‘In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.’ This Law of the Iroquois inspires the name of ‘the 7th Generation Project’, a social enterprise and networking project. 7th Generation seeks to address the question of long term social, environmental and economic sustainability through the development and implementation of the 5 core areas of its model – Awareness, Capacity, Action, Leadership, and Community.
This year held many exciting opportunities to grow and engage relationships between people and sectors of common interest, yet varied passions and expertise. There is a collective 'Genius' that has emerged through these relationships, the kind of Genius we as humanity can turn to for hope in solving some of Planet Earth's most real and pressing problems. The relatively rapid flourishing of 7th Generation has been made possible by the glue of community which holds it together. To that we say 'Thank You' to all adhesives, to pritt sticks and cellotape, to those that have cooked a dish to share, given something away, given time, shared their knowledge and opinions, posted a video, held a lecture, welcomed someone in, encouraged and made lasting changes. These are the bonds that strengthen us and promise very high returns indeed.
Please read on to learn, remember, or celebrate some of 7th Generation's highlight moments from 2009.
7th Generation has approached the issues of community by creating 2 important spaces – an interactive social networking website and a monthly community evening.
So far the website (http://7thgenerationproject.ning.com
) has 207 members, with a network that spans across Northern Ireland to Zimbabwe, Guatemala, and farther afield. Utilizing the internet’s ability to connect the world, the website is used as a self organizing hub where all members are invited to share information and inspiration, engage in discussion and post events. Last year the website had 65 event posts, 76 video posts and 43 blog posts.
Though highly effective and important at connecting people quickly over long distances the project recognizes that electronic communication is only one part of the puzzle and can never substitute for the deep connections that occur in the full presence of one another.
This human focus is at the core of the 7th Generation model and it is no surprise that a monthly Community evening, under the title ‘Small dinners’, has become the beating heart of the project. With a regular attendance of between 15-30 people, the evenings offer an informal space of welcome and invitation to all those who spend their time involved in the process of ‘making a difference to the world’ to put down their tools and to break bread, connect, and share thoughts, ideas and inspiration.
In addition to the website and Community space, 7th Generation has developed an experiential Awareness Workshop that explores the linkages between environmental and human conflict by moving through the questions; ‘where are we?’, ‘how did we get here?’, ‘where do we want to go?’ and ‘how will we get there?’. Over 150 people have participated in the workshop during the past 18 months and it has been greeted with highly positive feedback.
Of course awareness is only helpful if you also have the skills to be able to act upon it. Tapping into the vast expertise inside the 7th Generation network the project provides access to a wide variety of both formal and informal capacity building. This past year a Dialogue for Peaceful Change conflict mediation course was held for those who have completed the Awareness workshop, and a Green Economics seminar was held in July at the Queens School of Politics by professor and 7th Generation member Dr. John Barry.
Creating space for action to take place is an important part of the Sustainability equation and in October 2009 Corrymeela was used to host the first 7th Generation Project conference. The theme for the 3 day event was ‘Open Space on finding pathways to (re)balancing our sustainability equation’ and drew over 50 participants from across sectors in Northern Ireland and the UK. Via the networks built at the conference 51 new actions and projects were initiated.
In the run up to the December UN COP15 conference in Copenhagen, 7th Generation organized a ‘3 minute Flash Mob Freeze’ at Belfast city hall as part of an Avaaz.org campaign to call for fair, legal and binding targets to be ratified at the summit. The 55 people participating in Belfast were a part of 100,000 people who took part in the event around the world that day and the Belfast mob received coverage from BBC radio Ulster.
Current 2010 projects include:
- Running a 2nd Dialogue for Peaceful Change Conflict Management Training
- Helping organize and support the running of Big Lunch in Ireland (www.thebiglunch.com
- Monthly Small Dinner community evenings
- Continued lectures on NI Renewables, Green Economics, Transition Towns, Skills Share, etc.
Contact Project Coordinators
: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com