Expedition Ecovillage

The more than six thousand eco-social communities worldwide are in the process of increasingly the intensity and frequency of their networking. At the same time, conventional political and social institutions are taking a stronger interest in sustainable, community-based, crisis-resistant models of development. Yet there is little public awareness of the many social, ecological, and technological innovations that have emerged from the ecovillage movement.

Our global research and publication project hopes to change that. Ecovillage projects, initiatives, social innovations and entrepreneurial initiatives are taken from areas as diverse as regenerative power, environmental education, mediation and conflict transformation, permaculture, multi-generational living models, and innovative forms of irrigation and land use.

The intentional communities have served to test future technologies in the areas of regenerative energy supply (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal), bringing them to market improved and simplified. Resource-efficient energy-saving measures (separation of drinking and gray water, composting toilets) are refined and made ready for the international market. Working with permaculture experts, communities like Tamera in Portual and Living Gaia in Brazil are developing measures against desertification and aridity by creating “water retention landscapes” where rain water is stored, combating soil erosion and increasing the acreage available for agricultural use. Permaculture, which exploits cooperative systems found in nature, allows for highly effective and productive agriculture in a garden-like setting. With improvements being made continually, permaculture offers – particularly in developing nations – persuasive strategies to confront the issue of hunger. Our goal is to make the amazing innovations and creative impulses offered by ecovillages publicly accessible and let their achievements inspire the discourse. Our reporting will also be targeted at enhancing mutual networking among ecovillages.

The project will be carried out by an interdisciplinary team of respected authors, photographers, and researchers.

Term: 24 months
Budget: ca. 150.000 Euro