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  • Sharing and Collaboration in European Ecovillages: Breadth, Enablers and Limitations

    Dicte Frost

    Chapter from the book: Travlou P. & Ciolfi L. 2022. Ethnographies of Collaborative Economies across Europe: Understanding Sharing and Caring.

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    The chapter examines sharing and collaborative practices within the context of European ecovillages. The research is based on interviews and participant observation in five European ecovillages, located in Spain, Slovenia, Ukraine, Germany and Denmark. In total, 74 interviews were carried out, encompassing the levels of 1) community members, 2) enterprises or organisations located in the ecovillages and 3) the ecovillage. The chapter describes the sharing realities in the ecovillages, the sharing methodologies and the enablers of and limitations to sharing practices in the communities. Results show that, in contrast to other social structures that push ‘members’ towards competition, ecovillages offer incentives for collaboration. In these contexts, collaboration and sharing are the main trajectory to ensure sustenance, making ecovillages unique incubators for sharing and collaborative practices. As such, the communities merge collaborative and market-based economies, and so function as intermediate, or transitioning, spaces. Two frameworks are birthed: 1) A framework that outlines the sharing methodologies applied in the ecovillages and 2) a framework that positions the social and institutional enablers of sharing practices in the ecovillages. The research stresses the importance of aligning the mentalities of individuals with the sharing and collaborative values in the communities, and of carefully designing community structures to incentivise desired sharing and collaborative activities, while being flexible to change with the ‘sharing maturation’ of the community or group.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Frost, D. 2022. Sharing and Collaboration in European Ecovillages: Breadth, Enablers and Limitations. In: Travlou P. & Ciolfi L (eds.), Ethnographies of Collaborative Economies across Europe. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bct.c

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    Published on Dec. 30, 2022


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