WE MODEL THE NEW ECONOMY*
We work with a model of economy based on the root of the word oikos, which means home, and nomos which refers to taking care of. Through our work, we make sure that we are taking care of each other and honouring what we are doing together. Our economy includes money, resources, time, skills -as well as the currencies of friendship and learning. We offer a sliding scale for all of our trainings, gatherings and experiences and work with the complementary currencies and solidarity economy so that money is never a barrier to learning and participating.
WE ARE A STEWARDSHIP GROUP
All of our Art of Participatory Leadership (AoPL) trainings are stewarded by a group of friends and practitioners which include Greeks and internationals who, since 2011, have been working together to create new collective and participatory learning spaces in Greece. Together, this group of 12 (or so) are are stewarding participatory approaches to social innovation, systems collapse and re-generation, and governance and we would say – cultivating courage. Not all of us are at every gathering, we work as a kind of organic structure that expands and contracts – a bit like a heart that is looking after the heart of this work.
WE WORK WITH PARTICIPATORY PRACTICE
We work with the underlying assumption that if people participate in creating experiences together, if we create shared meaning, learn from our diversity and dare to engage in that which we care most about, then we will take care of our creations. We work with principles of self-organizing and in a participatory way as a Stewardship group, and we work like this with communities and projects. After 4 years, we are seeing a range of participatory approaches and methodologies in many sectors in Greece now as never before, and also across into the Balkan region.
WE CREATE SPACES TO BECOME MORE INTELLIGENT, TOGETHER
The main way we work is in bringing people together to learn, listen and be together – and to gain courage to keep going on creating new social realities at a time of great challenge, and great potential. We meet in Cafes, create 3- or 4-day trainings in rural and urban areas, gather with others in Syntagma Square. These are all spaces to meet each other in our humanity and discover, through simple ‘minimal optimal structures’ that allow for emergent ideas to come forward, what our next steps are together.
*In Greece, there is a growing network of complementary currencies and alternative economies flourishing. This is due to the massive disruption to the “mainstream” economic system. We want to honour that there are many people in Greece and elsewhere who are working and living with these multiple forms of currency, and that in fact, cash and money is not always available, but other forms of currency are.