ECOLISE Strategy, agreed at the members’ 4th General Assembly, 11 April 2019

ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, recognises the unprecedented ecological, social, economic and political threats to dignified life on planet earth. These threats have been provoked by centuries of ongoing extractive and exploitative institutional systems and practices, a structural dependence on unconstrained economic growth, and the unfettered spread of unsustainable lifestyles.

At the same time, ECOLISE sees hope in the rich seam of solutions that are being continuously developed by community-led initiatives across Europe and the world, including those that encompass inner growth, inclusive approaches to collaboration and to the governance of commons and stewardship of ecosystems. Furthermore ECOLISE is inspired and motivated by the growing interest in these life-affirming approaches.

In this context ECOLISE’s purpose is to engage in, support and facilitate accelerated learning and collaboration among community-led initiatives, their networks and partners in order to catalyse systemic transformation within and across society.

The work of ECOLISE is inspired by the vision of a compassionate, equitable and regenerative society of empowered and resilient communities that thrive on diversity and inclusion and live within planetary boundaries.

Guiding Principles (to be expanded)

  • co-creation
  • social justice
  • ecological integrity

ECOLISE pursues three strategic goals:

  1. Cultivating a cohesive, integrated network of change-making networks, organisations, groups and people that co-create and inspire a holistic culture of regeneration.
  2. Expanding public and political awareness of the potential of empowered communities to positively transform societies and to help reach ambitious local to global level policy goals.
  3. Developing a dynamic and inclusive framework for collaboration, sharing of knowledge, research, learning and capacity-building to support communities to engage in and spread transformative action on the ground.

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Organisational Structure

ECOLISE was founded in 2014 and is registered as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (AISBL). As of 2019 it has 46 member organisations, registered as legal entities in 18 different EU member states, plus Macedonia and Switzerland. The activities of the members extend to all EU member states, as well as internationally.

Members 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.

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, four thematic coordinators and research advisers.

The work of the council and secretariat is also supported by a number of working groups, focusing on: policy and advocacy; 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.