Stories for Tomorrow – Lived Today, Everywhere

Photo (CC BY-NC-ND): Lenon Reis/NEOJIBA

Music that transforms lives

The pianist Ricardo Castro started a network of community music projects with children and youth across the state of Bahia.
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      8 to 10 September, Sète, France Assises Internationales du Bonheur - well-being festival by the seaside with a session on citizen journalism and FUTUREPERFECT (in French)
      Apply by 18 September for Berlin, Germany Autumn School for Sustainable Entrepreneurship - for young change makers from Germany and African countries
      All summer, 14 European countries
      Crowd Omnibus Reading Tour 2016
      Continuously, in the German-speaking countries:
      Town Hall Debates What country do we want to be?
      Computer geeks in Rostock have set up a communication network for citizens that blocks intelligence agencies and businesses that use data for commercial purposes.
      A community project linking film, architecture and education is emerging in a disreputable district of Bogotá, changing the face of the place.
      Imagine a world where every environment, experience and community is truly accessible for all. In New Zealand, the Be. Accessible social change movement is achieving just this.
      Her concern with women’s health has led medical doctor Laila Garda to become an entrepreneur. In her manufactory in Pune, India, women are earning their livelihoods creating female hygiene products.
      In the centre of Cairo, residents have joined forces with the goal of helping their community. Their organization Ruwwad assists children, youth and families. A student article as part of the youth media project Bashkatib.
      Cuisine, drumming, calligraphy: Brazilians can learn all of this from low-income expats. The platform Migraflix organizes courses with a view to integrate immigrants into the local society and labor market.
      In Alexandria, students are designing solutions to save architectural heritage. Their university professors have brought young minds and sponsoring companies together in a competition to bring forth the best ideas.
      In the housing estates of Slovakia’s Košice, the buildings formerly used for district heating have become veritable cultural hotspots. It is the neighbors that fill them with life.
      © Photo: Lizenz CC BY-SA
      In Bogotá, a group of people displaced by violence describe their experiences through drawings and prints. In this way, they attempt to heal their wounds and prevent the past from repeating itself.
      © Bildausschnitt aus Video #180sec Brüssel: Time Bank (Mit-Urheber: Goethe-Institut Brüssel, Licence: coming soon)
      “Time is money” – what if that really were the case? And we had to pay with our time?
      © Photo: Erica Austin (Licence: CC BY-NC-ND)
      In the wake of Christchurch’s massive earthquake, a series of social and creative projects bring new life to the battered streets.
      © Lizenz: CC BY-SA
      A young Arabic instructor teaches free language classes to students in a quest to save Classical Arabic. An article by two students as part of the youth media project Bashkatib.
      © Lizenz: CC BY-SA
      Tradespeople working in Canada’s oil sands have created their own organization to provide training in renewable energy. Positioning themselves at the forefront of a bourgeoning industry, they are seeking to realize a vision for a more sustainable future.
      Photo: Lybid Ye © Creative-Commons-Lizenz BY-NC-ND 3.0
      A former site of medicine production in Maribor has become a centre for initiatives aiming to improve the quality of life in the city.
      Photo: Lybid Ye © Creative-Commons-Lizenz BY-NC-ND 3.0
      The people of Kyiv are reclaiming the public space in their city. Thanks to a local initiative, the embankment along the formerly polluted river Lybid is filled with new life.
      14 young men from the small town of Kafr Ghatati decide to confront the deprivations their town is suffering from by means of voluntary work as well as simple social and cultural services.
      In Kodagu, India, a couple has created a biodiversity haven. Over two decades, the Malhotras bought abandoned farmland and planted a rainforest to invite all kinds of animals into their sanctuary.
      Overflowing trash cans could be a thing of the past: It is absolutely possible to produce less than eleven pounds of trash per year. Even with children. A French family has accomplished this feat for a few years now, hassle-free, and eating well.
      Financed by crowdfunding, readers’ contributions and donations by foundations, a news agency created by young Brazilian journalists is renewing the country’s news scene.
      Promoting science ideally starts in school. In southern Upper Egypt, an association is making just that possible, with success. An article by two students as part of the youth media project Bashkatib.
      Four young Greeks and their mobile laundromat Ithaca Laundry are providing the Athens homeless with clean clothes and strengthening their self-confidence. An interview.
      An artist uses her creativity to fight the construction of natural gas pipelines.
      The Slovenian project Krilca offers gifts with triple effect: They make recipients happy, help people in need and decrease the pollution of our environment.
      Two young Egyptians reinvent plastic bags by fusing tradition and modernity.
      Community currencies created by groups in Spain in response to the economic crisis alter fundamental aspects of the economic system and favor a more just society.
      On Australia’s iconic Manly beach, volunteer divers are working quietly and without fanfare to clean the ocean.
      Casa Angela in São Paulo, the first home birthing center in Brazil, fights for natural birth in a country where the number of cesareans is extremely high.
      In five weeks of hard work, about 100 creators developed an array of useful, eco-friendly prototypes that herald a new lifestyle.
      With its colloquial language and broad variety of topics, Radio Antika caters to a young audience. Sometimes the listeners themselves take a seat behind the mic. An article by two students as part of the youth media project Bashkatib.
      Executives from Canada’s biggest banks came together with other companies, landlords, the government and volunteers in a Race to Reduce. The amount of carbon emissions they saved is the equivalent of taking 4,200 cars off of Toronto’s roads.
      The first Palestinian eco-village is coming to life in Farkha. Here, the agronomist Saad Dagher has found a community to make a shared dream come true: to live autonomously and in harmony with nature.
      Tiny houses in Eugene, Oregon, provide the formerly homeless with a sense of ownership and community.
      In Aubervilliers in the Paris metropolitan region, eight amateur actors take to the stage to talk about fleeing their homes and their experiences in France. Up until the opening night of their play, they were undocumented aliens – which has since changed.
      In a disadvantaged part of Tel Aviv, children and teenagers act in the plays of a Performing Arts Studio. Their parents and the studio’s adult students benefit as much as the neighbourhood children.
      Vincent Carelli created a unique film school for indigenous populations in Brazil. The School will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2016.
      Ali Kawakita created NOCA?! to give a home to young people who were abused by their parents during their childhood. Working hard in farming or in crafts, they find their way to independence.
      A recycling academy, an agent to beautify public space, a learning place for children – the Orient & Dance Theatre in Palestine is all these things at once. It was established by a manager of the municipal electricity company.
      From one summer to the next, Montreal always gets a little bit greener. Revitalized by citizen initiatives, alleys are trading in their concrete armour for a mantle of greenery.
      As a sculpture student, Alison McDonald often couldn’t afford material like bronze. That sparked the Australian artist’s career in reinventing discarded items.
      Young Egyptian Mostafa Magdi transformed his grandfather's old house into a school that opens its doors to children for a different way of learning.
      Three women in New Zealand aim to cut CO2 emissions by creating an online marketplace where businesses can join forces to buy from sustainable suppliers.
      Take discarded vegetables, go to a public square and mix all the ingredients with music and socializing: together Parisians cook and enjoy their “Disco Soupe”.
      The parking problem in Montreal can no longer be solved by additional parking spaces, the independent organization CRE-Montréal is convinced. It proposes that politicians find an intelligent and sustainable management plan for parking spaces.
      Stéphane Vlaminck is not out to conquer the world market. He supplies his microbrewery’s products locally – with a little help from an association to promote the solidarity economy.
      POWER TO THE COMMUNITY
      In the West Bank, 20 isolated Palestinian communities have access to electricity and water thanks to two Israeli physicists-activists and their enterprise Comet-ME.
      Since he was small, Dutchman Maurits Groen has had a sort of ‘antenna for sustainability’. Today, he illuminates conflict areas and regions that are disconnected from the power grid all around the globe. The more urgently you need his WakaWaka lamp, the less it will cost you.
      In Helsinki’s Sanervakoti people suffering from dementia and mental health problems are living under the same roof as students, sharing everyday life and special activities.
      In an affluent neighborhood of Windhoek, two young men from the former township are selling organic produce. John and Immanuel Negongo are revolutionizing Namibian agriculture.
      Young lawyer Rania Refaat uses puppet shows to educate people on the streets of Cairo about their legal rights and responsibilities.
      Emma Ben-Haouala Bernegger has established her own brand of organic products in Tunisia, reviving traditional methods.
      Community-supported fisheries bring the benefits of community-supported agriculture to the seas. Customers support their local economies, while receiving the freshest of seafood.
      Recycling construction waste and reviving traditional building techniques, Shams Ard studio showcases what local and sustainable architecture can mean in Palestine.
      Inspiring Stories has an ambitious goal: the charity supports young New Zealanders in developing ideas for a better future.
      As the Chinese middle class are seeking rest and relaxation, the remote regions of their country are becoming the target of commercial schemes. But there are alternatives, architecture offices like standardarchitecture demonstrate: in their structures, local traditions meet development for tourism.
      The Rauniokaupunki cultural association brings music and theatre to Kajaani, a town in the North of Finland, surrounded by wilderness.
      The Heschel Center wants to promote awareness for sustainability in Israel by supporting activists and multipliers.
      With his bicycle repair shop, social worker Lee Hyeong-un teaches the homeless how it feels to be a part of society. A visit in Seoul’s skyscraper canyon.
      In Salvador da Bahia, the Laje Collection exhibits works by artists of the periphery, thereby contributing to locals valuing the history of their neighborhoods.
      Three Chilean engineers developed FreshWater, a domestic appliance. It could grant millions of Latin Americans autonomous access to safe drinking water.
      It’s far from a dog’s life for bees living on rooftops in Melbourne, Australia, free from the Varroa mite that has afflicted the rest of the world.
      Poligon is the first creative centre in Slovenia for creative economies, social entrepreneurship, and culture.
      In a disadvantaged neighborhood in the north of Marseille, magazine Reporterre used the power of rap to create a connection between environmental awareness and the residents’ everyday problems.
      In the tradition of his water-taming nation, Dutchman Koen Olthuis designs floating islands to dwell and live on – not least because climate change calls for new solutions in architecture.
      Itself an offspring of the revolution, the Youth Decides association is helping Tunisian youth take their political and economic destiny into their own hand.
      Bike-riding farmers in Orlando, Florida, are helping communities produce their own food—right on their own front lawns.
      The Vila Flores Project revitalizes an architectural complex and facilitates cultural, social and educational projects in Rio Grande do Sul’s capital, Porto Alegre.
      Plum trees, elder bushes, mushrooms – the city has many more food sources to offer than local supermarkets. Those who open their eyes and hearts will have a secret world reveal itself. A comic .
      The inclusive, horizontal and autonomous network Red Semillas Libres Chile aims to preserve the cultural heritage that is our seed stock and to combat genetically-modified seeds and monocultures.
      An abandoned brewery site near the very heart of Australia’s largest city has been reborn, and it’s becoming the toast of the town.
      A new generation of Chinese architects is working against mass development projects, in and together with the countryside. They are boosting the revalorization of China’s built cultural landscape.
      In Tapajós-Arapiuns, an Amazon region in the north of Brazil, a private initiative works towards making tourism a conscientious and sustainable practice in defense of the environment and local cultures.
      In Czech cafés, boxes function as second-hand bookshops. Seniors supply the books, the proceeds then finance the old folks' activities.
      By banning pesticides in a referendum, the community of Mals in Southern Tyrol is set to garner worldwide attention. That does not mean that the conflict is settled.
      Trad Ben Gobrane has launched a movement for the revalorization of the traditional Tunisian horse-related professions. For a simple idea to turn into a concrete project took great perseverance.
      In Chicago, Sweet Beginnings helps people returning from prison learn how to make a living with bees – changing ideas about ecology and imprisonment along the way.
      Van Bo Le-Mentzel is tackling the big question of what makes good entrepreneurship—and he is finding the answer in the Crowd.
      Architect, scientist and author Jana Revedin champions sustainability in architecture and urban development. Her work makes a case for unhurried design and lasting quality.
      New ideas for the old world are the only way to save this planet. Thinks Daan Roosegaarde, Dutch designer and eco-conscious tech-poet.
      Sonia Mhamdi has taken charge of the challenges facing a run-down oasis in southern Tunisia and transformed it into a new center of production center and hope.
      Not much space is needed to feel the energy of local plant seeds, as the Japanese participants of the miniature garden-workshop SEEDS OF LIFE experience.
      Community Land Trust BXL buys land in central Brussels to bould affordable residences. The houses are then sold, the land is not.
      Architect Péter Pozsár is on a mission to ease social woes in eastern Hungary: building 7,000 new homes in five years while lowering the region’s high unemployment rates.
      In the North of Paris, the Carton plein association collects, cleans and sells discarded boxes. People in precarious situations recycle, deliver by bike and help move – gaining professional and life skills in the process.
      At CUCULA, a “refugees’ company for crafts and design”, five young asylum seekers are building sustainable livelihoods for themselves by making and selling designer furniture.
      Since the climate doesn’t wait for politics to catch up, Marjan Minnesma is changing the world herself. With her Urgenda foundation, she presses ahead on the energy revolution.
      Two California artists are creating public sculptures that heal damaged ecosystems and eventually disappear back into nature.
      An architectural gift to the poverty- and conflict-ridden eastern Hungarian village of Szakácsi has given the locals strength for communal action.
       
      The demographic crisis is turning Gaza into a concrete jungle, green space is lacking. Rooftop agriculture is a small solution for a big problem.
      In a region known for unemployment and troubles surrounding the Roma minority, the thriving village of Spišský Hrhov is proof that goodwill and tolerance can make a difference.
      Active citizens in West São Paulo have revitalized a square to create a small oasis in the middle of the city.
      Germany is haunted by a Poltergeist: A Berlin-based international group of activists hounds cliques and corporations that deemed themselves safe from grassroots protests.
      In the village of Sidi Thabet, a farm welcomes disabled children from disadvantaged families, providing the opportunity of vocational training. Along the way, the children acquire the art of “horse whispering”.
      Three students demonstrate how to make your own edible tableware with their project ZestawZESTAW.
      When homeless women cook for the public, the prejudices melt. Jako doma, a Prague NGO, gives the stage to the cooks – and a voice.
      Since the squeaky wheel gets the grease, editors of the online magazine LAMM ask questions in the name of sustainable consumption. Corporations, watch out!
      For a decade now, the agro-ecological centre Les Amanins has welcomed anyone interested in cooperation, education, autonomy and resource-friendly economic activity.
      The ancient culinary craft of fermentation is bubbling up once again. In a climate-constrained future, it could preserve both food and cultural diversity.
      In a deprived district of the small Belgian city of Ghent, the local Toreke coin reveals how big the transformative impact of alternative currency systems can be.
      Entrepreneur Henry Mentink wanted to boost the appeal of fair trade stores—and incidentally, he introduced car sharing to the Netherlands.
      At the Repair and Service Center in Vienna, the long-term unemployed retrain to be "mechatronic engineers" and repair electronic devices. Founder Sepp Eisenriegler tirelessly initiates networks, projects, and cafés—all dedicated to the art of fixing things.
      Espacio G stands for an artistic agenda beyond the merely academic, distributing knowledge freely and disrupting established structures.
      One city, two segments, neatly separated according to rich and poor. Gentrification, terminated leases, luxury renovations: Goldgrund Realty makes it possible!
      Students from hostile sides of the Middle East learn and live together at Israel's Eastern Mediterranean International School. Their first lesson in preparation for a complex and interconnected world: trying to understand each other.
      The action group CanalPark BXL is pulling out all the stops to convert a concrete jungle of a no-go area into a lively neighbourhood park: building a play area, raising funds, and planting trees.
      Abir Rouis, with her association Mazalet El Barka, wants to revive the hopes of elderly abandoned people. The young woman is building bridges between the generations in one of the poorest regions of Tunisia.
      The Cooperative for Culture of the Periphery (Cooperifa) has brought poetry to one of the most violent regions of São Paulo for 14 years.
      By contributing to the citizens’ fund and association Énergie Partagée, everyone can become a champion of the energy revolution—for example, by supporting solar energy from Normandy.
      Teacher Heinz Frey halted the demise of "mom-and-pop stores" by creating new village centres—first in his home village, then in other communities and urban districts.
      Sina Trinkwalder did what all experts declared impossible: she built a textile factory in Germany and is paying decent wages.
      Ecodrom93 enables Roma families in the suburbs of Paris to grow their own vegetables and make a home for themselves in the community.
      Bees are in acute danger; in rural monocultures, they hardly find sustenance. The network Berlin summt! provides urban habitats for bees.
      The US start-up Bureo fights ocean pollution and supports Chilean fishing communities by upcycling discarded fishing nets into skateboards.
      Infrared panels provide focused and energy-efficient heating. Entrepreneur Niels van Lingen is burning to spread the technology.
      Arcadia Mobile Market tackles food insecurity in Washington, D.C., by driving the grocery store around. Is food security just a school bus away?
      The bakers of La conquête du pain keep their quarter in Montreuil happy with delicious baguettes... while practicing anarchism.
      Paraszt-Wellness in Gömörszőlős, Hungary, gives volunteers insights into sustainable farming and ecological lifestyles.
      Josef Zotter’s organic, fair-trade chocolate creations are extraordinary—and spite market demands. Astoundingly, that is the key to the Austrian’s great success.
      In Montreuil, the Collecterie resource center is fighting waste by recycling trash—and generating jobs.
      In the Jardins de Cocagne gardens the jobless and homeless find self-confidence and support in creating a future.
      Each bicycle is a piece of art: Christopher Lewis finds long-discarded classics and creates elegant signature bikes. On toward a second life, let’s go chase some fast cars!
      Josef Sichler has switched his farm to organic. And become an activist: He convinced his dairy distributor to accept milk only from farmers who rear their livestock GMO-free.
      A short history of money—and the story of how Swiss WIR Bank is protecting small and mid-sized companies from the pressure of continuous growth.
      In Reading, the United States’ second poorest city, the residents’ group Permacultivate is practicing and preaching local food production.