Speed up transition by supporting socio-ecological experiments.

Sophie Swaton, philosopher and economist,

University of Lausanne



"Outside the realm of imagination focused exclusively on technology and the search for new markets, citizen initiatives are experimenting a different way of producing, consuming, eating and travelling. These entrepreneurs of a new kind are working, for example, in energy cooperatives, are embarking on agro-ecology or permaculture, are occupied by the construction industry and the search for biobased materials, are fighting against energy insecurity, are developing ecomobility, are setting in place a circular economy.


Now, not only are these experiments compatible with the ecological imperatives, they create and integrate the societal dimension. A good number of ecomobility projects promote the advantages of car sharing for ecology, but also for the rural areas that are difficult to access especially for an ageing population. The citizen energy cooperatives, through the initial cooperative model promoted, represent an excellent medium for sensitization to ecology for the citizens and other economic partners and industrial services for municipalities. But these socio-ecological experiments still have low visibility and are often far from viable when started up.