Milestone for the Integral Green Slovenia Movement: 5th International Conference for an Integral Green Economy took place in three Slovenian Venues – Poljčane, Špitalič & Žiče Charterhouse
22 to 24 November: The vibrant conference helped taking the Integral Green Slovenia initiative and the Integral Green Economy agenda to new heights, and explored concrete possibilities to integrally enrich the new and ambitious European agenda.
The conference attracted well over 100 participants and was hosted by two integral, educationally innovative and inspiring Kindergardens: Slovenska Bistrica in Poljčaneand Slovenske Konjice in Špitalič. This year’s conference focused on “The Future of Europe in a Turbulent World: Integrating Perspectives and Actualising Potentials on a Path of Sustainability” – thereby responding to an increasingly challenging reality, filled with intense problems and potentials at the same time. Participants represented social innovators for sustainable development from all areas of society and all levels – local, regional, national, international. International participants came from Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Australia and Switzerland – with life video contributions from Nigeria and Jordan.
The conference, on the one hand, provided the space to share local and international integral case studies – on the other hand, it was an interactive and transcultural space for mutual development and for the co-creation of forward-looking societal perspectives on sustainable integral development. In confirmed, once again, the conceptual strength of What was particular valuable in this year’s conference was its groundedness in local Slovenian cases, the inspiring atmosphere of the two Kindergardens, as well as the participation of the local community, actively supporting and contributing to the conference.
Slovenian cases and themes presented at the conference included a rich variety of institutional and individual integral development perspectives, all active contributions to the Integral Green Economy initiative. Topics included: Global Perspectives on Challenges of Climate Change and the Coming EU Climate Action (Andrej Kranjc, MSc); Savinjska Region as an Integral Green Region (Jasna Križnik);Smart Integration for an Integral Green Europe (Vesna Kolar Planinšič, MSc & Dr. Darja Piciga); Ecological Justice and Biosocial Philosophical Literacy (Prof. Lenart Škof & Dr. She Hawke); Creating a Gaia related culture (Marko Pogacnik); Local Social Entrepreneurship with Community Programmes in Tourism and Food Self Supply for an Integral Green Europe (Tadej Slapnik); From our Hearts to the Hearts of Europeans for a Sustainable Europe (Ivana Leskovar & Stanka Stegne); Common as Part of Integral Green Concept (Dr. Nevenka Bogataj); Kindergarten as a Motor of Local Development: The Case of Špitalič and Open Learning Environment for All Generations (Mojca Veler, Karin Lavin, Lidija Zidanšek & Klavdija Kokljič, Andreja Lipovec & Jasna Golob, Darja Solina, Niko Laznik, Katja Temnik, Prof Ana Vovk Korže, Tomaž Popović, Valentina Kroflič).
International integral cases included: The Vision of an Integral Green Zimbabwe (Dr. Elizabeth Mamukwa, Zimbabwe); From Sustainable Community Development to Societal Renewal – a Creative Response to and Showcase for the Sustainable Development Goals (Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Sri Lanka); From Sekem as an Integral Enterprise to the Economics of Love – Sekem’s Future Vision and Engagement for the Sustainable Development of Egypt (Martina Dinkel, Egypt); Pax Herbals in Nigeria as an Integral Enterprise-in-Community and a case of Communitalism, an African Integral Economic path (Dr. Anselm Adodo, Nigeria); Towards Integral Explanation of Jordan as the “Oasis of Stability” in a turbulent region, with inspiring integral green enterprise-educational-economic practice cases (Zeina Sahyoun, Mayyada Abu Jaber, Laila Abdul Majeed, all from Jordan).
Dr. Darja Piciga, the Co-Founder of the Slovenian Citizens’ Initiative and Prof. Alexander Schieffer, Co-Founder of the TRANS4M Movement both placed particular emphasis on the relevance of the Slovenian integral approach for the future of the European Union – and helped integrating the diverse contributions to a cohesive proposition to take the Integral Green Economy and Society movement forward.
A particular important focus in the initiative’s next phase will be the presentation of benefits of an integrative conceptual framework, as has been developed for Slovenia, for the new political agenda of the European Union, through connecting and intertwining the European Green Deal with other guidelines, particularly: An economy that works for people, Promoting our European way of life, A stronger Europe in the world. The proposal for an Integral Green Europe also builds on potentials and expected benefits of the integral green economy and society approach for resolving challenges to sustainable development in developing regions that can be, inter alia, promoted through development cooperation with the European Union and can enrich education and training programs for migrants from these regions.
As in past years, this now already 5thInternational Conference was initiated by the Citizens’ Initiative for an Integral Green Slovenia; it was supported by TRANS4M, Development Agencyof Savinjska Region,Kindergarten Slovenske Konjice, Kindergarten Oton Župančič Slovenska Bistrica, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Science and Research Centre Koper, Alma Mater Europea, among others.
It is well worth noting, that this year’s International Conference for an Integral Economy was already celebrating its fifth anniversary. IGE 2019 follows thereby the successful conferences of 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 in Slovenia and the release of the Gower and Routledge volume Integral Green Sloveniain June 2016.
Dr. Elizabeth Mamukwa, Chair of the Pundutso Research Institute in Zimbabwe and lead editor of Integral Green Zimbabwe summarised the conference as follows: “This conference was a melting pot of cultures – from Africa to Australia, Jordan to Europe and Sri Lanka. It was also a melting pot of ideas and innovations, from raising children to be at one with nature, Modern Philosophy of religion, changing a culture of dependency, creating Integral Learning Communities and earth transforming itself into a different frequency. What all this had in common was the raising of awareness of the things that we need to do to improve the quality of people’s lives, and quenching of the thirst of new knowledge by sharing social innovations which can be replicated elsewhere. It was an amazing conference where the possibility of an Integral Green Economy and Society could be tangibly witnessed.“