EcoliseWiki:Case studies

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Case studies are wiki pages dedicated to describing key examples of community-led initiatives and related entities.

Purposes of Case Studies

Case study wiki pages collect factual information on communities, projects, initiatives, organisations and networks involved in or connected to ECOLISE, important for community-led action on climate change and sustainability, or otherwise of interest or relevance to the Communities for Future programme.

Factual information gathered here on the wiki complements, and provides context for, more narrative information elsewhere in the CfF web platform (stories, interviews, biographies, videos, reports etc.), plus content on the entity's own web page and outputs and those of other networks with which it is involved.

Case studies describe entities of several kinds:

  • Networks (and meta-networks)
  • Communities of Practice (CoPs)
  • Organisations
  • Projects
  • Initiatives

In some cases these are overlapping: an initiative or network may constitute itself as an organisation, or be represented by one, or an organisation might be set up as a vehicle for a particular project by an initiatives, network or CoP. In terms of wiki organisation, this is not important, as pages can belong to more than one category of case study.

Case studies are one of two main content categories on this wiki, the other being patterns. Patterns describe the different ways that community-led initiatives organise, conceptualise and understand the world, and act. Case studies are specfic instances of how they do this. Each pattern is therefore supported by any number of case studies that provide examples of its application in practice. Each case study demonstrates a number of patterns, whose associated wiki pages therefore give general background on the specific activities of the case study.

A case study wiki page will ideally do all of the following:

  • Summarise all available factual information about the entity it describes, robustly supported by references
  • Link internally to all relevant patterns
  • Link internally to any related case study pages
  • Link externally to all other available sources of information about the case study
  • Include a comprehensive bibliography of all sources not directly cited or linked from the text
  • Be known to the entity described, who will also be invited to curate the page if they wish

How to Create a Case Study Wiki Page

Creation of a case study page involves the following steps:

  • Check the entity's own website and summarise any relevant content there. This can include:
    • The purpose and guiding values of the entity
    • Its history (when it was formed, by whom and why)
    • Its location and geographical scope
    • Its legal form (if any) and organisational structure
    • Its affiliation with any networks, regionally nationally or internationally (linking to the wiki pages for these networks, if they exist)
    • Its specific areas of activity, including events, projects, programmes
    • Numbers of members and beneficiaries
    • Key collaborations
    • Involvement in any wider projects or programmes, including research projects
  • Create a bibliography:
    • The key bibliographical tool used in this knowledge commons is the Communities for Future Zotero library. You can browse this online, directly or through the CfF Knowledge Base, and request membership if you want to add new documents. As a first step, you can search for information in documents already in the library. Zotero allows a full text search.
    • Search for other literature and documentation. Some entities compile relevant research on their own websites. You can also do a standard web search, and search on Google Scholar. If you have access, you can also consult professional academic databases like CrossRef and BibText, and sites like ResearchGate and Academia.Edu.
    • Create a Zotero collection containing all the literature you have assembled. This can be in your own private library, or you can request a personal workspace in one of our shared libraries. Most articles generate their own bibliographic record from available meta-data; if not, this will need to be entered manually.
    • Generate a bibliography by selecting the collection and selecting 'Create Bibliography from Collection', which comes up when you right-click or ctrl-click. This offers a range of citation formats; the preferred format for this wiki is American Sociological Association.
    • You can then paste the bibliography directly into your wiki page. Please format this as a simple bulleted list under a Level Two Heading named Bibliography.
    • If your bibliography includes references not already in the CfF libary, please either add them directly (if you are an administrator of the library) or place them in the holding space for new Zotero entries.
  • Identify and describe key patterns
    • As you read and review the literature on the case study, consider what patterns it expresses and reflects. You can find a list of patterns that already have their own wiki pages at Category: Patterns.
    • Write a short section for each pattern under a level two heading of the form '(name of pattern) at (name of entity)', summarising and citing the relevant literature in each case. Include internal links to all relevant pattern pages as they are mentioned in the text. For any patterns do not yet have their own wiki page, if you think they merit a page of their own you can still create a link, even if you are not able to write the wiki page yourself: this will add the topic to the list of needed pages.
    • If the wiki page gets too long, you can divide it into several pages and sub-pages. Ideally, a wiki page is short enough that it can easily be read within 10-15 minutes. Leave a short summary on the main page, linking to the page or sub-page that addresses the topic in depth. For particularly well-studied entities, this may extend to several levels of division, with all pages linked from the main page via a simple branching tree.
  • Add category tags
    • Case study
    • Entity category
    • One or more main domains (movements, themes)
    • Geographical tags (usually, country or countries)
    • Any patterns mentioned in the description that also form their own category
    • If the entity has several pages, create a new category with the name of the entity, and include all pages about the entity in this category
  • Add links
    • Internally to wiki pages for any relevant other entities (networks, projects, initiatives, CoPs)
    • Externally to narrative content elsewhere in CfF or on other websites
    • Links to the new entity page from relevant other pages (about countries, movements, patterns etc.). You can follow the 'What links here link' at the left of the page to check if any links already exist.
  • Create redirects
    • If you think people might search for or link to the case study page using any terms that differ from your page title, create redirects to bring them to the case study page. This can include alternative names (including abbreviations and acronyms) or designations (e.g., Cloughjordan, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Cloughjordan community, etc.), linguistic differences, common misspellings, use/omission of accents and non-standard capitalisations.
  • Contact the entity in question to let them know about the page and invite their feedback and contribution

Sources of Case Studies

Research Projects

Individual Studies

Practical Initiatives

Other and ongoing EU research projects

Projects involving ECOLISE members

  • UrbanA
  • CoMETS
  • PROSEU: prosumers for the energy union. Coordinated by Inês Campos at FCUL; DRIFT & ICLEI among other partners; offered to share material.
  • ENERGISE: closely connected with SCORAI-Europe, with central involvement of Audley Genus. Database of >1000 sustainable consumption initiatives on website.
  • SONNET: social innovation for energy transition. ICLEI, DRIFT partners, open to finding connection.

Other projects of interest

  • ENABLE: Enabling the Energy Union
  • SMARTEES: Local Social Innovation (ICLEI Europe among partners)

Themed list of case studies assembled for Status Report





Other Potential Case Study Initiatives (unfiltered)

  • Ecopower
  • Towards low carbon villages (from ENRD factsheet on monitoring climate action: "An RDP supported project called Towards Low Carbon Villages9 was carried out in 19 villages in North Karelia, Finland, in 2016-19. It launched local experiments encouraging villages to adopt emission- reducing or carbon-saving solutions. The pilot initiatives, selected through a participatory planning process, concerned various topics such as the shift to renewable and local energy, mobility, waste management or landscape aspects. The climate effects of the initiatives were evaluated using the life cycle assessment method. Social impacts were also evaluated, allowing for the measurement of the positive and negative effects of the experiments on the community’s social, human, cultural, built and natural environment. The framework can be used in the future for comprehensive evaluation and planning of community and village experiments related to climate. The results of the pilot initiatives showed varied level of climate effects – energy projects having the most effect – but the initiative was successful in terms of building shared awareness and incentivising further climate action by villagers."

Reporting Criteria

  • A diversity of stories
  • As much as background info about the case study as possible
  • A link to good pictures
  • A contact person for possible interviews