To live in harmony with nature, creatively, with cooperation, solidarity, trust and mutual support, for achieving personal liberation and a frugal abundance. To re-invent ourselves, to re-invent our future…





HELIOTROPON is an off-grid community hub focused on applied research, experimentation and demonstration of ecological and social innovations. The aim is to utilize best practices, knowledge and experiences from sustainability, transition, eco-community and degrowth initiatives, as well as other grassroots community experiments, in order to create a family oriented community hub, sustainable, equitable and economically viable for all its core members.

The community hub is based in a collectively owned, 8 acre (33,000 m2) plot situated in the mountainous area of Vlachia, in Evia island, Greece. The location is breath-taking, with great biodiversity and landscape features, while the sea and the unique coastline is at close proximity.

HELIOTROPON will operate as a non-profit association and a social cooperative with the purpose to develop and apply an open community- hub model, based on the principles of self-sufficiency, sustainability and resilience that could be transferred and applied in any other region. The whole project is driven by the permaculture concept and design principles, while it seeks reference to other communal sustainability initiatives like the 10 One Planet Living Principles.

Initial research and demonstration will be realized in the following key focus areas:

  • social (deliberative decision making; ownership and collective rights management; equity, financing and local economic alternatives; school of self sufficiency and sustainability; interpersonal relations and conflict management; community design; health and happiness);
  • environmental (energy autonomy from renewable sources; agro-ecology and organic farming; zero waste; natural housing; water efficiency; zero carbon; local and sustainable material use; land-use planning and wildlife preservation);
  • cultural and spiritual (body and mind; all forms of creative expression, arts and spiritual practices)
  • education and training (workshops, retreats, training seminars on sustainability-transition-resilience, summer universities, environmental education, professional training of unemployed youth, alternative school curriculum)
  • political (non-partizan) (social-political ecology & degrowth, creation and participation in local institutions, global partnerships and thematic networks; awareness raising campaigns).

HELIOTROPON has 3 interrelated objectives:

  1. To design, develop and construct a functional, ecological settlement in rural Greece, as an open community hub model that could be transferred anywhere else.
  2. To create a healing space and a polymorphic activity hub prone to research, experimentation, cooperative entrepreneurship, training, networking, sharing and exchanging of experiences, knowledge and best practices.

  3. To develop and apply an open cooperativism model focused on sustainability, self-sufficiency, responsible participation and self-organization, and provide full-time employment to its core members.


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