The Status Report on Community-Led Action on Sustainability and Climate Change in Europe aims to make visible the state of the art of knowledge and understanding about community-led action on sustainability and climate change across Europe. Methodologically, it seeks to pioneer inclusive and open source methods, by facilitating collaborative effort in the compilation and synthesis of relevant information on the part of a transdisciplinary community of creators, users and communicators of knowledge. The first (2018) edition pilots these processes, with a view to building on them in future versions.
Background, History and Rationale
The Status Report is an initiative within the ECOLISE Knowledge and Learning pillar, launched in 2017. It partly builds on two earlier efforts: the Europe in Transition report created by AEIDL as part of preparatory work for founding ECOLISE in 2013, and the report A Community-led Transition to a Sustainable Europe, released to coincide with the first European Day of Sustainable Communities (EDaySC). Production of the second EDaySC brochure, Local, community-led: a new future unfolding in 2018 prototyped use of material compiled for the Status Report as draft content for other publications.
The Status Report project itself has two main aims:
1. To provide a comprehensive and scientifically rigorous account of the documented extent, nature, impacts and potential of community-led initiatives (CLIs) in Europe, incorporating relevant academic studies, grey literature, practitioner records and informal and experiential knowledge, to inform policy, advocacy, practice, and future research.
2. To establish an active, self-organising knowledge co-creation community that collaborates on an inclusive, open source basis to maintain, update and extend the knowledge base on which the Status Report draws, in a way that also makes this knowledge base available for other uses.
Both these aims contribute to the wider goal of creating and maintaining a knowledge commons for community-led action on sustainability and climate change, of which this wiki is a key element. Production of the first iteration of the Status Report, taking place during 2018, pilots use of this wiki and related tools as part of this more general resource for collaborative generation and sharing of knowledge, and acts as a prototype of the collaboration methods this will involve.
Overview and Objectives
The report intends to examine the status of community-led action on sustainability and climate change in Europe and the prospects for existing movements of community-led initiatives to contribute to wider transformation to a fairer and more sustainable society, both within Europe and in terms of Europes' relations with the rest of the world.
It addresses a series of objectives:
- Describe the overarching context for community-led action, in terms of major societal challenges and international policy responses to these.
- Describe the extent, nature and scope of community-led initiatives across Europe: their numbers, locations, motivations, methods and achievements.
- Evaluate how community-led initiatives pre-empt, respond to and/or fulfil major policy goals at European and national level, along with the challenges and barriers they face in doing so.
- Explore in more depth the processes behind their achievements: the conceptual frameworks, guiding narratives and practices from which they arise, including how they challenge assumptions and understandings behind centralised and top-down policy initiatives and provide working examples of realistic alternatives to existing frameworks.
- Assess the potential contributions of community-led initiatives to a wider societal transformation towards sustainability and democracy, including the social and cultural changes this might imply.
- Examine the structural changes necessary to allow such a transformation and propose concrete policy measures that would enable it.
A key guiding observation is that community-led action presents a constructive and necessary challenge to predominant understandings of major issues such as climate change and sustainability, and access to alternative perspectives that highlight routes out of current policy impasses. Deep and close engagement with the experience and practice of community-led action, in other words, can help inform the changes of perspective necessary for a realistic understanding of current societal challenges and realistic alternatives to ineffective existing policy measures.
A small core group within the ECOLISE Knowledge and Learning working group and based at FCiencias.ID has been working towards creation of a draft report over the course of 2017 and 2018. This has involved compilation of relevant documents in a document library based on Zotero, and creation and population of the related wiki (wiki.ecolise.eu).
Following release and circulation of the draft report in October 2018, a wider pool of collaborators were invited to evaluate, refine, deepen and extend the material ready for full and formal release at the start of 2019. The revision phase acted as a pilot for the ongoing development of the report as a collaborative, multi-authored process, closely integrated with research, policy and practice.
Collaboration aims to activate as fully as possible the collective knowledge, expertise and energy of our learning community in order that subsequent editions are as comprehensive, wide-ranging, in-depth and accurate as possible, and of the greatest possible value to practice, policy, advocacy and research. It also serves to stimulate establishment of user communities who will take custody of specific content areas within the wider knowledge commons, including creation of material for future releases of the Status Report.
Status Report 2019
Main page: Status Report 2019: Contents
A preliminary draft report was released and circulated as a standalone document from October 10th 2018. Its main purpose was to engage potential contributors and commentators within the Ecolise network and among wider networks of supporters and collaborators.
Development of source material continued on this wiki up until December 2018, with feedback and new content accepted until December 10th. From that date, material was compiled offline into a standalone document, launched on May 2nd 2019.
Source material will remain on the wiki for ongoing development and use in further projects. It will form an initial set of content, associated with active user and curator communities, within the wider knowledge commons, the full scope of which will be explored and developed from this point on.