The Dutch ecovillage network GEN-NL is the network organisation of ecovillages and eco communities in the Netherlands, active since 2013. In our network more than 70 community initiatives and ecovillages in the Netherlands are involved. We represent and support existing and emerging initiatives, hold and organise many activities, including youth exchanges, training programmes and education and networking meetings. We do advocacy to governmental and financial organisations and contribute to national and international research.
Ecovillages are communities where the villagers live sustainably with a focus on a lower ecological footprint. Houses are built as much as possible from biobased or circular materials and produce and use sustainable energy and food. The communities develop new ways of living together in harmony with each other and the environment. The ecovillages are intentional or traditional communities, consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes. The intention is to re-generate social and natural environments. Focussing and experimenting each in their own way on how to contribute to the five dimensions of sustainability which are ecology, economy, the social, the cultural are all integrated into a holistic approach.
We are a network in which many members of our member communities take actively part. There are currently four active circles. The meeting circle, the communications circle, the circle on ideals in practice and an organisational circle. Since 2018 we have a youth group very actively involved in the organisation called NEXTGen-NL. They organise online and live meetings for youth interested in ecovillage lifestyles and sustainability.