Frequently asked questions
An ecovillage is an intentional, traditional or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned participatory processes in all four Areas of Regeneration (social, culture, ecology and economy) to regenerate social and natural environments.
Within GENOA, ecovillage refers to intentional communities, indigenous and traditional villages and communities, faith-based and spiritual communities and urban eco-neighbourhoods – and where people identify themselves with an intention to live in a holistic sustainable manner. There are many projects, networks, like-minded organisations, government agencies and alliances within the GENOA network who help support the transition of ecovillages in our region, and in integrating ecovillage principles and solutions into the wider community.
- If you want to visit or join an ecovillage/community project, it is best to contact them directly via email. On our ecovillage map you can find all the projects that are currently posting their information with GEN, including contact details. We are in the process of updating our ecovillage database so check back with the ecovillages about their current state, especially when you can see that they haven’t updated their profile since a while.
- For your individual journey with an ecovillage from our ecovillage map, GENOA can not take the responsibility for your experience as we are not directly working with the ecovillages on the ground. Please contact us if you would like to find out more information, we might be able to provide some feedback.
Ecovillages are as widely diverse as the countries and cultures from which they spring, and therefore GEN can't offer a 'one-size fits all' approach to starting an ecovillage. However, we do have some advice, resources and programmes that might help:
- EDE: Ecovillage Design Education: A rare opportunity to attend a full Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) online with top facilitators and experts from around the world. There are also opportunities to do an EDE with Gaia Education. Ecovillage Design Education programmes, often referred to as ‘EDEs’, provide participants of all ages with the knowledge and practical skills to design a society which uses energy and materials with greater efficiency, distributes wealth fairly and strives to eliminate the concept of waste.
- GEN’s Online Learning Platform can support you with a diverse range of online courses and free resources and as well as our online Market with books, manuals and educational materials that tap into the theme of Ecovillage Incubation more broadly.
- CLIPS Community Learning Incubator Programme for Sustainability: CLIPS is based on learnings and insights from established ecovillage projects in Europe. These insights have been distilled into concepts and methods applicable to any group that recognises the value of community. You can download the CLIPS guide for free on the CLIPS website.
- If you already started your project and you have a location, you can create a page on our ecovillage map so people can find/hear about you.
The easiest way to find an ecovillage in a specific area and with specific criteria is by using our ecovillage map where you can search by name, country and type of community.
For knowing more details about the ecovillages please contact them directly.
- To create a profile or access your profile, click on the "Log In" section on the top right of the homepage or bottom left corner under Resources or here and if you forgot your password, click on the lost password button on the "Log in" page.
- If your entry on the ecovillage map or solutions library does not appear as you make edits or new entries, this means that it is still under moderation. Our communications team moderates all new entries to avoid spam, advertising and to check if entries have all the required information. We apologize that in busy times it might take a bit longer until your profile will be published.
- If you want to update your ecovillage page but the user who uploaded it is no longer part of the project, contact us and we can change the name and email address and generate a new password.
If you are interested in volunteering with GENOA, there are three ways:
- With the GENOA operations team
- With the GENOA projects team
- In an Ecovillage
Here you can find more details about volunteering with GENOA!
- If you want to volunteer with GENOA, you can sign up here as a volunteer. Please note that the majority of volunteer opportunities with GENOA are task and project-based, remote support. This means you don't have to be in a community to offer this type of support. For example, you could be helping with communicating upcoming GENOA events, using your design skills to create communication and educational materials, checking if our ecovillage database is up-to-date, or translating an article.
- If you want to volunteer on-the-ground in a community and in an ecovillage, for example by supporting a permaculture project, learning natural building, developing off-grid energy systems, or similar, then please contact ecovillages directly that you can find on our Map of Ecovillages. In this case each ecovillage has its own volunteer requirements and conditions for volunteering. GENOA is not responsible for the quality of any experience within the ecovillages, it's the ecovillage responsibility. We advice you to connect to other volunteers, and the ecovillages itself if you are facing any issues."
- We get a lot of requests to volunteer with GENOA and we don't have the capacity to reply to or accommodate everyone all the time. You are welcome to contact us more than once if we haven't immediately replied to your inquiry. We have a lot going on and appreciate your generous spirit. We will reach out as we have projects you can plug into.
Unfortunately, GENOA does not have the finances to fund projects/ecovillages. We are constantly working on increasing our capacity so that we can directly support more projects on-the-ground.
Each year GEN International runs the Hildur Jackson Award: a €3,000 annual prize that aims to support and honour projects around the world that are demonstrating regenerative best-practises in all dimensions of sustainability. Keep an eye on our site and our newsletter for the opening of this annual initiative.
Another way for getting funded is through being part of one of the projects we are currently running which are funding specific people and projects. Have a look at River of Life for women supporting each other and Twinning for ecovillages supporting each other.
- We invite you to add your project to our ecovillage database/map or to our Solution Library.
- Due to capacity, we cannot share crowdfunding/project links on our Facebook page or other social media. We receive quite a few requests like this, which is why we have a policy to only share requests from long-standing partners from our network with prior notice.
- Feel free to promote yourself in our Facebook Groups. Either our main Facebook Group or in the regional Facebook group more suited to you.
- We also recommend you also to get directly in touch with the region, they might be able to help you by sharing your request to their mailing list.
- If you are running an event and want to publicise it, then please add to our Events Listing.
- Did you already insert your ecovillage in our Ecovillage map? It assembles a lot of different communities/ecovillages/projects all over the world. With your ecovillage listed in our map you can get more visibility and even share events happening in the community so it could be a possibility for you to share your ongoing project.
- To engage with GENOA, you may create a profile and register your project on our ecovillage database
- Reach out to your national network for collaboration with local movements, and browse other ways to get involved.
- To support the ecovillage movement financially you are welcome to join Friends of GEN.
- If you want to dive deeper into the work of GENOA and our international network, and wish to get involved with us we are happy for you to join our online GEN Introduction Course.
- GENOA partners with non-governmental organisations, government offices and ministries, networks, movements, associations, and academia to collaborate on projects. If your organisation falls into one of these categories and you would like to work with us on a specific funded project, please contact us.
- If you are a recognized organisation providing ecovillage education or hosting events aligned with GENOA’s vision, mission and goals, working with the ecovillage principles and interested in collaborating with us, please contact us.
If you are a researcher on ecovillages, or otherwise engaged in these topics, you are welcome to join our research group! More information you can find here.
GEN is first and foremost a network, not an organisation, but it is serviced and coordinated on different levels through several organisations. GEN International is one organisation, existing within the network providing a global support, network weaving and amplifying services on a global scale that require global coordination (e.g. data collection and visibility of the global network, support for inter-regional communities of practice, online platforms) and support the transition to sustainable livelihoods and self-sustaining organisational models for all parts of the network. Like GEN International, GENOA is one organisation within a greater network fabric, working to grow and strengthen relationships, collaboration, cross-pollination and the emergence of joint projects in Asia and Oceania.