woongroep de oude nieuwelaan, Delft, the Netherlands
Ilonka Marselis is a researcher working at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, linked to Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has conducted research on social innovations in Dutch ecovillages, combining her love for natural building and community living with theoretical developments of transitions literature.
The role of visions and envisioning in ecovillages
Visions play a powerful role in the establishment and development of ecovillages. It is through our visions of ecological, peaceful communities we find the day-to-day motivation to change our surroundings and collaborate on projects. But what role precisely can and does a vision play in an ecovillage on a daily basis and especially at decision-making moments? And how does the collective vision of a community relate to each persons’ individual vision? My name is Ilonka Marselis and I am a transition researcher, transitions are long-term changes in society involving changes in structure, culture and practices. I have studied several ecovillages in my home country, the Netherlands. Here, I discovered that visions play a different role in each ecovillage and reflecting on this role can be of help to decision-making processes as well as community feeling. For example: some ecovillages reflect on their collective vision with every decision they make, to ensure the each decision is in line with their vision. Other ecovillages reflect on their vision only once a year and can even decide to change their vision based on the choices that have been made throughout the year. Again other ecovillages do not have a collective vision and work with each individuals’ vision. These differences in practices are very interesting to share and reflect upon. During this workshop I would like to create a setting where all participants can share how their communities use their collective and individual visions on a daily basis and reflect on the experiences and differences between communities. Before doing so, I would like start the workshop by sharing my knowledge of envisioning in some Dutch ecovillages and relate this to their decision-making practices. I will also present a framework I developed to help understand the role of envisioning in sustainability transitions, this can serve as a starting point for the discussion! Hopefully this workshop can be a good introduction for a more conscious use of collective and individual visions on a daily basis in ecovillages. It will be an honor and pleasure to present and participate with you in this workshop and I hope to see many of you there or at other moments during the conference! Ilonka Marselis (for more information on transitions, visit the English website of the research institute where I work: www.drift.eur.nl To read my work on envisioning and decision-making in Dutch ecovillages, google for my thesis: thesis ecovillages ilonka marselis)
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