Empower with Nature
Maya Galimidi is studying for an MA in Ecology and Spirituality at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. She took a double major in Public Relations and Management of Performing Arts at Istanbul Bilgi University. After graduating, Maya worked in London, New York City, Istanbul, and the Negev Desert. For the last 15 years, she has designed and produced international conferences for the Wall Street Capital Markets, Healthcare, Human Resources, Marketing, Digitalisation, Copper and Government sectors; worked with politicians such as George W. Bush and Collin Powell. She obtained her Permaculture Design Certificate at Kibbutz Lotan, becoming an International Ambassador for the Global Ecovillage Network. She worked as the Global Business Developer for Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology. Her teaching experience about ecology and purpose, connecting with nature, observing the relationship between people and nature-inspired her to establish Empower with Nature, a trans-disciplinary platform to teach others.
Ecology and Purpose
Co-founder and co-director
Regenerative School - Rē
Felix is a co-founder and co-director of Regenerative School - Rē. His professional background is in rural community development, political organising, service-learning in higher education, university teaching, community university partnerships, monitoring & evaluation, participatory research and facilitation. Felix completed his PhD in International Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies in 2011. He also holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. From 2011-2012, he served as Acting Assistant Dean of Students at the University of the South, USA. In 2014, he served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at the Future Generations University. He is also the founder and director of Empyrean Research. Felix has research, teaching and facilitation experience in the US, Canada, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central America, South Asia and East Asia.
Participatory Approaches to Youth-Led Peacebuilding
An Introduction to Participatory Approaches to Research and Community Change
Community Gardening for Building Community
Toward a Regenerative Worldview: Principles and Practices
Co-Founder and Director
Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology
Mike has a BTEC (Business and Technical Education Council) Diploma in furniture studies – design/craft, London College of Furniture. He also has an Organic Growers Certificate from the Israeli Organic Organization and Permaculture Design Certificate with teacher/author Graham Bell at Kibbutz Gezer. Mike is the co-founder and director of the Center for Creative Ecology on Kibbutz Lotan. He is one of the first permaculturists in Israel. He has led numerous projects and became an ecological pioneer by building the first recycling center in Israel, constructing buildings from natural materials, and advancing Israel's natural construction regulations. Mike initiated the building of Lotan's educational eco-park and created and coordinates the work/study training "Green Apprenticeship", which has provided an in-depth, practical, ecological and communal experience for over 900 students from all over the world.
Construction using local, natural and recycled materials,
Synergetic garden and future of food production
Juliet was born in Kenya. She graduated from Egerton University with a BSc in Agricultural Education and Extension. She pursued a diploma in Advanced Agricultural Training at Arava International Center for Agricultural Training in 2018-2019. It was her immersion in traditional ecological knowledge and practices that inspired her originally to be interested in agriculture and biology. She is currently a Biology and Agriculture teacher at a high school in Kenya.
Traditional ecological knowledge
Connection to nature and teachings from our grandparents.
Biology and Agriculture Teacher
St. Mary Highschool
Hidden Valley, the Bedouin village of Aricha, is in the Negev desert of Israel. Hidden Village of Wadi Aricha is a small village of the Azazme tribe. Salman is trying to preserve the traditional Bedouin lifestyle of these villages by living in nature and presenting this traditional desert lifestyle. The 30 families who live in the village are some of the last Israeli Bedouins that still maintain a traditional lifestyle. The village is in the process of becoming the first Bedouin living museum where families host tourists in tents. Salman shows how by knowing these wonderful people, you can learn about preserving their traditional heritage and coping with the modern world surrounding them.
Keeping a traditional lifestyle in a modern world
Ecotourism: making a living in the desert
How children are brought up in this traditional society.
The Hidden Village – Traditional Bedouin Village
Uncharted Leadership Institute
Australian Adaptive Leadership Institute
Diana is co-founder of the Uncharted Leadership Institute and Chair of the Australian Adaptive Leadership Institute. In her work as a leadership educator, Diana weaves together adaptive leadership, complexity theory and adult development to help individuals, teams, and organisations better navigate change and make progress on complex challenges. Diana has co-authored 'Not Knowing: the art of turning uncertainty into an opportunity (2014), UK. Management Book of the Year, and 'Not Doing: the art of effortless action' (2018).
Leadership skills for complex times
Leading in uncertainty
Working across difference
Building effective teams
Power & influence
Archeologist and Museologist
Mine Küçük received her BA degree from Istanbul University in prehistoric archaeology and worked as an early Bronze Age specialist at Troia, Turkey. She received her MA degree in Ancient Studies and Museum Studies from the University of Minnesota. During her studies, she interned at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Soon after her graduation, she worked for the Science Museum of Minnesota as a content specialist, exhibit developer, and project manager for the Çatalhöyük Project. Upon her return to Istanbul, she coordinated European Union projects and worked as a content specialist with Swedish partners. She taught Museum Studies at Yeditepe University and Mimar Sinan University, prepared educational programmes for institutions, schools, foundations, and private companies about archaeology, museum studies, and art. Currently, she works as a curator and freelance consultant for various projects in areas of her expertise. She also trains exhibition guides for the International Biennials in Istanbul and the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.
How will museums look like in the future?
How could ethnographical material be exhibited in museums?
What are the burial customs in Anatolia?
Who were the first farmer communities in Anatolia?
Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology
Ben Gurion University
Alex is a founding member of Kibbutz Lotan. He grew up in New York State, studied international agriculture at Cornell University's School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and graduated from the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment with a degree in Soil and Water Sciences and Environmental Quality in Agriculture. During his tenure as Kibbutz Lotan's Planning Director, Alex coordinated and designed many of the community's unique buildings and strove to make the conventionally built facilities energy efficient. Alex completed his MSc. at Ben Gurion University's Department of Desert Architecture and Urban Planning / Institutes for Desert Research and has published his research on developing the energy-efficient building for extreme climates in conjunction with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. He consults in Israel and abroad and lectures on Permaculture and community planning, sustainable design technologies, passive solar design of energy-efficient buildings, and environmental ethics at the CfCE, universities and professional seminars worldwide.
• Construction with natural materials
• Biophilic design
• Green schools and Eco campuses
• Traditions connecting the calendar and agriculture
• Regenerative soil and agriculture systems
• Biological wastewater treatment systems
• Human sanitation systems
• Renewable energies
Art and Systems Science
Jeanette is a transdisciplinary artist and holds a PhD in Philosophy. She is based in Europe and Southeast Asia, where she works on transitions between art and science. She creates transcultural communication spaces and global learning. Her work includes installations, assemblages, collages, scenography, performances, graffiti, photography and texts. Artistic research, artistic interventions and participatory art projects and the conception and implementation of transdisciplinary and international projects and workshops are among her core competencies.
Since her doctoral studies, systems science have played an increasing role in her work. She is board member of the Society of Organizational Learning Austria and board member of the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS). Furthermore, she is an active partner of the Catalyst2030-Movement (www.catalyst2030.net).
Dissertation and publication on "Trust and Creativity. The Importance of Trust for Diverse Stakeholders in Innovation Networks"; "Theodor Körner Award" for Science and Art.
• ADD-CONNECT-GROW: Community building and systems thinking by using seeds
• FUTURE WALKWAYS: Re-connection and design by creating special paths for walking meditation in outside or indoor environments (office buildings, schools, apartments,
conferences, museums, galleries etc.)
• Making use of artistic methods for science communication
• Making use of artistic scenographies/projects for global goals
• Trust and creativity – creating 'trust rooms' for diverse stakeholders of change
• Making use of artistic methods for gender sensitisation
Kibbutz Lotan Center for Creative Ecology
Mark holds a BSc from the University of Sydney, where he majored in ecology and supplemented this with an Honours degree in marine ecology from the James Cook University of North Queensland. In 1989 he moved to Israel, joining Kibbutz Lotan in the southern Arava. Mark received a Masters degree in Education for Sustainability from the South Bank University of London that included a research project and dissertation entitled "Common Paths: A Jewish-Arab coexistence project between two schools in Israel. A case study in peace education". Mark served as General Secretary of the kibbutz in the years 2008-11. Since 2000 he has been a senior staff member and director of education in Lotan's Center for Creative Ecology, lecturing in the "Green Apprenticeship" training program, teaching and facilitating groups of adults, youth, and children developing programming around themes of community and sustainability.
• Holistic worldview
• The global economy and the dilemma of growth
• Localisation and the economics of happiness
• Regenerative Community Development
• Kibbutz system
Ashlei is a co-founder and co-director of Rē. Ashlei's background is in art & design, conservation, community development, permaculture, regenerative agriculture and sustainable food systems. She completed her MA in Applied Community-Based Conservation at Future Generations University in 2014, where she was a Peace Corps Coverdell Scholar. She also holds a BA in Studio Art-Ceramics & Education from the University of New Hampshire; a degree in Interior Design from Wentworth Institute of Technology; and a Teacher Certification from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education.
From 2010-2012, Ashlei was a Peace Corps volunteer based in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, where she focused on educational development, teachers leadership and women's empowerment activities. Ashlei has teaching, facilitation and research experience in the US, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and South Asia. In addition to her mother tongue of English, Ashlei is proficient in Italian, Bulgarian and Spanish. Ashlei directs the Peace & Power Within Initiative at Regenerative School – Rē.
Co-founder and co-director
Regenerative School- Rē
Kenneth graduated with a BSc. Degree in Animal Health, Production and Processing. He underwent further agricultural training in Israel's Arava Desert, earning a diploma from AICAT. He served as Group Leader and Mentor for 116 Kenyan agricultural interns training in South Israel from 2018 to 2019. Currently, Kenneth sits on the Training & Development Sub-Committee for the JNF Joint Institute for Global Food, Water & Energy Security. This 10-million-dollar initiative aims to build food, water and energy security among vulnerable communities in the developing world. Kenneth's ideas continue to inspire audiences in Kenya and beyond – he has skilfully demonstrated how best agribusiness can be used as a potent tool of international diplomacy.
The role of traditional African vegetables for health and wealth
The importance of developing tailored farmer-first climate-smart solutions for the traditional African farmer
Kenarava's story: founded by three young people raised in Kenya's lush villages and inspired by an Israeli desert.
In 1994, Maged El Said was inspired to relocate his family and start a small family-run restaurant by the sea, lovingly called Habiba, in Eygpt. Today Habiba Community has become one of the UN Ecosystem Restoration Camps. In response to social, economic and cultural pressures and several political shocks in the region, Maged eventually adapted the vision towards the greater goal of food security, community building, and a more responsible approach to the environment and tourism. This new tourism type can be employed as a strategy for facilitating sustainable agriculture and food security, local development, social-cultural and environmental conservation, community building, wellbeing, and education. It falls under the umbrella of responsible tourism and abides by the values of regenerative agriculture. Part of this effort is to help protect and secure Bedouin culture from the negative impact of tourism, financially and culturally. Habiba has been working towards an inclusive business model that allows other local players to collaborate and participate in community building.
• A case study of the Habiba community
• Social care for the local community
• Ecology and community
• Eco farms for education
Faculty + Researcher
Faculty of Architecture
Middle East Technical University
Anlı Ataöv is a professor and the associate dean in the Faculty of Architecture at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. She holds doctorate degrees in environmental aesthetics from the Ohio State University in the US and in action research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway. She works as a planner, professor, researcher and consultant for private, public, and national/international non-governmental organizations, institutions and commissions such as UNICEF, International Children’s Center, Work Research Insitute (AFI), SUNY Binghamton, City of Columbus, Greater Municipality of Istanbul, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey, the US, Norway, Denmark, and the UK. Her professional and academic practice and publications mainly focus on participatory planning and design (Ankara, Bursa, Kocaeli, Eskişehir, Nevşehir, Mardin, Binghamton, NY), sustainability and social change (children, youth, women, immigrants, employees), cultural/natural conservation area management (Nemrut-Adıyaman, Sagalassos-Ağlasun, Komana-Tokat, Datça-Bozburun, Ankara Historic Center and Neighborhoods), people and environment, arts and design. She is an activist in healthy and happy living, and in empowering international peace through sports and arts.
Participatory planning and community design
Sustainability and conservation
Experiential Design through arts
Didem describes herself as a Grow Architect, she has been working with global companies in different industries to curate culture and leadership transformation journeys. She has been listed in the Forbes Global Forty Over 40 Women to Watch list on diversity field. She is the founder of Grow Women Circle, circles where women can give voice to their visions, find the encouragement to step up and grow. She is the author of the book ‘The Grow-Forward Manifesto’, navigating leaders how to foster self, team and organizational grow. Didem has been part of the transformation journey in UNEP as a transformation consultant. Currently, she is working with private sector leaders to commit and craft roadmaps acting on UN Sustainable Development Goals. She has developed an SDG Ambassador program for organizations to create awareness, mobilize to take actions and be the change.
How to be the change: SDG Ambassador Program
Grow Journey: Curate your own Sustainable Living
Grow Forward Consulting
‘The Grow Forward Manifesto’ Book
Interior Designer and Lecturer
Lara completed her education at the Italian High School. In 2005, she studied Industrial Design (Bachelor) at NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan. She worked as a workshop assistant in the academy.
Upon her graduation in 2008, she gained internship/work experiences in different design studios. Autoban Architecture, Maybe Design: Erdem Akan studio, Alper Böler design studio, Ron Gilad studio ( Nyc, Tel Aviv ), FABRICA Benetton, Studio Jens Praet, she has worked actively in different studios such as La Bonbonniere Event Design & Management over the years.
In 2014, she participated in the Living & Interior Design MA program at Domus Academy, Milan and completed the program under the supervision of Patricia Urquiola. After MA, she returned to Istanbul in 2015 and continued her freelance design & interior design projects. Lara Karaso, who lived and worked in Tel Aviv, Israel, between 2017- 2021, now continues her freelance projects and works as an instructor at Istinye University, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design. She speaks English, Italian, Hebrew and Turkish.
Chef Sibel Pinto
Founder and Chef- instructor
Action Kashkarikas (www.kashkarikas.com)
Chef-instructor, a specialist in Turkish, Sephardi and Mediterranean Cuisines, founder of ‘Action Kashkarikas Wasteless Kitchen Mission’, WorldChefs certified sustainability education trainer, Agro Tech Paris certified ‘food waste prevention trainer’, anti-food waste coach& consultant, lecturer, Sibel Pinto is the author of ‘KASHKARIKAS: Wasteless Kitchen- A Turkish-Sephardi Chef’s Recipes and Stories’ (Nov 2021)
Chef Pinto has a post-graduate diploma in Taste, Gastronomy and Table Arts from Le Cordon Bleu Paris and the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing and Finance, from Bosphorus University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Chef Pinto is a Wasteless Kitchen Chef at UNDP Turkiye.
Lectures and Workshops:
Sustainability Education to Culinary professional
Food Waste Prevention Trainings
Wasteless kitchen practices from world cuisines
Slow Food Missions
Prof. Dr. Nilgül Karadeniz
Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Landscape Architecture
She graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Landscape Architecture. Her postgraduate studies focused on protected area planning and management of sensitive ecosystems.
She contributes NGOs and public institutions that focus on nature conservation, which includes: Doğa Derneği (Board Member, 2003–2008); UNESCO MaB Expert Committee (Member, 2003-2014); Nature Conservation Center Foundation (Founding member, 2014), UNDP GEF-SGP National Steering Committee (Member, 2003-2004); National Wetland Commission (Member, 2003-2004); Local Wetland Commission (Member, 2015-2022). She is among the founding members of the Association of Empower with Nature (2022).
Between 2006 and 2012, she was Secretary General and Vice President of ECLAS (European Association of Landscape Architecture Schools). She was a Steering Committee member between 2002-2013 in the LE:NOTRE Project. She is among the founding members of the LE:NOTRE Institute, which was established in the Netherlands in 2013. She was Vice President of the Institute between 2013-2016; she was President of the Institute between 2016-and 2018. She currently is one of the Board members of the Institute.
She worked as the Project Coordinator in the "Identification and Quantification of
Ecosystem Services Project" carried out in cooperation with FAO and the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry and undertaken by ANCEO Company in 2018-2019. She was
a National Protected Area Consultant in the "Conservation and Sustainable Management of Turke's Steppe Ecosystems Project" conducted in cooperation with FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 2018-2021. Since 2020, she has contributed as the Director of the Ecology Work Program at the Institute of Urban Studies in Ankara.
Environmental Scientist & Water Quality Microbiologist
University of Arizona
Natalie was born in New Hampshire, USA and has always been very fond of the outdoor environment, people’s interaction with Earth and its resources. She attended Castleton University earning a Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in 2007. Natalie became a quality control scientist at a micro-brewery in Vermont where she learned about water quality, wastewater science, food safety and sanitation. Natalie then moved to the desert southwest of the USA to earn her Master’s degree in Environmental Microbiology in 2013 and specialize in Water Quality. Water is a precious resource needed for drinking, agriculture, waste management, recreation and a home and reserve for wildlife. People need to know how to manage and protect our valuable resources to sustain life on this planet. Natalie is now a University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Research & Outreach Scientist who teaches water quality, food safety and waste management classes and performs microbiological research in that area of public health. Natalie works side by side with engineers, water managers and farmers to help manage water quality and teach people how to protect their food and people around them.