Last year, Kosha Joubert, President of the Global Ecovillage Network, delivered a powerful talk at TEDxGeneva on the impact of ecovillages around the globe. Joubert lived in South Africa as a child, spent time in Amsterdam as adult, and now lives at the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland.
After studying cultural anthropology, she says she felt that “apartheid did not end in the early 90s in South Africa, but is still with us today on a global scale. Because still today people’s futures, people’s access to health, to education, people’s freedom of movement is decided by the passports they carry, the cultures they come from.”
Joubert sees ecovillages as way to bridge that divide. In 1991, after she turned 23 and felt that her anti-apartheid activism was no longer politically productive, she decided to walk across the country – something it was unheard of for a white South African woman to do at the time. She says that:
“I found a community, my first ecovillage, of black and white people living together … meeting each other’s culture, learning how to raise their children together, and something in me just clicked…. I understood that they were living their dream of the future in the now, without fighting the existing reality.”
After that experience, she continued to travel around the world, visiting existing ecovillages in Europe, South America, and more. They gave her hope that ecovillages could serve as “demonstration sites for solutions” to political and environmental challenges.
Watch the video to learn more about her journey – and about why she thinks ecovillage life is the best way to model sustainable living in a changing world: