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„Models for sustainable living“

In this project funded by the German environmental protection agency GEN-Europe and the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy (e5) will be working together on two thematic strands cooperatively which aim at mainstreaming the ecovillage approach and connecting actors in the field across existing institutions and society groups.

The first thematic strand, held by GEN-Europe, will present ecovillage solutions and the ecovillage approach to sustainability to an urban audience and facilitate further connection between ecovillages in Germany.

The second thematic strand, held by e5, will focus on the field of the commons economy and bring together actors from ecovillages, the commons movement and business in German to look for potential technological, social or economic innovations.

German project website

NextGEN-Europe Conference, July 4th - 13th, 2014 in ZEGG, Germany

NextGEN-Europe Conference 2014 has been an enormously successful event full of opportunities. Young people from all over Europe came together to connect, share inspiration and weave a strong network. We warmly invite you to read a short-review of the amazing 8-day-long event and its results here

EU Ecovillages Project

An extensive EU-funded collaboration project with the name ECOVILLAGES, recently started operations and will run for a three-year period 2011-2013. It focuses on a survey of eco-villages around the Baltic Sea with a view to promoting ecovillages as innovative sustainable rural development. During the project, various approaches, problems and methods of starting and developing ecovillages such as in areas like eco-technologies, eco-practices like agriculture/garden and social community building will be documented and toolkits for ecovillage initiators developed. The project is funded by the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme (Interreg) with 1. 46 M EUR, dubbed a flagship of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and awarded the status of Baltic 21 Lighthouse project by the Council of Baltic Sea States. GEN Europe has become an Associate Partner of the project and will benefit directly by strengthening its presence in Northern Europe. more

Ecovillage Design Education in Sieben Linden, 2012

This year's EDE course was the fifth to be hosted in the Ecovillage of Sieben Linden. 33 participants from 23 countries (Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Palestine, Colombia, Brasil, and all over Europe) attended.

The international focus of this particular EDE has always been strong and creates an atmosphere of intercultural celebration at the core of all learning and exchange. A thoroughly new and fascinating aspect was the powerful presence of the Arab world following the Ecovillage Conference that took place in Sekem, Egypt in November last year. more

Development of GEN-Africa

Various activities have been held to support the emergence of GEN-Africa as an independent branch of the global network. One of them was Congo Conference which was held from the 11th until the 13th of May 2011, in Kinshasa, addressing issues of sustainable development and permaculture in the DR Congo. The other activity was North Africa Project, a project financed by the German foreign Ministry under the title ‘Supporting the emergence of ecovillage strategies for climate change adaptation and stability in the region’. This comes as an important recognition of the work of GEN. Part of that was also launching a new website which is available at http://gen-africa.org/. This is another step in the process of the emergence of GEN-Africa as an independent national network, supported by GEN-Europe. To join Africans Egypt Conference at Sekem happened on the weekend of 18-22 November, 2011. Over sixty Africans from many different countries and backgrounds, gathered at the farm site of SEKEM, a model for sustainable business development located about sixty kilometers from Cairo, Egypt. Education about ecovillages is crucial for further development therefore we are happy that Africa has attended EDE in Sieben Linden and also organized EDE in Senegalmore

EDE in South Africa

The Global Ecovillage network (GEN) and GEN Africa initiated the first Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) course in South Africa at Lynedoch Ecovillage in Stellenbosch, approximately 50km outside Cape Town. The course was funded by Heidehof Stiftung and Lush Cosmetics. 

23 Participants coming from various African countries and abroad gathered at Lynedoch Eco-village in Stellenbosch to witness and take part in the first EDE course held in South Africa. A mixed group of people passionately seeking to (re)connect to other people and find ways to live more sustainably with the earth.  more

Grundtvig Workshops

These workshops were fully funded by the EU, including participants travel and subsistence costs as well as organization and facilitation. 

  • Permaculture Design Course, May 2011
  • Cooperative Games and Circle Dances, July 2011
  • Communicate Yourself!, November 2011
  • Ways to sustainable Living, May 2012

Communicate Yourself! Workshop, November 2011 

This intensive workshop was held from the 27th of November until the 4th of December in Sieben Linden. Participants from 18 countries were perfecting their communication skills, shared their ideas and practiced to facilitate and harvest group conversations. The program contained a lot of exercises and gave useful tools to help community building in the future. The participants stayed in contact after the course to help each other's project the best they can. more

Youth meeting

Dreaming and celebrating are as important as planning and doing, if you want to make your dreams come true, says the Australian project consultant John Craft.

Sounds crazy, but it is extremely successful, over 700 projects all over the world have used this method to make their dreams come true.

One of these projects is the youth network NextGEN. From the 7th to the 11th of July 2011 over 40 young people from different ecovillages joined in Tamera where they were planning, celebrating and dreaming this organization into the world. But that is not the only thing that is special about this youth group. Because Next GEN is no organization, at least no organization the way we know it, it is a so called empty centered organization. This means there is no hierarchy and no council. Instead of a council there are common principles and a tool of communication. more

EDE Orissa

Back in 2007 John George from THREAD, Orissa, India took part in the first EDE in Sieben Linden, Germany. He brought with him news and inspiring images of a women’s movement: women taking an oath over fire as they step into leadership – pledging to safeguard their communities, their forests, their children; climbing on tables and pitching speeches to each other; in political protest to counter the potential of Monsanto to destroy seed heritage. Back then, John and I hatched a dream to bring the EDE to Orissa in order to further empower the Orissa Nari Samaj women’s movement and explore the possibility of recognizing their villages as ecovillages. Four years passed before this dream came true. more

Transition to Resilience Training

We are creating a European Learning Partnership that brings together the expertise of different European organisations for lifelong adult education in the field of social, economical and ecological sustainability, funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Program.

The goal is to develop a 2-year learning journey (the Transition to Resilience Training) to support those who work in... more

Past activities

Go to archive


20.02.2016 Report about refugees in Greece

Last weekend I have been together with Nikiforos to Lesvos for threedays. In the last 4-5 days there is a great "silence" in Lesvos. But...

14.12.2015 refuGEN

GEN Takes Action regarding the Refugee Crisis

30.11.2015 GEN-Europe at COP21

  GEN Europe is at the COP21 forum in Paris! You can find general information about the event here. Many of you would have heard about this...