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Essential skills development for Sustainability Activators

This is what the participants said about the new ESA Sustainability Activator and Changemakers skills development workshop



Sustainability Activators and Changemakers Skills Development Workshop

The combination of many parts of the world now feeling the effects of climate change, every day, along with the COVID pandemic which touched every area of the planet, seemed to stimulate a new vigour of ambition towards sustainability action.

Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting became mainstream almost overnight. This has guided a significant amount of investment towards green technologies development.

The UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) are now frequently cited as the aims and aspirations of companies and communities across the globe.
At COP26 in Glasgow, 2021, there was a first ever commitment by nations to phase out coal, in the shift towards a Green Economic Transition that will meet the Paris Climate Target of 1.5 degrees increased warming by 2030.

It all sounds like we are on a good path towards a sustainable planet. Right?
Unfortunately, not so.

In June this year, just 6 months since those agreements at COP26, a report by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) concludes, ‘The world is no longer making progress on the SDGs’ this means the world is falling behind the 1.5 degrees warming target.

WHY IS THIS? Firstly, most people on the planet still do not fully understand what climate change is, why it is happening and how it can be reversed.
Secondly, many people working in organisation that have the most negative, or potentially positive impact, do understand, however:

  • (A) They lack the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours to activate the ambitious aspirations for delivering the SDGs and a 1.5 degree heated planet.
  • (B) Most businesses and public sector organisations function on a model from the 1990s, with the leadership taught by 1990s MBA models. These business formats are outdated and block sustainability thinking and progress towards a Green Economy.

WE HAVE A PROBLEM that many authors and orators are highlighting. At ESA we are attempting to address this problem.

PLEASE JOIN US, 15th – 16th September at ESA Crete, to be part of refining a pilot programme for cascading ‘Sustainability Activators and Changemaker Skills Development’. Follow the link to book your place.

We must all work together to break through this increasing problem that we all face.


Health and wellbeing impact of Green Buildings

Our research on the health and wellbeing impact of Green Buildings on people (Biophilia), has been published in Springer Nature Advances in Science, Technology and Innovation (ASTI) series.

Congratulations and thanks to our co-authors in India, Lakshmikant Singh and Trupti Doshi.
You can obtain a soft copy of our research (Chapter 16) or the whole book which includes other excellent studies on Green Urbanisation via the publisher Springer.


Young Greek Greens

22 - 26 September 2021

Super to welcome the Young Greek Greens - Neoi Prasinoi to European Sustainability Academy - Crete for their 5 day, experiential learning, summer camp. Congratulations to Andreas Karadakis for his excellent event organisation. It was fantastic to hear these bright young people talking about ACTION and discussing HOW to engage people in changing their behaviours.


SummerCamp DAY 4. Learning a lot and having fun too at European Sustainability Academy - Crete.
Thank you Eleni and Eleanora from Eleonora’s taverna for the fantastic catering.
And, of course, the beautiful visit from K. Marika Bolaraki (91 years young), bringing flowers from her garden, was treasured by all of us.


4 trailers of garbage collected from the beautiful Koutalas spot Kokino Chorio, Apokoronas
WELL DONE to the participants NeoiPrasinoi SummerCamp for taking action. NOW. We need to change behaviour and STOP people from dumping in and destroying the beautiful Natural Environment of Crete. BeBraveGreenGreece.


SummerCamp Day 5. A WONDERFUL FINAL DAY: Learning about the natural environment IN the natural environment. From the morning energizer, the training sessions, to the end of programme closing party with delicious Dourakis Winery Cassiopeia Cretan Sparkling wine, AMAZING fully vegetarian dinner at To steki tou Leonida in Drapanos, and the final surprise for everyone, watching the planets in a perfectly clear night sky with our 'always fantastic' ESA_Crete resident astronomer Christos Sotiropoulos.
THANK YOU to everyone in Drapanos who helped us to create the perfect setting for Neoi Prasinoi Summer Camp 2021 and THANK YOU Andreas Karadakis for choosing European Sustainability Academy - Crete. It's been a pleasure.

Be Brave for a Greener Greece

22 - 26 September 2021

Getting ready at ESA to welcome:  YOUNG GREENS of Greece
"Be Brave for a Greener Greece" Summer Camp hosted by The Federation of Young European Greens at ESA.
A wonderful agenda for young people who want to be part of a unique international project and help build a better Europe.

Training topics include, social rights, collective decision making and green economy.
How to use online and offline tools for engaging active participation of young people in civil society.
Developing organisational and leadership skills for engaging community action.
Understanding wider issues of diversity and inclusion and the reality of feminism.


Joint Animal Welfare Society

ESA hosts Tea Party with Joint Animal Welfare Society - JAWS for PAWS.

A HUGE shout out to the Joint Animal Welfare Society - JAWS for PAWS organisers and the helpers who pulled off a FANTASTIC event at ESA. Everything was wonderful... the sandwiches, the cakes, the wine, the service, the presentation, the singing from Prue and an all round fabulous feeling of being part of humanity again! An EXCELLENT fundraising achievement of €2000 for The Souda Shelter Project and Cretan Animal Protection. Both very hardworking and deserving organisations.
THANK YOU to all of the guests who reached deep into their pockets to donate so generously.


Shinrin Yoku

Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) will be one of our new offerings at at ESACrete as an important element of Sustainability and Leadership.

Sharon Jackson has recently completed the course with a distinction.

Circle the Med - The Mediterranean Online Forum 2020

Integrating Strategies for Sustainable Development. Circle the Med Forum 13.11.2020

The new, SDG, oft spoken phrase 'leave nobody behind' is easy to say and less easy to make happen. This focusses on basic, effective communication about concepts such as circular economy in a way that makes sense to people who are expected to integrate and scale-up 'strategies' that seem 'abstract' and distant from their daily reality. This is a call for action in widescale future leadership 'competency correction' through new, rigorous vocational and apprenticeship training standards. The old-style leadership model has no agency in a 1.5 degree planet.

Sharon speaking about Integrating Strategies for Sustainable Development And Cohesion


SEC Showcase of Toolkit for Young Entrepreneurs

Saturday, 21 November 2020 11:00
Thursday, 26 November 2020 20:00

How to make young people aware of entrepreneurial opportunities.

Have you considered educating young people about entrepreneurship? To help you, we have designed a ready-to-use toolbox!

This event is a demonstration of new tools for raising awareness of young people about the potential of youth entrepreneurship. Presentation of new youth entrepreneurship awareness tools developed by a European team from the Erasmus + project (France, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland).

Here is a video of the event:

TEDx Countdown Videos - Climate Change

This online event was part of the TED Countdown global launch to share ideas and showcases solutions, technologies and actions for addressing the global climate change emergency.

Due to the current pandemic restrictions, diverse speakers gave live talks via webinar. Attendees were from diverse locations with many from island states, suffering similar climate change crisies as Crete. Discussions were built in to the agenda for knowledge sharing and collaborative networking. The event closed with a CALL TO ACTION! The content of these talks is very practical and grounded in suggestions for local action. There is no more time for abstract theories.

See The TEDx Countdown videos:



CONGRATULATIONS Lefteris Arapakis on being awarded the title 'Europe’s Young Champion of the Earth' by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The organisation he set up in his 20s Εναλεία (Enaleia)- Mediterranean Cleanup not only clears the ocean of plastic waste but also puts circular economy into action and teaches new skills for sustainable fishing practices to Greek fishermen of the past and the future.
Since its launch, Enaleia has collected more than 80 tonnes of plastic from the sea.
Lefteris is an inspirational Young Entrepreneur who is taking action to repair the environmental damage in the ocean.


Making Sense of Climate Change on Crete

Making Sense of Climate Change on Crete - Taking Action

TEDxEuropeanSustainabilityAcademy – a LIVE online event.
Saturday, 17th October, 1300 – 1730, one of 500 events in 19 countries to launch TED Countdown, to share ideas and showcase solutions, technologies and actions for addressing the global climate change emergency.
The event aim is to share the voices of the people of Crete, with knowledge and experience from other islands to create a blue- print for climate change action and engage all leading stakeholders on Crete.
Language will be Greek and English
Event hosted from the off-grid, PV powered, natural materials, biophilia designed building, European Sustainability Academy (ESA)in Drapanos, Apokoronas, Crete.

TEDxEuropeanSustainabilityAcademy - μια ζωντανή διαδικτυακή εκδήλωση.
Σάββατο, 17 Οκτωβρίου 13.00 - 17.30, μία από τις 500 εκδηλώσεις σε 19 χώρες για την έναρξη του TED Countdown, για την ανταλλαγή ιδεών και την παρουσίαση λύσεων, τεχνολογιών και δράσεων για την αντιμετώπιση του παγκόσμιου κινδύνου της κλιματικής αλλαγής.
Στόχος της εκδήλωσης είναι να μοιραστούν οι φωνές του λαού της Κρήτης, με γνώση και εμπειρία από άλλα νησιά για να δημιουργήσουν ένα αποτύπωμα για την αλλαγή του κλίματος και να προσελκύσουν όλους τους κορυφαίους ενδιαφερόμενους στην Κρήτη.
Η γλώσσα θα είναι ελληνική και αγγλική
Εκδήλωση που διοργανώθηκε από εκτός δικτύου, φωτοβολταϊκο με φυσικά υλικά, κτίριο σχεδιασμένο με βιοφιλία, Ευρωπαϊκή Ακαδημία Αειφορίας (ESA) στον Δράπανο, στον Αποκόρωνα, Κρήτης.

Schedule · Saturday, 17 October 2020





Countdown Global Launch

Watch the Countdown Global Launch, a call to action on climate change.


Host your event at ESA     

Powered only by Cretan sunshine, ESA is a beautiful building rooted in the earth amongst ancient rocks and olive trees, surrounded by nature. Its construction is a leading example of sustainability in practice. ESA is an experiential and creative place where people feel enlivened, uplifted and creative. Great living and great learning happen at ESA. A perfect setting for:

Leading sustainable enterprise

Our passion is contributing towards co-created sustainable enterprise for positive impact on communities and the natural environment on a global scale. Leadership and entrepreneur issues of adaptation, resilience, authenticity, sustainable-self, values connected sense-making and the continued emancipation of women (WISE) to take up more leadership roles in the world are at the core of the ESA sustainability experience.

Make sense of sustainability

Crete is the sustainable destination of the past and of the future.

Home of the Minoans, one of the earliest civilisations on earth, nestled between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Crete is rich with mythology, gastronomy, music, art and agriculture. You can have your own authentic experience of a sustainable lifestyle and feel first-hand the strong connection between nature and community.