Community development, Environment and sustainability

Green Summit

The Big Ideas For the Small Settlements

Creators

Who is behind this?

Aleko Karlovski

Green Association

http://www.greenassn.com

Bulgaria

Idea

Idea pitch

We support the organization of series of events, promoting living in small communities with environmental care.
Hosts of the events are local people, promoting social commitment at the local level and their unique sustainable lifestyle.
Downshifters often face lack of social life, thus our initiative with social, educational, artistic, sport, cultural and other events engaging young people to spend their time closer to nature.
http://greenassn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GS.pdf

Where will your project idea take place?

Bulgarian coutryside, mostly south western part, more than 20 initiatives spread in little villages.

What is the local challenge?

The main issue we tackle in the Bulgarian countryside is its massive depopulation in the last 30 years. Our intention with Green Summit is to support the social live of downshifters from the big urban areas and to foster that process in a sustainable and diverse way.
Hosts of our events are the local people or communities, who have the opportunity to share their lifestyle with all its benefits and misfortunes. Thus, promoting social commitment at the local level, helping to protect the environment and climate.
The main obstacle that people face, being in a small community is the lack of social life and this provokes our initiative. Green Summit is an event based platform which raise awareness of the environmental ideas of these communities and promotes their unique sustainable lifestyle.

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

As a result of the initiative, in the last year we realized 23 diverse events, 16 of which were premieres for local communities. Their official request in the public space motivates them to be even more decisive in their actions and increased their ambitions for realization on local soil. The feeling that they are part of something big, which provokes interest in the activities they implement and builds a network of like-minded people throughout Bulgaria and Europe is a major incentive for them to continue to develop in small settlements. The help and interest of the volunteers recognized the work of these young people and encouraged them to move forward, despite the social and domestic difficulties they face.

Who are you doing it for?

The initiative is implemented in over 20 small settlements and its partners were the local communities. We are targeting relatively young people who have downshifted from the big cities to the small towns and villages in the countryside. They hosted the events and had the opportunity to share their lifestyle and all its advantages and disadvantages with the volunteers and guests of the events. They are all young people who stimulate social engagement at the local level, help protect the environment and the climate, and are entrepreneurs in difficult social conditions, demonstrating that everything is possible with strong motivation.

How do you plan to get there?

We would rely on our experience from the previous years which initial steps is contacting the hosts and confirming their availability and recruiting volunteers through different social media groups, platforms and mostly our partner network throughout Europe. Once the schedule made by us is approved by the hosts, we list it to the participants and ask for their preferences wherever it is possible. In the very beginning of the activities on spot we would organise an introduction networking event where all hosts and volunteers meet and go through formal and non-formal bonding. By the end of the season we organise another event more focused on sharing the campaign results. There would be a media team working for the full coverage of the activities in order to present it to broader audience.

What are the expected results?

Conducting Green Summit in the last three years we witness major growth every year from 10 initiatives in one month to 16 and 23 the last year spread in 4 months. The feedback of hosts and volunteers have been always highly positive with a demand for more. Our team consists mostly of people volunteering as coordinators, drivers and chefs. We found it extremely difficult to make them fully dedicated for the entire period, having only the reward of being part of something that special and important for us. After 3 years of constant volunteering, developing a project from a scratch to a regular seasonal event we would consider a success being able to reimburse the food and travel expenses of all the parties, but most of all the time and effort of our team.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Working on the topic of community building has always been among the main initiatives of Green Association. Principles of direct democracy and self-governance are essential for any small community and we implement them in our work as well. Democracy principles ensure equality and are our basic tool for the realization of volunteer ideas. We often make simulations of different democracy tools for taking decisions and in this way we believe people are inspired to be more involved in their communities and society in general. The main goal of our organization is to give a chance to the valuable ideas of young people and their implementation is our project priority.

What is your story?

What motivates us to bring this project to reality is the necessity to unify and develop the weakest and small communities around Bulgaria in order to create a strong network in which we can support one another and grow in a sustainable way.
Our mission behind the idea is to help creating this network between people who have similar motivation for degrowth, doing it in a beneficial way for society, taking active role in their communities, trying to reach a level of being partially or fully self-sufficient.

Here is an impression of our motivation in motion https://vimeo.com/412706112!

€ 32000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 32000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel costs - 7000
Public relations - 3000
Office expenses - 500
Accommodation - 2620
Travel - 7360
Equipment (sleeping bags, tents, mats, tarps) - 3200
Food - 8320

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to implement our idea on European level and any partner reference would be more than welcome. We are also trying to optimize CO2 emissions of our long distance travels, so any input in that field would be great. Thank you!

Team

Green

Elena Abril

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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