Symbiocenic Environments

Symbiocenic Environments
Šumska 1 Initiative
We develop a new type of protected territories where ecovillages, universities, and indigenous people collaborate for regenerative futures.

Symbiocenic Environments
Serbia, Popovica Village; Croatia, Poreč; Montenegro, Bar
A group of ecologist communicators with diverse backgrounds who joined their experience to create next generation of nature protection territories.
Team members
Sergey Dmitriev
Field of work
Ecology, Communication, Research
Project category
Rural spaces
Project submitted

Ulla Antolos has been actively engaged in emerging Balkan network of sustainability initiatives (SEEEN) and participating in and networking on different projects and trainings of the Yes! To Sustainability Network. In 2024 she founded association ZELENPUT alongside few like-minded people from Istria, Croatia with the aim to bring more awareness about sustainable and holistic life to the local community, and to network and collaborate with the Balkan and European sustainable initiatives.

Sergey Dmitriev
12 years of experience in the high-tech industries (Siemens, DELL, Google), including 8 years of organizing cooperation between industry and universities (co-founder and director of ad-hoc education and research program Game|Changers with co-organizing Education Engineering Days in Helsinki). 9 years of experience living and researching in ecovillages and other sustainable development initiatives in post-soviet countries, Northern Europe, and the Balkan Region.
His research notes are published in the ‘Country Side Settlers’ blog.

Varvara Koneva, educator and writer with a focus on environmental and human rights, peacebuilding, and heritage interpretation. A member of the Youth Peace Ambassadors Network since 2011. She has served as an educational projects coordinator with Great Baikal Trail and as a trainer and board member with the Siberian Association for Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation. Varvara's expertise extends to collaborations with schools, universities, NGOs, museums, nature reserves, and national parks worldwide. Selected projects include Peacebuilding Academy, Seed. Tree. Forest, and Non-Violent Response. She is also a certified Interpretive Trainer with the National Association for Heritage Interpretation in the USA.

Nowadays we see critical underestimation of ecological crisis (and actually ‘collapse’) that is detectable both by science and by personal experiences. And while climate change is the most discussed topic, other aspects are staying in the shade of it (soil depletion, deforestarization, mass extinction, and numerous forms of pollution).

We believe that one of the solutions to create regenerative vision, theories, practices and network of change makers to address these destroying processes and turn humanity to sustainable civilizational narratives is a conscious, practical, and flexible framework (and people within) that forges cooperation between
* universities
* intentional rural communities (ecovillages, permaculture initiatives, kin domains, monasteries, …)
* indigenous people societies
* nature reserves.

In the long-term vision, it's not just about deeply interconnected joint projects and programs (actually nature reserves by design collaborate with academia and Global Ecovillage Network has its working group - GEN Research that supports joint projects with universities). It's to create and grow the framework (concepts and set of actors and their interconnection) for the new type of (sacred) territories. We've adopted a vision of Symbiocene by Glenn Albrecht. So the framework and territories we name: ‘symbiocenic environments’.

Such environments will act also as:
* Art & science & media residencies
* Organic longevity research labs.
* Arks of civilization.

Current status
The team works to make parntehips for pilot Symbiocenic Environments mostly in the Balkans (one pilot territory in Serbia, and one in Montenegro are negotiated),
while preparing to work in the North Europe (in 2023 thanks to the Finnish BioArt society' Rewinding Cultures Program Andrew Paterson a transdisciplinary artist and researcher visited our pilot locations in Serbia and Montenegro to help established connections in Finland).