SwitchMed Training Workshop for “Grassroots Initiatives on Social Eco-Innovation” (11-14 March, 2017 @ SEKEM EcoVillage, Egypt)

As part of the EU-funded SwitchMed Civil Society Empowerment Programme, a free-of-charge four-day training workshop is co-IMG-20170311-WA0017organized by CEDARE in partnership with the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP/RAC) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA).

“The Programme promotes innovative approaches and targets early-stage non-profit initiatives by individuals or groups represented by members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), environmental organisations, consumer groups, social movements or community-based initiatives, among others, who wish to develop their social eco-innovation initiatives. This would be achieved by sharing of knowledge and experience in a way that facilitates the transition into a more sustainable lifestyle”, said Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Manager of Sustainable Growth Programme, CEDARE. He also highlighted that the training covers several aspects namely; Sustainable Consumption and Production definitions and methodologies as well as the change of current and stereotyped misconceptions in its various forms and much more.

The training sessions foster mutual empowerment and collective learning by showcasing other initiatives in the Mediterranean Region and depending on exchange of experience by participatory learning, in addition to establishing a network of grassroots initiatives on social eco-innovation for the promotion of SCP. The workshop also provides field visits and a guiding handbook. A certificate of completion will be finally granted to committed participants.

A call for application has been recently published inviting a wide range of society actors to apply for the training. These are who have initiatives engaged in cooperatives, environmental initiatives, organic food consumer groups, collaborative consumption and sharing initiatives, participatory production, ethical finance cooperatives, cooperative housing cooperatives and associations engaged in sustainable lifestyles whether in health, environmental, & social aspects, besides sustainable transportation, sustainable building and renewable energy and social initiatives aiming at reducing material and energy consumption and waste generation and others.

20 initiatives were selected according to several eligibility criteria, the most important of which was innovation, whether in implementation, idea, or any novelty leading to a change. After the workshop, the top two initiatives will be selected to receive personalized technical support for additional months.