Inspiring lifestyle change through permaculture teaching in Croatia

‘Our emphasis is on regenerative resilience: not preserving people’s way of life, but adapting and enriching everything, from soil to relationships.’

Community Facilitator: Gordana Dragičević, Transition hub representative and permaculture educator

Project: Zeleno Doba

Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Local context: The organisation began in the 1990s to support permaculture teaching across the whole of former Yugoslavia. It was reinstated in 2014.

Funding: Course fees paid by students

Project website:

Goals: supporting community living through better cooperation.

Process: One of our goals is to decentralise permaculture education in the country as much as possible, mentoring and supporting local teachers and community mentors.We always work with local initiatives when delivering programmes in different areas/regions, in fact we don’t ever deliver programmes top-down. We help them identify local needs and co-design programmes with them when applicable. We focus on building community resilience through education, connection, and disseminating good practice, and on building personal resilience through one-to-one support and allowing for individual needs. Our guiding narratives have changed over time and have become more flexible: finding what works well for a particular initiative in a particular locality, rather than insisting they repeat what worked elsewhere.

Insights: Different emotions arise when info on climate change is shared – from denial to fear and resignation. Give everyone the chance to express themselves. Encourage people to hold cognitive dissonance and allow personal responsibility even if they are not (yet) prepared to change behaviour. Mitigate fear and despair by offering practical solutions to local climate mitigation and adaptation. Help people connect with support locally.

This is a case study from the Community Climate Coaches (CCC) Erasmus+ project, where we highlight the work of one Coach. Find out more about this type of coaching, how to become one and resources for this journey here.

CCC is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. Proj. ref.: 2020-1-IE01-KA204-066023

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