Growth – Progress Report - June 2015

Population Growth

June Saturday 27 Meeting report


Present: Manoj, Vani, Martin, Dominique & Rakhal

(only 3 members form the initial group and 2 new participants)

Aim of the meeting: review the goals and milestones which have been set for this field (population growth) at the end of the first phase of the Retreat; use the knowledge available amongst the participants presen to acknowledge what is being taken care of, what is not and what can be done further.

(Referring to the page 52, 53 & 54 of the full report)

Milestone I

Revise Entry Process to make it simple, transparent, welcoming and trusting.

Sub milestones:

a) Based on the level of commitment introduce different statuses for different population types.

  • A group has taken up this work; they have almost finished their job and plan to propose their draft in the coming week (first of July) to receive feedback from the community…. so more information to come soon.

  • The group felt it is a very important milestone, in particular the need to make it “simple, transparent, welcoming and trusting”

  • It was noticed that Savi has not been invited to these discussions and consequently the volunteers have not been identified yet as a part of the population of Auroville.

  • People from the newcomer program could have also been invited to bring their experience with newcomers.

  • The coming period of feedback will be an occasion to bring these points into the focus of this particular milestone.

b) Proactively bring into Entry Process data on the skills Auroville needs at present.

  • The Auroville needs are less easy to apprehend than the skills from people in Auroville; it needs a clearer view on a possible plan of development for Auroville.

  • Since few years Savi has started to collect the needs from Units and the skills from volunteers.

  • Newcomer program has also started to record participant skills since 2 sessions.

  • Similarly other units collect data but it needs to be organized and optimized so that utilization of these data can accessible and not redundant.

  • Manoj & Martin are both participating in the group which has taken up the implementation of Auroville Statistical Office (ASO) but there is not yet specific focus on Human Resource and skills. A brief summary of their action is presented down bellow in relation to milestone III.

  • RAS and Isha for AVC are in the process of collecting HR data, but these activities are happening independently and would need coordination. Manoj would contact RAS & Isha regarding this.


c) Provide economic support for young Newcomers and Youth of Auroville to join Auroville

  • There was no milestone in the economy Action Group.

  • For now, we have no information on what is being done on this topic

  • Kavita from Youth link will be contacted by Rakhal to see if this is part of the youth action.

  • As well Joseba, Satyakham might have some information on this. Vani will gather information on what is being done for housing for youth.


d) Resolve visa issue for volunteers & Newcomers to ensure diversity of nationalities/cultures.

  • Recently, there is a major shift in the visa practices for volunteers (no more volunteering is allowed with a tourist visa while it represent 80% of the cases). This new situation needs the community to organize differently and it will be done in the coming weeks.

  • It is to be noted that under the pressure of circumstances, some decisions are taken (to cope with the new situation) without the necessary consultation of concerned people, and possibly in contradiction with the spirit of the main conclusions of the Growth of population work.

  • Volunteers should be recognized as a part of the population of Auroville and be included in an adapted entry process, since their presence and their steam is not only of great value for the spirit of universality of Auroville but also formerly mentioned in the official texts of the Auroville visa policy.

  • Dominique will follow up on this milestone.


Milestone II:

Newcomers, Youth of Auroville and Volunteers need affordable housing. Build 2000 affordable houses of sophisticated simplicity, beauty and sustainability by 2020.

Sub milestones:

a) Speed up building permission process.

b) Create finance option for youth housing.

  • We had no information on this topic: housing, Joseba, Sathyakam, Suhasini & Hemant (green campus) L’avenir d’Auroville to be updated.

  • Vani will update us on this topic.


Milestone III:

Statistical office by 2016.

A group is actively working on this topic; here is an update of their action:

Update on ASO (Auroville Statistical Office

The ASO team has drafted a proposal and came up with a first budget requirement for initiating a statistical office at Auroville. Multiple smaller proposals that take on various components of this initiative were drafted and submitted for funding to groups such as SAIIER, BCC, AuroFunds, PCG etc. 

The Auroville Statistics Office (ASO) is an initiative by the Community to address topics related to the compilation and dissemination of statistics related to Auroville. It envisions supporting the manifestation of Auroville by increasing the accessibility and usability of information to the Community, so that the Community can make decisions based on facts and not opinions and to:

  • Support data management for Auroville (data collection, data analysis & synthesis)

  • Increase efficiency and quality in data management

  • Support research, policy and decision making with relevant statistical information

  • Ensure coherence and compatibility of data sets across groups and entities

  • Be a point of contact for data dissemination

  • Ensure quality of reports
    More explanation in the attached documents:

  • Overarching ASO proposal 

  • Proposal to SAIIER (which is the ASO proposal minus the software development)

  • FAQ on ASO


One of the initial concern of the group working on population growth has been quantity vs quality; growth of population vs growth of consciousness.
On a more educational aspect of the population growth, Rakhal informed the participants that the newcomer program team is presently developing a dedicated web site for the newcomer.
It will bring together all the necessary information needed to understand Auroville on both its practical aspects as well as its more fundamental ones.
A big part of the content will be created using video media.
This dedicated web site will be also useful for volunteers and more generally any one coming to Auroville who need a better understanding.

It was noted that we lack overview of what are the milestones being taken up by various action groups; in the absence of such an overview it is not clear about the overlaps, especially overlap with Education and Economy themes.

Every one of us who participated in this meeting is engaged in projects related to Way Forward 2018; it was decided to meet whenever it is needed but no further meeting is plan as for now.