What would your utopian society be

Radiant people. A sparkling lake. Wonderful nature. Chirping crickets. Iridescent dragonflies. Colorful tents. Emotions are in the air. Laugh. Love. Life. Optimistic mood. The will to change. To live differently. Starting with yourself and turning society inside out. And the magic of utopia hovers over everything.

How do we imagine a sustainable society of tomorrow? How do we want to live? And what are utopian alternatives to our current economic system?
These and many other questions have put us in the 6 days busy at Utopival. 130 people, colorfully thrown together from all over Germany, from different contexts and different ages came together in Ganderkesee near Bremen to live their utopia.

Everything went according to the four accompanying motifs ecological, solidarity, vegan and money-free. The Utopival saw itself as a hands-on space in which the conventional relationship between producer and consumer was dissolved and everyone could contribute their own special talents - be it with their own workshops, in open space, on the open stage or snipping together for lunch.



But I want to start at the very beginning of the story. I'm sitting on the train and don't really know what I'm actually getting into. According to the email distribution list, I don't know any of the participants. The testimonials always sounded very enthusiastic and the great work from Network living utopia I've already got to know them directly several times. So actually the utopival can only be good. Nevertheless, fear mixes with my anticipation. What if I can't find a “connection” there? How do I come with Composting toilets and bucket showers right in practice? How will it be a week in tent to live without much camping experience?

In fact, this week I have mine Connection to nature found again completely new. To be woken up in the morning by the rays of the sun (and beautiful singing) in the rhythm of nature and to go to sleep in the evening with the sunset was a little change for me as a night owl, but I would like to take it with me into everyday life.



Every morning started with a delicious vegan breakfast from rescued food and was rounded off with a morning impulse - a saying or poem.
After that, it continued with exciting and inspiring workshops.I just want to give brief insights into three workshops that particularly touched me:

1. For a life in 4/4 time - the 4-in-one perspective (Melanie Stitz)
The main question here was how the four areas of life Wage labor, political interference, reproduction (e.g. cooking, cleaning, raising children) and Self development (e.g. learning, reading, dreaming), which in everyday life are often contradicting each other and can be reconciled.
Melanie Stitz first explained to us that there was something else about it Time regime, another Understanding of democracy, another notion of human development and another justice would need. The 4-in-one perspective according to Frigga Haug provides that one devotes four hours each day to each of the four areas of lifeleaving eight hours to sleep. As a direct consequence, there is a change in normal working hours and the demand for one "Part-time for everyone" from. We have long discussed how this approach is to be implemented in our current society and it remains exciting.
What I will definitely take away from the workshop is a greater awareness to check whether I have actually devoted myself in some way to each of these four areas of life every day. At the center of the workshop and also for me in the reflection is always the question: "What would I do if I had more time?"

2. Leave the oil in the soil! The Yasuní Initiative of Ecuador and the Earth Rights Declaration (Christian Cray)
Currently, values ​​like Prosperity and growth the economic system, from which a steady acceleration results from which neither people nor nature benefit. Above all, this development calls into question any climate goals suitable for grandchildren. The Earth Overschoot Day every year moves closer to the beginning of the year and the struggle for resources continues to increase.
After this brief introduction, Christian Cray presented two possible solution concepts:
A few years ago Ecuador made the offer to the world community, the oil under one of the world's most biodiverse rainforests in Yasuní National Park to be left in the ground forever in the Amazon. Unfortunately, this proposal failed due to the lack of willingness to pay on the part of the industrialized nations.
Nevertheless, an international movement of the "Yasunidos"who are also active in Germany and certainly worth supporting, which is why I went directly to the mailing list;)!

Adopted almost at the same time as the 2010 proposal from Ecuador 30,000 representatives of indigenous peoples and communities at the 'World Conference of Peoples' in Bolivia the Earth Rights Declarationthat gives nature its own legal subjectivity. In this way, for example, lawyers and environmental organizations could claim their rights and enforce them legally in the name of nature. It basically includes things that are taken for granted, e.g. that mother earth has a right to clean air or that every person bears responsibility for a harmonious life with mother earth ...
A wonderful explanation comparable to human rightsthat would certainly fundamentally change life on and with the earth from one day to the next. But how do we get these universal rights of nature implemented? We devoted ourselves to this question for a long time in the workshop without finding a concrete answer. My personal answer: Maybe by living by them every day and carrying them out into the world? Until the politicians of this world also adopt the Earth Rights Declaration!

3. Learn from happy people (Thu Phong Vuong)
Imagine you received a list with 100 values and you should choose the 20 most important for you. From there you choose the ten most important ones and from them the five most important ones. Then you will find out that your values ​​are in Settings = inner principles (e.g. being disciplined, being creative, etc.), Resolutions = inner goals (e.g. having a family, being educated etc.), behavior = external principles (e.g. being honest with others, being loyal) and Visions = have external goals (e.g. protecting the climate, promoting human rights, etc.) divided.

This is exactly what Thu Phong Vuong did with us in this workshop. Then he explained to us that we cannot control goals while we have a decisive influence on principles and have it under control. The more we focus on things or goals in our life that are beyond our control, the greater our fears and dependencies become. We always ask ourselves what the others want to hear and yet we are unsuccessful (e.g. when looking for a job or looking for love). But if we like ourselves and live our values ​​rather than our goals, we have the chance to be really happy (at least this shows his coaching experience).
It continued with group work, where we considered what would support us personally and what prevents us from living our principles / values. Again and again, social constraints and external expectations were mentioned as aspects that hinder us and like-minded people, courage or self-confidence, as factors that help us to live our values.
We ended the workshop with a wonderful meditation at the lakewhere we were able to focus again on our different senses.
This workshop really stimulated me to question my own goals and principles again now and in the future, thank you for that! :)

One of my absolute highlights was the morning of silence. On Thursday morning, after three intense and eventful days, we all got up in silence and had breakfast in silence. After three days full of conversations, the buzz of voices and getting to know each other, it was wonderful to spend this morning in silence and to concentrate fully on yourself. Hand in hand we then went to the beach in silence and had a drink there in the bright sunshine wonderful concert of unison enjoyed - with very inspiring texts! :)

On Friday there was the next highlight: Niko Paech came with his band “Beelzebub Airlines” to us. As a sustainable-thinking economics student, I am of course only too familiar with his post-growth approaches, and I would love to do that too Do master's with him. It was all the more exciting then, suddenly my great role model To have to stand in front of me and chat with him about plural economics and his apprenticeships. But at the latest after the sentence "I am Niko" the ice was broken. And maybe we'll see you again soon at my university for a guest lecture by him!:)



All good things come in threes. My third highlight was the last evening, which was beautiful on Campfire has faded - in the truest sense of the word. What could be nicer than sitting under the starry sky with new friends, singing, philosophizing about God and the world and feeling a deep connection?
When I want to crawl into my tent at 4:00 am, I will greeted by a snail and a frog. Circumstances in which I would certainly not have remained so calm at the beginning of this week - in the truest sense of the word: D

But what remains?
First a culture shock. Rushing people, price tags and a hamster wheel feeling. And above all, the feeling that something is going wrong.
But then I beam at people, with the little utopival in me and they shine back. I know that we humans are on the right track and can create social change - if we work together and stick together!

Gratitude! For the organization that Food for thought, everything that I was allowed to learn and especially the Peoplethat I was able to get to know ... and so that in a year I will also know what I set out to do at Utopival and what I have learned, I will be in a year Letter from myself remember :) Thanks for the great idea, dear organization team!

Gratitude! For a seat on the train flowing water, a warm shower and above all one soft bed...I can and want to be more happy about the big "little things" that are anything but self-evident, at least for a considerable part of the world's population ...

But above all I want to carry the message of the utopival into society! I don't want to get out, I don't want to create a parallel world like at the utopival, but rather change the existing system from within, so that afterwards we have a great utopival that includes everyone!
In this sense: "not just talking about utopia, but living utopia!"

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Would you also like to take concrete steps in a money-free society and live your utopia of a world of tomorrow today? Then register quickly for the Utopikon in November by September 5th! :)

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Images: T. Rosswog and L. Storcks