Living values

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Incumbent economic and political systems implicitly embed values at odds with sustainability and social justice, and hence build these in operationally as both operational features and inevitable outcomes. Community initiatives seeking to create and enact alternative economic and governance paradigms operate according to very different sets of values. Making these values explicit enables critical self-reflection (and formal evaluation) on whether and to what extent they are, or are not, being upheld, and at the same time highlights contrasts with dominant systems.

Practices for Living Values

Emotional responsiveness
Cultures of community led action that acknowledge and do not marginalise the emotional dimensions of social change can enable broader engagement and contribute to a healthier group culture. This involves acknowledging emotions associated with social change: the issues (e.g. climate change); the lack of sufficient response (e.g. frustration or anger at Governments or businesses furthering climate injustice); and the process of community change (e.g. burnout, conflict in groups, challenges of unfunded community work and the slow pace of change).


The ECOLISE Strategy, agreed at the General Assembly 2019, makes explicit a number of values, under three guiding principles:

  • Co-creation
  • Social justice
  • Ecological integrity

The values themselves are: