In the days when the EU is struggling to keep its integrity and when its ideal of an inclusive Europe is being shaken by the refugee crisis, 35 people from 16 European countries united to celebrate the role of community-led solutions to the problems the modern world is facing.
Developing and refining the strategy to consolidate and bring these solutions into wider society was among the aims of the 2nd General Assembly of ECOLISE, which took place in Rotterdam from February 26 to 28.
As a young meta-network, established in 2014, and relying mostly on the voluntary contributions of its 38 member organisations, ECOLISE still has much it wants to achieve, but also a lot to show. Building on the years of experience of its member networks, ECOLISE, through its members, represents several thousand initiatives, communities and organisations from across Europe.
During the General Assembly, ECOLISE's aim to become a shared platform for learning, action and advocacy for community-led initiatives on sustainability and climate change in Europe, was translated into a workable action plan for 2016. Highlights of this action plan include: a new publication that will 'tell our story', a new website, to be launched in the coming months, and a series of ECOLISE webinars, capacity building in the area of advocacy and policy-making, and the piloting of a new European day of community-led solutions.
An inspiring aspect of this year's General Assembly was the interest among researchers in teaming up with community-led initiatives to document and analyse citizen-led mobilisation, personal behaviour transformation and gross national happiness creation in these initiatives.
Check ECOLISE's impressive list of members here.