The ECOLISE Status Report: Community-Led Action on Climate Change and Sustainability in Europe
The Status Report is a new project, initiated by ECOLISE during 2017. In part in 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.
The Status Report project 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, serves as a pilot of use of this wiki and related tools as part of this more general resource for collaborative generation and sharing of knowledge and prototype of the collaboration methods this will involve.
The report examines 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.
Status Report 2018
Main page: Status Report 2018: Contents
Work on the first iteration of the Status Report began in late 2017 and will be ongoing throughout 2018. A draft release is anticipated for September 2018 and full release for early 2019.
The current preliminary phase involves compilation, evaluation and synthesis of existing information by a small core team, leading to release of a draft report in September 2018. The same material will form the basis of a summary booklet released to mark the second European Day of Sustainable Communities on September 22nd. From September to December 2018 a wider pool of collaborators will be invited to evaluate, refine, deepen and extend the initial version, ready for full formal release at the start of 2019.
The revision phase will act 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.