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The Role of Ecovillages and the Climate Crisis

April 18 @ 12:00 PM 1:30 PM CDT

The role of ecovillages and the climate crisis

The Role of Ecovillages and the Climate Crisis

Thursday, April 18, 2024

  • Pacific: 10:00-11:30am
  • Mountain: 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Central: 12:00-1:30pm
  • Eastern: 1:00-2:30pm

View your local time here.

Join us for an engaging conversation amongst a few legendary elders about the current and future role of ecovillages in our growing climate crisis.

About the event

Ecovillages have always been beacons of hope and laboratories for how we might live in greater harmony with each other and our planet. In times of climate breakdown, what roles do intentional communities focused on living well and lightly play for society at large? In the rising tides and storms, are they lifeboats, rescue ships, and/or parts of a larger flotilla? 

Join us for the Role of Ecovillages and the Climate Crisis, a special fireside chat where we will unpack what ecovillages are doing now for the climate, how they are engaging with the broader community, and how they can do better in the future. Around the fire will be:

  • Robert Gilman (Context Institute)
  • Lois Arkin (LA Ecovillage)
  • Albert Bates (The Farm)
  • Brandy Gallagher (O.U.R. Ecovillage)
  • Daniel Greenberg (Foundation for Intentional Community)

The conversation will be facilitated by Frederic Laloux, recent member of Ecovillage at Ithaca and Founder of The Week, which offers a free online tool to spark real, emotional conversations about the climate crisis, and what we can do about it as individuals and communities.

In this panel, you’ll learn about:

  • Stories from ecovillage residents and their experience with climate change
  • Climate solutions being considered and/or implemented
  • The recent history and achievements of the global ecovillage movement
  • Opportunities for ecovillages to make an even greater impact in the world
  • How to engage your community around climate change through The Week

About your facilitator

Frederic Laloux

Frederic is the author of Reinventing Organizations, a global word-of-mouth bestseller (1,000,000+ copies, 20 languages) that has inspired founders of Extinction Rebellion, the Sunrise Movement, and Fridays for Future, as well as countless corporate leaders and faith movements. In a past life, he was an associate principal with McKinsey & Company. 

Now, he is the co-founder of The Week, a climate mobilization project that has led to more than 40,000 people engaging in real, emotional conversations about the environment, and what we can do about it together. He currently lives with his children and Helene, his wife and co-founder of The Week, in the Ecovillage at Ithaca in upstate New York.

About the panelists

Robert Gilman

Robert is a co-founder of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), co-author of the 1991 report to Gaia Trust, “Eco-Villages and Sustainable Communities” that served as the starting point for GEN, and author of the original ecovillage definition.

Trained as an astrophysicist with a PhD from Princeton, he decided in the mid-1970s that “the stars could wait but the planet couldn’t” so he shifted his attention to sustainability, future studies and strategies for positive cultural change. Together with his late wife Diane, they founded the Context Institute and launched IN CONTEXT magazine, earning international acclaim for its coverage of emerging issues.

In 2016 he created Context Institute’s Bright Future Now transformative learning program and the Bright Future Network made up of its graduates – now over 360 people from 34 countries around the world. The network will soon be offering a suite of learning programs and sharing its discoveries through a new Substack publication

Lois Arkin

Lois is the founder (1980) and Executive Director of the nonprofit CRSP dba Los Angeles Ecovillage Institute (LAEVI).  In 1993, she co-founded the Los Angeles Ecovillage as a project of CRSP for eco-retrofitting her 100 year old neighborhood.  Co-author/editor of two books on sustainable cities and cooperative housing, she is the former editor for the “Ecovillage Living” column in Communities Magazine.  She is on the board of the Global Village Institute, and served for 17 years on the Community Advisory Committee of the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Redevelopment Area. A co-founder of the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust, which sparked a CLT movement in Los Angeles, and the Urban Soil/Tierra Urbana limited equity housing cooperative, she lives and works in LA Ecovillage, and is passionate about reducing auto dependency in L.A.  A public advocate for sustainable urban living, she gives frequent public tours of the L.A. Ecovillage neighborhood.  At 87, and with 10 more years of work to do for a more fully manifested urban ecovillage, she is becoming increasingly pre-occupied with succession planning.

Albert Bates

Albert is a prominent figure in the climate resilience, intentional community and ecovillage movements. He has directed the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology since 1974 and the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, since 1994, offering courses in village design, permaculture, renewable energy, and natural building to students from over 50 nations. Albert holds a number of design patents and displayed concentrating arrays and a solar-powered automobile at the 1982 World’s Fair. He served as chairman and president of GEN from 2000 to 2005. Author of more than 20 books, most recently Retropopulationism (2023), he was recently named 2024 Eco Hero of the Year, noting his work with ecovillages in Ukraine and Palestine conflict zones. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on biochar and is presently engaged with a project to use pyrolyzed bamboo carbon to replace fossil asphalt and concrete in the roads and highways of  North America. Albert is a member of the Farm’s Climate Resilience Committee, part of a Global Ecovillage Network initiative to gather information and trial results from climate mitigation and adaptation experiments on six continents, funded by the Rasmussen Foundation.

Brandy Gallagher

Brandy (BSW, MA) is one of the original founders and developers of O.U.R. Ecovillage, Shawnigan Lake (Vancouver Island) BC. As a designer and educator she worked with local to international community builders to create this 25 acre Sustainable Living Demonstration Site and Education Centre (1999). She has served as the Executive Director of the non-profit Cooperative dedicated to educational outreach projects, and has worked with legal and research teams in order to design a series of precedent setting regulatory processes. From ‘Comprehensive Development’ land use re-zoning to incorporation of holistic new ownership structures, from governance to building codes, from wastewater to closed loop systems approval – her commitment has been to ‘Lawful Permaculture’ within the Ecovillage movement. Born and raised in community her life work has been focused around the development of ‘Sustained Community’.

She is also the developer of TOPIA: The Sustainable Learning Community School which operates onsite at O.U.R. Ecovillage. With a deep compassion for people and place Brandy works with other communities/projects to find their way through regulatory and legal processes which challenge the development of legitimate models of land use, alternative building, ownership and governance. She provides these services through her business “Sustainable Community Solutions Consulting – SC2”.

Her published work is a documentary titled “Creating TOPIA: The Journey of Developing a School of Sustainable Community Building.” She is also featured in the movie “Escape From Suburbia” and the documentaries “Peak Moments: Creating the Impossible”,”Awaken the Village Heart and Mind”, “Green Burial” and “Re-Becoming Villagers; Urban & Rural”.

Daniel Greenberg

Daniel was Founding Director of Living Routes, which partnered with the University of Amherst to run study abroad programs based in sustainable communities, including Auroville and Findhorn. He co-founded Gaia Education, served as President of the Global Ecovillage Network, and was the Director of Education at the Findhorn Foundation before they closed in 2023. He currently co-directs the Foundation for Intentional Community along with two social ventures: Earth Deeds, which provides online tools to meaningfully account for CO2 emissions; and CAPE, which develops Custom Academic Programs in Ecovillages.


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The Role of Ecovillages in the Climate Crisis


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