ABOUT GEN WISE
"Inspiring a wisdom culture that adopts ‘eco-village' as an attitude and way of life."
GEN WISE serves as the Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, branch of the umbrella organisation GEN, representing the nations of Wales, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England. There are four sides to the GEN WISE mission:
1, to bring existing eco-communities together and help them thrive in their heroic sustainability goals through a wider network of support.
2, to bring the applied wisdom they have mastered into the everyday lives of all individuals and 'normal' villages, such that ‘ecovillage’ becomes a mindset and a way of life that is applicable to everyone.
3, to support and inspire the rising of new eco-communities.
4, to be an alchemical meeting point for different ecologically minded initiatives and people to co-imagine and create much greater schemes than any one ecosystem of person / project / organisation can do alone.
Both ecovillages and the ecovillage mentality, could not be more relevant to our current time and place on Earth.
Taken as an attitude and philosophy, we can live the ecovillage way, firstly within our own lives, then in our homes, communities, and finally our modern towns & countries. Essentially, our entire planet must become an eco-planet, and for that to happen, we wish to inspire every individual in adopting a way of being, thinking, and acting, that has ecological awareness in the heart.
We believe every one of us is an ecovillage - the human body for instance is a diverse biological community in itself. 'Eco' equates to what is natural, belonging to this Earth, and if something is not natural, it cannot exist here in a healthy state, or have a healthy impact on its environment. 'Village' is a community or network, which is symbiotic. The answers to our world, culturally and environmentally, reside in nature and community.
Check out some of our current projects >>>
Join our ecovillage network community:
If you belong to an eco-community, would like to develop your intentional community to become more regenerative, belong to a regenerative project or organisation, or just simply love ecovillages and want to know about the ones in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England, then join our Facebook community!
Meet the GEN-WISE core team:
KAREN AIYANA BIRCH
GEN-WISE Founder and Director, Community Coherence Facilitator
Karen is a transformational facilitator, facilitator trainer, and educator on conscious living. She has coordinated government funded services in the social sector, including designing and leading educational programs that promote social health and conscious lifestyles. An avid New Earth visionary, she sees the unifying of ecological regeneration and greater human consciousness as imperative. Her published materials include four books. In 2020 she produced a film about ecovillages, called The Blueprint. Karen is designing a model for community around social and cultural coherence. Check out her work: KarenAiyanaBirch.
GEN-WISE Networking Coordinator
Inge Kuijper is an ethnobotanist, design thinker, and writer. She is actively exploring the question: how can we live in harmony with Nature? After completing Gaia Education’s Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) program in Findhorn community, Scotland, she visited over 20 transition projects, from ecovillages to permaculture farms. She is now pursuing the Ethnobotany MSc program at the University of Kent, and works for Ecosystem Restoration Camps, to support the restoration of ecosystems worldwide. You can read more on her website Green Unfolding.
Next-GEN Coordinator & Trainer
Jake Jay-Lewin is NextGEN Europe (youth-arm of GEN’s European region) Operations Manager and a key contributor in growing this youth-network from scratch over six years. His work has included inspiring young people to join the GEN networks by ensuring its relatability and in creating ways to integrate them into existing structures or to create new ones. Jake has visited or worked with over forty emerging or established ecovillage projects and networks across the globe and works professionally in the field of organisational development as a trainer, consultant, and facilitator.
Coordinator for Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland, Sustainability Trainer
John-Paul is a Teacher and Environmental Educator and has worked in the field for over 20 years. He is a GEN Trainer and Ambassador, an 'An Taisce' Climate Ambassador, plus Founder and Director of Enriched Earth, an ecovillage in Ireland. John-Paul is actively creating links between regenerative initiatives throughout the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and thereby co-ordinating the RI & NI networks within GEN-WISE.