Albert Bates

Albert is a retired environmental lawyer, innovator and author of more than a dozen books on energy, environment and history. He is one of the biggest permaculture experts in the world and a pioneer of the Ecovillages movement. He co-founded the Ecovillage Network of the Americas and the Global Ecovillage Network. He has spread his valuable knowledge in more than 60 nations and co-operated with many indigenous cultures in North and South America.  As Albert says “the problem is not in technology, we know how to fix the climate, the problem is in humans.” Albert participates as a visiting lecturer at our international EDE Estonia 2019 course.

Bernd Neugebauer

Bernd is an expert in environmental sustainability and agroforestry. He is one of the very few people in the world who has been able to restore a rain forest – that took him only 15 years whereas ecologists told him that it will take 600. Over 5 generations his family has planted more than 3 trillion trees in Germany alone. His family is one of the reasons Germany could rebuild its forests quickly after two devastating wars. Since 1995 Bernd has been developing organic initiatives in Yucatán, re-establishing traditional Mayan ways and means for the younger generations.  He is also the co-founder of IFOAM and the Forest Stewardship Council Germany. Bernd participates as a visiting lecturer at our international EDE Estonia 2019 course.

Ave Tuisk

Ave studied history in Tartu University and worked for 10 years as a high school history teacher. Since that period She is intrigued by the Dynamics of social relationships. She has practiced conscious self-development and her life has been in constant change. She has completed self-development trainings by Andrew Barnes, Karta Singh, Peruquois, Nadeshwari Joythimayananda, Eugene Hedlund, Magalie Bonneau-Marcil and Robert Silber. She has finished a year-long Tantric Life Coach course by Shanti Limnell. Ave got involved with the activities of the Estonian Ecovillage Movement and in 2014 She moved to Ecovillage Small Footprint. While living in a community She found her passion for the social aspect of the eco-community lifestyle. As harmonious and transparent relationships are one of the pillars of community life, She has a chance and necessity to study her sphere of interest closely both in practice and theory. She is deeply convinced that harmonious relationships are possible only when being in harmony with oneself, that requires getting to know oneself and taking responsibility for the whole of your reality. She gives workshops on empowering relationships and teaches the theory and practice of the social aspect of eco-community lifestyle.

Liina Järviste

Liina is a gardener and Ecovillage activist. She is one of the founders of the Small Footprint community and has been active at the Estonian GEN movement for quite some years. Also She has lived at Ängsbacka community in Sweden. Permaculture and Ecovillage life has been of great interest to her for the past 12 years. As her former professional background is related to social sciences and gender studies She is also very interested in social processes and social sustainability of intentional communities. In everyday life She is fundraising and supporting projects that benefit community development at Ängsbacka as well as Small Footrpint community. For several years Liina has been active growing organic food for restaurants. Lately She is also active as facilitator of permaculture and gardening workshops and community development sessions. Currently She is actively contributing to growing food to her own community.

Paavo Eensalu

Paavo has been since year 2000 searching for answers to the question, how to live in harmony with myself, others and nature. This search has taken him to interesting places and by now he has ended up in the Ecovillage Small Footprint where he is most curious about sustainable relationships and group processes or how to create a co-creative culture. He has found that pessimism doesn’t serve us, because there are always several solutions, and harmonious, mature and transparent relationships are possible, although require conscious care. He sees problems as possibilities for growth. Paavo believes that starting with ourselves, we can have a positive impact on the world as we are foremost (co)creators, not mere consumers. Studies in the following fields have moulded him: biosensory psychology, tantra (tantric life coach), permaculture (PDF certificate), ZEGG forum, sociocracy, Dragon Dreaming, nonviolent communication, natural building, participatory leadership, gift economy, yoga and meditation. He holds a BA in information sciences from Tallinn University. He works as freelance translator and interpreter, relationship trainer, photographer, videographer, musician and woodworking teacher for children.

Riinu Lepa

Riinu has a Masters degree in Business Administration. She is a social entrepreneur having started and managed a social enterprise Tagurpidi Lavka NGO for 8 years. She was one of the initiators of Social Enterprise Network in Estonia. Riinu is a guest lecturer in Tallinn University and Tartu University Pärnu College in social and sustainable entrepreneurship. She has taken part of several local and international projects as an expert and mentor of social entrepreneurship. In the first Estonian ethical financial institution Good Cooperation Savings and Loans Association She is involved as a council member. In 2011 She participated Gaia Education: Design for Sustainability course. She has worked as a trainer in sustainable entrepreneurship for over ten years, both for adults and youth. For the past 4 years She has been living in Ecovillage Small Footprint, where She has initiated the community school and is one of the teachers for community’s children.

Sven Aluste

Sven’s competences are environmental education and natural building. He is EDE certified trainer and has a master degree in telecommunication. He has also studied Architecture conservation and restauration. Hes is a board member of Social Enterprise Equilibre in Hobukooli Park, located in the middle of Estonia. His practical experiences in natural building and sustainable lifestyle begun in 2002 when He rebuilt two old log houses. He has also studied earth building techniques. After passing EDE – training of trainers in 2006 in Findhorn, He started to build his own ecological training centre. He has been teaching others and also trained himself even more in natural living and natural building techniques. There has been several children groups, about 500 teachers and lot of people with special needs and unemployed people attending his hands-on experiential learning workshops over 10 years. Sven keeps active cooperation on educational field with partners such as Tallinn University, Järva Vocational School and EME. He is happy to be one of the facilitator of Ecology modules in Gaia Academy.

Toomas Trapido

For last 25 years Toomas has tried to understand nature, being human and evolution. On this journey He has studied biology in Tartu University, developed Estonian Fund for Nature, been inspired by Elisabet Sahtouris magnificent new story of evolution (EarthDance) that was translated into Estonian and has given many lectures about the role of cooperation and consciousness in evolution. He is one of the initiators of Ecovillage Movement and Gaia Education programs in Estonia. Toomas has conducted many group processes, like open space, circles, sociocracy and ceremonies.
He is the co-founder of global Cleanup Movement Let’s Do It, World and ethical financial institution Good Cooperation Savings and Loans Association.

Mihkel Kangur

Mihkel was born into a family of natural scientists and He is therefore surrounded by science and nature research since childhood. It has also determined his education, in 2005 He defended his PhD degree in ecology. He has studied the history of vegetation development in Estonia. In 2013, Mihkel and his colleagues published an article in which they showed that during the last 4000 years human activity has been a more important factor than the climate in the formation of the structure of Estonian forests. After the publication of this article, He began to think that if the bronze people, who were a couple of hundred thousand in Estonian areas, influenced our vegetation to such an extent, what is the modern impact on vegetation. It seems to him that until the industrial revolution, man was part of the ecosystem and our language and culture have evolved with it. After the introduction of fossil fuels, we have moved away from nature and influenced our environment to the extent that it threatens the future existence of our species. Having come to this conclusion, Mihkel has decided to change his course of action and has focused more in the field of education for sustainable development to better apply his knowledge of ecology to changing the behaviour of human society.

Liisa Puusepp

Liisa is a researcher at the Institute of Ecology at the Tallinn University and gives lectures and supervises students about the topics of ecology, ecosystem services, education for sustainable development as well as the global education. When She first came to the university, She wanted to become a teacher. But soon She realised that the methods and teaching style were still coming from the soviet time and for her it was unacceptable. Therefore, She turned to do basic science. After having done basic science and spent time abroad in different countries to do the research and get experiences and inspiration, She is back where She started – teaching. She has passed the Ecovillage Design Education course organised by the Gaia Academy. In addition, She has taken part in several Global Education courses organised by Mondo Foundation and also expanded her knowledge in the field of teaching and learning topics. She is interested about how to teach and the idea of learning with head, heart and hand, and based on her background, not only about scientific subjects, but about all connections (ecological, cultural, economic, social) that give the basis for life.

Merili Simmer

Merili has always been inspired by nature, She has been hiking a lot and also had a chance to get her hands in the soil when She was a kid. Her interest for life and the world condition led her to study Ecology and Biodiversity Protection in Tartu University. She did her masters degree in Biology, studying mycorrhizal symbiosis. Science seemed for her too theoretic and She wanted to do something practical with her own hands. In 2010 She became aware of Permaculture and in the following year She passed many Permaculture Design courses. Shes has been working together with Liina Järviste in a company Otse Aiast (Directly from Garden) growing lettuce, micro greens, sprouts and other greens. For 2 years She was travelling in Australia and New-Zealand visiting many permaculture places and Ecovillages, also doing some courses to gather more knowledge. For the past years Merili is a gardener and a community member at Small Footprint. Her passion is keeping the heritage seeds and growing nutritious food and fertile soil.

Ivi Kuul

Ivi is a born gardener who did a PDC with Richard Perkins in Sweden in 2012. She has also studied Environmental Science at Mid Sweden University and completed the Gaia Academies EDE course in 2016. Recently Ivi participated in Gaia Education`s “Training of trainers “ course in Lilleoru, Estonia as facilitators assistant.
Ivi is a board member of Estonian Permaculture Association, building a log house and permaculture garden with the aim to become a LAND center close to Tallinn.