Solaranlagen 1The ZEGG community has done one more step towards a complete energy supply from renewable sources. Since December the combined heat and power plants run with the wind gas tariff from Greenpeace Energy. This tariff supports the development of wind gas technology - produced by wind energy that cannot be fed into the grid – and thus could become an innovative and sustainable form of gas generation. Since 1991 the ZEGG owned cogeneration plant has been operating with wood chips. In 2010 heating was improved by installing a modern wood chip boiler, a log boiler and an exhaust gas heat exchanger. The devices will switch off and on automatically as needed. Four photovoltaic systems and three wind gas-fired cogeneration plants produce electricity and hot water. Additionally the waste heat of our large cold store is used for heating water. ZEGG thus stands for an energy supply system that is innovative, regional and CO2-neutral.

Hella Suderow and Christian Schumacher At the beginning of this year, twelve couples from the ZEGG community took part in a special 7-day “time out” for couples: the Making Love Retreat from Hella Suderow and Christian Schumacher. This was the third intensive community time in close succession, following the internal seminar with Clinton Callahan and the community’s own intensive time focussing on the issue of love in December.

Kläranlage Winter12 2After a few months of hope, everything is open again: The decision about being connected to the public water and sewerage mains run by the “Stadtwerke” (town utility company) will be taken by the town council presumably by the end of this year. Being forced to connect to the mains in this way would mean an end to our own water supply and our constructed wetland sewage treatment. Wether we can convince the councilmen of preserving our ecological model depends on many factors. One thing is for sure: it will take some time and we will need to be persistant.
We will keep you up-to-date on any further developments via our website.

Kläranlage Winter12In recent months, one of the core elements that makes ZEGG an ecological model project faced a serious threat: our decentralised water cycle. As part of the procedure considering a building development plan for our site, in the summer of 2012 the Building Committee of the Bad Belzig town council recommended that ZEGG be connected to the public water and sewerage mains run by the “Stadtwerke” (town utility company). Being forced to connect to the mains in this way would have meant an end to our own water supply and our constructed wetland sewage treatment.

Uni-UmbauA plenary meeting of the ZEGG community on Nov 28 gave the go ahead for the next step in the conversion of the remaining attic space in our main 'Uni' building. The application for building permission will now be submitted. With this, the community wants to create urgently needed additional member accommodation. At the same time, the opportunity will be taken to give 'character' to the somewhat plain building, in the form of an impressive gable above the main entrance.

Besuch Freie schule TameraEleven children and youth with three accompanying adults from the forthcoming independent school in Tamera are staying in ZEGG for one week. Some of the young people in the group used to live in ZEGG, including one young woman who grew up here and is now a mother herself - so there were some moving reunions during the stay!

Baltic Sea Meeting ZEGG-4And the series of international meetings hosted by ZEGG continued. The young ecovillagers from NextGEN had only just departed at the beginning of October when the first participants arrived for a conference hosted by ZEGG as part of the EU Program "Baltic Sea Region - Ecovillages for sustainable rural development". The meeting was the sixth for this project, which aims to compile manuals and an internet portal with practical examples of ecovillages and related projects in the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Rectsformen Tage 9.12 17On September 14/15 we invited the consultant Rolf Novy-Huy to help us in our search for the perfect legal basis for our community and its activities. Mr Novy-Huy is the managing director of the trias Foundation, which specialises in supporting innovative and ecological community housing projects (see http://www.stiftung-trias.de). He is an experienced banker and worked for many years at the German social/ecological GLS Bank, so all-in-all he is an expert on the full range of possibilities concerning legal and financial structures for projects such as ours.

NEXT GEN 10.12In the first week of October, ZEGG hosted two important meetings for the European ecovillage movement: the second meeting of the new GEN Europe Council and the first meeting of NextGEN, a sub-group in GEN which brings together young people from communities.
The GEN Europe Council is responsible for fostering and deepening the vision of the organisation.

GEN12This year's Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) European conference took place in the Krishna Valley community in Hungary. Thomas Heuser from ZEGG attended. He was particularly impressed at how thoroughly the spiritual community have implemented their ecological beliefs, dramatically reducing the ecological footprint for their 200-strong community.

CTS-12-Georg-6340 adults and 30 children took part in this year's Come Together Song Festival in ZEGG. Hagara Feinbier and Raimund Mauch demonstrated their abilities as festival organisers once again. Everyone was invited to sing and swing together in the mornings and evenings, with the afternoons offering a platform for guests to show off their own talents in smaller open space groups.

Besuch-Munyasia-7-12In the wake of the annual meeting of the Global Ecovillage Network, Philip Munyasia from Kenya travelled on and visited ZEGG. Taking advantage of his trip to Europe, he was able to visit further projects and present his permaculture school OPETIC.

GartenOn May 13 we started our program for "summer guests". The season started well and we have already hosted many willing helpers from Germany and abroad. Every summer we offer the chance to stay for a while in ZEGG and contribute by working in the kitchen, garden or guest house.

Gorleben 365-20In ZEGG we know how necessary it is to actively build up viable alternatives, such as communities. But we also see the necessity of preventing things that pose long-term threats to life, such as nuclear energy. So 15 of us from ZEGG and the Fläming region set off to take part in the "Gorleben 365" action, blocking the access road to the construction site for the long-term nuclear waste repository there for a day on May 16 (www.gorleben365.de).

Gmk 2012 1For five weeks our community was graced by 26 people taking part in our Community Course. They started with a 9-day intensive training in community development from Achim Ecker and Ina Meyer-Stoll. Then they began to help out in the garden, the site team or the seminar business. This helped them to get to know ZEGG members and the various working areas within the community. It also gave them time to integrate what they had learned and experienced in the initial phase.

Rundgang mit GMK 3.12 2Recent years have seen the number of residents in our community grow - now our site has grown, too. We have taken the opportunity to purchase 1 ha (2.5 acres) of horticultural land right next to our existing garden.

Transition Town Treffen 3.12Is our region Fläming ready to become a Transition Region? This was the question posed last Monday which opened an inspiring meeting held at the Wiesenburg Station co-operative centre. Seven ZEGG residents attended.

gorlebenA power supply that leaves behind nuclear waste with millenia of dangerous radiation is not compatible with our values! That's why we are taking part in the "Gorleben 365" action at the construction site for the long-term nuclear waste repository there.

Polenreise Ina März 12The EU-funded sustainable development initiative "Baltic Sea Region Program 2007-2013" includes a sub-project on the topic of eco-villages – "Ecovillages for sustainable rural development" – which was launched by the Lithuanian agriculture ministry. ZEGG is an associate project partner and our representative, Ina Meyer-Stoll, serves as a consultant.

ZC FestDon't let the photo give you the wrong impression – the ZEGG-Club Fest last weekend wasn't a "boot camp" designed to get the participants back into shape! It was taken on the opening evening and shows an "ice-breaker" exercise to provide a little movement and a chance to make contact with some of the other guests: in groups of five, ten and then twenty we had to build "human statues". Afterwards we relaxed to music and listened to each other's latest news.

Kultur-KreativeFor two years, the Hungarian filmmaker Frigyes Fogel invested his own time and money to create a film about the "cultural creatives" movement. His motivation came from his observations that although cultural creatives account for several per cent of the population, they often feel they are alone.

This film is intended to put an end to that phenomenon. It features interviews with scientists who studied the movement, Nobel Prize winners and many of the projects themselves, including ZEGG. The film can be watched via the internet with subtitles in various languages.



ZEGG – Center for Social and Cultural Design

Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 89
14806 Bad Belzig
Germany

Telefon: +49 (0) 33841 595-100
fax: +49 (0) 33841 595-102

Email:
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The ZEGG is a community of about 100 adults and children. How can we create a sustainable and creative life and an awake awareness to promote issues of love and sexuality, ecology, community, and create policy. We invite you to visit us, especially our summercamp.

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