If we learn to radically collaborate, we will change the world

Replay Session #2 – Catalyzing Societal Transformation through Community Action

On November 9th over 200 people from around the globe gathered for a rich discussion about the role of community-led initiatives in societal transformation, the need for personal transformation and how radical collaboration could change the world.

Filipa Pimentel of the Transition movement, Alexandru Tudose of the Permaculture Research Institute in Romania, and Alisa Dendro of Suderbyn ecovillage began the discussion by sharing their personal stories and visions for a regenerative future.

“All our movements are an attempt to create a different model than the current system offers. These new models are playgrounds where people learn how to use both practical and social technologies, which we as humanity will need to adapt to, as we need to relearn our whole way of being and organizing our communities,” said Alisa.“These constructive movements function as a beacon of hope.This is especially important in the COVID times when so many people feel a mental struggle of actually coping with the existing system.” 

Alisa, Filipa, and Alexandru all talked of personal transformation. 

Alisa grew up in a small town in central Kazakhstan, moved to Sweden, and settled in Suderbyn ecovillage in the middle of the Baltic sea. She is currently president of the Baltic Ecovillage Network and a strong advocate for community-led action.

Filipa quit a well-paid position in Brussels, started a Transition initiative in a small town in Portugal, and dedicated herself fully to the Transition Network where she is currently the coordinator of the National Transition Hubs circle. 

As an anthropology student, Alexandru embarked on an existential quest to explore traditional Romanian rural societies. Through WWOOF and EVS volunteering he then traveled to and learned from various permaculture farms in different countries. This led him to set up community gardens and work for the Permaculture Research Institute in Romania.

Transforming ourselves – Transforming the world

Their stories of transformation are a microcosm of the deep societal transformation needed to transition to a regenerative world. Filipa, Alisa and Alexandru stressed that we need transformation at all levels of our lives, from our inner selves to our relationships. 

“You have to do a journey of consciousness, looking inside and at the same time being compassionate with other people who you are doing that journey with. We need to support each other and understand that transition is a journey. Each one of us is advanced in different things and needs support in other things,” said Filipa.  

As the webinar and discussion unfolded a number of patterns became clear. Community-led action starts with individuals who are connected to their own values and who are passionate about making change and depend on such people building relationships with one another. Each person brings their own strengths, preferences, and doubts. The first challenge is to support one another in the difference, embracing diversity and finding a common voice – and taking care of the collective in times of conflict, by creating a space of compassion, truth and trust. 

As with biodiversity in natural systems, diversity is a key to resilient human systems. Diversity of perspective should be an indicator for making change. “If we have only one perspective, that’s already failure,” said Alexandru. 

Learning to collaborate across difference

Juan del Río of ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, who co-hosted the webinar said: “When you go visit places, all around the world you will always find local people doing amazing things. It may seem small, but there are thousands and thousands of projects and people doing this everywhere.”

As separate initiatives join forces and become a movement, and as movements form well-structured organizations and collaborative networks, these initiatives start turning from marginal experiments to viable options, and become a powerful force in our societies, said Alisa. 

When local initiatives form a movement – and when movements join as a coalition, forming a movement of movements, such as Communities for Future, compassion needs to be expanded far and wide.

It is vital to respect and cherish the different identities of different groups that are working for a common goal. “Competition should not happen when we want to change things deeply,” said Filipa. 

In closing the session Jim Garrison, of session co-host Humanity Rising, picked up on the theme of collaboration.

“If there was one thing that a progressive movement could do to save the world – what is it? To me, the answer is radical collaboration. Hundreds of thousands of NGOs are working in isolation from one another. And that’s why we are so weak. If we would all come together even in one country – let alone globally – the world would never be the same again. It’s not whether the solutions exist or not, it’s about how effectively we are cooperating. I want to honour this session by leaving us all in the question: How do we more radically collaborate in this moment?”

This Session was hosted collaboratively between Communities for Future and Humanity Rising global solutions summit.

Communities for Future is creating a framework for collaboration across different community-led movements.

See upcoming and past events

Let’s get visible! How and why you should join the European Day of Sustainable Communities

We are excited to offer you an online session to discover and explore the potential of the European Day of Sustainable Communities (EDSC) in strengthening and mainstreaming community-led approaches to the climate emergency. We’ll explore these opportunities together at our next online Communities for Future (CfF) session on the 20th of April, from 17h to 18h30 CET. Register here This […]

Find out more »

Resourcing community-led local climate resilience – tapping into CLLD and Smart Villages EU-Programmes

How can we channel funding more effectively to community-led initiatives (CLIs) working on climate resilience? What are the CLLD and Smart Villages EU-programmes? How have your fellow ECOLISE network members benefited from these programmes? We are excited to offer you an online session to discover the potential of the CLLD and Smart Village EU-programmes in strengthening and mainstreaming community-led approaches […]

Find out more »

Blended Transformative Learning – exploring tools, assessments and frameworks for the social-ecological transition

What makes learning transformative? How to work well in a blended way (offline+online)? How to facilitate transformative learning experiences successfully? What is the role of transformative learning and education in the socio-ecological transition? The BLAST partnership has been exploring these questions and more. Join us for a session to: Get to know the main tools that the BLAST partnership has […]

Find out more »

How to make transformation of local community as to prevent climate collapse

Climate crises was not significant topic during the recent local elections. We must try to make this issue central to all activities planned for the next four years. We will present natural, physical and social limits to our current way of life in the light of climate crises and start conversation about what we could and should do locally.

Find out more »

Prendiamoci Cura

Il tema centrale del 2021 sarà il produttore. Produttori piccoli che hanno attuato una scelta di vita difficile, resa ancora più critica in questo anno di pandemia. La loro resistenza è la nostra. Chi produce prestando attenzione ad ogni aspetto, sa che le sue azioni, anche le più piccole, incidono sulla nostra vita. Il produttore. Tessitore di trame insieme a […]

Find out more »

Il futuro è delle comunità intenzionali e sostenibili

Nell’ambito della settimana europea per le politiche sulle comunità sostenibili promossa dalla rete ECOLISE e dalla piattaforma Communities for Future, questo incontro sarà l’occasione per presentare la proposta di legge “Riconoscimento e disciplina delle comunità intenzionali” e di esplorarne vari aspetti, grazie alla presenza di rappresentanti di varie organizzazioni e reti italiane. Per sostenere la proposta di legge, la rete […]

Find out more »


Apericena dalle ore 19,30 – A seguire dibattito sui cambiamenti climatici alle ore 21 con Max Strata, esperto di Ecologia Applicata e Temi Ambientali e Giorgio Carpi, Presidente DES Altro Tirreno.

Find out more »

The “Game of the Dodo” and other tales

Our group will present the route toward the foundation of Ca' dei Dodo - experimental ecovillage - through the "Game of the Dodo" (starting time 17:00). The "Game of the Dodo" is supposed to guide all participants through several steps, from the first idea until the foundation of our ecovillage. After the Game, a visit to the village will take […]

Find out more »


In Italia i prodotti per l’igiene mestruale sono ancora considerati beni di lusso, tassati al 22% (mentre i tartufi ovviamente sono un bene essenziale quindi tassati al 5%). Negli ultimi mesi di pandemia, i prodotti mestruali sono tra i beni di prima necessità più distribuiti ai nuclei in difficoltà economica da parte di realtà associative presenti sul territorio. Molto spesso […]

Find out more »

TraMe: storie di stoffa. Incominciamo

We're a small group of people, coming from north of Italy, Brescia. Our association is called "Movimento per la Decrescita Felice" and we'd like to begin a cooperation with other local realities, such as "Emergency Brescia", "Casa del Quartiere" and "Associazione di Via Milano" to promote informations and debate about period poverty in our urban areas. In order to fullfill […]

Find out more »
Load More


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account

Skip to content