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Australia at a Tipping Point?

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Reflecting, Connecting and Regenerating Communities & Country

The smoke from the Australian bushfires have, on occasions, soared over 17 kilometres up into the stratosphere, creating their own weather systems, including thunderstorms and lightning strikes that start new fires. NASA predicts the smoke will travel all the way around the globe and back to Australia. Many have claimed that arsonists are to blame but only one percent of the land burnt can officially be attributed to arsonists.

For decades, scientists have warned us about the consequences of inaction on climate change. Their predictions seemed, for many, to be a problem far off in the future. In 2019, Australia stumbled unprepared into that future. Whilst the bushfires themselves have been described as unprecedented in scale, intensity and duration, it’s important to put them into the context of all the other events experienced on this continent in 2019.

An extreme heat wave in January 2019 resulted in Adelaide recording its hottest day of 46.6 degrees, while Port Augusta, 300km further north hit a record temperature of 49.5 degrees Celsius. In December and January an estimated one million fish died in the Darling River in three mass kill events as politicians blamed the drought for the lack of water in the river.

The extended drought is, of course, the backdrop to the bushfires, heatwaves and mass fish deaths. According to BOM, the 3 years from January 2017 to December 2019 have been the driest on record for the Murray-Darling Basin and the state of New South Wales (NSW), as shown on this map.

After a long drought, Townsville in North Queensland experienced an unusual, extended period of heavy rainfall resulting in flooding in February 2019. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) “the accumulated totals from consecutive days of heavy rainfall were the city’s highest … since records began in 1888”. Two people and an estimated 500,000 cattle perished, while 3,300 homes were damaged. At the same time Tasmania was experiencing unprecedented bushfires.

Such extreme weather events are precisely what climate scientists predicted as the climate warmed. Average temperatures across the globe have so far warmed just one degree Celsius above the average pre-Industrial levels. It sounds so insignificant. Just one degree, yet on a fragile and dry continent like Australia this small change is already wreaking havoc. Have we hit the first tipping point? Can we hope that next summer will be back to the relaxing summer’s of our past or should we now expect more — and more intense — weather events in the future?

While there were some wild stormy days in winter, the overall winter rainfall was low and so the bush was very dry, providing fuel for the coming fires. In September, at the beginning of Spring, the bushfires started. Australia experiences bushfires almost every summer and a large proportion of Australia’s plant species are fire tolerant, fire resistant or fire dependent. That is, some species need bushfire periodically in order to propagate. Australia’s First Nations people managed the landscape with fire, periodically burning sections of their Country. Regular small fires at cooler times reduced the risk of large unmanageable bushfires in Summer. Yet cultural burning is a continuous process of active management by all communities across the entire continent. It was embedded in the way of life. The approach varied according to local conditions and has the aim of keeping ecosystems in balance and encouraging an abundance of life. Modern bushfire management is under-resourced and its aim is to reduce risk to human life and property.

In November, we were in East Gippsland in Victoria and heard about the bushfires in southern Queensland and NSW. I have never felt so worried and sad as when we travelled back to Sydney for Christmas. For most of the eight hour trip we drove through a smoke-filled landscape. It was dark in the middle of the day and we drove with our headlights on. The sun was a red circle in an eerie sky. Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne have all experienced many smoke-filled days this Summer. By the time we arrived in Sydney we were regularly hearing the advice that we should stay indoors, not do strenuous activities and wear a face mask. The Air Quality Index was regularly at levels deemed hazardous to human health and on a number of occasions reached as high as twelve (12) times the hazardous level. For much of December, in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, the usual joy was subdued as many communities were suffering.

As of 14 January 2020, 18.6 million hectares were burnt, 5,900 buildings (including about 2,683 homes) were destroyed and 33 people killed. The selfless and tireless work of thousands of mostly volunteer fire fighters has been instrumental in minimising the loss of lives and property.

An earlier estimate suggesting 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles were killed has now been revised to one billion. Some endangered species may be driven to extinction, while ancient rainforests that never burn have also burnt.

After catastrophic conditions on New Years Eve and in early January, the risk has now subsided somewhat although many fires are still burning. The northern wet season can bring occasional milder weather and more rains to the south of the continent. The north of Australia is tropical and usually experiences monsoon weather from November to April but the period of heavy rainfall is getting shorter and this year the first tropical cyclone arrived in early January.

Australia’s weather has always been quite variable and one of our problems is that when Europeans arrived on this continent, we assumed that Australia experiences the same weather variations throughout the year as in Europe — Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Yet not only do weather patterns vary widely between the tropical north, arid interior and temperate south but the variations between years are sometimes more significant than those within the year. First Nations people had a deep appreciation of these fluctuations and, together with their respect for the land and other species with which they lived, this informed their land management practices.

By contrast the modern relationship to land is having a substantial negative impact. This is not just about the burning of fossil fuels, creating the greenhouse blanket that warms the entire planet. In Australia, our negative impact includes the failure to manage the precious little water that falls on this continent. Mining and farming practices extract and use water without accounting for the significant natural variability — from year to year — in the availability of water, lurching as we do from droughts to floods. Although Australia naturally experiences periodic droughts, the frequency and severity of these can be dramatically influenced by our farming practices, particularly the way we collectively manage water. Yet like most current economic practices, our farming practices are extractive. We simply take whatever water we need.

The Murray-Darling Basin — the most drought affected zone as shown in the map above — has the most contested water in the country. The Murray-Darling River Basin starts in southern Queensland, passes through much of inland NSW and Victoria before reaching the Southern Ocean in South Australia (SA). This is the largest and most complex river system in Australia. Over 9,200 irrigated agricultural businesses rely on it and SA depends on it for 83 percent of its water. Low flows in the river meant that dredges were needed to keep the mouth of the river open between 2002 and 2010. The Murray-Darling Management Plan was introduced in 2012 to manage the demands of irrigators and ensure there was sufficient flow out to sea without dredging. Yet as the next drought cycle commenced we simply re-commenced the dredging of sand in January 2015 and this continues today.

The contest between extractive economic activity and the needs of the environment are nowhere more starkly obvious than in the Murray-Darling Basin. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth and water extraction for agriculture that damages river ecosystems can only end with both the ecosystems and the economy that depends on water collapsing.

By contrast, regenerative agriculture seeks to build soil volume and vitality, enabling it to capture and clean water thus encouraging an abundance of life. Extractive farming, usually as monocultures, eliminates all species but those that return a profit. Regenerative farming supports and encourages a rich diversity of life. Instead of just taking from the land, regenerative farming practices give back in equal measure. This is the circle of life and applies not just to farming but all aspects of our economic activity — never take more than you give.

Charles Massy’s Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth identifies the principles of regenerative agriculture as follows:

  • Maximising the capture of solar energy in all plant species;
  • Improving the water cycle, maximising water infiltration, storage and recycling in the soil;
  • Creating healthy soils that contain and recycle a rich lode of diverse minerals and chemicals;
  • Maximising biodiversity and health of integrated, dynamic ecosystems at all levels.

As we rebuild lives, homes, businesses and communities, regenerative practices will help create a deeper understanding of our place on this continent and our responsibility for managing it.

As we rebuild we ought to re-imagine all aspects of how we live on the land, how we generate energy, how we manage water, how we produce food and how and where we build our homes. A systems approach to rebuilding our towns and communities might think in terms of a local renewable energy micro-grid, a local water micro-grid and a local integrated bio-diverse food system. This would allow communities to collaborate as they harvest, store and distribute their basic needs — food, water and energy — locally. In turn, this would not only build local resilience and create local work opportunities but also build the natural ecosystems upon which all societies and economies depend.

Steven Liaros is a Director of town planning consultancy and author of ‘Rethinking the City’ — an exploration of the historical ideas that underpin the organisation of cities — showing how these ideas are being transformed by the Internet. With qualifications in civil engineering, town planning and environmental law, Steven is currently undertaking a PhD research project at the University of Sydney’s Department of Political Economy. He has visited our WELCOMMON. We have asked him to write an article about the current situation in Australia, We thank him

Young students from 33 countries all over Europe will travel to Brussels to discuss #ClimateChange

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Young students from 33 countries all over Europe will travel to Brussels to discuss #ClimateChange & the future of our planet. It is the 11th edition of the #youth plenary event which will take place on 19-20th of March 2020! Climate change is on everyone’s mind, and young people all over the globe are mobilising to save the planet. The European Economic and Social Committee is joining the movement and asking the young participants at YEYS for the best way forward in protecting our planet. This year’s event will model an international climate change conference (COP).

The Committee is interested in hearing students’ fresh ideas on how to deal with the current climate crisis and how to come closer to meeting the 2050 climate-neutral ambitions. Students will be asked to represent a country and negotiate with each other, in order to come up with recommendations to stop climate change. These recommendations will be submitted to international environment policy-makers and discussed at conferences around Europe throughout the year. During YEYS, the students will also be put in contact with international youth organisations that will help them translate these recommendations into concrete measures and make their voice heard.

YEYS 2020 – Selected schools

  • Albania Turgut Ozal, Tirana
  • Austria Bundesbildungsanstalt für Sozialpädagogik und Elementarpädagogik, St. Poelten
  • Belgium Maritiem Instituut Mercator, Oostende
  • Bulgaria St. Cyril and Methodius High School, Yakoruda
  • Croatia High School Mate Balota Poreč, Poreč
  • Cyprus Paralimni Lyceum, Paralimni
  • Czech Republic Střední škola technických oborů, Havířov
  • Denmark ZBC Gymnasiet Ringsted, Ringsted
  • Estonia Koeru Keskkool, Koeru, Järvamaa
  • Finland Iisalmen Lyseo, Iisalmi
  • France Lycée Joseph Gaillard, Fort-de-France
  • Germany Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium Lünen, Lünen
  • Greece 2nd Gerakas Senior High School, Gerakas Pallinis
  • Hungary Szent István Sport Általános Iskola és Gimnázium, Jászberény
  • Ireland St. David’s CBS, Dublin
  • Italy I.T.T. Enrico Fermi, Siracusa
  • Latvia Jana Ivanova Rezekne music secondary school, Rezekne
  • Lithuania Vilniaus Žemynos gymnasium, Vilnius
  • Luxembourg Lycée Aline Mayrisch Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Malta De La Salle Sixth Form Birgu
  • Montenegro JUSMŠ «Ivan Goran Kovačić», Herceg – Novi
  • Netherlands Haarlemmermeerlyceum, Hoofddorp
  • North-Macedonia SOSU «Sv. Kiril i Metodij», Ohrid
  • Poland I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. M. Kopernika,Toruń
  • Portugal Escola Secundária com 3º Ciclo de Fernão Mendes Pinto, Almada
  • Romania National College «Ienachiță Văcărescu», Târgoviște
  • Serbia Gimnazija «Svetozar Marković», Novi Sad
  • Slovakia Obchodna akademia, Kukucinova 2, Trnava, Trnava
  • Slovenia Gimnazija Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica
  • Spain Ieso La Pola De Gordón, La Pola de Gordón
  • Sweden Uddevalla Upper Secondary School, Uddevalla
  • Turkey Pendik Fatih Anadolu lisesi, İstanbul
  • United Kingdom Baysgarth School, Barton-upon-Humber
  • EU European School EEBIII, Bruxelles

Good news: The Social Economy Intergroup in European Parliament has been renewed

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The Social Economy Intergroup (SEIG) has been renewed. Over 100 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of the main political groups expressed their interest in renewing the Social Economy Intergroup. The decision was taken on the 19th of December 2019, by the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.

The Social Economy Intergroup will play a key role in establishing a political dialogue with the European Commission to develop an ambitious European Action Plan for the Social Economy, announced some weeks ago by Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, in her mission letter to Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.

The Social Economy Intergroup will be of outmost importance to mainstream the social economy perspective in the main EU’s social, economic and environmental policies, such as the Green New Deal, the SME and Industrial Strategies, the digital Single Market policies, the European Pillar of Social Rights, the agenda for the implementation of the SDGs or the external action of the EU.

Social Economy Europe (SEE) President, Juan Antonio Pedreño, commented : “I would like to thank all the MEPs that have supported the renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup and also all European Social Economy actors that have demonstrated, once again that alone, we are invisible, but together, we are unstoppable and capable of building a more sustainable European Union”. 

The Social Economy Europe is the umbrella organization for social economy and the voice of social economy enterprises and organizations in Europe. It is the secretariat of the European Parliament’s Social Economy Intergroup. It provides a strong logistical support to the social economy intergroup. The intergroup works in a transparent and accountable manner. A publicly accessible webpage for the social economy intergroup is available on SOCIAL ECONOMY EUROPE’s website

The Social Economy Europe gathered the interest of MEPs. At the end of September, Patrizia Toia (S&D, IT), a long-time supporter of social economy, Nicolas Schmit (S&D, LU), MEP and Commissioner-Designate for jobs and Dolors Montserrat (EPP, ES), Leopoldo López (EPP, ES), Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, DE) and Monica Semedo (Renew, LU) sent a letter to the 751 MEPs to encourage them to reestablish the Social Economy Intergroup.

About the social economy in Europe: 

The social economy is an essential part of the European economic and social landscape formed by a diversity of enterprises and organisations such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises or paritarian institutions of social protection.

In the EU there are 2.8 million social economy enterprises and organisations, that employ 13.6 million people and account for 8% of the EU’s GDP.

 About the Social Economy Intergroup in the European Parliament

The Social Economy Intergroup is a platform for exchange between members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and members of the civil society. It represents an essential link into the democratic process of the European Union. Objectives:

  • to promote exchanges of views on EU policies and legislation linked to social economy issues,
  • to provide regular opportunities for dialogue between MEPs, social economy experts, European Commission officials, civil society representatives and other relevantstakeholders,
  • to bring together MEPs from all political parties and all member states,
  • to ensure that the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers take into account the social economy and its actors whilst developing their policies.


  • Meetings

Meetings are organised every two months on a regular basis, either in Strasbourg or Brussels. They bring together MEPs, representatives of other EU institutions and representatives of civil society.

  • Monitoring of legislation

The intergroup follows closely the work of the European Parliament’s Committees. It can make proposals, and inform MEPs about relevant issues for the social economy.

  • Memorandums

Considered as genuine awareness raising tools, memorandums have been developed in view of a greater recognition of the social economy.

  • Parliamentary questions

The intergroup can call upon the Council and/or the European Commission to offer a clear answer to questions of concern to social economy actors on a wide range of topics.

  • Events

Support is provided to the organisation of events aimed at the promotion of parliamentary work on social economy.

  • Relation with the press

The social economy intergroup is also able to disseminate information to the press in order to inform the European citizens of matters of interest.


  • History

The social economy intergroup already has a positive track record.

Created in 1990, it was successively chaired by French MEP Marie-Claude VAYSSADE, Italian MEP Fiorella GHILARDOTI, French MEP Marie-Hélène GILLIG, and Belgium MEP Philippe BUSQUIN. Throughout the years, the social economy intergroup has played a significant role in the EU democratic process.

  • EP Own initiative report on social economy

In 2005, members of the intergroup triggered the demand for the establishment of an own initiative report on Social economy in the European Parliament. The request was accepted in 2008. Italian MEP Patrizia TOIA was appointed rapporteur for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. The report was adopted in plenary on 19th February 2009 with nearly 80% of the votes in favor.

  • Organisation

The intergroup bi-monthly meetings have provided precious opportunities for discussion for more than 30 EU and national level organisations.

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

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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

Funding the Cooperative City

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Wind of Renewal /Anemos Ananeosis will organise a discussion with Levente Polyak  (urban planner, researcher and policy adviser) on”Funding Cooperative City”,  the importance of self-organised, locally rooted, inclusive and resilient community networks and civic spaces. It is a journey from Lisbon, Madrid and Rome, via Liverpool, Rotterdam and Berlin, through Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest, Funding the Cooperative City highlights different strategies of fundraising and investment

When: Wednesday 27.3.2019, on 19.00, (registration 18.30)

Where: WELCOMMON HOSTEL, Kapodistriou 4, Αthens 10682

The discussion will be in Greek and English and is part of “Green and Social Innovation”, a series of public events organised by Wind of Renewal in cooperation with Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Greece

Registration: (name, last name, email, organization)

Funding the Cooperative City   is a book based on years of research to explore experiments in community-led urban development in European cities. Situated in the post-welfare transition of European societies within the context defined by austerity measures, unemployment, the financialisation of real estate and the gradual withdrawal of public administrations from social services, this book aims at highlighting the importance of self-organised, locally rooted, inclusive and resilient community networks and civic spaces. In a journey from Lisbon, Madrid and Rome, via Liverpool, Rotterdam and Berlin, through Warsaw, Bratislava and Budapest, Funding the Cooperative City highlights different strategies of fundraising and investment; self-organisation, resistance and cooperation with institutions; and explores the ways citizen initiatives, cooperatives, non-profit companies, community land trusts, crowdfunding platforms, ethical banks and anti-speculation foundations step out of the regular dynamisms of real estate development and arrange new mechanisms to access, purchase, renovate or construct buildings for communities.


Levente Polyak is urban planner, researcher and policy adviser. He has worked on urban regeneration programmes for the New York, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Budapest municipalities. He taught at «Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest» (MOME) and Budapest University of Technology and Economics) (BUTE (Budapest) and (TU Wien), was visiting fellow at Columbia University and the ENSA Paris-Malaquais and holds a PhD in Sociology from the Central European University. He is editor of Cooperative City, co-founder of Eutropian Research & Action (Vienna-Rome) and member of KÉK- Contemporary Architecture Centre (Budapest). He has been working as expert in URBACT networks and Urban Innovative Actions projects. In the past years, he has been researching new organisational and economic models of community-led urban development projects and methodologies of civic ecosystem-building, co-authoring the books Vacant City, Civil Város and Funding the Cooperative City.


Workshop on “current issues and needs of refugees in Greece”

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Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal organised a workshop on “current issues / needs of refugees in Greece”, on Tuesday 5th of March 2019, at the Welcommon Hostel.
In cooperation with Dimitris Sanas from Solidarity Now Athens we had a presentation about employability/ opportunities for refugees and migrants. Giorgos Kanaris (Solidarity Now) introduced us the services of the “Solidarity Social Center Athens” especially the part of the employability couselor, how to focus on the skills and capabilities of a person and create together a plan of action to open ways for integration in greek labour market.
After that there was time to pose questions and continued the workshop by Antonio Cardia from the Greek Forum of Migrants. We discussed together with representatives of the Afghan and Georgian community in Athens about the diverse needs and problems but also talked about solutions and ways of inclusion in greek society.
The attendees of this workshop were
– students from the Vanderbilt University (USA),
– refugees of Wind of Renewal’s program for social inclusion,
– our international volunteers and
– other people working in this field.
Anemos Ananeosis (Wind of Renewal) hosted this workshop as part of a series of discussions and events titled “Green Social Innovation“, supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation Greece, to inform and discuss different needs of the refugees and migrants in Greece.
#welcommonhostel @windofrenewal #volunteers #solidaritynow#employability #refugees #migrants #greekforumofmigrants #vanderbilttfc #socialimpact #socialventures #vanderbilt #athens #socialinclusion #refugeecommunities #withrefugees #refugeeneeds #workshop

Children (and not only) participated, played, learned about climate protection and energy saving

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It was Saturday 20th October 2018. In Athens. An interactive public event of the “OPEN SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION & ENERGY SAVING, Climate Schools Be.At.” program was organized with the aim to raise the awareness of the educational community on climate protection and energy saving.

The large hall of Serafio Center (the new Sports, Culture and Innovation Center of the City of Athens) was filled with hundreds of children, teachers and parents, but also with floor games, experiments, activities, a “shadow theater” that functioed with energy produced by cycling, information booths from Environmental Education Centers, Environmental Organizations, the program Resilient Athens” of the City of Athens, the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal”, WWF Greece, Greenpeace Greece, Mediterranean SOS, Organization Earth, the program “Open Schools” of the Municipality of Athens, the Center for Renewable Energy Sources – CRES, and 4 Environmental Education Centers – (from Lavrio, Argyroupoli, Drapetsona and Elefsina)!

The children listened, but mainly played, learned, took stimuli to act for the climate, to protect the climate and contribute to energy saving. They learned to use the devices included in the training suitcases of the program, played with enthusiasm the CRF and WWF floor games, experimented at Greenpeace and STEM booths, made queues to get into the Maker Space of the program “Designed for Better Learning”, planted sprouts with Organization Earth, cycled to feed with energy the creative shadow theater.


The event was welcomed by Mr G. Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, Mrs M. Iliopoulou, Deputy Mayor for the Child, Mrs L. Myrivili, Deputy Mayor of Green Resilience and Climate Change, Mr Kostis Ougrinis and Mrs Marianthi Liapi from the “Transformable Intelligent Environments Lab” of the Technical University of Crete, Mr N. Chrysogelos President of the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal”, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Mr Kostis Kontogiannis, academic director of the program. The attendees were education consultants, environmental education officers, over 300 teachers (primary and secondary education) and parents, hundreds of primary and secondary school pupils and refugee children with the accompaniment of volunteers involved in non-formal education and social inclusion programs organized by “Wind of Renewal” in WELCOMMON HOSTEL.

The event marked the beginning of the second phase of the program OPEN SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION & ENERGY SAVING, Climate Schools Be.At.“, which concerns the activities of students, teachers and parents in 73 Athens School for climate protection and energy saving. It was preceded by the design of the educational material and the methodology through the cooperation of Greek and German teachers, the training of trainers and the training of 201 teachers from the schools participating in the program. The next public event of the program is on February 7th and May 7th, 2019, in Technopolis.

The program is supported by the European Climate Initiative @EUKI_Climate, which is a financing tool for the German Ministry of the Environment. The event was organized by the Municipality of Athens, the Social Cooperative “Wind of Renewal, the German Initiative Respect for Greece and the German Indepented Institute for Environmental Issues UfU, which are the partners of the project, with the support of the Athens Radio 9.84

4 important awards for Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal in one year

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4 important awards in one year

  • WELCOMMON 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 its national Congressorganized in November 16-17, in Marseille, and presend the WELCOMMON center for housing and social inclusion of refugees as a “good example of social inclusion in 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.


  • 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


Climate Action-2d training of 200 teachers on climate protection and energy saving

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Second training of teachers on climate protection and energy saving in the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At)”

The new school year began with the …second training of primary and secondary education teachers in the framework of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At)”!

On Friday 14th and Saturday 15th of September 2018 the 2nd Training of the teachers took place at the 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Athens. The training had a total duration of 14 didactic hours divided in both days. There participated a total of 102 primary and 96 secondary teachers. The participants formed 10 groups and each group had two trained trainers. The training was formed in 7 units and each group followed them on a different order.

Unit A: Team reconnection – Proposals on how to integrate the program into school life – How to set up key groups: Energy Council, Energy Team, Energy Inspectors – Getting familiar with the worksheets and the methodology of educational research.

Unit B: Climate Change: Cognitive background, educational approaches, world game and other educational activities, visual related material (movies, cartoon etc.).

Unit C: Getting familiar with the measuring instruments


Unit D: Energy tour, mapping, drafting of the school’s energy profile (case study of the hosting 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Athens).

Unit E: Action plan for energy saving regarding lighting, heating, cooling, appliances (case study 2nd Experimental Lyceum of Athens). Study data from the electricity, oil and gas consumption of the participating schools. Discussion on the energy profiles of participating schools that teachers have already completed.

Unit F: Disclosure – program visibility (class-school-community), visilibility campaign, public events.

Unit G: Getting familiar with the program’s Moodle platform and the deliverable material.

Evaluation of the 2nd Training: The majority of the participants were very satisfied with the experiential learning activities (i.e. world game) and the practice with the measuring instruments (infrared thermometer, room thermometer, CO2 meter device, luxmeter, kettle and electric stove for comparison of energy consumption using energy meter and a set of lamps – (led, economy, incandesce). They also expressed their satisfaction with the overall collaboration between the schools. In general they feel confident to begin the implementation of the program activities at their schools.

The program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At)” constitutes a collaboration between the Municipality of Athens, the educational community, the Social cooperative “Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal, the German citizens initiative Respekt für Griechenland e.V. / Respect for Greece (Berlin) and the German Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen / UfU. It aims to raise awareness of the educational community, local communities and municipalities, for climate protection and energy transition. The program also aims to increase the energy efficiency of the schools with the substantial participation and collaboration of the teachers, students, parents and local authorities. The program is under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

The program was evaluated and selected for funding by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), which is a financing instrument of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The overarching goal of  EUKI is to foster climate cooperation within the European Union in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It does so through strengthening cross-border dialogue and cooperation as well as exchange of knowledge and experience.

The 1st step of the training schedule was the initial training of 19 trainers, on climate & energy issues and climate action in schools, realised by Greek and German trainers (Wind of Renewal, experts, the german Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen / UfU) in Athens (12th -15th April 2018).

The 2d step was a 6 hours training of 200 teachers (19th May 2018 for the secondary education, 9th June 2018 for the primary education) as well as a study visit of 6 teachers in Berlin (17th – 24th June 2018).

The 14 hours training was the 3d step of the training schedule. Now the 200 educators are prepared, trained and with educational and supportive material,  ready for #ClimateAction in schools in collaboration with the pupils and their parents.

For more information concerning the previous activities and trainings of the program “OPEN SOCIETIES AND SCHOOLS IN CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY TRANSITION (CLIMATE SCHOOLS Be.At” please follow the links below:


  • “Training of the Trainers” on climate protection and energy efficiency

  • Primary education teachers are excited to participate in CLIMATE SCHOOL Be.At

  • Training of secondary education teachers on climate protection and energy saving

  • 6 school teachers visit Berlin for climate protection and Climate Schools