Join some meaningful fun in Crete

View from ESA
View from the Academy

An important milestone arrives in October – my 40th. I’ll be in Crete, where friends in the field of sustainability have created a unique place for experiential learning about sustainable enterprise and living. Lovely people doing great things across Europe will come together for the ‘end of summit’ party, and my birthday, in true Cretan style with lots of tasty local food with far too much wine and raki accompanied by raucous Cretan music and dancing!

Would you like to join us in a stunning state of the art eco-building in an ancient Cretan olive grove with 2000m snow capped mountain backdrop? I would be chuffed if you did.

Outside the Academy
Outside the Academy

My birthday, Friday 12th October, will be the final day of the Inaugural Summit of the European Sustainability Academy (ESA). So, if you are interested in sustainability or social change, then you would enjoy arriving earlier in the week for some of the courses and events. And especially if you are inquisitive about wellness practices, such as Yoga or Qi Gong, which will occur at various times that week. Then on Saturday 13th October there is an organised tour of local eco-enterprises and a boat trip.

Nearby Almyrida
Nearby Almyrida

The party will be happening at Liberta Villas, 2km from ESA in the village of Palaloni. I’m promised its an exquisite location with a stunning 2600m mountain backdrop. ESA is on the edge of the village of Drapanos. Liberta has some accommodation, as do the two villages, and there is still more at the nearby beach town of Almyrida (email Sharon for info: Sharon.Jackson at

Liberta Villas
Liberta Villas

I hear that in Greece right now there is an exciting air of change and thirst for new ideas and innovations. On the 10th I will co-lead a seminar with Matthew Slater of on creating and participating in alternative exchange systems and community currencies. We will be joined by Greeks who are pioneering these solutions to the current crisis. On the 11th I will support my Lifeworth colleague Ian Doyle in leading the now-famous ‘Giving Voice to Values’ training, which helps us to understand our values and express them in difficult situations. On the morning of the 12th there will be a ‘sustainability leadership’ round-table involving some Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. Then Eva Voutsaki, from Crete, will guide us through a process of developing autobiographic narratives for clarifying our personal goals, and Ed Gillespie, from Futerra, will helps us explore the importance of authenticity in our communications. Greek pioneers of sustainable enterprise and lifestyles will also be attending during the second week of the summit (which starts Oct 8th).

Inside ESA
Inside ESA

The programme will be uploaded and updated soon at The nearest airport is Chania, and Heraklion is an hour and a half away: and are places to find out routes. At least one guest is coming by ferry and trains. See or ask me for info on overland/sea transport (as you could travel with other sustainability adventurers).

ESA opening
ESA opening

There’s no cost for attendance on the 12th or for the party. No presents either, please. Just support something local if you want to (we’ll come up with ideas). If you want to come earlier in the week for some of the events, which makes total sense, or even the full 2 week sustainability summit (what a treat!), then please email Sharon Jackson about details and fees: Sharon.Jackson at As the academy building isnt huge, and transport is cheaper if booked earlier, you should go for it now!

I do hope you can come and help me celebrate in a meaningful way.

The address:

European Sustainability Academy
Jackson A.S, Drapanos, 73008 Vamos, Chania.
Inaugural Sustainability Summit
2nd October – 14th October 2012

The address of my party on the 12th:

4 thoughts on “Join some meaningful fun in Crete”

  1. Accomodation info: The best, most ‘international’ hotel is Almeryda beach Hotel –
    But people need to contact the manageress Fofi Arvelaki directly at
    We have agreed a special room rate per night room and breakfast – depending on the room type between 60 and 80 euros per night.
    They must say it is for Sharon Jackson ESA Drapanos seminar
    Liberta is 25 euros per room per night
    Other hotels include Emerald Hotel Plaka Crete and Bicorna Hotel Plaka Crete. These are both small family hotels – room rates around 15 – 25 euros per night. We will arrange transport between these hotels and ESA each day.

  2. Update: Sean Ansett, ex CSR head at Gap and Burberry, and all round great chap, and Thomas Greco, godfather of alternative currency systems and author of best selling “The End of Money and The Future of Civilisation” will be attending the sustainability summit in Crete in october (and my birthday bash).

  3. More info on the Saturday 13th: Melita will be offering a guided eco walk along a stunning gorge very close to the Biolea Astrikas olive oil estate. Lots of unique Cretan wildlife and birdlife, but is off the beaten track and not the usual tourist trek. We will have an olive oil pressing demo followed by Cretan cooking (and eating ) or the gorge walk for more active people (depending on hangovers), then the eating. Later the whole group will be invited to Fisika to experience olive oil soaps being handmade. There are also a few other gems in that area including tiny churches over 1200 years old with original frescoes and 3000 year old olive trees.

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