The Global Ecovillage Network and GEN Europe

GEN 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 national ecovillage networks across Europe. 

We are the European regional organisation of the Global Ecovillage Network, an umbrella organisation working to support the experimental creation and preservation of low impact lifestyles across the globe through its five broad regional organisations: GEN North America (GENNA), GEN Oceania and Asia (GENOA), GEN Africa, Consejo de Asentamientos Sustentables de las Americas (CASA Latina) and GEN-Europe.

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 and 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’.

GEN has consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) commission, and is a partner of United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR.

Our Vision

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

GEN Europe envisions a widespread and vibrant network of urban and rural communities and ecovillages to support a humane, resilient and sustainable Europe.

We do this by building bridges  between communities, inspiring and training to enable the creation of new ones, and influencing policy and the public through the promotion of ecovillage solutions as part of the transition to a more resilient society. 

How we work

We are part of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), the international umbrella organisation for the six GEN regions. We represent national ecovillage networks and ecovillages in 26 countries and counting, and lift their voice to the international level through participation in GEN's General Assembly and Board.

Learn more about GEN's organisation structure here

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.