Originally from California (USA), Robert immigrated to Sweden in the 1980s during his studies in international relations and economics. He later completed an MSc in environmental engineering and sustainable infrastructure. Since the 1980s Robert has worked for the Swedish government, UN, EC and OSCE mainly in international development cooperation, internationalisation of education and strengthening democratic institutions. He is also currently an elected member of the regional ‘parliament’ on Gotland.
After 20 years of visiting ecovillages all over the world, Robert co-founded Suderbyn Permaculture Ecovillage in 2008, which led to his involvement in the revival of the Swedish national network ERO in 2010, and the creation of the regional Baltic Ecovillage Network in 2011. Robert first became involved with GEN Europe as a council member in 2010 where he served for two terms. From 2014-2015 he was elected Managing Director and participated in the board of GEN International; he shifted roles to president of GEN Europe in 2015. Since 2013 Robert has also been assisting with the launch of the more-inclusive European ECOLISE network of local initiatives on behalf of GEN Europe. Robert continues to be fascinated by ecovillages, the wisdom that they collectively create and the potential they offer for the wider society’s transition to resilience.
This Living Library book focuses on socio-environmental collapse and the importance of accepting the change that is coming both individually and as a community. In this interview, Robert discusses how to turn eco-anxiety into action by working with nature, localizing, decentralizing, and creating love-based, empathetic communities.
Robert is happy to share and offer consultations on a number of topics including:
- Preparing communities for collapse
- Developing national networks
- Overview of GEN
- History of GEN Europe