Wendenstraße 10,
99089 Erfurt, Thüringen

Dienstag bis Freitag: 10:00 - 18:00

Greencademy youth exchange


Climate change, global pandemics, desertification and chronic diseases are by far the greatest challenges facing our civilization today. In most cases, these are symptoms that are primarily caused by short-term and less holistic market cycles and land use concepts. Direct consequences such as soil degradation, extreme decline in biodiversity and major loss of CO2-binding biomass, as well as a sharp decline in natural resource zones for undiscovered active ingredients and species threaten life on our planet. We believe that alternative solutions are needed for the production of food and fuels, as well as sustainable and holistic concepts that counteract the problems mentioned. To this end, we launched our programme to build a trans-European network of organizations and institutions to activate, professionalize and connect young people as multipliers and founders of initiatives so that they can develop practical methods and programmes to implement an agricultural turnaround. This program aims to equip young people with the tools to further develop their ideas into concepts and to work together effectively and dynamically across borders, to exchange knowledge and experience more quickly in order to build a trans-European network of actors for holistic and regenerative agriculture and lifestyles.

First European youth exchange “Next Level – Greencademy 2021”

Our European youth exchange took place from 21 to 30 September as part of the Greencademy program. The participants from all over Europe took up residence in the Mariengarten, a traditional orchard in the south of Erfurt.

During the first few days, holistic management expert Leon Bucher introduced the participants to the topic of regenerative agriculture.

Many of the young people grew up on farms, work in this field themselves or studied environmentally related subjects. They reported on how agriculture is managed in their home countries and the challenges farmers face as a result of the climate crisis and a global economy.

By taking soil samples directly on site, the participants learned a simple method of getting to know their existing environment better and assessing it according to holistic principles.

On a bicycle tour to Cobstädt, ten kilometers from Erfurt, the participants saw many examples of already eroded soils covering hundreds of hectares. Where once fertile black soil covered the ground, fodder maize and wheat cultivation in huge monocultures have severely restricted biodiversity and caused soil erosion.

At LebensGut Cobstädt, however, a socio-ecological community project, the participants saw a near-natural, holistic farm. A community consisting of a network of nine farms cultivates 12 hectares with a sustainable agro-ecological and cultivation system and is a good example of how crop cultivation and biodiversity can be promoted while guaranteeing long-term economic success.

Over the next few days, the young people also visited Erfurt’s Kressepark, one of the oldest aquaponic facilities in Europe, and learned more about the importance of plant cultivation and seed breeding in the history of Erfurt.

Over the next few days, they formed their own ideas for regenerative and holistic agriculture into presentations in various project groups, which they presented to local stakeholders at the Erfurt Federal Garden Show.

For example, concepts for urban farming, working networks for farmers and initiatives or prototypes for the implementation of holistic regenerative lifestyles were developed.

On the last day, all participants sat down together and discussed how they could continue to work together on the idea of a green academy network in the future.

Greencademy youth exchange - Images