In the context of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), United Nations University (UNU) initiated the creation of a network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) for Education for Sustainable Develop- ment. This paper describes the philosophy behind the activities performed by one of those RCEs, RCE Rhine-Meuse, an RCE initiative in the triangle formed by the cities of Eindhoven (the Netherlands), Cologne (Germany) and Leuven (Belgium). A small and fl exible structure was created that allows the organisation to operate at the lowest possible level of costs. Safeguards in relation to both academic quality and stakeholder participation were insti- tuted to guarantee a lasting commitment on the part of regional actors; and a strategic advisory board made up of regional stakeholders and academic professionals was formed. Some examples of RCE Rhine-Meuse projects are given.