The council is sociocratically elected every two years by our General Assembly to hold the vision of the network.
Camilla Nielsen-Englyst (Hallingelille Ecovillage, Denmark) has a strong passion for organisational work, believing in the strength of community, from the local to the global. Her educational background is within communication and learning/educational design, both with an international twist. Professionally, she has served different organisations as a consultant, trainer, fundraiser and international project coordinator. Currently she is holding an advisory position in the Danish Red Cross Youth and furthermore acts as the international project coordinator for the Danish Association of Ecovillages. In GEN Europe Camilla contributes with her organisational and project specific expertise to strengthen the movement – National Networks being one of the means.
Dmitry Solovyev (Kind Land, Russia), was born in Moscow but has had a strong interest in rural lifestyle since his teens. In the early 2000s, he joined the ecovillage movement and tried to find answers for questions such as how to live harmoniously with nature, how to get the best from towns and villages and how to implement it in rural territory. Since 2016 Dmitry has been GEN-Russia consul, and co-organizer of annual Kind Land eco-festival and sustainable development settlement forum. He thinks that one of the most important parts of ecovillage activity is to work with teenagers and youth, to mix ecovillage and youth culture for creating a better world.
Aili Pyhälä (GEN Finland) has extensive grassroots-level experience in more than 25 countries, as a committed activist defending territories of life and their defenders. Currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki, she teaches critical development studies, supervises students, and pursues action-research. She sits on the Council of the ICCA Consortium, supporting and promoting the biocultural rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. She is also a trained permaculturist.
An Italian nomadic youth, Riccardo de Amici grew up in a Steiner school and other holistic environments, attending as a child the summer school programs of the ‘Comunitá di Etica Vivente’, a spiritual community in Italy. Lover of Permaculture and group dynamics, Riccardo studied International Development with Social Anthropology and Politics, with a master in Agriculture and Rural Development at the University of East Anglia, UK.
He lived in Auroville for almost 3 years, founding the Urban Farming project and helping to create a NextGEN team. He organized and co-facilitated the youth EDE in Auroville before returning to the Italian Community to work on youth programmes. Riccardo acts as a link between NextGEN groups and the council.
Riccardo Clemente (Popolo Degli Elfi, Italy) is a member of an ecovillage in Tuscany with 250 residents, and has been President of the Italian ecovillage network since 2015. He is experienced as a facilitator and has been part of the CLIPS ecovillage incubator project since its inception.
He has been active in the GEN network since 2012, as part of the National Network working group, has been attending the National Networks meetings since their beginnings, as well as working in several projects such as Bridgedale 360, youth exchanges, and many more. He studied at Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT, Wales) where he has been teaching earth construction for 10 years.
Steffen Emrich (gASTWERKe, Germany) studied city and regional planning with a strong focus on participatory approaches. After a few years working for urban activist groups he started working for development aid organisations, first in Sarajevo empowering children and youth, then as a consultant focusing on conflict prevention and children affected by armed conflict, mainly in East- and Central Africa.
Besides his professional career, Steffen was always also a political activist engaged in several environmental and peace groups. His first Community experience was in Arcosanti /Arizona – USA in 1996, and he now lives in gASTWERKe ecovillage. Steffen was one of the first sociocracy trainers in Germany and for the last 5 years he was supporting many communities in Germany as a community adviser. He was serving the GEN Germany Board for 4 years and was active at the GEN-International Fundraising and International projects working groups for several years.