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GBC Zonal Configuration. A Vital Work in Progress. What Srila Prabhupada said on Zonal Configuration?. From a conversation with the GBC, 25 May 1972, Los Angeles. Zones should come before zonal assignments:.

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GBC Zonal Configuration

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## GBC Zonal Configuration

A Vital Work in Progress

### What SrilaPrabhupadasaid on Zonal Configuration?

• From a conversation with the GBC, 25 May 1972, Los Angeles

### Zones should come before zonal assignments:

• “So, fix up the zone. . . . First of all find out the zone, what will be the zone. . . . First of all divide the whole world. It doesn't matter who goes where.”

### Zones increase as ISKCON expands:

• “Divide the whole world into twelve parts. . . . And we have to make more propaganda throughout the whole world. Now if you think that the world is so big, twelve members are insufficient, then you can increase more than that and make the zone similarly divided. It is world affair after all. . . . You can increase the number. So according to vacant position, how many, it may be fifteen? . . . Then you have to reorganize the zones, fifteen zones”

### Zones should be manageable:

• GBC resolution from 1975:

• “GBC has divided zones . . . based on recommendation of SrilaPrabhupada that GBC members should have jurisdiction over no more that about 6 temples.”

### Issues:

• Some zonal assignments are very large, in terms of number of devotees and projects.

• Some zonal assignments lack contiguity.

• Zonal secretaries often unable to give the required attention for effectively supervising and driving the development of the zone.

### In April 2008 the SPT surveyed the GBC

• Among the most agreed-upon ideas:

• We need to discuss zonal assignments.

### The statement was:

• “A good percentage of the existing GBC zones present "anomalies" in regard to size (extremely large numbers of temples and of devotees), to geographical considerations (lack of contiguity and/or huge travel distances to be covered), and lack of quality-time spent by the GBC on each and every project of the zone. Therefore the issue of zonal assignments should be carefully discussed and reviewed by the GBC, with the aim of optimizing supervision and effectiveness.”

• “I strongly agree. It’s a mess that’s been developing in a random way for thirty years.”

• “I strongly agree. We need zones that can survive and transcend an individual and that have their own sustainable logic.”

### What happened in recent decades?

• ISKCON expanded:

• More temples in the same areas.

• More areas opened up for propagation.

• GBCs initiating disciples and establishing personal relations.

• Examples from zonal assignments in 2008:

St. Petersburg,

Arkhangelsk

& Murmansk

• BhaktiCaitanya Swami

Lithuania,

Latvia

& Estonia

Western &

Eastern Siberia

Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,

South Africa, Swaziland,

Zambia & Zimbabwe.

• Kavicandra Swami

Greece

& Cyprus

Japan

Cambodia, Laos,

Thailand, Singapore

& Vietnam

Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,

Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Rio Muni, Sierra Leone & Togo

Indonesia

• Examples of zonal assignments in 1975:

• Rupanuga Das

Boston

New York

Washington DC

Baltimore

Atlanta

• Kirtanananda Swami

Buffalo

Cleveland

Pittsburgh

New Vrindavana

Vancouver

Seattle

• Jayatirtha Das

Portland

San Francisco

Los Angeles

Laguna Beach

San Diego

• Satsvarupa das Goswami

Denver

St Louis

Phoenix

Gainesville

New Orleans

Houston

Miami

Winnipeg

Montreal

Ottawa

Toronto

Chicago

Detroit

Ann Arbor

Dallas

• Bhagavan Das

Paris

Geneva farm

Rome

Barcelona

Stockholm

Copenhagen

London & Bhaktivedanta Manor

Berlin

Frankfurt

### October 2009, Mumbai

• Maps in hand, the GBCs and other attendees, divided by the areas in which they are active, worked to draft freshly conceived zones.

• The task was to identify “zones.”

### Definition of “zone”:

• The area that, realistically, can be effectively supervised and regularly visited (spending sufficient time for properly planning and monitoring all sorts of projects and developments) by one Zonal Secretary (regardless if the person is a member of the global GBC or not).

### Guidelines:

• Zones are to be conceived independently from who might be currently involved – zonal secretaries, temple presidents or whoever (the zones are not supposed to be person-based). At the same time the intention is to not abruptly modify the responsibilities of any of the present GBC Zonal Secretaries.

• Consider current ISKCON presence and activities (total number of devotees, temples, centers, communities, etc.)

• Keep in mind existing GBC resolution (1975): "GBC has divided zones . . . based on recommendation of Srila Prabhupada that GBC members should have jurisdiction over no more that about 6 temples."

• Consider geography (contiguity, distance, travel needs)

• Consider language

• Consider local culture (religion, history, etc.)

• Consider potential for propagation (which may warrant an increased focus by the GBC)

• Consider that the zones being identified are intended, ideally, for current implementation

• Consider that it might be better to designate more and smaller zones (and have a present GBC supervise four of five of them) than design bigger zones that would need further subdivision after a few years

• You could visualize this exercise as a step towards establishing dioceses (Wikipedia: "In some forms of Christianity, a diocese is an administrative territorial unit administered by a bishop.")

• Photos from the October 2009 zonal configuration work:

### Exercise in Juhu, October 2009

• An example: What the North American GBCs came up with:

• After more discussion they evolved to the following configuration – not the final one:

### “Areas of the World”Resolution, October 2011

• Whereas conceiving of the world in large sections is essential to the process of zonal configuration

• Whereas, naturally, it’s the GBC zonal secretaries, in consultation with other local leaders, that should propose the relevant zonal configuration of those sections of the world.

• Resolved, That:

• To provide a framework to identify zones, fourteen broad territories of the world are hereby identified as Areas.

• The GBC Zonal Secretaries currently active in those Areas shall submit suggestions for zonal configuration – to the GBC Organizational Development Committee – by the end of June 2012.

• The suggested zones shall have to be ratified, by vote, by the GBC.

• This resolution doesn’t affect or modify existing continental, regional or national bodies.

### The Fourteen Areas

• Indian Subcontinent (including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh)

• Russian Sphere (Russia, CIS countries and Mongolia)

• Europe

• Arab League (in North Africa and the Middle East)

• South Saharan Africa

• North America (US and Canada)

• Mexico and Central America

• Caribbean

• South America (Spanish-speaking countries)

• Brazil

• Japan and Koreas

• China

• South-East Asia

• Australia and Oceania

• Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal & Sri Lanka

• Russian Sphere: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Mongolia

• Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom & Vatican City

• Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Maldives, Iran & Afghanistan

• Sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Rep., Chad, Congo, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe

• North America: USA & Canada

• Mexico & Central America: Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua & Panama

• Caribbean: Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Rep., Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Grenada & Haiti,

• Spanish South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay & Venezuela

• Brazil: Brazil

• Japan & Koreas: Japan, South Korea & North Korea

• China: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau

• South-east Asia: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand & Vietnam

• Australia & Oceania: Australia, New Zealand , Papua New Guinea , Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu & Vanuatu

### “Zonal Configuration of North America”Resolution, October 2011

North America (USA and Canada) shall include eight zones:

• North East – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, eastern and central Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC and three counties in Virginia (Lowden, Prince Williams and Fairfax)

• South East – Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia (except counties surrounding Washington DC), Mississippi (except New Talavan and surrounding area), Alabama, Georgia and Florida

• Great Lakes – West Virginia, western Pennsylvania (including Pittsburg), Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan

5. Midwest – North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana

6. South West –New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Talavan (with surrounding area)

8. Northwest – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska

Note: the implementation of the above zones shall take place gradually.

### What comes next?

• Thirteen Areas need to be mapped and finalized.

Thank you very much for your attention.

www.gbc.iskcon.org