GEN

The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), set up in 1995, is an umbrella organisation working to support the experimental creation and preservation of low impact lifestyles across the globe. GEN consists of a growing network of sustainable communities and ecovillages that bridge different cultures, countries, and continents. Individual supportive members work in multiple sectors, from businesses and NGOs to educational institutions and government. Through valuing and developing localised knowledge and skills, while freely sharing best practices throughout its networks, GEN envisions the emergence of a diverse yet shared global pool of wisdom for sustainable living. GEN works through promoting dialogue and exchange, building solidarity and partnerships across all borders. The philosophy behind GEN is that ‘community’ lies at the heart of all models for sustainability, hence the term ‘ecovillage’.

Our Vision

GEN consists of a constantly expanding network of intentional com­munities, ecovillages and national ecovillage networks, bridging all cultures and continents.

  • GEN envisions the emergence of a diverse yet shared global pool of wisdom for sustainable living. 
  • GEN believes that the most underutilised resource we have is the good intentions and creativity of citizens and our willingness to make a difference.
  • GEN promotes the building of community and solidarity as core to transition to resilience.
  • GEN-Europe promotes the development of sustainable settle­ments in Europe and the Middle East.

Our History

  The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) was set up in 1995 to support the experimental creation and preservation of human settlements that not only sustain, but regenerate their social and natural environments. Ecovillages are communities with vibrant social structures, vastly diverse, yet united in common ecological, economic, social and cultural values and goals. They spring from the good intentions and creativity of citizens, and their willingness to make a difference.

  Today GEN contains an innovative alliance between intentional communities (with some of the lowest per capita carbon footprints in the industrialized world) and networks of traditional villages. GEN - Connecting Communities for a Sustainable WorldGEN-EuropeGEN-Europe is the European ecovillage association promoting social resilience, environmental pro­tection and restoration of nature through the concept of ecovillages as models for sustainable human settlements. We actively support the de­vel­opment of ecovillages and networks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

  Within GEN-Europe, we experiment in re-knitting trustful relationships and honouring low impact life styles. Our strength lies in co-developing and co-designing economic, social, cultural and ecologic solutions that support local ownership of sustainable futures. Honestly sharing the questions we face in this process is as important as sharing any answers we find. Making visible people's projects that deeply care for local community while embracing global community is a vibrant tool for empowerment. GEN Europe is prioritising the spread of ecovillages and the building of national networks in every European country. We believe that change happens person-to-person, face-to-face by witnessing first hand others committed to changing lifestyle. While we very much want to spread eco-lifestyle to cities, our unique role is facilitating ecovillages as living models in every culture, province and municipality in Europe. Ecovillages are holistic repositories of skills and know-how that can assist the transition of nearby urban areas. The whole of society needs to transition to a low-impact lifestyle in order to survive. All social networks need to reintegrate values of solidarity and mutual trust in order to become resilient enough to face the future creatively. The focus of GEN is sharing best practice - ecovillage solutions that work!GEN-Europe is a membership organisation foun­ded in 1996 and open to a wide range of projects regardless of their political, religious or cultural backgrounds.

  GEN-Europe forms part of GEN International, an NGO with consultative status at the UN-Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) commission, and a partner of United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR.