Prize Year: 2018

Cultivate: Traditional practical skills for women of the future

As three women working in the woodland industry, Cultivate observe the under-representation of women in this sector. Its work is gratifying and ecologically sound; contributing to the regeneration of woodlands, and reducing the ‘need’ for cheap imports. Cultivate finds that this work constantly reminds us of our place in the fragile ecosystem.

Cultivate is keen to get young women out into the woods to develop their own relationship with the natural world through practical activities. Through these activities, they may be motivated into lifework which supports environmental regeneration, and challenges gender roles and wealth accumulation as indicators of success.

Over time, it hopes to acquire a woodland base, practicing agro-ecology, where young women can develop skills to become mentors to the next generation.

Photo: Cultivate: Traditional practical skills for women of the future

Protect the Future Association/ApPró Tech

Protect the Future, founded in 2000, has been a formative environmental NGO in Hungary. It functions as an incubator for projects which promote citizens’ participation in all levels and creative action on environmental issues, food sovereignty and small-scale energy initiatives. In 2013 it established the Transition Communities project which is now an active network of 30+ grass-roots community initiatives in Hungary.

ApPró Tech was set up to tackle fuel poverty and winter heating in rural, and mostly Roma, communities who use wood-fired systems. The project works collaboratively with the communities to help people build efficient masonry heaters for their homes with a process that also promotes social cohesion.

Photo: Protect the Future Association/ApPró Tech

Todmorden Strawbale Hotel

Todmorden Strawbale Hotel (TSbH) was formed in November 2016 as a vehicle for a development on a brownfield site in Todmorden town centre.

Given the use of the site in recent years for community growing and festivals, people stated that they wished the land to continue to be freely accessible for social and community purposes.

TSbH imagined a business owned by the community, for the community, to design, build and operate a strawbale hotel and events centre. There will be opportunities for local people to develop skills in natural building methods; the community will be able to hold events and accommodate visitors in an environmentally responsible way; the visitor economy will develop to the benefit of all; and the building will be an exemplar of innovative and sustainable community action.

Photo: Todmorden Strawbale Hotel

Terrena, Cocreating with Nature

Being part of small-scale organic agriculture grass-roots organizations, the founder of Terrena realized that Bolivia has no access to organic seeds. The tradition of seed guarding is slowly disappearing. So a community seed bank was started.

Terrena gathered, cleaned, and kept seeds, and made them available to farmers communities through exchange. It saw a need for organic seed suppliers, and more structured and professional seed guarding, so producers can access high quality organic seeds.

It is running a pilot with three farmers, to establish three small seed gardens to produce nine different types of organic vegetable seeds. As it runs this pilot, it is developing a system that will train producers on the technical and management skills needed to organize a Bolivian organic seed guardian cooperative.

Quinta Das Abelhas

Quinta Das Abelhas is a bee sanctuary, supported by water retention, soil health, reforestation and land regeneration strategies, on 12 hectares of land.

It will share ideas and education with others and invite thought leaders from diverse fields to teach from the land through events and workshops. It will develop the idea by inviting others to jointly own the land, and establish a formal charity and co-ownership structure.

In 5 years time there will be flowing water on the land, solar energy infrastructure for all requirements; a thriving bee population where the project re-distributes healthy bees to locals; biodiversity in trees, plants and insects; healthy soil, renovated ruins, natural round timber-framed homes and an 11-metre round house for training and celebration.

Photo: Quinta Das Abelhas

Project Planet Clean Up

After working for many years with ecobricks (plastic bottles filled with rubbish), the founder of Project Planet Clean Up realised the need to find a way to work with the global issue of rubbish in a larger way. After researching machines that are able to chip plastic and melt it down into construction materials, it seemed that this was a way to help environmentally, socially and economically.

By paying people by weight to bring cleaned and sorted plastic to the machine it can then be transformed into a saleable product. This will clean the environment while creating a social enterprise to assist communities most in need.

Plastic Wood is lightweight, water-resistant, and prevents deforestation. Once proven, we can replicate around the world, to bring a solution to one of the global tragedies we face.

Photo: Project Planet Clean Up

Permaculture and Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group

The Permaculture and Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group (PDRRWG) recognises that globally, individuals and groups draw on permaculture to develop general resilience, but feel that further benefits can emerge when communities and individuals are able to share and learn patterns of best practice in regenerative Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Permaculture practitioners have the potential to better support their communities through a more defined focus on bringing disaster preparedness, through permaculture design, into community planning processes.

This project will host online seminars, and develop learning materials and information guides.

It plans to develop a permaculture and DRR resource book, and design and implement an advanced course training Permaculture practitioners to facilitate community emergency and DRR processes.

Jewels in the Desert

For the last 43 years, the Sahrawi people have been forced to occupy five ‘temporary’ camps in the Sahara Desert. Presently, the Sahrawis numbers are approximately 100,000 individuals.

During their visit, the Surplus Permaculture design team was deeply moved by several bootstrap-businesses.Through training in integrated design, whole-systems thinking and regenerative business administration, plus consequential micro-lending, Jewels in the Desert aim to support the creation of enterprises that leverage existing waste streams, close loops and nurture collaborative growth while stimulating the local economy.

A business incubator will promote environmental regeneration, food sovereignty, youth empowerment, economic independence and capacity building, all towards a sustainable future.


Guaracy is about agriculture and the empowerment of rural youth. It focuses on the production of sustainable food products through syntropic agriculture (planting like nature does in the forest).

It connects the producer to the organic marketplace and provides socioeconomic opportunities for the new generation of rural youth in agriculture. Its business plan starts with consultancy services and short courses to strengthen the trend of urban agriculture and agro-ecology, followed by the production of healthy food products.

It wants to welcome eco-tourism and agro-tourism. Guaracy offers hope of living with dignity, overcoming the poverty and marginalisation trap that landless groups have to deal with.

  • Community, Food, Landscapes
  • Portuguese, English
  • Landless Workers' Movement rural settlement Ho Chi Minh | Assentamento do Movimento Sem Terra - MST Ho Chi Minh
    Nova União
    Minas Gerais

Farm2Plate Malaysia

Farm2platemalaysia was founded because it was felt that organic farmers’ markets would benefit from cooking demonstrations, to educate consumers about how to cook and eat local produce. It started cooking workshops for kids and adults at a local organic farmers’ market and a local organic farm.

Some of its projects collaborate with small scale organic farmers, with 65% of the profit returning back to them. It also conducts cooking modules at a school. Its modules are modified from Alice Water’s The Edible Schoolyard Project so that it fits into the country’s setting. It wants to see more children connected to soil, learning to grow food and cook.

Photo: Farm2Plate Malaysia