ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change  and sustainability, is a coalition of national and international networks of community-led initiatives on sustainability and climate change, as well as organisations that support a community-led transition to a resilient Europe.

ECOLISE aims to celebrate, stimulate and increase the positive impact of community-led action on sustainability and climate change, by:

  1. Raising the profile and highlighting the potential of what is already happening across Europe and beyond
  2. Sharing and co-creating knowledge and catalysing effective co-operation among member networks and other stakeholders
  3. Influencing European and national policy development and delivery to empower, enable and build upon the benefits of community-led action.

The members of ECOLISE include international networks of community-based initiatives such as the Transition Network (representing over 1200 Transition initiatives), the Global Ecovillage Network (15,000 ecovillages), the Permaculture movement (3 million practitioners globally) and ICLEI, the association of local governments for sustainability; national and regional networks; and other specialist bodies engaged in European-level research, training and communications to support community-led action on climate change and sustainability.

By bringing these organisations together, ECOLISE seeks to establish a common, Europe-wide agenda and a platform for collective action.

Organisational Structure

ECOLISE was founded in 2014 and is registered as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (AISBL). It has 38 member organisations, registered as legal entities in 17 different EU member states and Switzerland. The activities of the members extend to all EU member states, as well as internationally.

The organisation comprises a general assembly, which meets annually and sets overall strategy; a council (currently 11 members) and presidency, which are elected for a two year term and oversee the implementation of the ECOLISE strategy; an executive board, comprising the president, vice president and executive director; and a secretariat, which includes the executive director, three thematic coordinators and two research advisers.

The work of the council and secretariat is also supported by a number of working groups, focusing on: policy development; communications; knowledge and learning, and resource mobilisation and outreach. The working groups include council members, representatives of other member organisations and, where relevant, experts drawn from outside the network.

Guiding Principles & Values

The members of ECOLISE are guided at all times by a commitment to:

  • Increase resilience and empower local communities
  • Recognise the strong and complex interdependence of the environment, cultural, social and the economic dimensions
  • Move towards a life sustaining culture inspired by nature
  • Support social inclusion and active citizen participation in governance at all levels
  • Progress through research, innovation and cooperation
  • Work in the interest of all the members of the network and towards common goals
  • Care for the planet and all living beings.

ECOLISE values are:

  • Joyful and empathic collective action
  • Accountability, transparency and social responsibility
  • Social justice and a respect for human and environmental rights
  • Political independence, non-discrimination and respect for diversity
  • Fairer distribution of society’s wealth, resources and opportunities leading to economic equality.