RIC started out in 2008 as 'GemeinschaftsForschungsGruppe' (GFG) (one of those long, self-invented German terms), to be literally translated as 'Community Research Group'. Basically a number of PhD students working with ecovillages and other intentional communities, where research was, and still is very little developed. We were about to chang that.

 

The first common research project was done in cooperation with the ecovillage of Sieben Linden, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany; the latest conducted with an EU-funded learning partnership of five European ecovillages ('The Transition Journey'). Beneath that were several research trips, a course for undergraduates at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU), advisory service for student papers and theses, as well as presentation at conferences and organisation of workshops.

 

Today, RICs vision is broader than it used to be. The focus does not lie solely on ecovillages and the like, and we hope to include more exciting socio-ecological projects in the future. Thereby we plan to increase the likeliness of transfer to a wider audience.

 

RIC was awarded 2009 as a 'Futurist' project (dm-Initiative) and nominated for the 'Ideen Initiative Zukunft' 2010-11. The network is an offical project of the 'UN-Decade for Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014' in the years 2010-11. In the beginning of 2011, RIC was formally inaugurated as an association, which now receives funding through the MRF trust. Our future plans include the formation of a research institute.