Finding the Opportunity in Crisis – the Greece currency workshop

Outside the Academy
The Academy in Crete

Here is the final line up for the 1.5 day event in Greece on alternative exchange and currencies…  There’s still time to register for the summit. Crisis is opportunity!

October 10th

An introduction to money and its effects
Thomas Greco, best selling author on community currencies 1hr

Why “Sustainability” Professionals Need to Embrace Alternative Exchange
Professor Jem Bendell, Uni of Cumbria 30 mins

Coffee, 15 mins

The Effects of Different Currencies: The Trading Game
Jem Bendell and Sybille Saint Girons, Les Valeureux, 1hr 15mins

Experiences with TEM in Volos and Chania
Giannis Grigoriou, Volos TEM & Giannis Bouleros, Chania TEM, 1hr

Lunch, 1hr

Lessons from Argentina’s Social Money Movement 2001-2002
Sergio Lub, and Thomas Greco, 45 mins

Design and Software Issues for Alternative Exchange
Matthew Slater, Community Forge 45 mins

Tea, 15 mins

Expert Roundtable
Thomas Greco, Matthew Slater, Giannis Grigoriou, Hamish Jenkins (United Nations) and Sybille Saint Girons. Chaired by Jem Bendell, 1hr

October 11th

Breakout meetings on key questions, 30 mins

Research findings on alternative exchange in Greece
Irene Sotiropoulou, University of Crete, 45 mins

Coffee, 15 mins

Key success factors and limiting factors in mutual credit
Thomas Greco, 1hr

Software Demonstration
Matthew Slater, 30 mins

Facilitated dialogue on key questions from breakout meetings
Facilitated by Jem Bendell, 1hr

Conclusions on next steps
Facilitated by Jem Bendell, 30 mins


In the afternoon, depending on interest and attendance, experts and practitioners in community currencies may convene for a hosted dialogue on “Globalising Localisation: how can we help each other?”

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: