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Collaboration to scale up community action on sustainability

Tue 23rd August 2022 - Blog Posts, Communities, Courses & Events Summaries, Sustainable Development Goals

Many public sector bodies, including local authorities, have a mandate to support sustainability action and to facilitate community engagement in their regions. At the same time, many community-led initiatives and intentional communities are developing creative regenerative practices.

On 18th August, Learning for Sustainability Scotland, in collaboration with Sustainable Scotland Network, held an online workshop to explore how community efforts can thrive and scale-up through collaboration; especially between communities and local authorities but also involving other actors.

The Ecovillage Transition in Action project

During the workshop, participants explored more about why collaboration of this kind is important, who needs to be involved in order to maximise its effectiveness and explored ways in which this can be done: by viewing inspirational case studies and taking part in a break-out discussion session.

We also drew on the results and tools developed in an Erasmus Plus-funded project, which they are looking to pilot in Scotland and beyond. This innovative, international project – Ecovillage Transition in Action (ETiA) – is now coming to an end and we are looking forward to sharing the results of our hard work with different audiences and seeing how they might support the work of communities across Scotland.

The project developed through the partnership of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), GEN Deutschland, Hurdal Ecovillage, ECOLISE and University of St Andrews, Scotland. We comprised a group including facilitators, trainers and academics. All of us had experience of living and working in a community, and most of us had worked with or in local authorities, NGOs and global organisations such as UNESCO.

The project researched the following questions:

  • How do we scale up regenerative practices that are developed and implemented in community-led initiatives such as Ecovillages and Transition Towns?
  • How do we implement and embed local authority sustainability policies in communities?
  • How do we support thriving collaborations to collectively achieve sustainability transitions beyond the community level?

The team has produced a Handbook, along with a Trainers’ handbook, a Toolkit of resources and a Navigation tool to facilitate better collaboration between community led initiatives and local authorities and other partners and to enable them to co-create a better future.  These will be launched in September 2022 – watch this space for more details!