Community Learning describes the process by which communities transition from business-as-usual to more just and sustainable ways of living and doing. The idea of community learning is not to achieve fixed goals, but to gradually work towards common ambitions through innovation, integration, and transition. Community learning is premised on the idea that the outcomes of any social change process are highly uncertain and thus require collective experimentation — learning-by-doing and doing-by-learning.
EcoPraxis works collaboratively with community-based initiatives to put the vision of sustainable community economies and sustainable resource use into practice through grassroots research and community learning projects.
Sustainable Resource Use is the practice of cultivating relationships for greater resourcefulness. What makes communities healthy is the diversity and quality of their resources and the ability of local enterprises to build relationships with each other and create synergy out of their diversity. Sustainable resource use involves letting go of our consumer mentality and waking up to our responsibility in caring for our community’s resources.
Sustainable Community Economic Development is the practice of connecting what a community has to what it needs. In this process, community members, working with one another, improve their economic well-being, increase control over their economic lives, and build community power and decision-making through embracing the principles of sustainability and democracy in community planning and development. Sustainable community economic development nurtures resiliency and self-reliance.
Grassroots Research or Community-Based Participatory Research is a collaborative approach to research in which community members participate fully in all aspects of the research process (framing the research questions, data collection and processing, interpretation, dissemination, and determination of use of the results). It is an iterative process, incorporating research, reflection, and action in a cyclical process. Grassroots research requires sharing decision-making power, resources, credit, results, and knowledge, as well as a reciprocal appreciation of everyone’s gifts.