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Village Earth

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To promote the Village Earth approach to sustainable development worldwide, which adheres to the concept that communities already posses the seeds of their own development, and that the optimum approach to development employs a "bottom-up" (listening rather than dictating) participatory process.

We facilitate sustainable community-based development by connecting communities with global resources through training, consulting, and networking with organizations worldwide.


Village Earth was born in 1993 at an International Conference on Sustainable Village-Based Development in Fort Collins, Colorado, where more than 300 participants from 30 nations created the Consortium for Sustainable Village-Based Development (CSVBD) and gave it the mandate to implement and train others in the strategies discussed during the conference. Since its inception Village Earth has trained and consulted with hundreds of individuals and organizations in countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Bosnia, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, Columbia, and elsewhere.


  • We believe that communities must be empowered to access and manage the resources they need to be self-sufficient and sustainable.
  • We trust and value the ability of local communities to shape and create their own vision for the future, as well as the path to move toward it.
  • We believe that transparency and participatory decision-making is central to the goal of social justice and sustainability.
  • We believe that working toward ecological sustainability must be a priority for all societies to ensure peace and prosperity for all peoples.
  • We appreciate and respect the diversity and differences among our constituents and our collaborators.


Village Earth achieves its mission through a number of activities, including:

  • Training individuals and organizations in the Village Earth approach to sustainable community-based development.
  • Consuting with individuals and organizations to help promote more equitable bottom-up approaches.
  • Providing external and participatory evaluations of development programs and projects.
  • Networking organizations around the world to ensure greater cooperation and communication.
  • Making appropriate technology resources and inforamation available to community-based projects through our 1050 volume Appropriate Technology Library.
  • Initiating sustainable community-based development projects


Village Earth has a direct affiliation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) at Colorado State University (CSU). IISD and Village Earth partner to make accessible the people and resources of CSU to community development projects around the world.

Appropedia Partnership[edit]

"Village Earth, who created the first wiki for appropriate technology, has joined forces with Appropedia, the largest wiki for sustainable development, appropriate technology and poverty reduction to promote a centralized, consolidated and open information clearinghouse where users can share what they know and find the information they seek. As Dr. Maury Albertson, founder of Village Earth and Peace Corps, put it, "There is an ENORMOUS POTENTIAL here." (His emphasis.) Appropedia Founder Lonny Grafman said "I'm particularly excited to see this public support for open source solutions coming from an organization as highly regarded as Village Earth!" See full press release at Village Earth and Appropedia Join Forces for Sustainability.


Name: Village Earth
Type: NGO
Founded: 1993
Founders: Maurice L. Albertson, Edwin F. Shinn, Miriam Shinn
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Areas Served: Worldwide
Focus: Rural and Indigenous Communities
Methods: Community-based Sustainable Development
Homepage: http://www.villageearth.org
Appropedia Partner: Yes