The urgent need to tackle human-induced climate change, massive pollution and unsustainable development has never before been such a prominent feature of contemporary political debate. The European Union (EU) has stressed the necessity of a coalition of governments, supranational institutions, citizens and civil society actors engaged in grassroots-activities . These include producer and consumer cooperatives , participatory municipal budgeting , community and urban gardens , food sovereignty, initiatives, Time Banks , Transition Towns and ecovillages.
In an historical moment where citizens of the world are called to take action to face ‘multiple crises’ in the environment, the economy and society, research into these initiatives is crucially important and timely. They constitute, in fact, ‘glocal’ laboratories, real utopias where citizens are engaging in prefiguring a more inclusive, just and fair society through the experimentation with new social practices, the enhancement of social power and the imagination of alternative futures.