Mutual aid circles

Following a survey of operational staff in the territories involved in ecological transition(*), we devised a new kind of network, focusing on mutual aid and sharing, to help them advance with their sustainable city projects: methodological and organisational aspects, tools (legal, funding, etc.), intangible aspects (trust, cooperation, etc.).

What is a mutual aid circle?

It consists of a group of around eight people whose members meet for two hours once a month to help each member in turn with an issue they need to talk over with their peers in order to progress, using collective intelligence techniques such as co-development. Efficacity moderates the work of the circle.

What topics are addressed?

Potentially, any topic brought up by any of the circle’s members. Here are just a few examples:

  • How to bring on board actors in ecological transition projects?
  • How to introduce innovations into my structure?
  • How to work transversally with other departments?
  • How to drive and sustain collaborative dynamics?
  • How to mobilize colleagues with no line management link?
  • How to give meaning to our projects and not be confined solely to the technical aspects?
  • How to cooperate with other public actors with different prerogatives (

Who can join?

Anyone from a territorial authority or public development agency (EPA) involved in ecological transition.

Circle members include, for example:

  • an EPA urban services manager
  • a regional “Territorial Experimentation Programme” project manager
  • a Deputy CEO of a conurbation
  • a climate/air/energy officer of an urban community
  • a territorial innovation manager of a conurbation
  • a member of the roads, planting and cleansing division of a metropolitan authority
  • a head of an energy renovation funding programme at a local energy agency
  • a business and construction and digital sectors officer of a conurbation

Contact us

Nicolas Damesin

Chef de projet Cercles d’entraide

Tél. : +33 (0)6 80 58 59 58

Email :

1At the end of 2020, we carried out a survey of local and regional operators* working on innovation and experimentation projects. We obtained 2 main results:

1) Most of the professionals interviewed are looking for concrete and open exchanges with professionals from other territories in order to share their difficulties, to make others benefit from their experiences, to exchange solutions, to feel supported and to support others.

2) Traditional networks do not allow for in-depth and transparent exchange and concrete mutual support.

* Local authorities, public development institutions.