Village Revitalization Conference 2018

The third International Conference on Village Revitalization (ICVR#3) will be held on 22-25 November 2018 in Central Java at Ngadiprono, Ngadidono and Ngadimulyo villages in Kedu, Temanggung, Central Java, Indonesia.

 ICVR#3 will focus on small, local, and sustainable concepts that appeal to existing village communities. Courtesy ICVR.

ICVR#3 will focus on small, local, and sustainable concepts that appeal to existing village communities. Courtesy ICVR.

The conference will investigate and help explain the core ethos of Village Life: living in a small community. The organisers argue that this approach allows people to reduce carbon emissions and provide the chance to understand the natural capacity of small communities to support the living population within them.

“We do not need to create a new small community, but we need to revitalise the existing ones,” say the organisers. They argue that advances in information and communication technology have opened up an opportunity for people to live in rural and remote areas of the world, in harmony with nature but without the traditional burdens of poverty and lack of access. “Dwelling in a small community, living from local sources, but open and globally connected is a picture of future life that is consistent with the principles of sustainability,” they argue.

ICVR#3 will see up to 100 attendees at the local Pasar Papringan (bamboo forest market) engaging with locals, activists, practitioners, thinkers, institutions related to village revitalisation and sustainability theorists under the overall umbrella of the Spedagi movement. Invited speakers will come from as far afield as Japan, Tasmania, and Kashmir, as well as a solid representation from local Indonesian experts.

 Kartono is famous for his wooden radio design, as well as his bamboo bike. Courtesy Kartono.

Kartono is famous for his wooden radio design, as well as his bamboo bike. Courtesy Kartono.

Spedagi comes from the words ‘sepeda pagi’, or morning cycle ride in Bahasa. Famous local designer Singgih S Kartono originally developed a new low-cost, locally-producable bamboo bicycle design in 2013, but since then, his Spedagi movement has expanded significantly.

Now, it has become much more than a village or local-resources based product, and has morphed into the Spedagi Village Revitalization movement, which aims to empower villages as a sustainable and self-sufficient communities – not just groups producing low-cost practical items.

Spedagi has morphed and emerged as a response to the drainage of young people (people in their prime) from the village into the cities. Its core belief is that all human needs can be catered for in the village. Using increasing awareness of the benefits of innovation and conservation, plus the more sustainable aspects of existing culture, Spedagi believes that people can live rich nourishing lives without leaving their village.

This year’s conference follows the two previous ICVR events held in Indonesia in 2014, and at Ato - Yamaguchi, Japan in 2016, and will focus on issues including keeping young people nourished in the village environment. Organisers say the best approach is to not leave the future for the past, but to instead enable the future as a village where the continuity of knowledge is the answer to future,

 Activities will centre around the tranquil Pasar Papringan. Courtesy ICVR.

Activities will centre around the tranquil Pasar Papringan. Courtesy ICVR.

The conference will also address the issue of sustainability. The organisers assert that living in small communities where needs can be fulfilled from local sources is completely: “in accordance with the principles of sustainable living.”

This, they say, gives the opportunity to achieve a high quality of life in physical, social as well as spiritual aspects. “Moreover, the proximity to (living) resources will minimise carbon emissions,” they say. “And we do not need to create a new small community, since there are so many small communities around us - what we know as villages.”

Spedagi believes that village is the true future of the world, but is still lagging behind in past conventions and beliefs. Through the village revitalization movement, it hopes to realise this shift, and bring villages together as the awareness grows.

 Kartono’s Bamboo Bike has become a world famous icon. Courtesy Spedagi.

Kartono’s Bamboo Bike has become a world famous icon. Courtesy Spedagi.

The Spedagi Bamboo Bike has become a magnet, and an icon, as well as the metaphor of Village Revitalization itself: being made from bamboo but used in a way that leverages modern technologies and knowledge, it was born from something that has been forgotten, they say.

If you are interested in the ICVR#3 conference, contact http://icvr.spedagi.org/en/register/