Alpine Community Economies Lab uses participatory design methods to support alpine communities in addressing cross-cutting concerns of sustainable socio-economic development outlined in the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region and especially in the Alpine Convention and its protocols.
Via a gender-sensitive research space in Rovereto (Trentino/Italy), a diversity of civic actors and policy makers is engaged in the collaborative investigation as well as activation of (trans)local economies to sustain eco-social livelihoods in the local valley district and beyond.


Throughout 2019 to 2021, the lab was funded through a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (grant agreement no. 795641) and hosted at the Institute for Regional Development at EURAC Research (Bozen-Bolzano, Italy). The Habitat Unit of the Technical University Berlin acted as a second supporting institution.
During this time, a series of design-led workshops and participatory projects were envisioned and activated that draw on insights from feminist economic geography in order to co-activate (trans)local initiatives that have the well-being of both people and other living beings at their core. Throughout the research, a multifaceted community economies toolkit was prototyped, tested and refined and finally released via open-access for others to use in their own localities.
Throughout the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, the policy partners of the lab were: Municipality of Rovereto, Tavolo Trentino per l’Economia Solidale, Trentino Sviluppo, EUSALP – working group 3, Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention.
The lab continues beyond the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship as part of the cultural organisation Brave New Alps.

“Being-in-common – that is, community – can no longer be thought of or felt as a community of humans alone; it must become multi-species community that includes all of those with whom our livelihoods are interdependent and interrelated. ”

BY Katherine Gibson



• Dr. Bianca Elzenbaumer, primary investigator, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellow
• Fabio Franz, transformation designer
• Carlo Bettinelli, agro-ecologist and expert in participatory processes
• Chiara Mura, social worker and expert in social innovation processes
• Flora Mammana, transformation designer and baker
• Elisabetta Monti, farmer and activist within the via campesina movement
• Sofia Set, forest pedagogy teacher
• Carmen Gonzales-Miranda, forest management and environmental pedagogy
• Irene Manfrini, voluntary civil servant and environmental activist
• Paulina Mimberg, Erasmus+ Trainee and designer
Advisory board:
• Prof Katherine Gibson, Western Sydney University
• Dr Jenny Cameron, Community Economies Institute
• Kathrin Böhm, Centre for Plausible Economies c/o Company Drinks
• Kate Rich, Feral Trade
Practice-theory relays the lab team activates:
Comunità Frizzante – making drinks to make community
La Foresta – community academy
Forno Vagabondo – a mobile bread oven

Sottobosco – an experiment in forest pedagogy
Former team members:
• Kim Kaborda, Erasmus+ Trainee and sociologist (2020-2021)
• Irene Bettinelli, voluntary civil servant and herb expert (2020-2021)
• Marla Nichele, voluntary civil servant and eco-social designer (2020-2021)
• Angelica Cianflone, voluntary civil servant and eco-social designer (2020-2021)
Support team at Eurac Research (2019-2021):
• Dr. Thomas Streifeneder, head of the Institute for Regional Development, Eurac Research
• Anna Silbernagl, team assistant at Eurac Research
• Stefania Lochmann, team assistant at Eurac Research
• Dr. Karina Kössler, Research & Development Office at Eurac Research
• Dr. Liise Lehtsalu, Open Access & Data Management at Eurac Research
• Martin Angler, Science Communication at Eurac Research
Visual communication:
• Nino Rizzo, graphic design
Veronica Martini, illustrations