I'm hoping I can scrimp and scrape together enough funds to attend the 2017 European Ecovillage Conference in Ängsbacka, Sweden in July. Keynote speaker is none other than Charles Eisenstein, a writer whose book Sacred Economics explores the issues of gift and sharing economies, and the labyrinth of ecological and political questions that relate to such ideas, and about which I gushed before I'd actually finished reading it, in a post all the way back in August. (I've since finished it, and my gushing was entirely merited).
The conference runs from 16th-20th July and promises an abundance of ideas and inspirations all relevant to my interests. From the site:
Together we will explore communal living topics such as the sharing economy and social currencies, food sovereignty, renewable energies, non-violent communication, group facilitation, governance models, collective and consensual decision making, bio-architecture and ecological activism. And of course there will be many community bonding activities, complemented by morning activities centering to get into our lovely bodies as well as concerts, dance and music in the evenings. There will be plenty of opportunities for networking; it´s simply the best place to meet Ecovillagers from all over Europe!
It's the practical aspects of this that interest me the most. How to get to where I want to be, and I'm sure at a conference like this there'll be an abundance of lessons and ideas to absorb from people already living the dream. Some of the other things on offer in Ängsbacka are a little too leftfield even for me - the "Shamanic Sexual Wisdom" course on offer later in the year, for instance, doesn't enthuse me quiet as strongly (though having said that, learning to "integrate spirituality and sexuality as an integral part of life" probably couldn't hurt those of us who grew up inside the less erotically healthy worlds of Protestantism) - but it's useless to dismiss an entire world (or village) of opportunity on the basis that it might not be my personal Utopia.