Brian Tokar represented the ISE at the first gathering of a new network of European social ecologists in the village of Myrtos on the island of Crete from March 21st – 24th. The network is known as the Transnational Institute for Social Ecology, and has established a European board and an international Advisory Council. The conference theme was Urbanization and the Future of Cities, and presentations addressed municipal struggles and ongoing organizing efforts in Athens, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, and earthquake-ravaged L’Áquila in Italy, as well as the continuing evolution of town meeting democracy in Vermont, among other topics. Participants were from Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada and the US. The group has established an office in Athens, a website at trise.org, a research effort on the evolution of European civil society, and will hold its next gathering in late April of 2014.
Photos by Brian Tokar. Last photo on the lower right is the Pnica, or Pnyx, where the Athenian ekklesia (citizen assemblies) met. A stadium was first built there to accommodate 3000 people, then 5000, then 15,000. A fragment of the original speakers’ platform remains on the right.