News & Notes 785:Study Group - history, purpose & current team

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785 icon.jpg   News & Notes 785
11 February 2019


Study Group: history, purpose & current team


In 2012, The Working Committee sent out a call to the community that a Study Group be formed to look at and come up with suggestions for a new Selection process for our working groups. The voting system had become very politicized resulting in heavy lobbying by interest groups, resulting in polarized and dysfunctional working groups. There was also a strong sense of the working groups working in isolation from the community. As a response to this call, the Study Group was formed: a group without a formal structure, with no fixed membership, open to all who wanted to participate in working towards improving Auroville’s organisation.

Two years later, it launched the ‘Participatory Working Group’ proposal, a set of guidelines aiming to foster more participation and communication between the Working Groups and the community at large as well as a participatory process for selecting working group members. Central to this amendment are core values that strive to unify Aurovilians. Since its conception the Study Group has been the body responsible for overlooking and organizing the Selection Process of Working Groups along with the Residents’ Assembly Service, thus moving from a system of voting to one of agreement and consensus.

It is interesting to reflect on the history of the Study Group, as it gears up to oversee the upcoming Selection Process of 4 major Working Groups (Auroville Council, FAMC, L’avenir d’Auroville and Working Committee) in March 2019. Given the current level of participation and the feedback received from the community, many of us believe that we might have reached full circle today. Perhaps the time has come to explore new ways, taking into consideration the learning of the past and bringing in more simplicity.

The process would need to be thoroughly looked into for something new to emerge. For now, the Study Group is exploring different methods for the design of the upcoming Selection Process, to see how to best support it under these challenging circumstances. Unless the community should request otherwise, it is the collective's will to hold the Selection Process.

Today the former members of the Study Group have made way for a new core team: Caroline, Maël, Marc, Pranjal, Rakhal, Sandyra, Sudipta and Tania. Further it is enriched by a larger body of resource persons without whom the organization of the Selection Process is impossible. The two are comprised of a healthy mix of people from different backgrounds and ages and remain open for anyone who would like to help as facilitators or resource persons.

Even if you are taking part in the Selection Process, you are invited to plug in and help however you can! If anyone should feel inspired to support, please reach out to us at studygroup-email (at) auroville.org.in.