News & Notes 726:Auroville Council Report for August, September And October 2017
Auroville Council Report for August, September And October 2017
Dear Community members, Below our report for the past three months:
- 1 Council internal functioning
- 2 Our connection to other Working Groups and Activities
- 3 Growth
- 4 Town Planning and Development
- 5 Governance
- 6 Policies and Mandates
- 7 Follow-up
- 8 Peace & Justice
- 9 Security / safety
Council internal functioning
The Auroville Council went through a process of self-assessment as a group and individually as members; we provided feedback to each other with sincerity, love and care for growth and progress. We learned a lot and our bonding keeps on strengthening. We all feel a deep sense of fulfilment and joy to serve Auroville through the Council’s work.
All our meetings are facilitated internally by one of our members. We invite silence at times when needed and as we see clearly the benefit of this “breathing space/pause”, the quality and atmosphere in the room have greatly improved through this practice.
Our connection to other Working Groups and Activities
We have a common weekly meeting with the Working Committee on Fridays, and with the FAMC we connect mainly through a liaison (Presently Yuval and Amy from the FAMC). Our connection to L’avenir needs to be established with the new team. Koodam is joining our meeting weekly for about an hour. RAS join our meeting on Mondays according to need.
Representatives of Auroville Security are joining our meeting once a month. Renuka is representing us in BCC (needs to be replaced), and Mita in the Housing Board. Sandyra is representing us in COALA (Coordination of Auroville Learning Activities)
The New Entry Policy was ratified by the community through an RAD (Residents' Assembly Decision Process) in September -- please check the results of the RAD [...]. The community agreed on a fast track process to select the Entry Board members for 1 year -- for details please look at [...]. The process of selecting the Entry Board members is ongoing and the new Entry Board will be in place in December.
This 1-year phase will help to assess the functioning of the new Entry Policy and the new Entry Board and to prepare amendments if necessary.
The first Mentor pool meeting happened on Oct. 14th, and a mentor core group emerged out of the meeting. More mentors’ meetings are programmed. Welcome talks and Pre-Newcomer Yucca Programs are prepared, scheduled and planned for the coming months.
All the necessary preparation for a fully functioning Entry Service is handled together with the Working Committee. A few members of the Auroville Council and the Working Committee have been assisting with the ongoing tasks of the Entry Service to ensure its functioning.
Town Planning and Development
New L’avenir d’ Auroville
Following the three-day selection process (20th, 21st, 22nd Oct), a new Interface team emerged composed by: Anita, Anu, Aurovici, Divya, Inge, Pino, Sindhuja and Tejaswini.
We wholeheartedly welcome the new team and sincerely thank the previous iTDC team for their commitment and work done. We look forward to working with them in the future.
Opposition from residents of the Pumphouse community to a proposed development by Youthlink highlights the difficulties in accommodating existing residents in the growth of the city, and highlights the need for new and more sensitive processes throughout our planning and development. The members of the Auroville Council have been involved in attempts to find harmonious solutions to the problem.
The Auroville Council thanks everyone for their participation in the 2 selection processes. We are happy to welcome the new team for L’avenir d’ Auroville and the new additional members for the Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC), the Working Committee and the Auroville Council -- [...]. Along with the facilitators, the RAS and the Study Group we will collect all feedback given on the processes. A sub-group is being set up to work on amendments to the process which is evolving. We appreciate the collective effort to improve it every year.
At this point we would like to express our deep gratitude for the huge effort and collaboration of many people to make it happen. Special thanks goes to the team of the Temporary Feedback Review Committee (TFRC) who faced a very difficult job.
Pool of Silent Listeners (Silent Presence Keeper- SPK)
The Av Council continues to support and develop the integration of Silent Listeners/SPK in the meetings of the working groups operating under the Participatory Working Groups Process in the course of the past 3 months. The Pool of SPK has undergone a phase of training and learning of what is needed to create a supportive atmosphere for working group members, helping them to stay more easily centered, to keep the connection with the Spirit of Auroville while engaging in the dynamics of complex matters and avoid being drained/exhausted at the end of the meetings.
The SPK have also been present during the two 3-day Selection Process events and are regularly attending general meetings. It is planned to extend this service in the future to other working groups and meetings happening in AV that would like to benefit from it.
Vikram (Gaya) has served as Silent Presence Keeper (Silent Listener) at the Council’s table for two years and we are very grateful for his continued commitment, support and presence. He is now serving as SPK at the FAMC. Rena, Suzie and Juan have now joined us from the SPK pool. We are very grateful for their presence.
Policies and Mandates
Auroville Council Mandate
The Auroville Council is working to re-vision its mandate, to update it to the present reality, and its aspiration towards the future. This is being done in a spirit of experiment and enquiry into the true role and purpose of the Council and how it can contribute in practical terms towards the materialisation of the vision and dream of Auroville. A focus-group consisting of some members of the Council and some members of the community are meeting regularly to look into this.
The amended BCC mandate was shared with the AV residents for feedback. Most of the feedback received was on the role of the FAMC and its mandate. The Auroville Council will look into the FAMC mandate and publish the BCC mandate with feedback incorporated soon. It is necessary that the BCC mandate, true to its present reality becomes functional soon to keep the integrity and smooth functioning of our financial processes.
Land Board selection process
Presently the Land Board (LB) is functioning with two active members and one resource person. The selection of the LB first involves the constitution of a selection committee to select the Land Board and then the nomination of members of the LB for selection. All candidates have to pass through the Temporary Feedback Review Committee for eligibility.
To shorten the process, it was suggested to have the working groups as the selection committee to form the LB but the community’s feedback received raised some objections and a new process is now being designed which will address these concerns.
The new Matrimandir executives have now had some time to explore their roles, areas of work and understanding on how they will work together in the future. The Auroville Council and the Working Committee met the Executives and Coordinators, and will follow up and support any processes as required.
School bus safety and Sign Board
A new bus route has become operational this school year towards Angiras garden, Celebration, and Swaram, for the convenience of our children. SAIIER has approved the budget for the new school-bus stops. Road Service has put up the new school-bus stop signs and will bring this project to completion in the next few weeks. The Auroville Council has been supporting this collaborative process of installing the school bus-stop signs.
Peace & Justice
Arbitrations and Appeals processes
The Auroville Council receives many issues needing its care and help for resolution. We are still in a learning process, reflecting and gaining insights. We will get back to you with an update on the process and possible needed improvements.
We thank all the arbiters, Koodam and resource persons for their time and commitment given during these processes.
- Aspiration sport ground arbitration: Implementation is in process.
- Housing and Ganesh arbitration: Implementation is in process.
- Windarra arbitration: The IMG has completed its work and now 2 Council members are working to bring this process to a closure.
- Bernard and Kripa/Shranga request for an Appeal process - Since the facilitation process had come to an agreement on the issue between the parties, the appeal body will not be needed. The Auroville Council warmly thanks the facilitators and all the persons/parties involved for their good will and openness.
Security / safety
Auroville Safety and Security Team (AVSST)
The council has regular monthly meetings with AVSST: The shared topics along with the Working Committee are the security in regard to the 50th anniversary, impact of apps promoting Auroville, different aspects of signboards, ensure mental support if needed and more. We would like to acknowledge the dedicated work of the team which aims to ensure the safety and security of Aurovilians, guests and visitors 24/7.
In regard to data security and backup for the working groups, Sysop has tested programs and offers now a solution for our internal data security. The project is about to be finalized
For the Auroville Council (Elisa, Enrica, Martin, Marc, Matriprasad, Mita, Renuka, Sandyra and Sundar)