Bring your work up to the mountain. Indulge in a beautiful, calming and inspiring mountain setting, combine outdoor life with a calm work environment, meet fellow co-workers and finish your
Bring your work up to the mountain. Indulge in a beautiful, calming and inspiring mountain setting, combine outdoor life with a calm work environment, meet fellow co-workers and finish your work en bloque while regaining strength.
Ostana offers various calm and individual working locations, as well as space for group and team retreats, wireless internet and different kinds of affordable accommodation.
March 1 (Thursday) - December 20 (Thursday)
Polyfunctional building "Lou Pourton", St. Antonio, Ostana
Test smart designed and beautifully built wooden Grown skis, made with locally grown wood from Ostana, and engineered with natural flax and hemp fibers. Skis are offered for testing in the
Test smart designed and beautifully built wooden Grown skis, made with locally grown wood from Ostana, and engineered with natural flax and hemp fibers.
Skis are offered for testing in the ski areas, while we venture into the backcountry to enjoy skiing in the wild (guided trip).
There are two ski areas in the Po Valley, 10-30min from Ostana: Crissolo and Pian Muné. Both offer spectacular views, steep colouirs, sunny sloes, and great backcountry and touring access.
march 3 (Saturday) - 4 (Sunday)
Crissolo and Pian Muné ski areas
Grown_Outdoor Creativity Lab
Students of the University of Lugano (CH) Master program in Communication and Economics, Major International Tourism, will come for the third time to study, experience, design and contribute to the
Students of the University of Lugano (CH) Master program in Communication and Economics, Major International Tourism, will come for the third time to study, experience, design and contribute to the local and regional sustainability transition in Ostana and the Val Po.
Students will engage in a transdisciplinary case study on mobility in the community of Ostana. They will experiment with shuttle services and e-bikes to develop a functional and more environmentally friendly local traffic system. A choice experiment study will scientifically accompany the practical experiment.
Various outdoor activities and social interaction at and around the MonViso Institute campus are part of this field study visit.
may 26 (Saturday) - 30 (Wednesday)
University of Lugano USI
This course is about how to use the woody stem parts of locally grown industrial hemp as an insulation material mixed with lime and clay to support and insulate traditional
This course is about how to use the woody stem parts of locally grown industrial hemp as an insulation material mixed with lime and clay to support and insulate traditional stone walls.
We will learn to prepare the hemp-lime-clay mix and apply it to renovate one of the smaller buildings on the MonViso Institute (MVI) campus.
Werner Schönthaler from EcoPassion in South Tyrol will lead this course together with the MVI team.
All Day (Saturday)
Join our full 72h Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) at the Monviso Institute mountain campus in partnership with the German Permaculture Academy. Emerge yourself in the pristine surrounding alpine landscapes
Join our full 72h Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) at the Monviso Institute mountain campus in partnership with the German Permaculture Academy. Emerge yourself in the pristine surrounding alpine landscapes of the Italian Piedmont while gaining empowering knowledge and practical skills to design sustainable human settlements and food production systems.
Permaculture (from permanent agriculture) is a design method based on the principles of natural ecosystems that helps to create ecologically, socially and economically stable systems. Originally developed in the 70s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren as a method of sustainable agriculture, the ethical and design principles of permaculture nowadays also find use in a variety of areas of life from architecture to community governance, finance and entire economic systems. At its basis, it provides an ethical framework and twelve design principles derived from the observation of natural ecosystems. When used together, it becomes a holistic approach that allows us to creatively re-design man-made systems, so they benefit both human health and provide a healthy habitat for the non-human world (e.g. animals, plants, micro-organisms).
The Permaculture Design Certificate Course (PDC) is an internationally recognized 72-hour course that will equip you with the basic understanding of how to use permaculture ethics and principles to design largely self-regulating landscapes and human settlements that mimic nature’s patterns and relationships. It will provide information and ideas how you can learn from observing the natural ecosystems and yourself become a designer for sustainable and regenerative systems on your balcony, in your garden, your school, your company, town or community. You will also gain hands-on applied Permaculture skills while you immerse yourself in the breathtaking alpine nature of the Italian Po Valley. This region is the birthplace of Slow Food, and both the MVI mountain campus as well as the wider community of Ostana offer a unique learning and experimentation field with diverse community-led initiatives and a spectacular biodiversity and wilderness to explore.
By attending this PDC you will gain first hand experiences of both opportunities and challenges that arise from developing and maintaining a resilient site and land-based resource system. On this two-week journey, you will share the joy of learning and co-creating with like-minded people. You will embrace a variety of tangible and intangible skills to empower yourself and your surrounding to grow healthy foods, live a more sustainable lifestyle and regenerate ecosystems. Together, we will apply the theoretical learning during daily practical sessions outdoors and a specific design project at the MVI Campus at the end of the course. In taking this course, you will gain the confidence and basic abilities for Permaculture design approaches primarily suited for landscapes and urban environments, but also for intentional communities, organizational structures and many other fields. Upon completion of this course you will receive the internationally recognized PDC certificate by the Permaculture Academy Germany, which can also be your first step in the diploma pathway of becoming a professional Permaculture designer.
Introduction and basics:
- Ethics, history and context of Permaculture
- Domains of Permaculture design
- Landscape reading and observation techniques
- Permaculture design principles
- Design process and design tools
- Low-tech mapping techniques
- Designing with topography
- Tools for site analysis
- Water retention and regeneration
- Working with microclimates
- Energy flows
- Building with natural materials
- Growing mushrooms
- Permaculture gardening
- Plant propagation
- Urban gardening
- Agroforestry and edible forest gardens
- Soil building and soil regeneration
- Edible and medicinal wild plants
- Growing hemp as a construction, fiber and nutrition plant
Social and economic Permaculture:
- Pattern Theory
- Social Permaculture tools
- Introduction to complexity theory
- Community supported agriculture (CSA)
- Indigenous wisdom and deep nature connection
- Slow Food
- Community building
- Regional development
- Introduction to Sociocracy
This course is suited for
Project developers, environmental educators and school teachers, (landscape-) architects, small land holders and farmers, ecologists and restoration workers, students, systemic designers, urban Gardeners, NGO-members and social workers, members of community organizations, activists, people in urban and regional development, people looking for nature connection.
Accommodation & Seminar Center
The group building of the MVI is not yet ready to host guests, but will be in the near future. Until then, we corporate with the 10-minutes walk away Seminar Center ‘Lou Pourton’ and the adjoining accommodation ‘Foresteria’. The dormitory-style Foresteria will be the main basecamp of this course due to its proximity to both the Lou Pourton – where most theoretical sessions and breakfast will take place – and the MVI campus site – where practical sessions and other meals will be enjoyed. It can be booked directly through us.
All other accommodation needs to be organized individually, but we are happy to help you finding the option that best suits your needs. There are several options in dormitory or single, double or triple rooms in walking distance to the MVI Campus as well as limited spaces for camping and camper-vans on the MVI campus. Apartments are available in the Residence Lou Batent (approx. 10min walking distance) and single, double or triple rooms at the Refugio Galaberna or the Agritourismo A nostro Mizoun (both approx. 20min walking distance ).
We provide three meals per day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. The meals are biological, diverse, fresh, healthy, homemade and vegetarian. Locally hunted meat is served as a rare but conscious option once a week for BBQ if desired. Ingredients are either grown at the MVI or purchased from the local organic Azienda Agricola ‘L’orto di Ostana’, with its fields right above the MVI Campus, or from local organic producers in the valley. We buy regional whenever possible to stimulate the territories’ food economy and put great attention to nourish everybody with high quality foods during this course – also the ones suffering from allergies!
On the break-day you can join a climbing course for beginners offered by the MVI team (rental equipment available), take a bath in the various mountain river basins, explore the spectacular hike along five pristine mountain lakes at the foothill of the Monviso (part of UNESCO Biosfera Riserva Monviso), explore the Rio Martino Cave in the neighboring Crissolo, or visit the birth place of Slow Food and enjoy the Italian culinary culture in Cuneo. Or simply just rest, join a local yoga session and enjoy the Piedmonts’ sun whilst leaning against the warm stonewalls of a typical mountain cottage. It is the perfect place with various possibilities for outdoor sports enthusiasts and culinary lovers that will let you combine a unique learning experience with an energizing holiday hideaway.
Sarah is a geoecologist and Permaculture designer. During her studies in geoecology, she researched the water quality and sustainability of the water retention landscape of Tamera ecovillage in Portugal. She took part in Permaculture projects around Europe and in India, started a Transition Town initiative in Tübingen and founded a community garden at her University, which now is an educational center for Permaculture, climate farming and urban gardening. Over the last years, she led the set-up phase of the Permaculture education center at the Swiss ecovillage Schweibenalp and is now teaching Permaculture, herbal medicine, wilderness awareness and deep nature connection around Europe. She offers Permaculture design and consulting services and is engaged in the German Permaculture Academy.
Adrian Sina Vollmer
Sina is a Permaculture Designer, cultural anthropologist, human geographer, mediator and consultant. Sina’s work has recently concentrated on addressing organizational problems of nonprofit Organizations and the creation of enabling environments based on Sociocracy, complexity theory and pattern theory. He is part of the executive board of the German Permaculture Academy and holds a lectureship on Social Permaculture at the Universities of Goettingen and Tuebingen (the last one together with Sarah Daum).
Facilitation and hosting
Anna is an expert for sustainability in the outdoor sports and textile industry and currently in the second year on the diploma pathway to become a professional Permaculture designer at the Permaculture Academy in Germany. She brings over 25 years of experience in the textile industry, worked for 18 years as a product and quality manager at Gore, and is guest lecturer and senior consultant for system innovation and responsible management in the textile and sporting goods industry. Since 2017 she moved from Munich to Ostana and helps to build up the permaculture system at the Monviso Institute.
Melanie holds a double-degree in tourism development in mountain areas with a focus on intercultural management and sustainability and is currently doing her Master degree in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources in England. She worked in the sustainability department of an international group of mountain sports brands, currently leads a project on industrial hemp in the textile and bioplastic industry as external consultant and is responsible to build up the permaculture system at the MVI. She gained her PDC at the Austrian Permaculture Academy in the Alps and is currently on the Permaculture diploma pathway at the Swiss down to earth Academy for Permaculture Design.
Prof. Dr. Tobias Luthe
Originally a forest scientist, Tobias is the founding director of the MVI and professor for sustainability science with a focus on tourism systems at Chur University (CH). He lectures at the ETH Zurich’s engineering department in systemic design, at the University of Lugano in resilience of mountain economies, at the University of Milano in sustainable tourism, and at the University of Freiburg (D) in sustainability management. Tobias is a mountaineering guide and founder of Grown, an outdoor creativity lab designing eco skis and offering design thinking mountaineering trips. He has been doing research in integrative building design and helped design and build four buildings, amongst others the Swall Institute in the high desert of California.
July 20 (Friday) 13:00 - August 1 (Wednesday) 12:59
Permakultur Akademie Deutschland
In humankind’s history the emancipation of the view from above is a recent event. Only 150 years ago Nadar realised the first photographic images from a hot air balloon. Today we
In humankind’s history the emancipation of the view from above is a recent event. Only 150 years ago Nadar realised the first photographic images from a hot air balloon.
Today we have become used to seeing our wider environment from drones, planes, and satellites.
The questions we want to explore in this program are: what can we continue to learn from this special vantage point “from above” in relation to the global challenges we are facing today? How can we balance a macro- and a micro- perspective, a systemic and holistic approach with local, place-based knowledge?
TRAINING & COACHING PROGRAMS
We will approach these questions from three perspectives: an experiential, a conceptual and a practical. The experiential angle will give participants the opportunity
to learn to fly drones and to gain a technologically-mediated bird’s eye view. We will practice photography on the macro and micro level — often, similar patterns arise at different scales. The theoretical angle will metaphorically translate the view from above into a systems perspective. More specifically we will learn how to use ‘critical systems thinking’ to guide our enquiry into complex, sustainability challenges. Finally, we will leverage this freshly gained perspective in working on
a real-life case that relates to the specific setting of this program:
the viability of fragile, high-altitude alpine settlements in an age of rapid ecological and demographic change.
The program will be held on the mountain campus of the Monviso Institute, in the village of Ostana just a few kilometers from the sources
of the great Po river and facing the highest peak of the Mediterranean Alps — Monte Viso. The Institute
is an evolving playful mountain
hub for research, education and entrepreneurship in sustainability transformations and social-ecological design, where rich traditional place-based knowledge merges
with modern technology.
This program is offered immediately ahead of the Seventh RSD Symposium (RSD7) ‘Challenging Complexity by Systemic Design towards Sustainability’, hosted by the Politecnico di Torino in Turin (Italy). The mountain campus of the Monviso Institute is only an hour’s drive
away from the symposium location.
introductory, but some experience in systems thinking and sustainability challenges is welcome.
Systemic designers, organisational/ community change leaders, innovation coaches, facilitators of participatory processes, planners, architects, sustainability advocates
Philippe Vandenbroeck, co-founder at shiftN and Tobias Luthe, Researcher & Lecturer Systemic Design at ETH Zürich and founder of the Monviso Institute.
4 full days.
20 to 23 October 2018
Monviso Institute, Ostana, Italy. http://monviso-institute.org
1.200 euro, excl. of 21% VAT (includes meals, refreshments and course material, excludes accomodation locally)
20 (Saturday) 12:00 - 23 (Tuesday) 14:00
Shift N, MonViso Institute
Come to Ostana in the Valle Po, visit the MonViso Institute real-world laboratory campus, slow down, socialize and experience systemic design right after the RSD7 conference at the Politechnical University
Come to Ostana in the Valle Po, visit the MonViso Institute real-world laboratory campus, slow down, socialize and experience systemic design right after the RSD7 conference at the Politechnical University in Torino.
Outdoor hikes, photography, barbecue at open fire and digesting of the conference in an inspirational setting.
More information coming soon.
27 (Saturday) 10:00 - 28 (Sunday) 15:00