Join us for a webinar series exploring inspiring examples of legal, economic and governance models for community projects

The series has now finished, but if you can missed it you can still purchase the recordings, or become a member of GEN Europe and access these and all other recordings from our video library!

How do ecovillages buy land? What’s the best legal model for a co-housing project? What about governance and decision-making? Join us and ecovillage experts from across Europe for four webinars between September 26th and October 23rd diving into inspiring examples that can help you find what works for your project.

If you’re puzzled by the complexities of finding the right methods and models for community-set up, join GEN Europe in the first of our Ecovillage Essentials webinar series where we’ll be demystifying some of these crucial aspects of community-building and offering examples from networks across Europe. In each webinar we’ll be joined by experts and pioneers in the field for a dive deep into an innovative example of the legal, financial or governance models used by ecovillages and co-housing projects to create communities that last.

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Who’s it for?

Whether you’re in the process of ecovillage or co-housing set-up, dreaming about it for the future, or just curious about what’s happening on the ground across Europe, this is your opportunity to take away ideas and inspiration, and connect with others who are on the same path. No previous knowledge is required!

Where and when?

The webinars will take place on Zoom once per week between September 26th and October 23rd. You can register for just the ones you’d like to attend, or the full series at a discounted rate! Scroll down to find details of the exact dates and presenters.

How to register

Registration for the webinar is required. If you can’t attend on the day, all participants will be sent a recording after the event.

The first webinar is free! The rest of the series costs €12 per session, or a discounted rate of €30 for the whole series. This ensures that presenters are fairly compensated for their time, and that GEN Europe can continue its work advocating for communities. The price includes the recording and a document of useful materials to continue your ecovillage journey. Blossom members of GEN Europe can register for the entire series for free!

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The programme

Shared ownership with maximum personal freedom – the Mietshäuser Syndikat model

September 26th, 18:30-20:00 CEST

Discover the ownership model of the Mietshäuser Syndikat network in Germany: not only a network but a legal method of shared ownership of community grounds and buildings, with maximum personal freedom for every community member. The communities are bound to 3 principles: a) consensus-based decision making within the community, b) making community property common good never to be sold again, and c) having a solidarity transfer between communities. The model of the Syndikat relies on the German legal system but there are other young networks in European countries which transfer the principles of this model to their countries’ legal systems.

Armin Olunczek has been involved in the Mietshäuser Syndikat network and counseling for new projects for several years. He benefits from his experience of living for nine years in one of the nearly 200 Syndikat projects, where he is responsible for administration and legal matters.

Collecting €6M+ to finance 50 Community Startups – the example of Cooperative Oasis

October 12th, 18:30-20:00 CEST

Ramin Farhangi is the founder of Ecovillage de Pourgues (40+ inhabitants in the south of France), where children are offered an age-mixed community in which they are free to play and learn all day, and receive support from their peers and role models to learn how to be in charge of their own lives. Ramin is also the coordinator of the French national network of ecovillages (Cooperative Oasis) and provides support and consulting to several ecovillages in France.

In this workshop, Ramin will share the experience of Cooperative Oasis with collecting more than 6 M€+ to fund 50+ ecovillage start-ups. The power of story-telling, the support of celebrities, growing a network, finding the right subsidies… Ramin will share the key factors leading to the development of such a successful network in France.

Sociocracy in Community

October 19th, 18:30-20:00 CEST

Sociocracy is a governance model increasingly favoured by many ecovillages, cohousings and other community projects. In this workshop, expert Sociocracy trainer Steffen Emrich will share his experiences with sociocracy and the specific challenges that need to be considered when introducing and using sociocracy in communities. In addition to a brief overview of how sociocracy works, the workshop include group exercises and a focus on the required attitudes and vision a community needs for it to function.

Steffen Emrich has been living and working in housing projects and communities for over 30 years and for the last 14 years with his 2 children in the community gASTWERKe near Kassel in Germany. In addition to his work as a facilitator, sociocracy trainer and community consultant, he has been involved with GEN for many years. Through his work and in and for communities, he has been able to visit and learn from many community projects over the years and despite occasional challenges, he still believes in the transformative power of community projects.

Aligning dreams and matter: a legal and economic approach through the cooperative way

October 23rd, 18:30-20:00 CEST

The Pas-Sages association coaches new and existing communities to implement sustainable financial, legal and governance mechanisms that support cooperation. Find out how they’re creating communities that last!

After years as operation manager in freight forwarding in Africa and in France, Sandra Bedigis became a Doula to embody her vision that society should allow women and babies to experience more affectionate and non-violent birth experiences. She is also one of the co-initiators of Colmeia62 Portuguese ecovillage, coached by the Pas-Sages. She works with the Pas-Sages to contribute to the spread out of intentional communities through the cooperative model.

André Patrão spent four years travelling over thirty ecovillages, and observed the disparity between the movement’s philosophy and the reality of dealing with house speculation, elitism, financial power, property, heritage, and so on. Fortunately, he also found solutions…

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