Friday, November 4, 2022

Ecovillage Transition Toolkit and Handbook


Ecovillage Transition in ActionAn EU funded collaboration to scale up ecovillage solutions

Project Summary

Addressing systemic crises will not derive only from international organisations, governments and politicians, they require a greater collective response. Communities, citizens, NGOs and other forms of civil society hold many of the solutions. In a fragmented world, successful cross-sectoral collaboration is key, particularly partnerships that blur the lines between top-down and bottom-up, i.e. partnerships between municipalities and community-led initiatives (CLIs).

It is common in our networks to see examples of engaged communities working for positive change who feel unsupported by local governments. We also see municipalities determined to act and support, who are struggling to build genuinely collaborative relationships with communities and other local initiatives.  

The project “Ecovillage Transition in Action” explored how ecovillages, community-led initiatives, local government and local academic institutions can better collaborate to scale both horizontally and vertically in order to catalyse regional sustainability innovation.

Completing a three year long partnership, the Ecovillage Transition in Action is now proud to share learnings, inspirations, outcomes and tools created throughout the international project to:

– Grow the capacity of educators, local initiatives, local authorities, citizens and community organisers to facilitate this crucial but complicated collaboration, and to teach those skills and capacities to others.

– Provide accessible and transferable educational tools, curricula, and methods for bringing together community-led initiatives and local government actors, and increase the depth and quality of collaboration between them.

– Provide a set of replicable trainings that support our target groups to acquire key competencies and skills for what we call Ecovillage Transition – a process where municipal authorities and local citizens work together to develop alternative pathways to local development, based on a holistic framework of social, cultural, economic and ecological regeneration.

Collaboration Partners

Ecovillage Transition in Action was a strategic partnership between 5 organisations from 4 countries funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme.

Materials and Resources developed through the 3-year project

Ecovillage Transition Toolkit

A toolkit to collate and curate knowledge and practices in ecovillages and community-led initiatives can integrate with local government institutions and processes (municipalities, regional municipalities, local authorities and community councils as appropriate) to catalyse regional innovation and impacts in line with the SDG aspirations and actions. The educational exercises and tools previously developed in other Erasmus+ partnerships like T2R, CLIPS and SIRCle can provide core ingredients, as will the foundational tools of the Map of Regeneration (with the Ecovillage Design Cards) and the Journey of Regeneration. In addition, new tools and knowledge creation has been fed into the Toolkit while making tools available in French, German and English.

Ecovillage Transition Toolkit von Carolin Waldmann

Handbook: Communities and local authorities collaborating for sustainability

A curriculum offering fresh framings for different actors to work with communities and across sectors for bioregional transformation and restoration. Individuals from ecovillages, community led initiatives, local government and local colleges or universities can come together to learn how to design and implement local and bioregional regeneration in line with the Ecovillage Principles and the SDGs. The complete handbook is also available for you in French and German.

Handbook von Cameliaz Olarte

Trainer’s Handbook

A train the trainer programme to equip facilitators with the tools, skills and competencies to facilitate local and regional processes of transformation and regeneration.

Trainer’s Handbook von Cameliaz Olarte

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Localization - Action Guide


Join the global movement to build resilient local economies and flourishing local communities. Take action with the tools and resources in this guide.

137 Actions to resist and renew.

Solving our current crises requires actions that resist the drivers of social and ecological destruction, and those that renew local cultures, communities and economies. Let’s take action at a personal and community level and build a movement powerful enough to turn the tide.


In the pursuit of never-ending growth and profits, the corporate-led global economy is putting all life on earth at risk. When we take action to localize our economies and strengthen our communities, we are helping to bring about a systemic shift in direction – towards cultural and biological diversity, social justice, genuine democracy, and our own health and happiness.
It’s time to bring our economies back home, to return to a human scale, to localize.


“From farmers markets and consumer-producer co-operatives to local business alliances and community finance schemes, people are reweaving the fabric of local interdependence from the ground up. Out of common sense and heartfelt intuition, they are finding innovative ways to step out of the consumer rat race to live local lives at a human pace and scale.”

Helena Norberg-Hodge, Founder - Local Futures

Localization Action Guide

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Council Ways


Inviting all who want to explore this simple and powerful way of communication. More than a way of sharing, it is a practice that moves us to a deeper, more compassionate level of communicating and being.

Mostly based on The Way of Council and on ancient traditions that keep on crossing my paths, these spaces are just a circle—or a spiral?—where each part, each node can witness and be witnessed in the moment, with whatever is alive. Sometimes we come together with a prior intention to explore particular issues, sometimes the doors are open to whatever comes. Most often we sense a wisdom beyond each part, and although unexpected, the flow, the themes, the sharings simply make sense.

Circles holding circles within circles

A Council Way into our Full Humanity

These one and a half hour sessions are a place to come and taste the space of council, and are suited for any level of experience.  Sometimes once is what you need, sometimes they become a place of refuge, or connection. They’re offered at different times and days of the week in the hope of bringing together an ever-changing flow of peoples, ages, stories…

Here you can check the current offerings

Council Journeys

Over several weeks (usually four), we explore the practice of council, in a small-group setting. You get to know more about different shapes and variations, some of the history and evolution of this way of inquiry. We get to deepen connections with our selves and each other.

Here you can check the current offerings

Council of Beings

What happens when we let go of our circumstantial identity as a human being, when we touch the connections with other beings and let them speak through us? A space to witness what moves us deeply from the world we live in. Especially powerful in the context of the ongoing crises of our biosphere.

Offerings coming soon!

My own Council Journey… I’m Dita. I fell in love with the Way of Council some six years ago, when I attended my first one at High Heathercombe, up in the dramatic moors of Dartmoor. My dear friend Mel Lamb held it with her characteristic and amazing energy—I learned much from Mel in the coming years, and got to hold circles with her until her passing in 2020. Since that first one, I have attended many councils, in different contexts, and have experienced a wide diversity of flavours and intentions. I’ve had the honour and privilege to learn from the expert and caring hands of many, especially Klaudia van GoolJeremy Thres, and Sophy Banks. But most of my learning comes from a beloved teacher and my council guide, Pip Bondy. It is from her that my council tradition comes from. She was taught by Gigi Coyle in the tradition of the Ojai Foundation, where the Way of Council as we practice it today was co-creatively brought into life.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

School Circles (2021) - documentary

School Circles (2021) - documentary - Short Version (44 min)

School Circles is an independent documentary that explores the practice of democratic schools in the Netherlands. The film shows students, teachers and staff members coming together to dialogue, discuss proposals, mediate conflicts and make decisions about their school life.

These schools not only challenge the mainstream education, but also democracy as we know it. They put into practice Sociocracy, a method for collective organisation based on a systems perspective, in which the decisions are made by hearing all the voices and getting everyone's consent.

School Circles connects the theory of sociocracy to its practice within schools, taking us to new possibilities of organising ourselves and our communities.


The directors of the film are trained sociocracy facilitators and offer courses around democratic governance and sociocracy within schools and educational settings. For more info visit: 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Circle Way


The Circle Way — Putting Equity and Justice in the Center
The Circle Way unequivocally affirms the essential practice of turning to one another to uphold racial, ethnic, gender, disability, economic, and environmental justice. We can imagine a different way.

What is The Circle Way process?

The Circle Way gathers people into a circular shape with participants at the rim and the purpose in the centre. Each person has a voice and everyone can see and hear one another. Social agreements and practices help facilitate respectful conversation. Circle supports a leader in every chair.

Learn more:

Saturday, April 23, 2022

SDG Academy Library


Free educational resources from the world’s leading experts on sustainable development.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Guiding Principles


Guiding Principles


  • Trust your intuition
  • Demonstrate dignity and respect
  • Communicate with honesty and clarity
  • Assume the good intentions of others
  • Support shared leadership
  • Celebrate diversity
  • Be inspired to take risks
  • Allow decisions to emerge and embrace the process
  • Understand the whole is greater than the parts
  • Strive for actions based on selflessness and love
  • Support sustainability both personally and environmentally
  • Honor agreements and take ownership for outcomes

Guiding Materials

You are about to embark on a beautiful life-altering journey that will give you the tools to connect with your peers by sharing on a spiritual and practical level.

We hope you find this materials inspiring and useful!

If you use this materials we ask you to kindly give recognition to COE.

Thank you

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sustainability Compass - Inspire Citizens


Audit institutions, community spaces, projects,
and personal habits for sustainability

Having a sustainability framework, such as the Sustainability Compass, allows individuals or teams to audit successes and challenges in an organization, personal or collective actions, or a project in relation to nature, economy, society, and wellbeing.

Student Impact Profile:
Critically examine community needs to design ethical solutions

Enduring Understanding:
Having a tool that critically assesses the sustainability of an organization, project, or personal action helps in identifying needs and potential impact projects that develop more sustainable attitudes, behaviors, actions, and policies.

Essential Questions:

  1. Assess & Explain: How might using a Sustainability Compass support a greater understanding in the need for positive change in personal or community action?

  2. Identify & Distinguish: In my sustainability assessment, how did I distinguish between identified community strengths and areas for improvement?

  3. Reflect, Predict & Comment: How might a common understanding of sustainability unify a community?

  4. (Extension) Transfer & Evaluate: How can I apply my experience with the Sustainability Compass in a school organizational assessment towards evaluating the sustainability a community project or the True Price of personal action?

Core Activities:

  1. Pre-assess student background understanding of sustainability

  2. Use the Sustainability Compass to help students enhance their understanding

  3. Create a Sustainability Compass chart and audit the school campus and community.

  4. Consolidate information for a bank of project ideas.

Flexible Steps: 

Apply these ideas for context while scaffolding and differentiating for age, language proficiency, readiness, independence, learning needs, content connections, and so on.

  1. Pre-assess student background understanding of sustainability then share the Sustainability Compass to help students to describe what they can synthesize. What is our new understanding of sustainability in relation to nature, economy, society, and wellbeing?

  2. Create a Sustainability Compass chart. Have students survey the sustainability of the campus by walking around (20-30m), thoughtfully observing what they see in the campus and audit these strengths and areas for improvement.

  3. Upon returning to class, have students reflect and share thinking and observations on their audits.

  4. Consolidate information from the various teams in a community Sustainability Compass table or wall that highlights the most essential observations on successes and areas for improvement.

  5. Keep these essential observations as an idea bank for innovative projects enhancing successes or problem solving for challenges.

Extension Possibilities:

  1. Connect with Compass Education to access the School Sustainability Self-Assessment to help identify indicators for a campus sustainability audit which can spark inquiry or project ideation.

  2. Use the Sustainability Compass to analyze the “True Price” of a campus service project (i.e. a bubble tea fundraiser) or in analyzing responsible consumption or production of goods and services (i.e. beef, t-shirts, iPhones, coffee)

Allow for embedded quality time to reflect on learning, understanding, or the essential questions through speaking, writing, or other creative reflection and formative assessment opportunities.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Reduce Global Ocean Plastic Wastes


The United States should substantially reduce solid waste generation (absolute and per person) to reduce plastic in the environment and the environmental, economic, aesthetic, and health costs of managing waste and litter. There is no single solution to reducing the flow of plastic waste to the ocean. However, a suite of actions (or “interventions”) taken across all stages of the path from source to ocean could reduce ocean plastic waste and achieve parallel environmental and social benefits.

Decrease Waste Generation.
Actions at this stage reduce unnecessary use of plastics such as some single use applications.  Types of interventions can include product limits and targets for recycling and reuse.

Improve Waste Management (Prevent or Reduce Disposal/Discharge).
Action within this stage improves solid and other waste infrastructure, collection, treatment and management, including leakage control and accounting.

Capture Waste (to Remove Plastic Waste from the Environment.)
Improving waste capture from the environment before or after it enters the ocean is another intervention strategy.  This can include re-capturing wastes from stormwater or directly from waters where it accumulates, such as during river or beach cleanups or using retention booms.

Minimize Ocean Disposal.
This category reduces inputs of plastic waste into the ocean directly from vessels, point sources, or platforms and includes actions under specific laws and treaties relevant to ocean pollution. 

Other Activities (to Support Above Interventions)

Flow diagram of available plastic waste interventions from plastic production to recapture of plastics in the ocean. SOURCE: Modified from Jambeck et al. (2018).

Flow diagram of available plastic waste interventions from plastic production to recapture of plastics in the ocean.

SOURCE: Modified from Jambeck et al. (2018).