GEN Europe Council Members

Camilla Nielsen-Englyst

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.   

Camilla has an international spirit, spending a few years as a student politician on the European scene, having lived abroad in several countries and working within the NGO environment with development projects in a pace that everyone can follow. She has facilitated at three EDE’s and is an active part of several Erasmus+ funded projects across Europe. Ghana in Western Africa in particular has her interest, as she has lived and worked there for many years. In general, she has a critical mind and likes to ask many questions. 

In Hallingelille she has been part from the beginning in 2005 and now, when all 23 houses are built, she is eager to explore what the big WE can now establish. Training activities and refugee projects are now typical in Hallingelille. In Denmark, with the largest number of ecovillages according to its population, networking between the ecovillages and other green organisations is key, to influence the mainstream. Camilla is involved in creating a huge sustainable settlement in Denmark which will show, that ecovillage life is not only for the few, but for the future. In GEN Europe Camilla contributes with her organisational and project specific expertise to strengthen the movement – National Networks being one of the means.  

Irene Goikolea

Irene Goikolea

Irene Goikolea (Amalurra, Spain), integral coach and PhD in deep psychology, has been working for more than 25 years for the awakening of consciousness, facilitating individual and group processes of personal growth and development. In the 90’s, she organized circles of women focused on awakening to the deep feminine aspect, whose qualities are interrelationship, the collective, integration, unity, care for the other, healing, nurturance, compassionate action and sentient capacity. Irene’s work focuses on cultivating these qualities, necessary for embracing and integrating our excluded parts, or shadow. 

The impact of this work on the development of a collective paradigm, where the culture of the “we” prevails over the culture of the “I”, led her to inspire the materialization of the Amalurra project, made of three intentional communities situated in the Basque Country, Andalusia and Catalonia (Spain). Amalurra is a benchmark among Europe’s most established communities for its 25 years of existence.

Her deep commitment to the intention and vision that triggered her work has given way to a unique methodology that includes the wisdom of the ancestral legacy of her Basque roots, connected to the lore of indigenous cultures, such as the shamanic tradition, and enriched with elements from Jungian psychology, Hakomi or Process Work. 

Isabelle Mallézé

Isabelle Mallézé is a lawyer, specialised in organisations’ structure and governance. She received a Master degree in International Relations and Strategy, Bachelor degrees in Law and Tax law, in Chinese language and civilisation, as well as in English literature. She also studied Mediation as well as Participative Law to include conflict resolution processes in organisations’ governance. Resonating with the collaborative pattern of nature, she did a PDC and permaculture is now a key inspirational driver for her.  

Her field for action is bringing in focused support with the aim of having projects come to reality in a collaborative way, facilitating teamwork as well as operations. Her goal is working with people to co-create positive change, adopting a practical approach to unfolding solutions that will host project holders’ vision.

Enthusiastic and passionate for walking the path from transition to resilience with a specific focus on sustainable societies, she started volunteering in one of the Colibris’ local groups, which organise and facilitate events, support local and national initiatives, presenting and sharing solutions for transition. In this perspective, “Project Oasis”, launched by Colibris, supports the French ecovillage network's development, also providing a set of empowering tools including MOOCs accessible to all.

Isabelle very first experience of ecovillage life was in Findhorn. Later on, it was also the ecovillage where she did the EDE program. Doing EDE was also an opportunity to discover GEN. As a GEN ambassador, she gratefully witnessed the birth of GEN Africa in Sekem, in 2012.

She joined the “compagnons oasis”, an organization initiated by Colibris to provide mentoring support to groups on their path to building sustainable communities. Since then, she has been mentoring several different projects in France.

 “ To date, planet Earth is the only life oasis that we know of in the wide sidereal desert.Caring for it, respecting its physical and biological integrity, using its resources with sobriety, keeping it at peace, building strong solidarity links between human beings, while respecting all forms of life is the most realistic and the most beautiful project one can support today.” - Pierre Rabhi co-founder of the Colibris Movement

Riccardo De Amici

An Italian nomadic youth, Riccardo grew up in a Steiner school and holistic environments, attending as a child the summer school programs of the 'Comunitá di Etica Vivente’.

Lover of Permaculture and group dynamics, in both urban and rural settings, 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 there and connecting it with NEXTGENOA through the EDE in Thailand. He organized and co-facilitated the youth EDE in Auroville before returning to the Italian Community to work on youth Integration and Internships programmes.

GEN Ambassador for over a year, Riccardo loves to share awareness about alternative, community based solutions and to connect people who share a visions for a truer life.

Thomas Heuser

Thomas Heuser (ZEGG, Germany) studied business administration and worked for almost 20 years in one of the largest German construction companies. He has been living in the ZEGG community since the beginning of 2010 and has been Managing Director of ZEGG GmbH for five years - a challenging task in many ways. His contribution is in bringing together the working and decision-making of a large community with the demands of professional business. 

Thomas felt at home in ZEGG from the beginning and loved to live and work with friends, which is why he moved there. ZEGG offers seminars, workshops and camps to give people the experience of a cooperative and sustainable way of living. In ZEGG they also share their knowledge about living together as a community. This makes living and working in ZEGG Thomas his personal contribution to making a better world. What do he loves most in ZEGG? His goddaughter Jessica. She is the child of two friends who ‘joined’ the community two weeks after him. Thomas got to know her on day four of her life and has since spent time with her as often as possible. Why GEN-Council? Thomas has been impressed since day one by the variety of communities that form GEN. Its diversity on a common ground makes it a powerful organization. He was asked to become part of the GEN-Council during the 2012 conference in Krishna Valley. When he was asked to join the Council, he felt that he was needed there just now. He knew that there was so much to do for his community at home, but he followed his heart. Thomas is intrigued by the inspired and inspiring people that form the GEN community. His tasks in the GEN Council? Thomas will help with office structures, work flows, the financial overview and the annual budget. He is looking forward to have a share in building the ecovillage movement.

Ethan Hirsch-Tauber

Ethan Hirsch-Tauber (Tamera, Portugal) is an earth pilgrim, having travelled widely as an educator and coordinator of ecological projects and community-based initiatives around the world. While American-born, he has spent most of the past eight years living in a range of communities outside of the US, working as a sustainability educator, and becoming increasingly involved in the ecovillage movement. 

He has been involved with GEN since his first conference in 2010. In 2015 he served as the Office Manager and Internal Communications Director at GEN's international office located in Findhorn, Scotland. While there he reactivated the GEN Ambassadors program, oversaw the renovation of the GEN International website, and coordinated GEN+20, GEN's 20-year anniversary conference, held in Findhorn. Prior to his work at the GEN International office, he worked with many others in the rebuilding and strengthening of NextGEN and helped to develop regional networks, primarily in Africa and the Middle East. In 2016 Ethan left his job in Findhorn and moved to Tamera Healing Biotope in Alentejo, Portugal, where he makes his home now. Besides serving on the GEN Europe Council, his current inspiring projects are coordination of the annual fruit harvest in Tamera and working with the Blueprint Alliance in creating a model regenerative refugee camp in Tamera, and the educational tools it will generate.  

Prior to his shift towards ecovillages, Ethan spent four years working in the United States in the field of green building and energy efficiency, and then completed his Masters degree in Environmental Education at the Audubon Expedition Institute through Lesley University. His work as an ecovillage educator began in 2009 where he taught for four years as a faculty for Living Routes sustainability study program in Auroville, India. In mid-2013 he became the Director of Living Routes’ Lotan program, until Living Routes closed its doors in January of 2014. Since then he has been a teacher for three Ecovillage Design Education courses, in Azores, Portugal, South Korea, and in Auroville.