From 7 to 11 May 2022, our team of youth workers from Italy, Germany, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain gathered at the Veles ecofarm in Slovenia for the fourth Transnational Project Meeting of the Erasmus+ Yes To Sustainability Partnership project, coordinated by GEN Europe.
After almost a year of online meetings and the last TPM3 in October in the German ecovillage of Sieben Linden, the joy was great to finally connect in person again.
One of the main topics of the meeting was the planning of the steps to the end of the project and beyond. Emotional processes were addressed with various internal facilitations, with time for individual reflection and using tools of deep democracy. It was time to create a space for emotional exchange and community building, in order to strengthen the relationships between project members. Although the transition the team went through was intense, the results and cohesion achieved were remarkable.
Another central theme was ‘trust in the process’. At times, frustration and anxiety, as well as a sense of time pressure, created tension. But although the process can sometimes seem messy and chaotic, the group could trust the process and each other. Finally, the group arrived at the last day of the meeting with fingers crossed: sociocratic decision-making took place. The effort paid off and the different working groups presented 5 proposals on various topics that had emerged during the week: future developments of the YTS network, social sustainability of YTS, conditions for a youth exchange to join the YTS network, next steps and the presence of YTS at the GEN Europe meeting. Finally the group was able to agree on all proposals and celebrate their achievements around a beautiful bonfire in Veles.
In the end, the team left Veles with a lot of new ideas, inspiration and new steps to take, strengthened with one of the mottos of sociocracy: Good enough for now, safe enough to try.