Rebeca Roysen is a member of Instituto Biorregional do Cerrado, an ecovillage in Brazil, and also an active member of the GEN Research Group and of the CASA Brasil Research Circle. This year, she was appointed Coordinator of a four-year research project called “Ecovillages as Incubators for Sustainability Transitions” (EVIST), supervised by Prof. Dr. Jens Köhrsen at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
The aim of the EVIST Project is to better understand the role ecovillages play in local sustainability transitions. They want to understand what facilitates or hinders the diffusion of ecovillages’ innovations into their local social environments. In order to do that, the EVIST Team will study ecovillages in different countries. The initial selection of countries that will be included in the project is: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, US, Canada, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Ukraine, and Israel. This means that all of GEN’s regional networks will be included!
The research team working on this project includes two PhD students, Nadine Brühwiler and Lasse Kos, and two research assistants (that are still being selected). They are also counting on many partners from academia and from the ecovillage movement who will collaborate with them. And, of course, they hope to count on the collaboration of ecovillages in the selected countries as well.
Rebeca highlights that they do not want to “just take time” from ecovillages, but they really want to give something in return. Therefore, one of their goals is that this research may result in processes and products that may be of service to the ecovillage movement. Some initial ideas they had were: creating forums for ecovillages and stakeholders to discuss and network; writing a final report for practitioners with useful information for those ecovillages and local authorities who want to catalyse sustainability transitions in their regions; and, of course, promoting new knowledge about ecovillages in the academic world.
If you have any additional ideas of how this project could help ecovillages do not hesitate to contact her at [email protected].
You can find the description of the EVIST project at https://ecovillages.theologie.unibas.ch/en/ If you are a fellow researcher, you can follow them at ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/project/EVIST-Ecovillages-as-Incubators-for-Sustainability-Transitions