All Posts By

Nikos Chrysogelos

Important for our WELCOMMON HOSTEL and sustainable tourism: Single-use plastic free tourism

By | Actions, News | No Comments

Single-use plastic free tourism: This is important for our #WELCOMMONHostel

We are glad to inform you that our innovative hostel is participating and hosting activities and events focusing on sinle-use plastic free tourism.

Indeed, in our WELCOMMON Hostel, we are devoted to combine sustainable tourism, green & environmental activities, social integration of refugees, social and green innovation, intercultural coexistence, non-formal education and intercultural courses for all (locals, travelers /tourists, volunteers, refugees, migrants) as well as climate protection activities.

Being tourism one of the largest industries in the world could come with responsibility and the potential to make a real difference if we work together on common goals. We agree that sustainable tourism positively contributes to economic development worldwide, to respect and intercultural understanding. Travelling can be a great learning experience for those involved and has stimulated protection, conservation and pride of natural and cultural heritage. However, like other sectors, the tourism sector can also have a negative impact on communities and the environment like carbon emissions, human exploitation, overcrowding and creation of waste and pollution. This pledge concerns the latter:


Plastic waste and tourism

The world is producing more than 300 million tons of plastic. Each year around 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea.As a tourism industry, we suffer from the consequences of plastic pollution. Holidaymakers are looking for pristine beaches, unpolluted nature and cultural sights. Plastic pollution negatively affects visual attractiveness of destinations, contributes to pollution of soil and water, affects animal, plant and human health, and leads to biodiversity loss.


Unfortunately, our sector and holiday makers also contribute to the problem. For example, in the Mediterranean plastic represents 95% of the waste floating in the sea and lying on its beaches. With tourists visiting the region, marine litter increases by 40% each summer. Other research shows that waste generated per hotel room can be twice as large as an average household in the same region.  We acknowledge this contribution and recognise that international effort is needed in the entire tourism sector and supply chain to support the transition to a circular economy for plastics. The sector can contribute to reach this goal involving holidaymakers, local communities and destinations. As many destinations are economically dependent on the tourism industry, plastic pollution threatens their future income.

We applaud initiatives like the ‘New Plastics Economy Global Commitment’ led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UNEP, other initiatives of plastic producers, users and recyclers, and increased legislation to reduce single-use plastics and plastic pollution. With this International Tourism Plastic Pledge we want to scale-up efforts and join forces internationally to increase our contribution to a circular economy for plastics to reduce plastic pollution.


We feel the urgency for the sector to take action. There is momentum to join forces to create more impact. The pledge serves three goals:
1. Create more 
awareness on this issue in the tourism sector and destinations and showcase that the sector can contribute to solutions;
2. Create more 
impact by stimulating the implementation of actions in the tourism sector to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics in the international tourism industry;
Exchange of knowledge to raise awareness and accelerate positive impact.

With this pledge we want to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals as set by the UN. In particular the following four: 8 Decent work & Economic growth; 12 Sustainable consumption and production patterns; 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources; and 17 Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

You can sleep peacefully knowing that your stay in our WELCOMMON Hostel will help sustainability, climate, local neighborhood, vulnerable communities, people all over the world

#climateaction #climateprotection #climateemergency #energytransition #energyefficiency #GoGreen #social #impact #innovation #socialinclusion #socEnt #hostel #sustainabletourism #socialcooperative #GoGreen #athens #volunteers Days of Welcommon

Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2019

By | Actions | No Comments

Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2019

Discussing the present and future of Social Solidarity Economy in Greece

Athens, 29-30 November 2019, Impact Hub Athens (28 Karaiskaki st., Athens)

The Social Entrepreneurship Forum organizes for the sixth year in the row the annual open meeting of actors and enterprises active in the field of Social (and) Solidarity Economy. Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2019 includes the following events:

Friday 29/11, 10:00-13:00          

Workshop: ” Greek Cooperative Legislation: from fragmentation to unification

Friday 29/11, 18:00-21:00          

Central panel: “The future of public policies for Social Solidarity Economy in Greece

Saturday 30/11, 10:00-13:00              

Workshop: “Social Solidarity Economy and gender

Saturday 30/11, 10:00 -13:00             

Workshop: “Social Solidarity Economy and environmental sustainability

Saturday 30/11, 14:00-17:00              

Workshop: “Tools for the development of sustainable energy communities

In the framework of Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2019, a closed meeting will be held titled “Support centers for SSE: tools, practices and prospects”, Friday 29/11 (14:00 – 17:00) which is addressed to members of SSE support centers in Greece.

In order to express interest for participation, you must complete the relevant form.

Co-organised with Coordination of SSE Actors of Athens

In cooperation with Heinrich Boell Foundation Thessaloniki Office

About Social Entrepreneurship Forum

The Social Entrepreneurship Forum is an open platform for the promotion of social entrepreneurship based on shared values, principles and goals. The main purpose of the SEF is to stimulate the dialogue among social economy enterprises, stakeholders and support organizations, to boost efficient networking and cooperation, to develop appropriate dedicated financial-economic tools, as well as to contribute in the self-organisation of the community. The Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2015 reached a Code of Conduct for Social Enterprises.

The social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal is a founding and active member of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum

Are you interesting in volunteering in Athens for Green and Social Innovation?

By | Actions | No Comments

The social enterprise Wind of Renewal (Anemos Ananeosis in Greek) is looking for European Solidarity Corps’ participants from Germany, Sweden and Spain interesting in volunteering in Athens for Green and Social Innovation. Please, if you are interesting in participate, send an email and a letter of interest, plus your cv to

Wind of Renewal (Anemos Ananeosis in Greek) aims at promoting, innovating, and defining new forms of social and green practices adopting a sustainable approach (see our web site:

Welcommon Hostel represents our main project, through which we want to combine the social inclusion and job integration of refugees and young people in Athens, considering and raising awareness about energy and green transition (see our website: ). Our project was born as a way of facing the crises that have struck our country such as: rising unemployability, energy poverty, isolation of marginalized groups and criminality in Athens.

On the one side, the main goal of the project is to provide different activities to children in school age, teens, and adult refugees/migrants by adopting a non-formal education approach. We want to improve their soft and hard skills so that they can also contribute to their host communities. On the other side, we want to raise awareness about green economy and related innovative practices, since the lack of knowledge about these issues is connected to social problems like the social exclusion of marginalized groups.

These results can be achieved by creating a strong multicultural network to exchange best practices and by sharing experiences for sustainable solutions. In particular, the volunteers who will join the project will be the main protagonists of its success, and this experience can represent for them an opportunity to work in a multicultural environment with multifaceted needs, increasing their motivation for future engagement in solidarity activities.

What are the project’s long and short-term aims and how do they link to the objectives of the European Solidarity Corps?

Our first short-term aim is to promote social inclusion through non-formal educational activities covering a wide range of topics: environmental education, language lessons (mainly English, German, and Greek), painting, music lessons, theatre, dancing, handcraft by using recycling materials, and cooking lessons. As well, we would like to realize workshops on art therapy, gender issues, energy transition, reuse, recycling, fire prevention, and work on vocational training.Moreover,outdoor activities (e.g. visits to museums or to cultural centres) are strongly encouraged.Our non-formal approach is based on the knowledge that most of the participants are children who live in Camps in Athens and do not attend the formal school system, so this program is the only educational framework they would get.

Our second short-term aim is to provide a deep knowledge about green energy tools and push for their application through an exchange of experiences and good practices from experts, volunteers and refugees. In particular, we want to underline how all the participants in our project, refugees but also volunteers themselves, can exploit this knowledge in a job market that ismore and more oriented towards these topics, raising their employability and increasing their skills and competences for personal, civic and professional development.

Finally, in the long term, we want to gain and share experience and implement practices for societal change and support them through the creation of a strong European multicultural network. This network will create common future goalsin fighting unemployment and poverty. As well, given that the volunteers will work with vulnerable people in a multinational group, this will create empathy and solidarity, raise participants awareness and understanding of other cultures and countries while simultaneously supporting their own professional development.

The context of the volunteering activities we are planning and how these will deliver our identified results and impacts.

There is a range of activities that are already taken place at our Project. In particular, we focus on two main branches as described below:

A1: Non-Formal Education:

Language lessons, including English, German, Greek, but also other psycho-social activities for vulnerable groups will be based on the support given by supportive offices andsocial workers’ network we are in contact with. Besides, volunteers with experience in the educational/pedagogical field are always welcomed to share new methods and ideas in the following working field: mentoring, evaluation, job integration, consultation ofparticipants and volunteers, communication with children’s parents, creation and development of new projects on female empowerment or vocational training.

The aim of this activity is the empowering and the capacity-building of the participants. In order for this to happen, opportunities such as language lessons, upgrading and practicing existing or new skills in upcycling or crafts, are used as a motivation for children to prepare them to attend the national formal educational system or to help the children that already attend it. As well, we want to create the ground for adults’ access to the labour market.

A2: Environmental education and Energy transition:

We want to focus on environmental education and energy transition by combining the work of professionals on green and social innovation (we are currently working on two projects related to this, YESClima and Climate Schools Be.At, both financed by the EU Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Environment) with the enthusiasm, experience and fresh ideas of refugees and volunteers.

The latter, indeed, can share good examples and ideas related to energy saving and social innovative methods, practices for empowerment of refugees and social inclusion in our hosting societies. The final aim is to reduce economic/social disparities caused by unemployment and energy poverty through the empowerment of marginalized citizens by raising awareness about the potential of this field and the related green job opportunities.

Topics addressed by our project

  • Empowerment and social inclusion
  • Non-formal education and training
  • Climate action, environment and nature protection
  • Green transition, energy efficiency, green innovation
  • Co-existence, respect, collaboration
  • Inclusion

The volunteers will organise seminars, workshops and activities on social and green ivvovation topics, open to all: locals, volunteers, migrants, refugees, tourists, students.

The profile, background and needs of the volunteers involved and how they havebeen or will be selected

Participants to the project will be young people aged from 18 to 30 years old willing to express their personal commitment through voluntary service in another country within European Union.

Based on the planned activities, a volunteer will be allocated in particular activity based on the age, the experience and the interest he/she has for each one of the activities. The final selection will be in cooperation with the sending organisation and the volunteer. Furthermore, due to the multicultural and multilingual background we seek to admit applicants from both genders for every needed activity. We want all the participants to have equal rights, regardless of gender or cultural background and we will ensure equal chances to each participant. Factors like, experience, academic background and motivation will be taken into consideration for the choice of the participants.

For all participants we will ensure equal selection, confidentiality and no discrimination. The participants will be selected by reviewing the applications for the position and the cover letter from the volunteers who are interested in to participating. For volunteers with fewer opportunities or knowledge of the concept of the selected activity, relative training will be provided them before the beginning of the activity from the support of other participants and the staff of Wind of Renewal/AnemosAnameosis.

Α1 Non formal Education:

With regards to activity A1, participants should have experience in the field of education and teaching. It is very crucial for the volunteers to consider the needs and difficulties but also the challenges that will might face when teaching people from other countries. Furthermore, it is worth to be mentioned, that it is important to have people with different cultural background so that the teaching experience becomes more multicultural. Similar to teaching experience, for the implementation of the psychosocial activities, the participants need to be trained and conscious

about social issues, and to use methodologies that will empower and contribute to the social inclusion of traumatised and vulnerable groups. We would prefer volunteers that have relevant studies in fields such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychologists, pedagogues, social workers but also people that have worked in similar institutions and have experience in working with children and/or multicultural groups.

A2 Environmental education and Energy Transition:

The purpose of this activity is for specialized volunteers in environmental studies, to make the participants of Welcommon and local community aware of the importance of the environment protection as the concept and the relevance of recycling. Moreover, to inform them about green energy or possible ideas of job integration in the green jobssector. Electric engineers, chemical engineers, and researchers on the field of energy transition, renewable energy resources, energy poverty and recycling are areas of action and education that the participants for this activity should have in order to be able to have the desirable outcomes.

Measures put in place to embed a quality learning process from the start of the project and support the volunteers in defining and meeting their learning objectives, organising their reflection, identification and documentation of the non-formal and informal learning outcomes acquired.Please remember to include the methods that support reflection and documentation of the learning outcomes in the daily timetable of each activity.

We will encourage our volunteers to send us their Europass Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Language Passport. In case they do not have it, we are willing to support them with the advice and systematically support of the volunteers coordinator and mentor.

All participants of the project approved within these frameworks are entitled to receive a Youthpass certificate, and thus recognition for their non-formal learning outcomes. It is important to participants’ employability, but also to our evaluation and for documenting and recognising learning outcomes of our European Solidarity Corps Program. The responsibility to issue the Youthpass certificates to the participants/volunteers, in case they wish to receive them, is on our organisation. Besides, a system for sharing tasks and responsibilities it has already been developed and it is described in the Regulation of Volunteers, that must be signed both by the representatives of Wind of Renewal and by the volunteers.

All the participants are provided with initial training and introduction from our volunteer coordinator. Together, they will organise their personal timetable and do any necessary adjustments. There will be continuous feedback and communication as described below and a final evaluation. On a weekly basis, meetings will be held to reflect on each activity’s group member. In addition, in the daily timetable of each activity that will be uploaded (google docs), there will be a folder for documenting the learning outcomes for the better coordination and follow-up of the teachers/ volunteers. Volunteers will have the possibility of sharing their everyday experience through a FB page created by and for them. Furthermore, there will be a special space on our website, only for European Solidarity Corps Volunteers that we will promote the actions of the Project.

We encourage the volunteers to carry out the online language course and assessments provided by the Commission but also to participate in tutoring and language lessons offered in Wind of Renewal/Anemos Anameosis. We also suggest them to carry out a self-reflection on the learning outcomes of the EVS activity (through the use of Youthpass).

The general manager and the volunteer coordinator are in charge of all the issues regarding the internal administration of Wind of Renewal/Anemos Anameosis, sharing of responsibilities and tasks between the personnel, the volunteers, the refugees, the locals and the guests/travelers hosted by Wind of Renewal/AnemosAnameosis as well as the communication with external stakeholders and partners.

Learning outcomes (i.e. knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviours) to be acquired/improved by participants in each project activity

Each planned activity of the project will focus on different skills and attitudes of the volunteers. Apart from the practical outcomes, the aim is to establish a community building using social and green innovation. Locals, Refugees, Immigrants, Volunteers from Europe will work together combining their knowledge and various experiences.  Eventually, the learning outcomes will be different according to the activity in which the participants will be involved in.

A1 Non-formal Education: Non-formal education consists one of the basic group activities that Wind of Renewal/Anemos Anameosis offers.

  • As a learning outcome of language classes, participants will gain experience in teaching to multilingual/multicultural groups and also, they will develop the ability to find alternative ways of communication given the possible difficulties that might be raised.
  • With regards to psycho-social activities, participants will gain the experience of 1-1 mentorship and will have the opportunity to create closer relationship with refugee children and adults.
  • Amongst the competences they will develop there is the participants’ capacity to use creative and innovative ideas and methods to a demanding and complex environment. Participants will gain substantial knowledge through this experience.
  • While the target group for this activity is multicultural and multinational, participants need to act differently referring not only to the psychological and social issues but also according to people’s different backgrounds.
  • Responsibility will be strongly acquired as long as good sense of teamwork.
  • During each activity participants will have the opportunity to improve their knowledge through practice, always in respect of human rights.
  • Volunteers will need to be organised, structured and self-sufficient in order to follow the institution’s daily activities.

 A2 Environmental education and Energy Transition: Participants of that activity will pass their knowledge on environmental topics, such as energy poverty and energy transition to a group of young people and refugees so for them to experience, understand and also exchange knowledge about environmental policies in other European countries.

  • Adaptability and creativity are needed.
  • The role of the volunteer will be to conduct research, collect and analyse data as well as to draft reports.
  • The participants in this activity will have the opportunity to get and exchange experience on topics such as energy transition and energy poverty by providing case studies from their countries of origin or other examples.
  • At the same time will be responsible to get further understanding about this topic and how is being implemented in Greece.
  • During each activity participants will have the opportunity to gain experience by working in a multicultural environment as well as to improve their knowledge through practice always in respect of human rights.
  • Volunteers need to be organised, structured and self-sufficient in order to follow the organisations’ daily activities.
  • Competences such as organizability, flexibility, creativity, determination, stability, respect for human rights, sense of giving, interest in refugee’s issues, love for children, dynamism are basic principles for the implementation of every activity.

Our project will make use of  

  • Youthpass Certificate
  • Europass Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Europass Language Passport

Number of volunteers

A1 Non-formal Education Individual Volunteering  21

A2 Environmental Education and Energy Transition 9

Activity Description – A detailed description of the activity

Non-Formal Education Program at Welcommon:

From Monday to Friday afternoon (from 14 until 18 o’clock), there is a kids-program for non-formal education at Welcommon where refugee/migrant children in school age (6 – 15 years) are able to do not only their homework but also different creative activities (max 10-15 children). The Volunteers will be providing an intercultural program covering, for example, painting, music, theatre, dancing, gardening, and handcrafts by using recycling materials.

The program must also includes Maths /Greek/ English lessons to prepare the children for the school.

These activities take place on the first and second floor of the facility. As well, we will organize regularly outdoor activities around the neighbourhood but also educational day trips (like museum, cultural centres, etc.). We are planning to find again a framework for the kids to be allowed to play in the afternoons at the schoolyard of the primary school close to the Hostel, so they can have a contact with the school environment.

For most of the participating children, our program is the only educational framework they get, so the aim is to give to the kids a stable setting and empower the kids through educational games. The volunteer will be first accompanying the activities so as to get to know the program, the participating children and the way of working. Later, they will be able to take over own activities and or create own projects.

Through network with the parents and other adult refugees of the community there is space for additional activities like sewing / upcycling clothes and other educational, creative or gender-based offers for different target groups and aims (for example women empowerment).

The volunteer will also have a interaction/network with local schools and other organisations or projects, will be able to share new methods and ideas and to create new concepts in the following working fields: mentoring, evaluation, job integration, consultation of participants and volunteers, communication with parents of participating children, creation and development of new projects towards female empowerment, vocational training, networking and building cooperation with other organisations (like Melissa, Heal into action, Caritas, …).

Language is the key to integration! We provide language lessons for teens, women and adult refugees and migrants, which want to learn a new language or to improve their language skills, to enhance their community competences and thereby increase their opportunities on the labour market, break isolation, empower themselves and promote their integration in society.

The lessons take place at Welcommon from Monday to Friday in the framework of our non-formal education activities. The main focus at the moment is on English and German lessons (opportunity/capacity for more languages). The lessons are divided into different levels to ensure similar language skills in each class and to achieve better results. The mainly focus of the lessons are on practical issues, learning useful vocabulary for their interactions and communication in daily life. We focus on one subject during each class with specific thematic e.g. ”meet and greet”, supermarket, school” etc. Learning useful vocabulary for their interactions in the country they are going. The material we use are from professional organizations, to ensure the teaching material is up to date. German classes are separated into a beginner and an advanced course.

The English class is separated into beginner or advanced and also in adults or teens, so we can provide a teaching method that is appropriate to their different needs. Also, we have a English class only for women. For new students we will also provide a literacy course twice a week if it is needed.

In Welcommon Hostel, there are specially designed teaching rooms with the capacity up to 25 students at the same time. The lessons are 1,5 hour each and every course has 2 or 3 times a week classis.

The courses are not certificated and are based on voluntariness, nevertheless we want our students and teacher to show continuity and stability to ensure a sustainable teaching for the community. We want to welcome everybody in the intercultural courses, they are open to all: volunteers, locals, refugees, migrants, guests/travels. Each person can be at the same time “student” and “teacher”.

The volunteer will participate in our weekly meeting and the weekly reflection/evaluation session. Also, all the volunteers are in daily interaction in person and through a group on social media.

The volunteers write reports about the progresses and used materials, methodologies, visited workshops.

Some of our participants also attend together in extra happenings of our Project like Football, cooking (international evenings), music events, language exchange evenings, board games events, to promote integration.

How many people can we host in our project

A1: Activity: Non-Formal Education

  • 2 Germans  X 60 days
  • 2 Spanish  X 60 days
  • 1 Swedish X 60 days
  • 2 Germans X 90 days
  • 2 Spanish  X 90 days
  • 1 German X 120 days
  • 1 Spanish X 120 days
  • 1 Swedish  X120 days

A2. Activity: Environmental education and energy transition

  • 2 Germans  X 60 days
  • 2 Spanish  X 60 days
  • 1 Swedish X 60 days
  • 1 German X 90 days
  • 1 Spanish  X 90 days
  • 1 Swedish  X120 days
  • 1 Spanish  X 120 days
  • 1 German  X120 days

Young people from Greece and Spain visit Berlin to be trained in natural cooling and heating

By | Actions | No Comments

4 young people from Greece and 4 young people from Spain visit Berlin for 15 days to study good examples of energy saving in buildings and to be trained in natural cooling and heating techniques as well as applying renewable energy in buildings

The visit to Berlin took place in the framework of the program “YESClima: Youth work for the climate protection and energy saving”, 17/08/2019 to 31/08/2019 with the aim of educating the young people from Greece and Spain on energy and saving issues. The Greek team started the “energy” trip to Berlin where it had the ability to attend at seminars in combination with visits and return back to Athens with full of knowledge for the next months in order to be able to work for climate protection as well as for energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings. 


About the project YESClima

The objective of our project YESClima is to train young energy experts to carry out energy audits in primary schools, providing advice to the municipalities involved in the project. With their practice and additional training, our goal is to increase their chances of working.

Project Partners:
University of Cádiz
/ Universidad de Cádiz (UCA) (leader), Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal, Energía y Sostenibilidad Provincia de Cádiz – Energy Agency of Cadiz (APEC), Fundación Medio Ambiente, Sekretariat für Zukunftsstudien Berlin an der Freien Universität Berlin – Secretariat for future studies Berlin at the Free University Berlin (SFZ).

The project has the following goals:

1. to improve the indoor climate and thermal comfort for teachers and pupils.

2. to provide energy savings in the heating and cooling of buildings, and thus also economic savings for the local authorities that manage the schools, thereby reducing CO2 emissions from the schools.

3. to increase awareness among the communities involved, especially in the schools themselves, of the urgent need to save energy and to generate it in a more environmentally friendly way.

4. to step up efforts to train unemployed young people and provide secure jobs working on the transformation towards a climate-friendly energy system.They will be trained in comprehensive energy audits, including economic aspects and, in particular, how to design, size and evaluate passive conditioning techniques in schools.

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.


2d study visit to Berlin

The Greek team started the “energy” trip to Berlin where it had the ability to attend at seminars in combination with visits and return back to Athens with full of knowledge for the next months. 

At the first day, took place a meeting with Mr. Hartwig Berger who presented to the team the climate crisis of today and that it is urgent to act now for climate protection. They talked about the global warming and the global temperature that is rising. At 2 degrees Celsius it will be inevitable to affect climate crisis. After that, they spoke about the “energy communities” and their role in our societies, as an example schools could produce more energy than they need so they could be the energy producers of a whole neighborhood.

  • The first visit consisted of a talk about natural techniques of cooling at the building of the Institute of Physics in Berlin/Adlershof. The growing issue of draught as forests are getting dryer as well as lakes and rivers are losing their water amounts was pointed out. The existence of low quality water was also pinpointed. The team was informed about the fact that 80% of precipitation is converted to evaporation. One important point was that almost all rain comes from the small water cycle. Specifically, at the Institute of Physics it was mentioned that 5cm water is needed at the roof top bottom. Each building is surrounded by 947 plants useful both for cooling and shading. Another way of building cooling systems mentioned was evaporative rainwater-based exhaust air cooling. It was suggested also to reuse all types of water, such as rainwater and greywater. But attention should be put on legionella in these types of water and probably use of UV radiation to avoid possible infections.


  •  Visit at a nursery in renovation which will be cooled without any emission by combining natural techniques of ventilation with intelligent shading. There was a glass roof, while also 14 ventilators were used for air exchange.

  • Visit at Peetzig village, 2 hours outside Berlin. There was a house where some operations were taking place for insulation of the outside of the building with natural materials such as straw and loam. Help was offered to them to build the insulation system. Afterwards, there was a visit to the farm of the property where there were some ecological practices such as composting, use of the outside toilet without using water but straw etc.

  • Visit to the nonprofit organization Ufa Fabrik, which is a multifaceted area offering infrastructure for many activities, like hostel, restaurants, cafes and bakeries. The most important is that there is a place with many eco-friendly functions. Specifically, it uses photovoltaics to save energy in combination with green roofs for the natural cooling of buildings. In addition, it collects the rainwater for minor uses, such as flash toilet.

  • Visit at the Parliament of Berlin where a lecture was held by Stefan Taschner, a member of the Green Party, on the policies pursued to save energy and especially on the management of electricity and the strategies for phase out of lignite by 2020, carbon by 2030 and zero emmissions of CO2 by 2050.


  • A visit to the building of the german newspaper TAZ. It’s a good example of how to heat and cool a new building only using the energy produced from the inside. Specifically, it has an adiabatic cooling system, an energy recovery system for heating and a green roof. Meanwhile, the offices have sound insulation and also there is control of the quality of air. It’s worthwhile to note that there is only use of tap water and not rainwater because of the bacteria Legionella.


  • The MärkischeScholle is a cooperative apartment association where tenants have shares of the association as long as they rent apartments. There is a heating system for every 4 buildings, heating is stored under 3 layers and there is insulation on tops and laterals of the buildings. Solar panels are used for heating water and storaging the heat. Adiabatic heating is used. The apartments have simple independent built-in air regulation system. Energy is used from both solar panels and Berlin grid. 80% of the energy for heating is provided by solar and geothermal systems.


  • At the Free University of Berlin, since 2002 exists a “Unit for Sustainability and Energy Management” and the goal for the university is to become climate neutral by 2025. Furthermore, energy management will be maintained by permanent staff and volunteer users. A non-destructive intrusion to the current energy provision system is decided. A ‘green’ IT program for the monitoring of the energy consumption is also introduced at FU as well as a “bonus system” for the departments. Specifically, the data from the university show:

         a) 26% energy consumption decrease within the decade 2001-2011,

        b) 99% reduction in heating oil usage (affecting total heat consumption),

      c) 81% reduction of CO2 emissions in electricity (due to ‘inhouse’ energy production due to photovoltaics; which affects the total CO2 emissions).

  • Visit at Low energy primary schoolHohenneudorfNiederheide. It is a green school, with smart shade and ventilation systems, green facades and solar panels at the roof. Every classroom had its own room for wardrobe and bathroom where the ventilation was taking place through air pipes from the classrooms.

  • The last 3 days of the program included a workshop by FIAP e.V. Introduction to the design and management of educational and professional biographies. Interviews between the Greek and Spanish teams also took place. Creating responsible ‘green’ entrepreneurship has been proposed and developed. On the last day, mixed Greek-Spanish teams presented 2 business proposals using the business model ‘canvas’ to compost restaurants’ waste and to exploit rainwater to generate electricity.


About the team

The second greek team of 4 young people who are being trained in energy saving issues, being Iro Maria Antoniou (Physicist and MSc Microelectronic Engineer), Marianna Basoulou (Graduated from the department of Forestry and Management of Environment and Natural Recourses DUTH (Integrated Master)), Antonios Papadopoulos (Mechanical Engineer & MSc Environmentalist), Zacharoula Piralisvili (Philosophy and Social Studies, M.A. International and European Studies). 

During the implementation of the project energy audits will be carried out in schools – that have been selected – jointly with students and teachers on the basis of a participatory methodology developed under the EUKI “Climate Schools Be.Ath project, in which Wind of Renewal is a partner. The energy audits will be carried out by the four trainees in collaboration with the educational communities of the schools. Following the audits, low, medium and high cost proposals for the energy upgrade of schools, will be drafted.

Wind of Renewal cooperates with the MUnicipalities of Agios Dimitrios, Kaisariani and Vrilissia where the energy audits and the proposals will be implemented with the goal of  Zero Emissions Buildings (schools)



73 Climate Schools present their work for climate protection in Athens

By | Actions | No Comments

The art and environemntal works of 73 primary and secondary school students were presented during the second open event of the “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)” project on 16-17 of May, 2019, at “Technopolis” of the Municipality of Athens. The project was implemented jointly by the Municipality of Athens and the Social Co-operative “Wind of Renewal“, the German citizens’ initiative “Respect for Greece” (RfG) and the German “Independent Institute of Environmental Issues” (UfU).


The event was inaugurated by the Mayor of the City of Athens, Giorgos Broulias. The mayor referred to the project and other related actions of the Municipality for climate change.


Maria Iliopoulou vice-Mayor for the child, presented the actions implemented in the schools. Maria Iliopoulou mentioned that the program is part of the general action of the City of Athens in the framework of its commitment to adapt to climate change and save energy in school buildings. Furthermore, an extended research project was carried out under the authority of the Institute for Educational Policy and until the finalisation of the project a comprehensive action plan for climate protection and energy saving for the school buildings of the municipality will be delivered to the new munic-ipal authority of the city of Athens.

The vice-Mayor responsible for the environment Eleni Myrivili stressed the fact that cities are playing a crucial role in climate change and can be pioneers in this effort.

The regional director of education in Attica, Giorgos Kosivas, noted that climate change is one of the major threats humanity faces and must be tackled now and not sometime in the future. We must take action and protect the environment with the cooperation of citizens, governments and other organisations.

The director of primary education of Athens, Anastasis Papageorgiou was represented by Maria Dimopoulou, responsible for environmental education, who underlined the importance of implementing energy saving programs in all schools, not only
those of the municipality of Athens.

The director of secondary education Ioanna Psina, was represented by Kostis Kontogiannis. Ioanna Psina expressed her belief that students, through their participation have realised in a great extent the importance of climate protection.

Hilde Schramm, on behalf of the German citizens’ initiative “Respect for Greece” (RfG), partner of the project, referred- among other issues- to RfG’s contribution in conceiving the idea of the project and promoting the cooperation between Greece
and Germany in climate protection issues.

Nikos Chrysogelos, on behalf of the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal” instead of greeting, called a group of children and together loudly said a slogan in favor of climate protection.

Later, Kostis Kontogiannis, the academic responsible of the program, discussed about the importance of the program and presented the implemented steps of the project.

The next part of the event included a short presentation of the implemented training of teachers, from the coordinators of Education for Sustainability, Achileas Mandrikas and Christina Papazisi.

The event concluded with a round table discussion of students and teachers, who presented their experience. In the round-table participated the students: Ilias Mathioudakis, Aggelos Asimakopoulos, Rafail Papoulias and Rania Stavrelopoulou and the teachers: Panagiotis Lazos and Vasiliki Ioakimidou.

On Friday 17th May 2019 approximately 1300 students and teachers, together with the Vice Mayor for the Child, Maria Iliopoulou and members from Respect for Greece, participated with great enthusiasm in a march for climate at the Dionysiou Aeropagitou pedestrian street, as part of the “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At)” project. The march, accompanied by the Municipality of the City of Athens band, ended at “Technopolis” complex of the Municipality of Athens where the students were devided according to their school class and read out loud their resolutions, which were afterwards handed to the Municipal authorities.

All participants were awarded by the vice-Mayor for the child, Maria Iliopoulou and the Mayor of the City of Athens, Giorgos Broulias. The 54th and 130th primary schools of Athens presented songs they had prepared. After the award ceremony, students and teachers visited the exhibition of the student works related to the climate initiative, while a delegation of students, accompanied by two teachers talked about their experience and the need for raising awareness at the “Dames Spathi” radio show of the Municipality of Athens radio station, Athina 984fm.


The project participants:
The Municipality of Athens and the Social Cooperative Company “Wind of Renewal”, the German citizens’ initiative “Respect for Greece, RFG and the German “Independent Institute of Environmental Issues” UFU.

The program is implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and aims at saving energy in school buildings and raising awareness of students on climate change.

73 schools and 200 teachers of Athens Municipality schools participated in the project.

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.’


The opinions put forward are the sole responsibility of the author (s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The events were implemented with the cooperation of the Athens Municipal Radio Athens 9.84 & Arcoiris.

The events were hosted by Technopolis of the Municipality of Athens


By | Actions, Publicity | No Comments

This article is published by the organisation “Cooperative City”. Thank you for including WELCOMMON Hostel in the list of “tourism with a positive impact”.


The extractive nature of mass tourism is made possible by tourist behaviour, missing regulations and lacking alternatives. There has been very little work done to make tourism more responsible, sustainable and enriching for local communities. While there is a growing number of emerging NGOs, cooperatives and social enterprises to channel tourism revenues into socially meaningful initiatives, they are often isolated and do not constitute a coherent tissue of services that could help tourists spend their budget in a thoroughly responsible way, with the most positive footprint possible. Our selection of interviews and articles aims at mapping and bringing together these initiatives, understanding their functioning, strengthening the ecosystem that feeds them and helping municipalities in adopting their tourism strategies to accommodate more responsible ways of traveling.

Summer is Europe’s high season for traveling. In July or August, depending on local school regimes and temperatures, many Europeans leave their homes to find refreshment at lakesides, rivers or seacoasts, or to discover new cities, new sights, new tastes. While on the road, more than at home, we’re traveling blind: at the mercy of travel agencies, tourism brochures, or accommodation platforms, we’re exposed to competing information channels to provide us information about where to go, where to stay, what to do – what to spend our money on. Like at home, our choices of consumption have a strong impact on local economy and the environment. But unlike at home, we don’t perceive the changes our choices provoked: the housing crisis generated by short-term rental platforms, the transformation of local commerce, the pressure on public spaces and transportation infrastructures or the environmental crisis remain unnoticed for most of us: busy with maximising pleasure and minimising cost, we are ignorant of the consequences of our behaviour.

Anti-touristification sign in Madrid. Photo (cc) Eutropian

Tourism had been an important resource for many cities in Europe that were struggling with the economic crisis, the impoverishment of various social groups as well as growing unemployment. In recent years, however, many cities have been facing growing discontent with mass tourism perceived as creating environmental and social damage and pushing housing prices to unaffordable levels. In numerous European cities, with the arrival of low-fare airlines, many urban areas turned into clusters of services addressing solely tourists: stag parties, pub crawls and the mushrooming of new venues for eating and drinking have made former residential neighbourhoods unrecognisable, eliminating their social tissues. While these new services have undeniably created new jobs in the nightlife industry, these jobs are mostly precarious, and profit is extracted from local economies, with very little reinvestment in the neighbourhoods where they are generated. In other cities – like in Venice, the prototype city of touristification – pressure on public spaces and green areas has been increasing with new, speculative hotel development projects, as you can read in our article about protests against the privatisation of Venice’s Poveglia island. The increasingly negative impact of tourism brought to life many initiatives and networks to empower critical voices, like SET in Southern Europe. However, tourism is not likely to go away soon: while supporting regulations to control tourism and mitigate its damages, we also need to develop alternatives that help tourists make choices in more responsible manners.

The association Poveglia per Tutti has been fighting to reclaim Poveglia, one of the many islands scattered across the Venetian lagoon, and make it a public place for the Venetian community to enjoy rather than yet another tourist resort. istorically, resident Venetians have always seen the southern lagoon as some sort of an urban park. In the past 15-20 years, at least 5 of the 6 islands forming the small archipelago lying behind Giudecca have been privatised. Step by step, public spaces started to disappear. The last one is Poveglia, which is why there is so much local attention towards it. Read our article here.

The extractive nature of mass tourism is made possible by tourist behaviour, missing regulations and lacking alternatives. While many European cities have been investing a lot of energy into attracting an increasing number of tourists, there has been very little work done to make tourism more responsible, sustainable and enriching for local communities. Similarly, while there is a growing number of emerging NGOs, cooperatives and social enterprises to channel tourism revenues into socially meaningful initiatives, they are often isolated and do not constitute a coherent tissue of services that could help tourists spend their budget in a thoroughly responsible way, with the most positive footprint possible. Cooperative City has been for years engaged in exploring and introducing such initiatives across Europe. Our selection of interviews and articles aims at mapping and bringing together these initiatives, understanding their functioning, strengthening the ecosystem that feeds them and helping municipalities in adopting their tourism strategies to accommodate more responsible ways of traveling.

The Welcommon Hostel is a former refugee shelter turned into a hub for social inclusion and environmental education in Athens. Run by the social cooperative Anemos Ananeosis, Welcommon uses tourism revenues to invest in social activities. The highest floors of the building are used as a hostel while the lower floors have a lot of space available for workshops, conferences and events. Welcommon promotes social innovation, greenovation and circular economy, supporting the social inclusion of refugees, news distribution, and climate protection. Read our article here.

Our impact on the cities we visit is manifold. Our choice for accommodation can have an impact on the local housing and labour market – and can unsuspectingly support authoritarian regimes by spending in their economic hinterland. In the past years, we have witnessed a new genre of hotels and hotels that use tourism and a means to create local jobs, train vulnerable people or create social welfare services or cultural events, while not stressing the local housing market. Largo Residencias in Lisbon is a cooperative hotel and hostel that employs people who come from chronic poverty and serves as a reference point for cultural events and the discussion about the future of the Intendente neighbourhood.

Largo Residencias is a hotel, hostel and artist-in-residence and café in Lisbon’s fast-changing Intendente neighbourhood. Run by a cooperative, Largo aims at connecting the area’s past and future: it serves as a community hub for many of the area’s residents and initiatives, and develops projects to support the cultural and social inclusion of the neighbourhood’s precarious inhabitants. The organisation also employs people who come from chronic poverty and serves as a reference point for cultural events and the discussion about the future of the Intendente neighbourhood. Read our article here.

Welcommon Hostel in Athens is a former refugee shelter turned into a hub for social inclusion and environmental education. Magdas Hotel in Vienna trains refugees to find jobs in the tourism industry. Besides hosting tourists, Casa Netural in Matera (European Capital of Culture 2019) also functions as a co-working space and an incubator for innovative and experimental projects in the fields of agriculture, design and culture. Atlas Hostel in Gran Canaria acts as a hub for neighbourhood activities and events. Zazie Hotel in Paris helps in the reinsertion of long-time unemployed people into the labour market. In an experimental phase, the Fairbnb platform is getting ready to connect hosts and guests across Europe in a non-extractive network that channels a part of its revenues into local social projects.

Besides where we stay, the choice of where we eat or consume other goods also have an impact on the cities we visit. Even in the most touristified cities, visitors and their spending are concentrated in a few circumscribed areas, while other neighbourhoods lack resources and jobs. By concentrating too much attention on a few areas and services, like a famous bookshop in Porto, we might turn them into tourist reserves. While some cities like London try to use zoning to move tourism from central areas to more resource-hungry boroughs, in other cities, bottom-up initiatives work on distributing tourism to neighbourhoods where additional revenues are most needed. In Rome, a city with high inequality between central and peripheral areas, Ecomuseo Casilino highlights the archaeological heritage and contemporary cultures of the Pigneto and Torpignattara neighbourhoods of Eastern Rome, attracting visitors and helping local businesses. In the North-western part of the city, the agricultural cooperative Cobragor caters to tourists interested in resourced food and responsible accommodation.

Ecomuseo Casilino is an open-air, community-conceived museum in Eastern Rome, operating beyond the standard notion of an walled institution. The Associazione Culturale Ecomuseo Casilino Ad Duas Lauros is committed to collect cultural resources, based on what local communities consider as such. The Ecomuseum’s work consists of mapping, gathering information and storytelling: besides all the historical, archaeological and artistic heritage, the association also explores objects of cultural value that local residents consider vital for the community. Read our article here.

Our means of traveling also adds to our travel impact. With over … people flying around the world, the aviaion industry’s ecological footprint has been reaching 2% of the global amount of CO2 emitted. As an alternative, Europe’s night train network, growing again after years of disinvestment and decline, makes it possible to travel long distances without flying. In cities, tourists pretending to be locals often paralyse local means of transport to the extent of preventing locals from using them like in the case of Lisbon’s famous tram no. 28.

Paying more attention to how we travel, where we stay and how we spend our money are important means of being more responsible tourists. While some cities have actively developing regulations to make tourism less damaging and more beneficial, and many local initiatives have been working on channelling tourism revenues into positive social impact, there is still little public understanding of responsible alternatives. In order to make these alternatives more visible, Cooperative City has been building a map exploring new, responsible ways of traveling.

Our European map of Responsible Tourism is still in the making: write us to and help us with suggestions, reports and interviews to develop further this map!

For a European Youth Guarantee with Green Qualification Offensive

By | Library, News, Publicity | No Comments

  1. Youth for a sustainable future

The climate crisis does not allow a postponement of action. When the tipping points towards self-enhancing global warming are approaching, rapid and drastic measures are necessary. Not at some point or other, but here and now.

Climate protection requires commitment, but also creativity, technical know-how and qualified, hard work. Speeding the energy transformation, developing storage technologies, transforming buildings into zero energy or energy producers, making forms of housing and mobility environmentally compatible: activities, know-how and the ingenuity of people who are capable of developing and implementing ways and solutions containing the global climate crisis are in demand. The beginning is an energy revolution with trained craftsmen and engineers and it continues with experts for energy planning and digital control of processes. We need research for necessary technical and social innovations and we need consulting and communication tools to spread these innovations, overcome acceptance barriers and adapt solutions to concrete needs. The need for qualified wo-men power extends far beyond energy-related tasks, we are thinking of challenges such as redesigning agriculture to be climate-friendly, protecting forests from mega fires in drought summers, redesigning them to be climate-friendly, reforesting landscapes and cities, adapting them to the harsher circumstances of the climate crisis, or shaping the way we handle water, irrigation and rainwater in such a way that the consequences of aggravated water crises remain manageable in a changed climate.

In many regions and cities of the European Union, young people are calling unambiguously for “climate protection here and now”. “Fridays for Future Movement” has created a movement that calls for and forces action. In addition to the practical commitment, a great deal of technical knowledge and know-how, a wide range of new technical and interdisciplinary skills are necessary in order to successfully implement climate protection. Europe needs a lot of young people who are prepared and qualified for the diverse tasks in climate change. The supply of skilled workers is far from sufficient for a serious “green new deal”: Europe and the rest of the world need young specialists above all.

A Europe-wide qualification offensive in many fields of action is therefore pending for climate protection. How can the European Union as such contribute to this after the upcoming European elections and without delay? A future-oriented qualification offensive for climate change must be supported by young people – but on average it is precisely this group that is much more excluded from the labour market. At the beginning of 2019, the EU reported an unemployment rate of 6.3%, compared with 10.6% for the age group between 20 and 29. The discrepancy is even more pronounced in the southern European countries, i.e. in regions that are particularly hard hit by the imminent climate catastrophes, while at the same time offer great resources in the field of renewable energies. At the turn of the year 2018/19, youth unemployment in Greece reached 31.6%, in Spain 23.8%, in Croatia 16.6% and in Italy 23.5%. And this is despite the fact that young people from these countries have migrated in large numbers to Northern European regions to look for work.

At its core, the EU already has an instrument with which it can, after further development, provide strong impetus for a Green New Deal: the European Youth Guarantee. Enacted after the increase of youth unemployment in 2013, it obliges the Member States to offer young people between the ages of 15 and 24 either paid work or an apprenticeship within four months. After submission of implementation programms, the countries receive funds from the EU budget. By 2018, a total of €6.4 billion had been made available for this purpose, now the amount is €9 billion. It is obvious that this sum can only be used to alleviate youth unemployment. And if the European Commission now refers to the fact that it has fallen from 24% in 2013 to 14.6% at the beginning of 2019 among 18 to 24-year-olds across the EU, this is more the result of a certain economic revival and intra-European migration.

It is not surprising, that the Youth Guarantee only had limited effects in fighting against youth unemployment.  To hire young people without additional training for a minimum wage improved with public grants, invites frequently to windfall effects in enterprises. Without any economic change, the youth guarantee remains an instrument that only temporarily gives young people career prospects; or it leads to shifts in the labour market. Taken on its own, it does not open up sustainable employment prospects or new jobs. In economic sectors where there is no more work or even less work in the next future, it resembles a zero-sum game.

On the other hand, it can have a positive effect in the long term in economic sectors that will be in demand in the future and are important for the future of society. The training and work of young people should preferably be promoted and supported in such business areas and activities. Thus, we propose an extended form of the Youth Guarantee, giving at the same time strong impulses for a Green New Deal.  It should include a targeted training offensive offered to all Member States in line with their youth unemployment rates:

The EU offers young people, who have not yet found adequate work, training concerning technical issues and empowerment for the subsequent search for a profession, for setting up businesses or cooperatives, and opportunities to participate in cooperatives in occupational fields that are suitable for advancing the sustainable development of the Union. One area that is particularly suitable here are activities dealing with the improvement of climate protection and the containment of the effects of global warming. We propose to extend the European Youth Guarantee by an additional EU-funded offer “Youth for a sustainable future”. This offer is intended to provide young Europeans, including young refugees with right of residence, with primary or supplementary training in professions that are important and necessary for climate protection. The training should be closely linked to practical activities and local experience, similar to the “dual model” of vocational training in Germany. The young people should also learn how they can take the initiative in the climate protection and energy system transformation sector, set up start-up companies and become active in solidarity-based economic projects. Particularly in the climate-friendly energy system transformation and work structuring sector, personal initiative and creativity are particularly in demand.

The financial resources available to the European Youth Guarantee are far from sufficient to achieve the declared goal of opening the way for all young Europeans to a profession and to adequate work. Therefore, in the forthcoming discussions of the European budget, the fund foreseen for the youth guarantee must be substantially expanded.

In addition, the proposed educational offer “Youth for a sustainable future” presupposes that corresponding climate protection activities are actually tackled. But all EU member states are bound by international law to do so (Paris Convention on Climate Change) anyway. The EU Commission recently “added” to this and set out requirements in new guidelines negotiated with the European Parliament and the European Council that will have to be implemented in the coming years. Just to name two: The share of renewable energies in the EU’s total energy consumption must be at least 32% by 2030. The Commission reserves the right to further increase the share by 2023 with a new proposal for a directive. And energy efficiency must be increased by 32.5% across Europe by 2030. In view of the drama of the climate crisis, this target is still too low; but this alone make it mandatory to qualify far more than one million young Europeans in a short period of time in such a way that they can participate in the restructuring of the energy supply.

It is precisely the southern regions affected by high youth unemployment that offer favourable conditions for the use of solar and wind energy and also have a lot of catching up to do in terms of energy efficiency. In the coming years they will also be confronted more severely than northern Europe with the consequences of the deregulated climate and will have to do a great deal to limit desertification, the risk of erosion, severe water crises and negative effects on agriculture. This is another reason why they cannot afford to permanently exclude young people from employment or force them to migrate to other European regions. They need their youth in order to maintain the viability of their own society.

  1. Systemic approach for a Southern European qualification offensive in the field of sustainable construction and renewable energies

A holistic systemic approach is needed to reduce youth unemployment sustainably, to give young people perspectives through qualified employment and to make use of their potential in the fight against the climate crisis. Such an approach can be used to define and create meaningful and existentially important action fields which are additionally necessary for the climate change.

The approach presented here initially focuses on the areas of sustainable construction and renewable energies. However, it can be transferred to other fields of employment for social change. These are key areas for shaping an ecological turnaround in our societies, for which immense development potential is also predicted in the southern European countries. Both fields of action are already perceived by companies in Southern European countries as future markets.

We refer to two target groups in southern European countries affected by high youth unemployment. The approach is aimed at young people before they enter the labour market (1.1.) and at young, already qualified experts who, despite their mostly academic qualifications, cannot find a job (1.2.). For both target groups it is proposed to strengthen their technical know-how in the field of green skills and their interdisciplinary expertise in the field of soft skills through the development of educational services tailored precisely to this target group in such a way that on the one hand their employment and future prospects can be improved and on the other hand their potential for climate protection can be used. The educational services will be developed with the support of German experts, but it is an explicitly co-creative development with experts in the target countries. In this way it is ensured that the new educational services are integrated into the education system of the target country and adapt to new challenges.

2.1 Strengthening of the green vocational training and green vocational orientation in the target countries

There is a strong prioritisation of academic education in the Southern European countries affected by high youth unemployment. Vocational education and training is not valued by society; vocational training systems are often strongly geared to theoretical training and do not adapt their offerings to the needs of modern markets. This applies not only to the demand for modern (green) technologies, especially green technologies, but also to the growing need to train young trainees in soft skills, in the sense of empowerment, which enables them to develop autonomously in modern labour markets.

The one-sided focus of academic education and the poor quality of vocational training have led to a shortage of skilled workers at the intermediate qualification level, particularly in technical occupations, which companies are already complaining about today. Although it is obvious that studying often leads to unemployment, parents continue to make great efforts to bring their children to universities. If one looks at the situation in the areas of sustainable construction and renewable energies in the target countries, the companies speak of immense growth potential, which, however, can not be realised due to a lack of experts. At the intermediate qualification level, there is a lack of skilled workers and the possibility of providing services that require European certification (e.g. with regard to environmental protection). At the higher qualification level, the existing know-how usually has a deficit practical relevance. Even in the southern European countries, where the vocational training system has traditionally been decoupled from the companies, more and more companies are becoming involved in cooperation with the vocational training institutions and in participation in the practical training of young skilled workers. In doing so they must be supported both in terms of content and structure.

The vocational training systems in the target countries can be supported in their entirety (vocational training institutions, companies, intermediary actors) by know-how from Germany, if this know-how is transferred in the form of adapted training services to jointly defined points in the existing vocational training systems. For example, existing job profiles can be sustainably upgraded through “greening” and modernization and become more attractive and effective for climate protection with technical know-how. At the same time, vocational orientation campaigns in the countries must support a development that brings vocational training as a future-oriented perspective back into the minds of young people. Gender-neutral motivation of young people also plays an important role with regard to technical occupations. The green commitment of young women and girls must be supported by campaigns that enable them to discover and develop their technical potential. Also for this there are solutions in Germany that can be used as a role model and they can be further developed within the education systems of other countries.

2.2. Additional educational services for “Young Experts” in green technical occupations

The second target group, which is strongly affected by unemployment in the southern European countries and can develop its potential for the “Green New Deal” through targeted support, are young experts who have already undergone technical training at academic or professional level and have not yet been able to implement their skills in local labour markets. They need to develop educational services that provide them with the latest technical knowledge in the field of sustainable construction and renewable energies. Especially new technological developments are creating many new job profiles that are necessary in an economy oriented towards sustainability and green solutions. Relating to international and European regulations, fields of employment arise in the field of sustainable construction and renewable energies that are not covered by classical job profiles. Especially in these new fields of employment, completely new competence profiles are necessary. For example with regard to a new relationship with potential customers and the task of establishing a sustainability culture at different levels of society. The changed organizational forms of modern qualified work also require potentials that have not been taken into account in traditional training programs yet. It is crucial to provide young experts with skills that will enable them to develop their employability on the one hand and promote new, creative and social entrepreneurship on the other. In this way, new creative solutions can be developed for a climate-friendly, sustainable society and employment prospects can be created in the target countries themselves.

2.3. Youth without work and vocational training

In the breakdown of youth unemployment, the high proportion of so-called NEETs in EU jargon is particularly worrying. This refers to young people who are neither in a registered job nor in training or a work-related training program. In 2017, 14.5% of Europeans between the ages of 15 and 34 were in this situation. The breakdown by country was 25.5% in Italy, 24.4% in Greece, 19.5% in Bulgaria, 18.9% in Croatia and 17.9% in Spain. For the age cohort of up to 25 year olds, the balance is even less favourable, especially in Southern Europe:

  • Italy: 29,1%
  • Greece: 23%
  • Spain: 21,2%
  • Romania: 23,6%
  • Bulgaria and Cyprus: 22,7% each.

Even if precise statistics are not available, it must be assumed that a considerable proportion of these so-called NEETS only have little and often incomplete school education. In order to stop, or at least substantially reduce, socially unacceptable marginalization and exclusion, the proposed qualification offensive should be extended in a way that it fits this population group, too.

We therefore propose training courses in occupational sectors for which there are low-threshold training requirements. Here, a serious policy of climate protection and resilience to the ongoing climate crisis opens up an enormous need. The landscapes, especially in the southern European regions, are exposed to increased erosion, accumulating water crises and the danger of widespread desertification as a result of the intensifying climate crisis. Ruthlessly geared to product maximization, agriculture speeds up the threatened degradation of entire regions.

In addition to an ecological turnaround in agriculture, a wide variety of protection and safety measures in the landscape and in the water balance will therefore be necessary in the coming years – qualified work in large numbers is also required for this purpose, for which young people with little previous knowledge of school and work can be trained. Especially young people in rural areas could find a viable alternative to permanent local unemployment or the often aimless search for a job under precarious conditions in urban conurbations. Further fields of action include reforestation, the transformation of forests into more climate resilience and the renaturation of water bodies. In urban settlements, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events alone is leading to a much stronger commitment than before to greening settlements and rainwater management. After all, in the upcoming comprehensive energetic refurbishment of buildings, qualified specialists and a large number of building craftsmen with basic training are in demand.

  1. Recommendation for action

On this basis, we recommend the planning and implementation of an action program “Youth for a sustainable future” within the framework of transnational cooperation, which should start with the following priority initial measures:

  1. Carrying out a comprehensive survey on modernization needs in the climate-protection relevant areas of vocational education and training, with the participation of vocational training institutions and business associations in the target countries;
  2. Pilot testing of measures for the modernization, dualization and exemplary greening of job profiles in the fields of climate protection, energy efficiency and sustainable construction in the target countries (e.g. Spain and Greece), with recourse to the research on the internationalization of vocational education and training;
  3. Pilot measures for needs assessment, modelling and implementation of further training concepts for fields of competence relevant to climate protection: Solar, Wind, Smart Home for the target group 25 – 29 years old.
  4. Modelling of measures for the support of soft skills (empowerment, self-management, communication) for the promotion of start-ups in markets relevant to climate protection for the target group 15 – 29 years old.
  5. Modelling measures to promote the employability of young experts in order to prepare them for the demands of modern labour markets and to improve their work design capacities.
  6. Measures for career choice orientation to reduce the shortage of skilled workers in ‘green tech’ occupations (target group: 15-24 years old)
  7. Bringing together the results of the development of a framework program ‘Youth for a sustainable future’ of the European Union.


Dr. Hartwig Berger, Dr. Rüdiger Klatt, Silke Steinberg

Empirical background of the article are relevant activities of the authors, present and past years:


  • „Mas trabajo con menos energía“, ein dreimonatiger Ausbildungskurs von arbeitslosen Jugendlichen zu kommunalen Energieberater*innen in einer Kleinstadt der Provinz Cádiz, 2014; neben privaten Spenden finanziert durch die Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Brüssel [1].
  • How to Reduce Youth Unemployment by Fighting Climate Change.  A Study in Greece and Southern Spain”. Eine Machbarkeitsstudie dder Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft(HTW) Berlin, der Universität Cádiz(UCA), der NGO Wind of Renewals(WoR) in Athen und des Sekretariats für Zukunftsforschung Berlin (SFZ), 2018. Finanziert von der Europäischen Klimainitiative (EUKI) des Ministeriums für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit in Deutschland.[2]
  • “Young Energy Experts working for climate-friendly Schools (YESclima)“,

Projekt von UCA, WoR, SfZ und der Energieagentur der Provinz Cádiz, 2018-2020. Finanziert von der Europäischen Klimainitiative (EUKI) des Ministeriums für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit in Deutschland [3].


  • For the activities of the FIAP see and especially the current projects GRÆDUCATION and Youth Impact (see below). As a research institute, FIAP has been carrying out evaluations and analyses of labour market policy measures for years and is involved in various projects on the topic of innovative technologies for climate protection. Since the beginning of 2019, the Institute has been operating a Virtual Reality Laboratory in which ideas for VR applications in the field of education for sustainability are developed and implemented.
  • A particular focus of the Institute’s research work is on international cooperation in the field of vocational education and training. In various projects in and outside Europe, educational and advisory services have been developed with the aim of modernizing vocational training systems in target countries, in order to make them an effective instrument in the fight against unemployment and to improve the economic situation in the target countries. Both scientific and transfer-oriented publications have been produced.[4]
  • GRÆDUCATION project:

GRÆDUCATION, a project funded by the BMBF, is being developed in cooperation with the Greek Employment Agency (OAED) and the Institute for Education Policy (IEP) in order to modernize the Greek vocational training system, especially in the field of sustainable technologies. Furthermore, educational services for interdisciplinary skills are developed. Together with the cooperation partners and Greek secondary schools, an approach for vocational orientation with regard to “green skills” has been designed and implemented to motivate young people for vocational training and to sensitise them to sustainable technologies.

  • Project Youth Impact:

The Youth Impact project is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Unemployment. Together with Czech, Polish and Slovakian partners, tools and services are being developed to strengthen the self-evaluation capacities of youth unemployment agencies (NGOs, public and private institutions) and to support them in optimizing the implementation of their measures. A further goal is the establishment of a transnational research network on the topic of impact evaluation in the field of unemployment.

– FIAP supports the project “Young Energy Experts working for climate-friendly Schools (YESclima)” with an empowerment approach in relation to the topics “Employability” and “Entrepreneurship”.




[4] GRÆDUCATION – Innovation and sustainability management in a community-based, European VET culture. Vol. 1/2019 Publication Series for Participative Innovation and Transfer ISBN 978-3-00-062709-5 (available for download at

Steinberg, Silke (2016): Transculturation as potential in open innovation processes

In: Steinberg, Silke; Kutschke, Thomas; Fuchs-Frohnhofen, Paul; Ciesinger, Kurt (Ed.) (2016): Cooperative development of geriatric care training for China. A model for the export of education. Berlin: LIT




Intercultural and inclusive courses in WELCOMMON HOSTEL open to all: locals, tourists, refugees, volunteers

By | Actions | No Comments

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal reorganised and started new volunteering projects in our innovative WELCOMMON HOSTEL, which are more inclusive and offer intercultural courses for all: refugees, locals, migrants, volunteers, tourists. “Learn and teach”, is our new moto. The summer schedule started on 4/7/2019 and will be finished by the end of September 2019. The projects are realized with the participation and contribution of many volunteers from all over the world and are in partnership with Humantity Crew, AIESEC as well as with many individuals. Since 2016, Anemos Ananeosis has collaborated with more than 300 volunteers, 30 NGOs and many universities. Be a teacher and at the same time a pupil. We learn from each other.


We are offering a great selection of educational courses: language lessons (English, French, Chinese, Turkish etc), painting, photography, drama, music etc and we offer the opportunity to volunteers and our guests/visitors to organize in collaboration with Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal and the WELCOMMON HOSTEL many intercultural events “knowing better each other like (Greek, USA, Italian, Indian, Ukraine, Pakistan, Scandinavian, Chinese, French… Nights). There are people from all over the world they would like to know better other cultures. Let’s do it together. WELCOMMON HOSTEL means WELCOME in COMMON.

Please have a look at the reception’s board


or here

and here

or send an email to


Stay tuned, Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal will announce soon the official beginning of its European Solidarity Corps‘ project “Green and Social Innovation for youth” (17.8.2019 until 2021)

Stay connected because there are many events and intercultural nights scheduled throughout the summer in our innovative WELCOMMON HOSTEL

Would you like to support our social and ecological projects?

Although we are very active and try to make our social cooperative and our WELCOMMON Hostel financial sustainable, in order to be able to support our social and ecological projects, we are still in a very difficult financial situation and therefore we are looking for donations and support. Maybe you could contribute to our campaigns. If you like what we are doing, then please:

  • Donate 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 euro (here is our fund raising campaign
  • Become a supporter and backer and invite your networks and friends to do the same. If they can donate even a small amount, it is great but most important is  – in order to succeed in our campaign – many persons to support it and become backers. Have a look here how one can do it

Our schedule for the summer



Beginner’s French: an introductory French class that teaches the very basics, from greetings to creating simple sentences

Mondays, 12.00-14.00

Tuesdays, 12.00-14.00

Wednesday 10.00-12.00


Advanced English: an English class that teaches the more complicated aspects of grammar. It is themed towards the professional world, simulating things like job applications and interviews

Beginner’s English: an English class that teaches the very basics of English, like how to form ideas while speaking and writing.


Tuesdays, 16.00-18.00

Thursdays, 16.00-18.00

Basic level class for beginners, about both culture and language. It will be useful for those that wish to only have a taste of it, but also for limited and short conversations, especially for tourism


Tuesdays 12.00-14.00

Thursdays 12.00-14.00

NEWS and HISTORY A class that combines recent events in the news with historical events in the past to analyze the connection of events that still affect our world.

HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS: Mondays, 10.00-12.00. An interactive class, created with the goal of giving students a better understanding of what Human Rights are, through discovering their history, finding out how they are today, and relating such with the students own experiences.

HISTORY & NEWSA class for those who wish to know more about news, both by understanding why we talk about certain facts in a certain way and how to discern real news and reliable news outlets, all of this with discussion and sharing of opinions as a vehicle

CREATIVE WRITINGThis class is a mixture, it will both involve the development of writing abilities in the most expressive and free way, and it will also help by giving starting tips on how to write for journalism, how to quote, or do interviews.

STORYTELLING   Mondays, 22/07-05/08: 13.00-14.00

PHOTOGRAPHY  Thursdays, 14.00-16.00

MUSIC 15/07 -05/08, Mondays: 12.00-13.00

DRAMA (4-25/7)

Tuesdays, 10.00-12.00, and 14.00-16.00

Wednesdays, 12.00-14.00

Fridays, 16.00 – 18.00


4-25/7 Wednesdays, 14.00-16.00

12/08 until 30/10, Every day 12.00-14.00

@Photos Nikos Chrysogelos, Bailey Marshall
 Photo of the first page by @JetterHalle

5 important european-level distinctions for Wind of Renewal, the cooperative which runs the WELCOMMON HOSTEL

By | Χωρίς κατηγορία | No Comments

We are very proud that our social cooperative enterprise ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL has received 5 European-level distinctions for our innovation and contribution to the social economy.

  • A bronze prize in the competition @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2019

 Two years ago, we were awarded the Special Mention @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2017 for our #WELCOMMON project, which then involved the hosting and integration of vulnerable refugees.

We are very proud that our social cooperative enterprise ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL received the 5th European-level distinction for our innovation and contribution to the social economy. This time, we received the bronze prize in the competition @REVESNetwork #ExcellenceAwards2019 for our active participation in 4 major projects that show (social and green) innovation, they have a social impact to the local community:

  • WELCOMMON HOSTEL, an innovative hostel combining harmonious models of sustainable tourism with social and green economy and innovation, art and the environment. We created it with great effort, without subsidies and with the support of our friends. “We have transformed a former hospital into an innovative hostel that combines sustainable tourism with activities for climate protection and inclusion of migrants and local people in Athens”
  • The “Days of WELCOMMON” Social Empowerment and Integration Program, which we created when our innovative WELCOMMON housing and refugee integration center closed sharply. We then decided to rely on our own strengths, and to make Hostel financially sustainable so that we can self-finance our social and green activities
  • The YESClima program, to educate 11 young people on energy saving and application of natural air conditioning systems. An @EUKI_Climate program, in collaboration with the University of Cádiz at Spain, Secretariat for Future Studies of Free University of Berlin (Sekretariat für Zukunftsstudien Berlin an der Freien Universität Berlin), and the Provincial Energy Agency of Cadiz (APEC), Andalusia, in cooperation with the Municipality of Ag. Dimitriou
  • The CLIMATE SCHOOLS Berlin – Athens program, involving 73 schools, 197 teachers and thousands of students, is focused on awareness-raising, education and mobilization to protect the climate and save energy in schools. It is an @EUKI_Climate project implemented in collaboration with the Independent Environmental Foundation (Berlin), Respect for Greece and the City of Athens
  • European Citizen’s Prize 2018

It is a great honor for Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal to have been awarded the European Citizen’s Prize on 9th of October 2018, in the European Parliament




  • A Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017

Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal and its project WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of vulnerable refugees was honored on June 8, 2017 with the “Special Mention” award of the REVES Excellence Award 2017, which aims to strengthen synergies between local / regional authorities and social economy actors, and to highlight the achievements of such cooperation. The evaluation committee consisted of representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Parliament, the Regional Committee and Social Economy Europe.


The French Federation of Social Inclusion Enterprises invited ANEMOS ANANEOSIS / WIND OF RENEWAL to participate in it’s national Congress organized in November 16-17, in Marseille, and presented  the WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of refugees as a “good example of social inclusion in Euro-Med area.

  • One of the best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area

We are awarded as one of the 3 best examples of projects for refugees contributing to the dialogue between the cultures in the Euro-med area (2017 Euro-Med Dialogue Award) by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Fondazione Mediterraneo. The Bestowing Ceremony took place in Tallinn (16/12/2017) with the support of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

#SocialEconomy Windofrenewal #Inspiring #Transformations #SocialEconomy #sustainable #FutureofEurope @EUKI_Climate #YESClima#ClimateSchoolsBe.Ath Welcommonhostel #WELCOMMONHOSTEL Days of Welcommon

Barcelonactiva @samataxi065551 Liberi Nantes @BrusselsCLT PolisenÖrebro