GEN Europe is the network of the ecovillage movement in Europe. Founded in 1996, one year after the Global Ecovillage Network, GEN Europe initially had responsibility for the movement in Africa, Middle East and Europe. We are proud to have facilitated the birth of GEN Africa as a separate sister region in 2012 and support the embryonic GEN Levant.
From the very beginning GEN Europe hoped to develop into a network of networks with national networks in all European countries. Today we have 15 national networks and many in the process of organising themselves. National networks give us the ability to help individuals find the right ecovillage for them and help newer ecovillages to learn from the experience of others.
GEN Europe dispells the myth of ecovillages wanting to hide from society. In fact most ecovillages interested in and via GEN Europe are able to channel their support to transform mainstream society towards resilience. GEN Europe is a core founding member of ECOLISE, the umbrella organisation combining urban transformation via Transition Eco-municipality movements with Permaculture and Ecovillage movements. GEN Europe itself and via ECOLISE is in dialogue with decision-makers and other stakeholders on how we can achieve sustainability together.
GEN Europe continuously implements projects to strengthen ecovillages, ecovillage networks and training for transition to resilience.
GEN Europe Works Within the Following Thematic Areas
Networking with Activists all across Europe
GEN Europe is linking up activists and ecovillages. We know that isolation is debilitating and connection leads to empowerment. We are actively seeking to bring activists together, especially in countries without strong links to our movement. We are reaching out to activists in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Europe and the Balkans facilitating meetings. Let’s bring permaculture, ecovillage, and transition activists together to create mutually supportive groups of friends in places where alternatives to the mainstream consumption and growth frenzy are not well known. Even in countries where we have a limited presence we are having membership drives to include more ecovillages and activists in our network. This not only gives us greater influence in Europe but as well at the national level in making it easier to effect change.
Supporting the Development of National Networks
Our national networks are really getting stronger and becoming more numerous. Yet some countries are missing. England and France for example are inexplicable gaps in our family of national networks. We will support the promotion of “ecovillage incubators” across Europe to help young ecovillage initiatives to survive those first difficult years. We hope to be able to facilitate national meetings in countries with weak national networks, learning from positive experiences from neighbouring national networks.
Scaling up Our Outreach and Influence
GEN Europe will continue to be a major force in the ECOLISE umbrella for community-led initiatives for sustainability and climate change, demanding European-wide action and support for another development. We will take a leading role in the future study “Europe 2035” that can give us more direction in achieving regenerative holistic societal development similar to that which ecovillages have developed.
Finding New Paths Forward
GEN Europe is constantly searching for new approaches to create the world so many of us dream of. Therefore we are looking into new ways of financing ecovillages, facilitating exchange between communities, communicating with the public and addressing challenges of poverty and social exclusion facing Europe today with methods and tools used by ecovillages. Your support for work in these new frontiers is crucial.
People who donate money to GEN Europe make a meaningful difference in Europe’s transition to a more sustainable lifestyle which has global impact. Europe more than any other region needs to showcase that it is happiness and the well-being of all humans and other life on the planet which is our priority. While GEN Europe is very much involved in global solidarity we know the main contribution of Europe to a sustainable world would be to change our behaviour. GEN Europe is about people willing to walk the talk and transform themselves, taking on new values for a better future, and then changing the world around them. Please join us!
You can support the work of GEN Europe by making a donation on this page or by becoming a supportive member offering ongoing support. GEN Europe supportive members are individuals or organisations who share our vision, wish to support the work of GEN and become part of our network. They are not invited to the General Assembly, but those who are well known to us can participate on request. For ecovillage supporters the yearly fee is 30-600 Euro (sliding scale). Please click here for more information and sign up options for supportive membership.
The Global Ecovillage Network of Europe e.V.