ANGELOS VARVAROUSIS is an urban planner and researcher based in Athens and Barcelona whose work revolves around the topics of #degrowth, the commons, solidarity economies, self-organization, migration and alternative lifestyles.
He is currently employed by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) and he coordinates a research project on Commons and Social Movements while he also teaches the relevant course at the Master Program on Political Ecology, Degrowth and Environmental Justice.
Angelos has worked with major international institutions such as the European Commision, the British Council, the Onassis Cultural Foundation and the Oslo Architecture Triennale.
He is developing the theoretical framework of "Liminal Commons" in order to understand and theorise temporary #commoning experiences in the contemporary world.
Angelos is also an activist, musician, dancer, and carpenter.
Vera PetkantchinGreen entrepreneurship, Junior Achievement Bulgaria
Green entrepreneurship, Junior Achievement Bulgaria
Holds a Master's degree in International Relations from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" and Sustainable Mountain Development at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. Has rich experience in conceptualizing and managing projects in the field of entrepreneurship education, environmental protection and the links between them. Author of educational content on green entrepreneurship, has published research papers and articles in the field of entrepreneurship in the mountain regions, blended learning in the teaching of green entrepreneurship and others. Communicates successfully and adapts to diverse teams, groups of people and situations. Co-founder of The Edge, the spin-off company of JA Bulgaria. Dreams about and works for a world where people value nature for its own sake and do not look at it solely as a resource for the consumer society.
Will BuckinghamCreative writing, Social justice, Philosophy and Social anthropology
Creative writing, Social justice, Philosophy and Social anthropology
Will Buckingham is a writer and philosopher, and one half of the Wind&Bones project, running projects across the world in writing, creativity and social justice. Will has been teaching both writing and philosophy for over two decades. He is the author of over ten books, including A Practical Guide to Happiness: Think Deeply and Flourish (Icon Books 2017) and Lucy and the Rocket Dog (Knopf 2018). He is currently researching a book about hospitality and the art of welcoming strangers, called Hello Stranger: Stories of Connection in a Divided World (Granta, forthcoming 2020). Will has worked and lectured in universities and higher education institutions in Indonesia, Myanmar, China, Bulgaria, France and the UK. He has a PhD in philosophy and an MA in anthropology. He gets excited by thinking about how writing can change the world, and by exploring how to put ancient philosophical traditions to work in the twenty-first century, to help transform our lives for the better.
There’s more information about Will’s work on his personal website.
Jason NardiЕthical finance, Solidarity economy and how to implement it locally
Еthical finance, Solidarity economy and how to implement it locally
Jason NARDI is an Earth inhabitant born in Florence, Italy. He also happens to have a US citizenship, thanks to his mother. An activist since youth, he has worked and campaigned for many different causes and is a member of several civil society networks and organisations.
An advocate for social justice, ethical finance and communication rights, he is an active member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, has been organiser for Terra Futura (Italian yearly event on Social solidarity economy with more than 50’000 participants) and has co-created Zoes.org – the first Italian social network for SSE. With a background on Communication and media (Princeton University, USA and a Master’s degree at the University of Florence), he has been director of the Italian center of Oneworld.net – Unimondo (www.unimondo.org). Since 2015, Jason is general delegate for RIPESS - Solidarity Economy Europe network (ripess.eu) and is part of the RIPESS Intercontinental board of directors.
Recently he’s worked on an app to map European SSE initiatives and on a game on Ethical Banking with the Banca Etica Foundation. In his hometown, Florence (Italy), he’s promoting the CSA Community Supported Agriculture network and Solidarity Economy District. He’s also a trainer on Solidarity Economy topics and co-founded Solidarius in Italy (solidarius.it), a research-consulting organisation to help develop solidarity economy networks, part of a Brasilian based international network (Solidarius.net).
In his free time, Jason enjoys walking in nature and bike-riding, acro-yoga and playing the clarinet in a street band.
Hannah StevensCreative writing, Gender and LGBTQ equality
Hannah Stevens writes short stories, creative non-fiction and children’s books. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and her short stories have been widely anthologised and featured in literary journals. Her first book-length collection, In Their Absence, is soon to be published by Roman Books.
She is one half of the Wind&Bones project and has taught creative writing workshops in a wide range of settings in the UK, Greece, Bulgaria, Taiwan and Myanmar.
Hannah has years of experience working to advocate for LGBTQ+ communities and is particularly interested in further developing work in the areas of LGBTQ+ and gender.
Nadezhda MaksimovaNature preservation and exploration aficionado, Writer and visionary
Nature preservation and exploration aficionado, Writer and visionary
Alternative living and mountain escape. Search for the lost knowledge of living simple and nature connected life. Ways to preserve this knowledge, promote it and adapt it to challenging new reality. How allelopathy, knowledge of herbs and observation the dynamics of wildlife can teach humanity to make the right steps towards its survival. Creating alternative life networks and sources of information. Brief presentation of the website – www.ograbvane.com
Galina Dimitrova-DimovaArt studies, Digital art, Socio-cultural projects, Rural & art
Art studies, Digital art, Socio-cultural projects, Rural & art
Galina Dimitrova-Dimova is an art specialist, curator and an organizer of cultural projects. She has a Master degree on Art studies at the National academy of fine art (1994-1999) and a PhD on the same discipline (2016-2019). A lecturer in the Master program for digital art at NAFA.
Her work areas include art in public spaces, digital art and socio-cultural projects. She's a co-curator and organizer of the International festival of digital art DA fest since 2009; a co-founder of DA Lab foundation (2018); coordinator of projects in Credo Bonum foundation (2011-2019) and a curator of its gallery space (2013-2015). She's been a curator of the festival for public art in Zapaden park (Sofia, 2012-2014) and a leader of the artistic project of Center for media arts Interspace (Sofia, 1999-2008).
Galina has implemented curator projects with Bulgarian and foreign artists and organizes forums and conferences on broad spectrum of topics related to contemporary art and culture. She organizes trainings of debutant artists and is a co-author of documentaries and experimental movies.
She lives with her family in a village in Bulgaria and is an ambassador of the richness and health a rural living could offer to the contemporary lifestyle.
István Szakáts works as an artist, curator, and cultural producer. He has been advocating for empowerment through culture, socially engaged art and active citizenship for more than 20 years. He is president of the AltArt Foundation and member of the Directors Board of Fabrica de Pensule (space for contemporary arts) in Cluj, Romania. As a multimedia artist, István has co-designed and produced a series of works including Samples – a sequel of mixed reality performances in public space on citizen rights, empowerment and reappropriation of public space, included in the programmes of several European Capitals of Culture (Istanbul, Pécs, Mons). He has taught various media related disciplines at the Cinema, Media and Television Department of the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and the Sapientia University from 2005-2015. István holds a university degree in Fine Arts (2003) and Computer Sciences (1992). His current worldy interests include guitar playing, advaita philosophy and guerrilla military theory / practice.
Yanina Taneva-GeorgievaRural areas, Intergenerational connections, Founder of Ideas Factory Association
Rural areas, Intergenerational connections, Founder of Ideas Factory Association
The trust in the power of the “problem environment” to be an incubator for unique social innovation is the air that I breathe and the water that I swim in. I’m probably addicted to the radical thesis that the course of our human evolution depends on the unleashing of the creative potential. And maybe now is the exact time to redefine the word “development” and to orient it towards human happiness. I work as a “catalyst” and a „fuel” for small ideas and imaginative people with extraordinary potential for social change. I’m a strategic communicator by profession, a lover of shared visions, lecturer, trainer, blogger and traveler. Co-founder of Ideas Factory, as well as others similar crazies like the Time Shop and Changemakers Academy. In my pocket I always wear … a red clown nose.
Let's gather together in front of the main venue of EMPATHEAST 2019 - House of science and technics (Gladston 1 str.) - and drum our intentions for the forum and charge its heartbeat with our empathy towards one another.
House of Science and Technics / Lucky cinema - PLOVDIV
The heart of all EMPATHEAST editions is the lectures and discussions part, which is always interactive. This year we invited 10 renown speakers which are experts in quite diverse fields of world-changing - solidarity economy, ecological and social innovations, intergenerational connections, art in rural areas, democratic culture, allelopathy and more). All of them will speak about the depth of current social, cultural and ecological problems and practical steps for solving them.
Check who they are and the instruments they use to change the world for a better - HERE.
House of Science and Technology / Lucky cinema - PLOVDIV
Movie night with discussions:19.00 h - "Why would Friday be so lovely" - dir. Boryana Pandova and Ivan Nikolov / 28 min, 2008 / Non-traditional and provocative journey through the Bulgarian cultural heritage, while traveling throughout different outlaying part of our country. The movie is flavoured with humour and love for our traditions and customs.
discussion 20.00 h - "Unlock the stage" / 27 min, 2018 / A story about the revival of the cultural community hub (chitalishte) in Tatarevo village (Plovdiv region) by an multinational group of volunteer artists and the founding of the annual multigenre festival in the village because of that.
discussionHouse of Science and Technology / Lucky cinema - PLOVDIV
Our World café discussion will unleash the imagination of more than 100 participants around the possible answers to the question: “Re-population: What conditions could attract young people to villages and rural areas and reverse the current tendency of depopulation there?”. We will talk about the possible practical steps we could undertake in order to counteract the process of depopulation of rural areas in Bulgaria. We will discuss the various reasons for depopulation as a problem of national importance and will focus on solutions to the challenges that prevent young people from living in rural areas.
Register for free at -> firstname.lastname@example.orgCentral Post Office, Central sq. 1
A safe space for young social entrepreneurs and support of good ideasCATAPULT is a "scene" prepared especially for the presentation of social or cultural entrepreneurial ideas for innovations and initiatives of young Bulgarian entreprenurers. All of them have been participants in different Ideas Factory's initiatives: Baba Residence, Social Innovation Challenge and Art Innovation Challenge.
Each one of the ideas has a realistic potential to bring positive and desired from the community social change, but it needs support and fruitful feedback, which it recieves during CATAPULT. Ideas could also be supported financially.
Location: Total sport (Ekzah Yosif 13 str.) - PLOVDIV
A workshop led by István Szakáts for citizen / artists / cultural workers / cultural managers who :
1. are aware about the power / political phenomena in the cultural sector;
2. assume conflict as natural and neutral;
3. want to improve their negotiation / fighting skills.
The participants will select a specific case from the cultural sector and work on it by applying a theoretical framework.
House of Science and Technology / Lucky cinema
What do you want to change? How do you want to change it? In this practical writing workshopwithWIll Buckingham and Hannah Stevens (Wind&Bones), we will explore some of history’s most powerful manifestos. And we will connect with our deepest concerns to write manifestos of our own.
Working language: EnglishHouse of Science and Technology / Lucky cinema
Come and bring a home cooked meal! We will share food and the joy of the Sunday ease around a long table.
This part of the program is organised together with BG be active and the grannies from our Baba Residence. They will also prepare a few traditional dishes.
IMPORTANT! PLEASE, PLEASE bring the food in metal, glass, ceramic or wooden utensils. Let's make this tasty meeting as waste-free as possible. Thank you!
Location: on a meadow on Hill of Youth (TBA more precisely)
A playful action with objects donated by fans of Baba Residence. An experienced facilitator will lead it and all the guests will have the chance to buy either aesthetically beautiful object or one of a pragmatic value during the auction. The money will be donation for the implementation of Baba Residence in 2020.