We receive many questions every day about ecovillages and our network. While we’re always happy to help, see if our FAQ can point you in the right direction!
Where can I find ecovillages?
- The GEN Europe ecovillage map
- The GEN project map (for projects worldwide)
- Foundation for Intentional Community (North America)
- Eurotopia Community Listings (Europe-wide)
Apart from these international maps and directories of ecovillages and communities, national ecovillage networks also keep more detailed maps and directories for their country. Here are some links to national ecovillage networks maps.
How can I get involved in ecovillages?
If you’re interested in ecovillages, there are many ways you can start to get involved, including...
- Using the ecovillages maps above to find an ecovillage near you to visit, volunteer, or attend a course
- Attending the annual European Ecovillage Conference (held in July, dates advertised on our website) or your nearest National Network gathering to meet ecovillagers and find out more about the movement
- Join as a supportive member or Friend of GEN
- Sign up to our newsletter to get regular news and updates about ecovillages
Can you send me a list of ecovillages that…
We often receive requests for specific lists of ecovillages (such as those that have a certain kind of school, course, or focus). As a small and busy team, we are not always able to respond to such specific requests. Often by referring to the maps above, you can find the information you’re looking for.
Can I volunteer for GEN Europe?
In general, GEN Europe does not provide volunteer opportunities, but many of our member ecovillages do! You can find out more about them via our map.
We occasionally offer European Solidarity Corps (ESC) opportunities at our main office, which we advertise on our news page and social media, and at times are able to accept interns who are funded by their university or other programme. If you have a specific service or skill you would like to offer voluntarily, you may wish to join one of our working groups.
Can I volunteer in an ecovillage?
GEN Europe itself doesn’t provide voluntary work, since we are a network of ecovillages and not an ecovillage itself, but many of the GEN Europe member ecovillages do offer to host volunteers. The different ecovillages have set up times and criteria for voluntary work individually, so please refer to their websites or write to their contacts provided.
If you are under 30, many ecovillages offer European Solidarity Corps (ESC) – funded volunteering opportunities. ESC opportunities can be found on the European Youth Portal, and we regularly share ESC posts in ecovillages via our newsletter and social media.
How can I start an ecovillage?
Anyone can start an ecovillage! But for the best chance of success, make sure that you and your group are prepared, because as many pioneers of ecovillages will be able to tell you, it is not always easy. There are many tools out there to help you make your ecovillage project a success. Please consider using one or more of the following courses or tools to prepare your group:
- CLIPS Community Learning Incubator Programme for Sustainability: CLIPS is based on learnings and insights from established ecovillage projects. These insights have been distilled into concepts and methods applicable to any group that recognises the value of community. You can download the CLIPS guide for free on the CLIPS website.
- EDE: Ecovillage Design Education: It is possible to do an intensive one month long course on the creation of ecovillages, which is offered by Gaia Education. Ecovillage Design Education programmes, often referred to as ‘EDEs’, provide participants of all ages with the knowledge and practical skills to design a society which uses energy and materials with greater efficiency, distributes wealth fairly and strives to eliminate the concept of waste.
- Colibris MOOC on designing an Oasis (in French): This online course allows you to learn about the different themes useful in designing an ecovillage project: rationale, governance, human factor, relational framework, legal assembly, financial package, ecological requirements, permaculture design, etc. The training includes 17 modules integrating 25 videos of courses, quizzes, practical fact sheets and case studies.
- Bridgedale 360: A fun and free online toolkit for inspiring youth towards sustainable living and active citizenship. Bridgedale360 is comprised of over 80 experiential activities with which youth workers will inspire youth toward sustainable living and active citizenship. The core activities have been translated into 7 European languages.
How can I support GEN Europe?
GEN Europe is funded by membership fees from participating ecovillages, European project funds, and donations from generous individuals who feel called to support the movement. If you would like to give what you can to support the development of a transformational movement that is living the future today by becoming an individual member or a Friend of GEN, you can do so here.
What can GEN Europe do for my ecovillage?
There are many benefits to joining GEN Europe, and our national networks, as an ecovillage. Among them are free entry for a certain number of delegates to our annual conference, the ability to join working groups to steer the direction of the ecovillage movement, support with European funding applications, training and capacity building opportunities, publicity for your community and events, and much more…if you have ideas about how GEN Europe could support your community, please get in touch
How can my ecovillage become a member?
There are various membership categories to choose from, depending on whether you are an individual, and organisation, or a new or established ecovillage. You can read more about the different categories here. To become an aspiring or full member, see the instructions here.
How can I start a national network of ecovillages in my country?
GEN national networks bring together and give a platform to a wide variety of projects and players related to community empowerment and sustainability. You can read more about starting a national network here.
How can I/my ecovillage get more involved in GEN Europe?
If you have attended the European Ecovillage Conference, joined your national network, and are keen to be more involved in GEN, one of the best ways to deepen your commitment is to join one of our many working groups - you can read more about them, what they involve, and how to join here.