Sustainable Communities Programme

Spreading the benefits of community-led approaches across regions

Thousands of pioneering local initiatives across Europe and the world have developed, implemented and refined collective approaches responding to the pressing sustainability challenges: permaculture and ecovillage design, nature-based solutions, local exchange trading systems, social enterprising, open source appropriate technologies, repair cafés, inner transition, voluntary simplicity, peer learning and support, facilitation of multi-stakeholder networks, participatory governance, co-creation methods etc

Please take a moment to image a scenario in which these approaches have become mutually reinforcing integrated sets of practices shared among neighbouring communities and enacted across entire regions. Imagine further an increasing number of regions (in the same country and from different countries) exchanging regularly on how to best catalyse inclusive regional sustainability transitions and jointly develop a world-wide leading adaptable framework and support system. Imagine the magnitude of positive social and ecological impact being generated.

This is exactly what the Sustainable Communities Programme (SCP) is about. The SCP is a long-term strategic initiative that ECOLISE is developing and implementing in participatory ways with its members and other partners. It serves as an umbrella for cohering a variety of relevant threads, projects and partnerships.

In the context of a systemic approach (multi-level, cross-sector, inter-disciplinary), the SCP aims to bridge gaps and stimulate synergies between:

  • change-makers in different sectors with complementary capacities, e.g. activists, researchers, policy-makers, (social) entrepreneurs and engaged citizens;
  • transition efforts in various domains, e.g. food, energy, transport, housing and education;
  • community-led action for the sustainability transition on the one hand and regional, national and European policy-making and resource allocation on the other hand.

The SCP sets out to do so through:

  • building partnerships and prototyping action programmes in pilot regions (e.g. in sub-national administrative regions, cross-border regions or bioregions);
  • exchanging and co-creating good practices among regional facilitators in a transnational Community of Practice;
  • developing a shared support system and a flexible transferable model for catalysing regional transitions.

Next dates of the Community of Practice:

  • 20th August 2019 14.30 CEST: online meeting
  • 23rd-24th September 2019: workshop in Brussels (online participation enabled) – please download invite here
  • 10th December 2019 14.30 CET: online meeting

Please email info[at] if you are interested in:

  • launching or contributing to a regional action programme;
  • joining the transnational Community of Practice of regional facilitators;
  • offering support to the programme, e.g. through training, research, communication or fundraising.