In March 2015 a large community process took place in Auroville called
“The Retreat” —a collective gathering to reflect on the future of the township—where the need to make space for the youth of the community became evident. To address this, a group of young participants agreed to start an initiative to help address the concerns of their own generation. Thus, an activity called ‘YouthLink’ was born. At the time, YouthLink’s goals related to the six aspects of the community – Education, Bioregion, Economy, Town Planning, Growth, and Governance.
Today, YouthLink is a space for young adults to explore themselves and discover their offering for the world, using ‘community’ as a central theme for the evolution of humankind. YouthLink organizes many social events, educational workshops and co-creative projects, as part of its four areas of focus:
Social – To co-create a space to be yourself.
Education – To explore oneself through collective learning.
Projects – To manifest in the spirit of offering service.
Research – To seek transformation through innovation.
In YouthLink’s education, the traditional dichotomy of student/teacher or participant/facilitator is dissolved as the team works together, to create a strong sense of family, and to design learning experiences that include both older mentors, and younger facilitators.
One of YouthLink’s central focus is to also allow for its core team to continue learning – so we regularly experiment with various social tools for enhancing our own awareness, decision making processes, conflict resolution, and team building. We also experiment with alternative economy models, and ecologically harmonious, low impact lifestyle solutions.
YouthLink is also currently in process of reviving one of Auroville’s older youth communities (Youth Center), and we are also building a new community (called Anitya). YouthLink is also in process of designing a campus as a central hub, which we call “the Hive”.