Welcome to Ecotopias Sustainability and Regeneration, where we strive to address the complex and urgent problems facing our world today. From climate change to social inequality, from pandemics to environmental degradation, we are dedicated to finding innovative and effective solutions to these challenges.
As Humans, the fate of our species is intimately connected to our ability to cooperate and imagine new realities. Ecotopias is a testament to this idea, as we bring together diverse organizations and individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives, united in a common purpose. Together, we believe that we can create a better future for all. As scientists and researchers, we are informed about the devastating impact of human activities on the natural world. But as our fundamental aim, our work is committed to also show us that it is not too late to act, and that by coming together and mobilizing for change, we can protect our planet and secure a livable future for generations to come.
And we are not alone in this endeavor. We draw inspiration from partners across the globe who have explored and got involved with the same themes, knowing the importance of collective action, the need for innovation and adaptation, and the power of imagination and creativity. Together our work shows us how to unleash our creativity and break free from limiting beliefs, by adopting a mindset of possibility and embracing the power of various art forms, we can unlock new solutions and approaches to the challenges we face. At the same time, we acknowledge the importance of systems thinking and learning organizations. By cultivating a shared vision, fostering collaboration, and continuously learning and adapting, we create adapted resilient and sustainable systems that benefit all.
Living together in the planet, it’s a challenge that we face daily the need to rethink our relationship with money and resources, and to embrace a mindset of sufficiency and generosity. By recognizing our interconnectedness and sharing our resources with others, we can create a more just and equitable society, while grow our awareness about the dangers and possibilities of the new digital economy, where our personal data is harvested and exploited for profit, once we have the power to reclaim our privacy and autonomy, rebuilding our relationship with companies, governments and institutions, creating together a more democratic and ethical use of technology for the benefit of all.
At Ecotopias, we draw on the insights and wisdom of our contemporary thinkers, artists, doers, teachers, authors and deep connected dwellers, as we work to create a world that is more sustainable, just, and equitable. We believe that by coming together, sharing knowledge and resources, and taking bold and innovative action, we can overcome the challenges that confront us and build a better future for all.
Vision, Mission & Objectives
Vision: mosaicking landscapes across continents
Mission: nurture strategic partnerships to restore and rebuild livelihoods in the mountains and ranges, with biodiverse forests and agroforests, to influence and interact with climate in regional and continental scale
1- Build a coalition to deploy the Climate Design Project
2- Engage networks and commissions to build a positive narrative about the close connection between territories and climate
3- Build a cross multisectorial platform to develop the needed tools for the primary objectives
Ecotopias starts at the year 2008 in Brazil, as a continuation of a trajectory that comes from applied research of the ecological, economical, social, cultural and political effects of the development of large scale cross-continent biodiverse agroforests. At the beginning Ecotopias was focused on courses and consultancies, attending mostly students from various fields, as well as farmers and institutions. After some time, and with the constant and difficult to grasp updates from the experts in climate, geopolitics and global economy, arose the understanding that the speed and the scale of the work should be different, much different.
Many years have been spent visiting places, sharing perspectives, classes, conferences, asking difficult questions and having important feedbacks from those who also commit their lives in perform a deep connection with the earth, listening the others, observing societal mistakes and achievements with the same disobliged attention. After this time, Ecotopias have been transformed into a school for sustainability and regeneration, focused in build together the environment of learning and development necessary to participate in the decisions for healthier livelihoods, in the proper scale.
How we act
As a School, in the traditional meaning of the concept, we bring an awareness about the mosaic of cultures that shapes us, identifying what is prevalent and more relevant to take in consideration, combining the capacity of understanding and choosing criteria before applying them.
In practical terms, we offer a range of courses, workshops, training programs and events related to ecological based technologies, as well as publications. As our main objective is The Climate Design Project, and most of our efforts are to build the conditions to make it real. By engaging networks and performing professional training for community support we are also involved in territorial-level prospectives for sustainable and regenerative ecological society.
In early years, visiting family friends in farms and forests in Brazil’s
countryside, I got contact with other perspectives and ways to live,
understand, submerge in nature. Then started hiking, trekking and exploring
mountains and natural parks in the tropical rainforest (Mata Atlântica), having
very long walks as main practice of meditation.
I’m a philosopher, educator, territorial planner, sculptor and
agroecologist. My focus is to work in the proper scales using proper tools,
with ecological based technologies.
Most of my work as teacher, researcher and consultant have been towards large
scale watersheds, biodiverse forests and syntropic agroforests. My academic
studies was in philosophy, agroecology and social communication, and
specialization in education and arts teaching, and my professional experience
includes conferences and lectures in many international events, such as World
Social Foruns 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010; 5000+ hours of consultancies in
the past 20 years, 1000+ students in short and long courses, and thousands of
hectares of experience in design, planning, planting and management of
agroforests and syntropic agriculture.
Daniel has run Ecotopias for 15 years, and is co-founder of the Brazilian Bamboo Association.
Cândida Shinn was born and raised in the South of Portugal. A Nature-lover from early on, she studied Biology, Aquatic Ecotoxicology and Restoration Ecology, which led her to an international career in research. After much questioning of why there was so much information about the problems in the world but not so much about the urgently needed solutions, Cândida trained in Kundalini Yoga, Permaculture, and as a facilitator in South America and Europe. Early on in this transformational process she identified the key factor to prioritise in any restoration project: the social element. Cândida now lives back in her homeland, developing educational opportunities in Permaculture and related topics, while co-creating a territorial recovery design for a region that is suffering from rapid desertification and extreme lack of Water. Her dream: to swim again in the crystalline Algarvian rivers on warm Summer days, knowing that the rural environment is again busy with a diverse, thriving and resilient network of professionals from all areas and of all ages.
Cândida co-organized European Permaculture Convergence in 2021, the European Permaculture Forum in 2023, the Global Earth Repair in 2022, and is also member of the International Permaculture Convergence Council.