Ecovillages - local communities which aim to minimise their ecological impact while maximising human wellbeing and happiness � - are found all over the world. They incorporate a wealth of radical ideas and approaches which can be traced back to Schumacher, Gandhi, the 1960s, and the alternative education movement. This Briefing describes the history and potential of the ecovillage movement, including the evolution of the Global Ecovillage Network. The ecovillages movement promotes: learning from the best elements in traditional and indigenous cultures; community banks and currencies; low-impact living; organic, local food production; and reviving small-scale participatory governance. Faced with climate change and diminishing oil supplies, this Briefing examines the lessons that we can learn from ecovillages to live sustainably.