Communicating the value of community-led action at Almedalen, Sweden

June 28th – july 5th 2015 : REALS, Permaculture Sweden and Transition Sweden went by wind to Almedalsveckan, Gotland.

11147168_10153554914698690_1130096664293714187_oAltogether six seminars and workshops were hosted under REALS umbrella during the “Almedalenweek 2015” in Visby:

Three workshops had the focus on the question “is inner transition needed to solve today’s social-ecological challenges?”. Hosts were Pella Thiel, Amanda Martling, Peter Hagerrot and Emilia Rekestad. Introduction to inner transition was made through different exercises and models (eg from which led to generative conversations and dialogue around the need for inner transition, behavioural change and personal resilience. These workshops were made within a platform called“Almedalens goda samtal – möten Sverige behöver” (Almedalens good conversations – meetings that Sweden needs) where 8 different organisations co-hosted the common space.

Two panels /seminars were arranged together with Ekobanken (The Ecobank, Sweden). 11222810_10152999891477285_6283973024211611930_nThe first with focus on “Ecocide legislation as leverage for sustainable investment flows” where organizations such as WWF, Ragnsells, Transition Sweden, End Ecocide Sweden and Ekobanken where invited to a conversaition around the possibility of an international law on crimes against nature –Ecocide. The campaign for Ecocide is a movement which grows rapidly in Sweden and it was well represented at Almedalen. Ecocide would benefit local initiatives through the protection of ecosystems, ecosystemservices and -through that- community resilience.

The second seminar had the title “When “planetary boundaries” isn´t enough as a story – what do we do?”, and focused on the role of local, community-led action and development. Contributors where Terese Bengard, director Hela sverige ska leva (Whole sweden shall live), Niila Inga , Svenska Samernas Riksförbund (Swedish Sami Association), Peter Hagerrot and Pella Thiel Transition
Sweden and Emilia Rekestad from REALS and the Swedish Ecovillage Association.

And, lastly, an important meetingplace was the “Transition-picnic”; a forum where involved hosts and others could meet and reflect around the shared time and the experience of being immersed in the “Almedalen phenomena”.

Aside to these planned events, we made the decision to be at Almedalen due to the immense value which also is given by unplanned meetings and events “in the coorridors”, the participation in events hosted by other actors and the building of bridges between a diversity of stakeholders whom all work for a more beneficial society and future.

The intention was that our presence during the week would be permeated by Transition- and permaculture ethics and values, whit focus on holistic thinking (earth care, social care, fair shares); the role of community-led action; positive visioning and focus on solutions; diversity seen as resource; inclusion and openness/transparency; networking; inner transition. It was great to see that this intention truly came alive, and that it was appreciated by participants, the contributors, collaborators and audiences.

(The Almedalen week is a forum which year after year gathers a wide spectra of actors with a common ground in their interst of societal influence and impact, and thousands of seminars and forums were presented during 7 days).


Our program:

Between Monday 28 June and Thursday, 2 July, we organized the following seminars and activities:

  • Is inner Transition needed to solve today’s social-ecological challenges?

3 interactive meetings in conjunction with initiatives co-development:

29/6  11:30 to 12:45, 30/6 , 11:30 to 12:45, 2/7 , 09:45 to 11:15  St. Hans gården, Hansgatan 32

What significance does our worldview and our self-image have for the ability to find solutions to today’s socio-ecological challenges? Can interactive conversations and meetings increase our capacity for sustainable lifestyle and transition?

Organizer and facilitators: REALS Permaculture Sweden, Initiativ Samutveckling, Transition Network; Peter Hagerrot, Amanda Martling, Emilia Rekestad, Pella Thiel

Address of event:

  • Picknick for Transition: How can we meet global challenges in our local contexts?

1/7 12:00 to 12:30 Next to the Botanical Garden. Meet at Tranhusgatan 5. Cancelled in case of rain / excessive bad weather.

Welcome to share a picnic with conversations about sustainability. Special focus is given to the importance of local community involvement and participation for social, economic and ecological sustainability. Take with you what you want to eat, drink and sit on. (Please minimize garbage)

We sort and recycle the garbage produced, but be happy to take compostable or reusable plates / cups and packaging.

Organizer: Permaculture Sweden, REALS, Transition network, CEMUS

  • Ecocide legislation as leverage for sustainable investment flows  

1/7  4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m., Uppsala University, Campus Gotland, Cramérgatan 3, Room D20

Interest in international law on crimes against nature -ecocide- is growing globally. Such legislation could mean big changes in investment flows. What doors are closed and which is opened? Is this proposal feasible?

Panelists: Annika Lauren, VD, Ekobanken, Jonas Roupé, Marknadschef RagnSells. Pella Thiel, End ecocide Sweden. Stefan Hemmingsson, cirector of climate, WWF Sverige.

Organizer: Ekobanken, Transition network Sweden End ecocide Sweden, Cemus, REALS, Permaculture Sweden

Address of event:

  • When “PLANETARY BOUNDARIES” isn´t enough as a story – what do we do?

2/7 2015 8:00 to 8:50, Uppsala University, Campus Gotland, Cramérgatan 3

Global network of local initiatives for transition are emerging worldwide. People act locally and on their own initiative for a sustainable future. What do they have in common? Are they providing hope in a time of widespread hopelessness? And what does community engagement mean for future sustainable solutions?

Participants/panelists: Pella Thiel, Transition network. Annika Laurén, CEO, Ekobanken, Peter Hagerrot, Transition network. Emilia Rekestad, Swedish Ecovillage Association, REALS, Terese Bengard, director, Hela Sverige Ska Leva/ Whole Sweden Shall Live

Organizer: Ekobanken, Transition network Sweden, REALS, Permaculture Sweden, Cemus

Address of event:

The participation of REALS and Permaculture Sweden in Almedalsveckan is supported by the Swedish Institute (

Link to program flyer in swedish: Program Almedalen Permakultur, Omställning, REALS