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Theo
Founder of Penta services (website development company), AVNET, etc

When and how did you first hear about AV? And what made you decide to come here?

I heard first about Auroville in 1976 from a friend who had visited here. His stories about planting trees and greenbelt communities in AV sounded very interesting although very far from my reality at that time. I came myself in 1984 for the first time and stayed 3 weeks. I did not see much, but I liked the general spirit and that everybody was working quite hard. From what I could see there were lots of "strange" things going on (neutrals, SAS etc) but I could see the potential of this place and that made me come back two years later in 1986.

To make such a move from Europe to here must have been a culture shock, at least.. How did it all begin? Was it hard to suddenly change and start your life all over again?

Not only a culture shock,  but snakes, heat, dust and not the usual escape routes one had got used to. I don't know how many times I asked myself during my first year "What are you doing here????"
It was a real break for me, a break which was necessary and one which I had to make for my own good.

At the moment you are part of Aurelec Trust, Gateway Trust, Penta Services, how do you manage? What made you decide to create Penta Services, and how successful is it now? Is it progressing as you had envisioned?

Penta was created in 1993 to create a source of income so that we could come up for Ela's and my maintenance. Basically, Penta is the same today and it's all it was supposed to be. Penta also gives opportunities to other AVilians who work as freelancers, mainly for translation work. Penta has developed the webpages for most of the AV units who are on the internet today, and continues to develop the technical skills and expertise to generate services in this line of technology for Auroville.

Do you feel that there is a growing competition in your field in AV? And how do you see the future of AV communications?

No, there is no competition. I am very happy that others have started to work in this field. Activities like Transcript and AVnet are very important to propagate the use of this technology and make people use it. I don't see a future for Auroville without communication, lots more than today. I hope that more and more people start to share their thoughts and feelings about the future of this place.

We all dream about the future and we wish to know how it all will be (better phone lines, free internet connection, fiber optic cables, etc).. How do YOU see AV in, say, 10 years from now?

Oh, wow, that's a tough one. In regard to the jobs I have right now, I hope that the technology is in place to enable the community members to have access to all relevant community information as well as to use this technology to participate actively in the decision making processes, whichever they may be. And that there is mandatory transparency about important issues and that people will have realised that we all have to work hard for our goals.

What do you like to do in your free time? That is..,  if you have any with all this stuff going on..

Not very much time, but I love to spend my free time with my family, daily walks around AV, my badminton, cycling.

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