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Forum Synergie

Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

Scholarship Programme 2023

SPOTLIGHTS on some of the scholarship REPORTS

Obelisk Farm (LV) receiving Andrea and Peter from Hungary as trainees

După Gard (RO) receiving Niels, NL as trainee

ABCD Innovation Center (ARM) receiving Adam, SE as trainee

ECOLISE (EU) receiving Katerina, GR as trainee

  • REPORT * From eco-villages to the European Environmental and Social Council: Forum Synergies #2023 Trainee Katerina Boucoyannis joins ECOLISE
    #advocate domain as part of the Forum Synergies Scholarship Program.
    Find out more about ECOLISE, the #10 theses towards transformative community-led local development and Katerina’s involvement in the process:

ECOLISE, the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability, is a coalition of national and international networks of community-led initiatives on sustainability and climate change, as well as organisations that support a community-led transition to a resilient Europe. ECOLISE has been conducting policy and advocacy work, aiming to change policy at European, national and regional level so that we have government policies that empower and encourage community‐led initiatives on climate change and sustainability.

Ever since 2022, ECOLISE has been in conversation with members and partners during a consultation process around 10 theses towards transformative community-led local development. The aim of the #10 theses campaign is to position community-led initiatives towards the European Green Deal, to trigger deep conversations, to strengthen our collective muscle for social imagination – and to arrive at a shared policy position on transformative local development policies with communities at the heart. Between May-September 2023, ECOLISE completed the Deepening Phase, a consultation phase that aimed to dive deeper into a few of the 10 theses, exploring key political demands and arguments with a focus on the European Green Deal.

ECOLISE’s #advocate domain is currently concluding with the deepening phase of the #10theses and working on a #10theses Manifesto, a 2-4 page long document integrating key messages and narratives of the #10theses, which will be published at ECOLISE’s main policy event on the 7th of November 2023, at the premises of the EESC. The aim of this document is to target EU policies in order to strengthen community-led initiatives on local levels and harness their power to localise - and improve! - the European Green Deal.

Katerina-Shelagh Boucoyannis joined the ECOLISE #advocate domain as a part of the Forum Synergies scholarship program. Katerina accompanied the Deepening Phase from its launch in May, supporting partnerships with organisations and individuals and helped shape the consultation, taking the lead coordination of the 3rd call of the Deepening Phase which focused on Key Narratives of the #10 Theses Towards Transformative Community-Led Local Development Policies. The goal of the meeting was to put the participants of the deepening phase into the shoes of policy makers on EU levels, and experiment with different ways to tell the story: "Why community-led initiatives are important for transformative change - and why politics should listen". Katerina is currently accompanying the consultation and supporting the planning of the main policy event to take place in Brussels, as well as attending it in person thanks to the Forum Synergies Scholarship program.

🌱Register here for ECOLISE’s Main policy event
Date: Tuesday 7 November 2023, 14:30 - 18:00 CET
Hybrid (online & at the EESC in Brussels, Belgium), in cooperation with ICLEI.

🌱Join the 10 theses as a content partner here
Read more about becoming a CONTENT partner of the 10 theses here.


Join our online exchange on experiences made and inspirations gained in the frame of the scholarship programme.
exchange - enrich - inspire - get into action
zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86037072309

This event is initiated by Niels - trainee in Romania at Dupa Gard - read his invitation:

"Hello everyone!
My name is Niels and I was a participant in the scholarship program of Forum Synergies this year. I spent three incredible weeks on a permaculture farm in the picturesque village of Posaga, nestled in the untamed beauty of Transylvania, Romania. I helped out with operational tasks on the farm and got introduced to the traditional culture of the region. This experience was impactful on me as it was the first time I truly connected with the food I eat. I learned fascinating things about sustainable farming, alternative ways of living, and reconnecting with nature. Along the way, I created unforgettable memories with my hosts Andreas, Ioanna, and Dahlia.

The goal of Forum Synergies is to link sustainable practices throughout Europe through intergenerational exchanges. To facilitate this process, we are organising an online scholarship exchange. It offers us a chance to share our diverse experiences from different countries. It would be very interesting to hear the insights other participants and hosts have gained.

So, grab your calendars! The online experience exchange will take online on Wednesday, October 18th at 5 pm up to 7pm CET.
During the exchange, every participant and host will answer two key questions:
• “What are the main insights from your experience?”
• “What are you planning to do with these insights?”

If you have nice pictures that capture the essence of your experience, feel free to share them on a (PowerPoint) slide. However, we discourage adding text to the slide. Afterwards, we will go through these answers together to come out with some fresh, inspiring ideas."


Through our trainee exchange programme we offer young people the possibility to spend some relevant time in a place of their choice in order to discover and learn from the experiences and practices of people & organisations dedicated to sustainable local & rural development. At the same time we are looking for people or organisations rich in experiences who are ready to host a trainee!

We also intend to involve both hosts and trainees to one of our upcoming events in order to enable personal exchange of experiences. Options will be announces asap.


Get involved ! Read more about the goals, the "how to" and the benefits here on our Scholarship Programme website

Quick Guide
INFO Sheet
Guidelines for TRAINEES
Guidelines for HOSTS
Guidelines for REPORTING


In order to take part in this programme both host and trainee have to register online:


  • After receiving your application we will organise a short online interview to explain the goals and procedure and to answer questions from your side.
  • We will help you with the matching process between host and trainee.
  • In order to start the scholarship you should provide a workplan.
  • This information will be the basis for an assignment to be signed by Forum Synergies, the host and the trainee. Have a look to our model contract.
  • For any questions related to reimbursement please directly contact Simone Matouch at info[@]forum-synergies.eu. For bringing in your invoices, please use the reimbursement form . Reimbursement will be within 2 weeks after the approval of the reports.


Find your host!
For trainees who look for a place/ organisation to go to: visit the Portfolio of HOSTS
We are currently updating it.


The Scholarship Programme is operated by Forum Synergies.
Your contact personsfor any questions:
Simone Matouch (DE, EN); Forum Synergies: info (a) forum-synergies.eu