and visits at Ängsbacka.

Ängsbacka is a full member of GEN Europe since 2016.

“A more beautiful world IS possible… and you will experience a part of it during the gathering at Ӓngsbacka” welcomes Ewa Jacobsson of Ӓngsbacka.

#ecovillages #community #beautifulalternatives #innovativesolutions #togetherwerise

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