Subject and Keywords:
In this paper, I elaborate on educational projects undertaken by ecovillages and Global Ecovillage Network in the context of both utopian and laboratorian metaphors used to describe the character and activities of ecovillage movement and the global environmental issues addressed by ecovillages in the local context. I argue that ecovillages produce a kind of local environmental knowledge which is the answer to the global environmental crisis and which they try to spread by different educational activities. I show how both the processes of production and distribution of that knowledge is guided by the utopian and laboratorian metaphors. Utopian metaphor gives the vision, mission, goal and particular, characteristic diagnosis of the global issues. Laboratorian metaphor – following the Latourian ideas of scaling – gives the tools to find the solutions to the problem diagnosed by utopian thinking. I describe education as being at the same time a laboratorian attempt to scale up the locally produced knowledge and as having utopian aspirations of universality.