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.
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
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.
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.