The Bridge: Auroville and the World

an Experimental Collaborative Research Encounter from the 22nd to 27th of February 2018 in the international township of Auroville, South India

About The Bridge

On the occasion of Auroville’s 50th anniversary, an Experimental Collaborative Research Encounter, The Bridge, will present and share the Auroville laboratory with researchers engaged in relevant fields around the world. The event aims to convey the full potential of this laboratory for a future society and issue an open invitation to start joint projects, conduct research on and actively engage in this experiment together. We aspire to bridge Auroville with the world, the inner and the outer, ideals with reality as well as knowledge and practice - across disciplines. Join us in...

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...a welcome on Feb 22nd, followed by five days of field-demonstrations and sharing of Auroville’s experiments, presentations of current research relevant to the fields and collaborative workshops, for researchers from around the world and Auroville’s experimenters to exchange and consolidate partnerships across fields, Feb 23rd - 27th. We hope The Bridge will act as an incubator and launching pad for ongoing collaborative research projects.

Handshake

...the formulation, initiation, planning of and commitment to collaborative projects between Auroville practitioners and researchers from India and around the world, inspired by the Auroville charter as well as current projects happening in Auroville, that can yield valuable insights and innovative applications for Auroville and the world.

World

...engaging with the growing international civil society and transdisciplinary network of practitioners and researchers, dedicated to working for human unity in diversity around the world, sharing their inspiration, knowledge, skill, technology and heart for the benefit of all.

Educational initiatives and approaches that seek to foster experiential and life-long learning, resonate with the vision of integral education, and aim to deepen individuals’ connection to their inner being in all fields of action.

Societal and economic practices that deliberately attempt to unify individuals in conscious collectivity, reflecting an ethos of care and solidarity for one another and the planet.

Diverse artistic expressions and cultural practices that strive to transcend boundaries and transform our relationships with each other, our surroundings and the world. These are key to the development of new forms of collectivity, such as Auroville, a “universal township in the making.”

Fields of Research

About Auroville

“Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual human unity." (From the Auroville Charter)

“Auroville stands as one of the most courageous and hope-giving models of what is possible when the human will and spirit unite in a common action.” (David Brower)

Auroville is an international, experimental township in South India, constituted of about 2,700 members from over 50 nationalities. It is based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo – renowned Indian yogi, revolutionary, and poet – and was founded by his spiritual counterpart, Mirra Alfassa, in 1968. The largest and longest-standing intentional community in the world, Auroville is practically researching into transformation of cultural, social, environmental and sustainable living, and spiritual needs for the evolution of humanity. Over the last 50 years, it has been developing innovative and alternative forms and practices, some of them award-winning, inspiring people and projects worldwide.

Auroville sees itself as a place of research and experimentation for humanity as a whole, looking into the establishment of a practical human unity. The township is supported and encouraged by the Government of India and is endorsed by UNESCO and other international bodies, who acknowledge its value as a potential catalyst and beacon for changing global perceptions, lifestyles and practices. UNESCO recognises “...that the aims of Auroville are to promote international understanding, peace, innovative education, a learning society, and all-round material and spiritual development for harmonious individual and collective growth” and “the value of such civilizing experiences as an invaluable and integral part of the commonly shared human experience.”[UNESCO, Commemorative Activities for the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Auroville, an International Township (Paris: UNESCO, 2007).]

Contact

Submit Abstracts

To participate in The Bridge, please send a short note describing your interest in attending this event in Auroville, and a sample of or link to your research, to thebridge​@auroville.org.in, by October 1st, 2017. The number of participants at the event is limited. However, we will help facilitate other means of bridging about collaborative research projects for all those who submit an abstract, even if attendance at The Bridge itself is not possible.

Criteria for selection include:

  • Undertaking research in one or more of the fields; applied inter- or transdisciplinary approaches and scopes of activity are especially sought.
  • A commitment to exploring collaborative research projects.
  • Previous connection with or sincere interest in discovering the Auroville experiment.
  • For more information on the event see The Bridge Project Outline

Stay informed

Sign up for The Bridge newsletter to get updates on the event such as schedule, locations, etc. We also plan on blogging about exemplary projects and research done in Auroville to highlight the laboratory’s potential - so stay tuned!

Advisors

Auroville and its 5oth Anniversary celebrations are supported by members of the community’s International and Indian advisors. Eminent Present and Former members  include:

Dr. Karan Singh, Chairman of the Auroville Foundation, India's representative on UNESCO's International Commission on Education in the Twenty-first Century, member of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) & former President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Prof. Vishakha N. Desai (Columbia University), President Emerita of Asia Society, Senior Adviser for Global Policy & Programs at the Guggenheim Foundation. Member of the Auroville International Advisory Council.
Dr. Shaunaka Rishi Das, Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, member of the Auroville International Advisory Council.
Sir Mark Tully, BBC's India correspondent for 22 years. Member of the Auroville International Advisory Council.
Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, Director, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad, member of the Auroville Governing Board.
Dr. Kabir Shaikh, Former Director of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. Member of the Auroville International Advisory Council.
Dr. Ameeta Mehra, Director of the Gnostic Center, Gurgaon. Member of Auroville’s Governing Board.
Prof. Amartya Sen (Harvard University), Indian economist and Nobel laureate, member of the Auroville International Advisory Council.
Snr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Former Director General of UNESCO, member of the Auroville International Advisory Council.
Mr. P. V. Narasimha Rao, Former Prime Minister of India and First Chairman of the Auroville Foundation.
Mr. A. M. M’Bow, Former Director General of UNESCO, member of the first Auroville International Advisory Council.
Mr. J. R. D. Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata & Sons, member of the first Auroville International Advisory Council.
Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Former Chairman of the Auroville Foundation, Chairman of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.

Statements of support:

Margaret Mead, PhD: Auroville is a community dedicated to working […] to develop living forms, both architectural and environmental, which will transcend our level of community living which is fraught with such heavy penalties to human beings and to the global environment […] I believe that Auroville deserves help […]. (1973).
Karin Litfin, PhD: Auroville’s forest makes it one of the few places on Earth where biodiversity is increasing; every year, residents encounter insect and bird species that have not been seen for decades. (from "Ecovillages: Lessons for sustainable community", p. 41, 2014)
His Holiness The Dalai Lama: We are deeply impressed by the spiritual aim behind the building of an international city called Auroville. The importance of the effort to achieve human unity and international cooperation by the creation of such a city cannot be overemphasized; nor can we neglect the immense benefit to be acquired from it. [...] You see, there are many projects that are very good for material development but are often lacking in spiritual value or realisation. In other cases, there is an emphasis on spiritual things but with a neglect of practical progress. Here I found a combination of the two. (At the inauguration of the Pavilion of Tibetan Culture in Auroville’s International Zone, 1973)
Irina Georgieva Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO: I would like to express my appreciation for the vision of the Auroville International Zone. This is an impressive platform embodying ideals and views that resonate with those of UNESCO. I am certain it will serve as an open space for a 'living embodiment of actual human unity', as the Charter of Auroville declares. This is a vital task today, and I wish you all the support, inspiration and courage to carry it forward. (on the occasion of the inauguration of the Unity Pavilion at the Auroville International Zone, 2010)