Community Learning Incubator Programme for Sustainability


CLIPS (Community Learning Incubator Program for Sustainability) has 10 partner organisations (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) and 2 umbrella organisations, ECOLISE and GEN International, as the primary associated partners.The project is a follow-up of the strategic partnership „Sustainable Communities Incubator Partnership Programme“ (SCIPP), with 8 partner countries from 2015-2017. SCIPP developed as its most important results a comprehensive conceptual framework for Incubator trainings and an Incubator ICT platform (

The target group of Incubator trainings are active citizens involved in community-led sustainable projects, especially start-ups e.g. transition initiatives, ecovillages, permaculture projects, co-housing settlements etc. Many community-led sustainable projects are blossoming all over Europe, working towards a more sustainable path of life; worried about the climate crisis and searching for more sustainable lifestyles, connecting the local with the global, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in a local and citizen driven mode of implementation. Often, members of such projects cooperate with and respond to political priorities for local municipalities as well. These conditions jointly form the background for this project.

A notably high number of groups starting sustainable projects fail within the first 2-3 years. A failure rate of around 90% (Diana Leafe Christian, ‘Creating a life together’) is anticipated. CLIPS addresses this issue with its mission of providing learning materials for trainings and Incubation programs which assist these groups to succeed and to continue thriving.

Most of the partners are networks of grassroots initiatives, mostly national umbrella organisations and many from the ecovillage movement. It has been decided to include four new countries, for enhanced outreach and new perspectives.

The CLIPS project pursues the following goals:
- Addition of specific developed CLIPS tools and methodology catering for different learning styles
- Build the capacity and increase the pool of CLIPS trainers
- Introduce and spread CLIPS to additional countries

The OVERALL OBJECTIVE of the project is to assist COMMUNITY-LED PROJECTS TO THRIVE through adequate and customizable tools and methods.

There are two main target groups involved in this project, being active citizens creating community-led sustainable projects; the target group CLIPS trainings are designed for - and trainers working with the CLIPS framework and tools, delivering CLIPS trainings

The partnership produces 3 main outputs using a participatory approach co-creating innovative learning tools, in this transnational learning space. These cater to different styles of learning, bringing additional practical, playful and inspirational tools.

1. CLIPS Method Toolkit -12 methods for CLIPS trainings with a detailed how-to description for trainers
2. A didactic board game on group dynamics as an interactive learning tool
3. Best practice examples and success stories, using a storytelling approach to portray real life examples, including inspirational videos (pilot in three countries).

The expected results of the project include, in the long term:
- Empowerment for people to become active and start community-led sustainable projects
- Quality improvement in the design, management and implementation of community-led sustainable projects
- Higher success rates for community-led sustainable projects starting up.


Good projects live on while different people come and go. In projects that survived longer than a decade, many people who thought they found ‘the’ place ended up leaving. Not all collective projects suit all people interested in them. Beyond that, moving towards more collaborative and collective ways of living can be challenging in unexpected ways. Sometimes it requires more adaptation, transformation and commitment than people are willing to deal with. Herein lies an important lesson: when incubating an initiative the project and collective have some priority over the individual.

The incubation is a facilitated process supporting a group to identify tensions, solutions, resources and methods, applying appropriate measures at appropriate times. This is the domain of CLIPS facilitators. Like midwives, facilitators assist groups during the delivery of their project, and check in on it as it matures. Noted that incubation requires attention and care, but should never be authoritarian.

The purpose of CLIPS is to suggest and explain a framework for approaching community development. It points out specific tools found useful by existing community-led projects.
CLIPS is based on learnings and insights from established ecovillage projects.
These insights have been distilled into concepts and methods applicable to any group that recognises the value of community.

CLIPS trainers are experienced facilitators, who are familiar with the CLIPS model and tools. They will guide the group through the challenging phases that are often crucial for success or failure of the project.
CLIPS programme includes workshops, mentoring and trainings, as well as an online platform with resources, links, examples and tools for both projects and trainers engaged with supporting communities to grow.

Link to the international web page:

The other pages in CLIPS - Community incubator

Happenings and trainings

We are organizing different CLIPS trainings at our ecovillage and outside settings. We are planning following happenings (the corona virus might affect to the plans): Community development happening - 3 days The community specialists from (...)
Read more →