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Democracy in a regenerating human ecosystem | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability, Community development

Democracy in a regenerating human ecosystem

In a cultural desert, we co-create a natural space of biodiversity & cultural abundance, to restore & protect our human & natural ecosystem to inspire citizens to learn & act collectively


Who is behind this?

Kalli Chandrinou

Dharma Sporoi Regenerating Hub


Who is joining forces?

The Southern Lights



Idea pitch

In a cultural desert, we create a natural hub, together, to share stories, knowledge, art and practices, to tear down walls between people and co-create a place of thriving abundance for the youngest and the oldest, for the families and the lonely ones, a place that calls you to take part, to make art, to take back your life and your community, to make conscious choices, to connect your actions to their impact and you to your community.

Where will your project idea take place?

100 metres away from Skala (Peloponnese, Greece) (6.000 inhabitants) and 200 km away from Athens

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Skala is a rural area with various challenges. Environmentally,due to intensive agriculture & chemical use there is unhealthy environment causing diseases for humans & severe environmental destruction (loss of biodiversity). By cooperating to protect environment, local tradition & culture, we hope to face some of the societal challenges:
rural depopulation
higher racism due to many seasonal labour immigrants
ageing population
low birth rate
poor access to public services, transport, educational & work opportunities
low entrepreneurship, skilled & educated people leave
farmers, unemployed and young people keener in supporting anti-democratic movements
cultural desert (no collective, democratic, eco-friendly, cultural initiatives) making the area being unattractive for young people

Who are you doing it for?

We mainly target young locals seeking for alternatives to the prevailing environmental practices. With workshops, open days, screenings & discussions, we aim to sensibilize the locals for the environmental impact of the modern farming & building practices, while offering support, guidance & an alive example of alternatives. To include professionals unfamiliar with ecological practices, we will involve them in our ongoing projects (e.g. local architects in the design of the project’s buildings or agricultural engineers in the set up of the plantations) to influence slowly but profoundly their working toolbox. We also intend to work closely with the municipality to influence policymaking, for example through setting up a biodiverse garden with edible plants & trees in a municipal open space

How do you plan to get there?

Spatial planning for Permaculture,Food Forest,Forest Gardening & plantation
Waterworks application
Buying of tools (wood chipper,essential oil distiller etc) & natural materials to design/create spaces & portable storage systems
natural storage installation
design compost areas
design & creation of outdoor spaces (composting toilet & showers,resting & camping area)
installation of Energy autonomy system
buying of Yurt, hosting equipment & kitchenware
design & installation of common facilities: kitchen, volunteer hosting area, indoor toilet

Alongside we will work on:
events (discussions, screenings, experiential courses on planting, building etc)
involving visitors in local activities, connect them with farmers
networking with local authorities, organisations & enterprises

What are the expected results?

Skala will no longer be a cultural desert. It will host foreigners who join our events. Locals will be proud & happy to live here & recognize their cultural heritage. Young people will find trust in sustainable, traditional farming & building practices & will know how to follow this professional path to earn their livelihood here instead of leaving for the city. More projects will be created in the area & other local initiatives will emerge. Our area will be a place where people agree, talk with each other & find a consensus through discourse & mutual compassion. The environmental destruction will decrease, a big percentage of farmed food will be chemical-free, sustainable tourism will flourish & unite foreigners with locals, enhancing the European cohesion

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

By bringing people together, that don´t always agree, promoting respectful discourse, making them listen to each others´ challenges, struggles & choices will help build trust amongst them. By co-creating the Dharma space & involving all sides (i.e. organic farmers & conventional ones, local families & families from the city) we want to break the wall between them. Co-creation of beautiful experiences is a strong tool for uniting people & raising compassion & authentic relations. This strengthens democracy because we learn to listen to each other & find solutions fair for everyone & that we have to work on it together to make it happen. Also by involving the municipality & other public bodies in our actions, we show in practice that democracy works, but we all have to work on it.

Why is this idea important to you?

We feel we can create a healthy hub for ourselves & for the locals. The true meaning & connection is what people need nowadays. We see all our problems arising from a disconnection between elements of the human & natural ecosystems & from a disconnection of practices & their impact/outcome. We feel the urge to act & we know we are capable of making a change & providing the space for this kind of actions. For a sustainable future, we need to promote democratic & collective practices that connect people through action. Based on our background, profession & network we feel the calling to bring this project to life. Since we envisioned this idea a few years ago, we started the path towards it & the resonance from our surrounding is supporting

€ 90541,-

Total budget

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

in €
Farming/plantation 25.550:earthworks,irrigation,plants,tools
Energy autonomy system 26.576
Outdoor structures with natural materials 16.800:sanitation & yurt
Indoor structures with natural materials 19.275:kitchen equipment,hosting area,volunteer hosting rooms
Communication & Promotion 800/month:events,full-time media assistant,materials
Consultancy 1.500:planting/earthworks design,follow-up
Budget is covered by personal contribution,memberships,grants,event earnings, produce sales

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive constructive feedback, new ideas for action, suggestions for cooperations with organisations working on regeneration projects, sustainable farming & building or democratic decision making with models like Sociocracy and, of course, questions about unclear points in our idea!


Dharma Sporoi Regenerating Hub

Idea created on May 25, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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