GEN Europe is the European network for ecovillages and sustainable communities. Our vision is of a conscious, resilient and sustainable Europe where ecovillage and community values and lifestyles are widely adopted.
Since 1996, it’s been our mission to support and connect the ecovillage movement, encourage ecovillage development, educate for sustainability and ultimately create a world where empowered local communities are at the forefront of creating a fairer society that regenerates the earth, and ourselves.
We are powered by our members: over 100 ecovillages and aspiring ecovillage projects, and 18 national ecovillage networks in 26 countries and counting. Together, we educate, advocate and innovate, through events, courses, meetings and projects.
GEN Europe is part of the Global Ecovillage Network: an ever-growing network of thousands of regenerative communities and initiatives that bridges cultures, countries, and continents through its five regional networks and its international youth branch, NextGEN.
How we work
We’re a non-profit organisation, and our day-to-day functions are served by the Secretariat, a staff team that takes care of daily operations and enacting the organisation’s strategy.
Guiding the Secretariat is our oversight body, the Council, who are elected every two years to hold our vision by the General Assembly. The General Assembly, made up of all full member ecovillages, makes proposals, debates and approves decisions and strategic direction for the organisation. Besides participating in the General Assembly annually, members are involved in GEN Europe’s work through Working Groups, such as Advocacy, National Networks, Youth and Projects.
As a regional member of the Global Ecovillage Network, GEN Europe representatives take part in GEN’s general assembly and board, sharing news from the region and helping steer the organisation.
True to ecovillage values of participatory, shared and transparent governance, we aim to work sociocratically, which means creating a governance structure based on consent decision making, self organising principles and feedback loops. It is “governance by peers”, a process for creating harmonious organisations, based on equivalence, efficiency, flexibility and transparency. The key value is that all individuals are acknowledged and collective intelligence is a source of inspiration and creativity.
This is a continuous learning process and work in progress, held by the Governance working group, made up of experts in Sociocracy.