Villagelab’s Four Guild Boards are actively developing an initial research, development and demonstration (RD&D) framework in each of the four quadrants of sustainability shown here. These are boards of elders, experts, practitioners and visionaries, including community and youth representatives with a clear sense of the next leading-edge research needed for best practices in their area. They include representatives from the communities we serve as well as experts in the fields they represent.
From these Guild Boards two primary services flow to communities. First an Innovations Consultant Team provides incubation services including consulting, strategic planning and mentoring. These services are available to communities for general community development and to ensure success of the second major service of the Guilds – grants and resource support – both monetary and non-monetary – for specific RD&D projects.
Solicitations for these RD&D grants flow in two ways.
Targeted Solicitations flow from the Guild Boards to communities for specific RD&D projects the Board sees as essential.
Open Solicitations tap into the wisdom and cutting edge work already being done in the network and flow from the ecovillages and other sustainability projects to the Guild Boards. These open solicitations are reviewed and supported in the context of the RD&D framework that each Guild area has established – thereby providing the sustainable communities movement with central coordination while bringing forth the collective wisdom of the whole.
Existing best practices – as well as those being generated within the RD&D program – will be made widely available to researchers and developing communities in the form of a guild area Wiki using the next generation in information management software.
A strong emphasis is being placed on developing & popularizing a set of broadly applicable quality and performance indicators & aspirational standards for whole-system community well-being – building on the work already done by the Global Ecovillage Network’s Community Assessment Tool and utilizing the Ecological Footprint, carbon mitigation standards and other ecological, social, political and economic indicators.
A central Coordinating Board – drawing on the wisdoms of dynamic governance and collective intelligence – provides overall administration, public outreach and relations, helps the Guild Boards set priorities, and drives fundraising and organizational development.