SHE-EDE | 2023


Women Ecovillage Design Education

April 26th – May 25th 2023

Responsible for Gaia Certification Facilitatress: Sabina Santovetti

The She-Ede was a World Premiere

A four weeks journey that had the objective to empower women, raise awareness and create future resilient communities inside the Ecovillage Design Education Model. Bringing together experience in ecovillage design, matriarchal societies, feminine wisdom, activism, community building and healing circles, a diversity of facilitatresses coming from Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Portugal and Italy created a new format of EDE – responding to the worldwide need of mutual female support and empowerment. It was a deep journey of feminine healing for the participantesses that came from many countries abroad, Portugal,

Australia, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Italy. Two women refugees from Afghanistan spent a few days with us with a scholarship and we greeted women from the local community to spent time with us in activities such as body work in the morning, dancing and community building workshops. We warmly welcomed two mothers with their children, a little girl and a little boy that were the highlight of our days together. It was a journey of intense research on personal self but also a moment where sisterhood could be deeply discovered among participantesses, creating everlasting bonds and deep understanding of matriarchal equalitarian/sustainable and peaceful past and existing cultures in the world. The Work that

Reconnects Spiral Work was holding the weekly rhythms of our circular empowerment journey,Gratitude, Honoring the pain for the world, Seeing with new/ancient eyes and Growing forth became the guiding metaphor of each week. Every Monday the women would spend time in Nature to strengthen their gratitude and then dive into the weekly theme of the Spiral work. It was about working in Bio-dynamic or biological farms of this beautiful territory and experience circles of healing related to Mother Earth circles and Goddesses’ wisdom. The eco-hostel became our home to live communally, cook and clean, dance, work, learn, weep and laugh, share in circles of deep listening our wisdoms and pains to each other and learn to be more resilient in these times of climatic crisis and deep adaptation. Our She-Community was a beautiful example for the community of Magliano Sabina that hosted us. It was a rich interconnection that hopefully will continue in the future SHE-EDEs’ workshops.

BestUp – Organizer

is a social nonprofit association that works since 2010 on the promotion of ecological and sustainable education. Sabina Santovetti, architect, facilitatress and certified trainer of Gaia Education is the presidentess of this association and currently is creating courses with Transition own Movement, Schumacher College and the Work that Reconnects Network.

This She-EDE course, that she created, was hosted in the public Ecological Hostel designed in 2016 by her team with the best sustainable technical criteria

The EcOstello – Location 

is a place of sharing interconnection with the local community, where the activities are mainly centered on spreading ecological living and community building.

OUR Curriculum

Together we want to research what we can learn from matriarchal societies around the world, dive deeply into our own wisdom and struggles as women.

We are pleased to announce the SHE-EDE program. A 4 week journey to empower women, raise awareness and create resilient communities inside the Ecovillage Design Education Model. Bringing together experience in ecovillage design, matriarchal societies, feminine wisdom, activism, community building and healing circles, we created a new format of EDE – responding to the world wide need of mutual female support and empowerment.

This SHE-EDE is a 4 week Head, Heart and Hands education community experience to empower women, find their sisters and connect to the feminine wisdom of world wide communities in order to create a shift in consciousness and a more equalitarian/sustainable and peaceful culture in the world.

We offer a journey of research, community, and empowerment. With an intersectional approach, we welcome diverse experiences and are looking forward to host an international group of women of all ages.

Magliano Sabina
Rieti, Italy

The first SHE-EDE will be hosted in the municipality of Magliano Sabina, 40km North of Rome. The community of Magliano Sabina chooses environmental protection as an Ecological Transition Town Movement strategy. For more than 15 years the town has been investing its public resources to make a technological shift and be ready for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Goals – an inspiring example for how social transformation can be brought about. If you are curious to get an impression of the location, this video gives you a wonderful overview.

We are grateful for the warm welcome of Magliano Sabina and its citizens and are looking forward to host our course in this special setting promising mutual inspiration. The town Magliano Sabina exemplifies what a rur-urban community at the service of the commons can look like, while the SHE-EDE will bring a group of international women who bring their skills, questions, and perspectives into this small Italian town.

Magliano Sabina

We will live and learn, cook, eat, and sleep in the EcoHostel Magliano Sabina. The hostel is a public structure at the service of the community Magliano Sabina. The facilities are part of the charming XVIII century nuns’ monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

The building has been renovated following the best practices of energy and water self sufficiency. As such, the Magliano Sabina ecoHostel serves as an interesting role model for environmental sustainability with its adoption of innovative ecological solutions.

It will be a space to create new friends, ideas, inspiration and interconnected active hope.

2023 TEAM

We are ready to openly and passionately share this learning journey with you.

With the aim to empower women to contribute to the world they wish to live in, we came together to create the SHE-EDE. Our collaboration benefits from our shared vision as well as the diversity in skills, personal and professional background, age, and personality. 

We met at Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) in Schloss Glarisegg, Switzerland and the EDE Training of Trainers (TOT) course in Damanhur, Italy. 

Each bringing our own rich experiences, we offer a learning journey of depths and impact. We welcome you warm-heartedly to join this course, this research, this network and are looking forward to meeting you.

Sabina Santovetti


Sabina Santovetti, Woman and Mother, 64 years old, Italian, architect, designer, teacher and artist who ran a Boutique Architecture & Design Firm in Rome until she became, in 2018, an activist in Extinction Rebellion. After having realized, through the studies of the latest I.P.C.C. reports and many other texts the “inconceivable danger and possibility of this moment in our species’ evolution” – (Chris Moore- Backman), she chose to start a new life of studies “Head, Heart and Hands” to facilitate community building and spiritual ecology’ tools of change in Italy and abroad. In the 30 year she was a designer, her firm’s philosophy gave exclusive attention to Eco-design and sustainability issues. For 30 years, she was and still is, committed in designing new and old residential buildings, with all respect to their contest and life quality. Her focus was to use energy saving principles of “Class A-Nature” buildings and ecological certified construction materials. She also has been involved in designing textiles, products, furniture, interiors, events, theater and cinema sets as part of a personal vocational formation. She is one of the founders, 2008, of the Association BestUp where she collaborates and is part of the Scientific Committee, involved in bringing awareness about ecological issues in the sphere of sustainable design and architecture.

Cornelia Fey


Cornelia is an experienced traumatherapist for more than two decades, a medicine women, holder of ceremonies, rituals and circles. She loves to tell stories that inspire.

She is an open, warm and curious. She is a passionate ,authentic and hands on person, who loves to sing,  talk, explore and be in nature.

Her passion is to embrace life, our body , feelings and own it. She loves to help to find possibilities and to step out of one’s victim story into an empowered living.

She is part of the Womens Tempel training (Mayonah Bliss), guiding women into an awakened femininity since 2017.

She has done trainings on the map of feelings (Vivian Dittmar), the work (Katie Byron), power of ceremony (Alberto Villoldo), Spiritual Activism (Caroline Casey), Embodiment Coaching ( Mark Walsh) and many more.

She started the first Red tent in London in 2012.

She participated in the Glarisegg EDE in 2022.

She is now very excited to bring her gifts, wisdom and knowledge to the EDE in Italy to empower women to make their contribution to the world in their full capacity

Annabelle Schapals


Creating and holding space for growth, transformation, and exploration seems to be the most valuable contribution I can make in this world. Passionate about alternative education, interpersonal communication, and holistic health, I practice and teach yoga, sing, cook, organize and teach. 

I continue being amazed by the abundance and magic that is collectively created and experienced when there is space. Space for connection, honesty, and curiosity. When each individual is invited to share what is alive inside of them. Let´s create these spaces and give us humans the chance to explore what is possible.

Patrícia Teixeira


My curiosity is connected with nature and the natural cycles.

My education started in Architecture followed by Photography and Communication Design. Crossing different artistic expressions, exploring the therapeutic power of art, and creating beauty are precious themes to me.

As a creative I am motivated and inspired by observing and contemplating what is visible and invisible, acknowledging, embodying and expressing it through art.

I am enchanted by cooperative processes as a mean to develop ideas and integrated solutions with and to the community involved in the process. I enjoy producing and/or participating in experiences and celebrations that energise communities, creating feelings of care, belonging, grounding, that strengthen bonds that make us feel the joy of life. This Social engagement pushes me towards an active and aggregative citizenship, which creates synergies and value for the whole, where we can find fertile ground to pass on important, urgent, and transformative concepts.

Having gone through a Culture of Peace Journey, I have integrated into my projects this conscious way of weaving peaceful relationships with life, which nourishes me greatly.

Sonja-Vera Schmitt


Sonja-Vera is one of the founders of Schloss Glarisegg Community and has nurtured its growth for the past since 2003. Most recently she has added Regenerative Entrepreneur to her long list of vocations. Keeping the community running despite many economic challenges has required her creativity and ability to be a village weaver in a much larger empowerment game. While her training as a voice and speech therapist, her love of music and dance and her commitment to encounter processes were easily applied in the community social life, she had to face the details of long -term planning and construction finance involving larger sums of money.
She remains vitally engaged through Vipassana meditation and a genuine love of helping people. She first brought the EDE to Schloss Glarisegg in 2016 andremains a passionate organizer and trainer.

Tara van den Berg 

Martial arts, movement and resilience trainer – facilitator – researcher.

Tara is passionate about martial arts and embodiment as tools to grow awareness of ourselves, interpersonal relations and the world around us. After a journey through academics studying Postcolonial and Genderstudies and a masters in Youth Studies, followed by some years of exploring different movement fields such as yoga and playfight, experiencing community living and travelling through different cultures, she is now living in a gong fu school in Berlin, studying internal and external martials arts full time and giving martial arts and embodied resilience workshops and courses for women and girls.

Movement and playful expression is always at the center of her work with groups and individuals, creating spaces where you open all senses and connect to yourself and others in an embodied and more primal way, giving a sensed feeling of empowerment that is anchored in our body and breath. This can be through meditative movement and stillness or through playful and expressive games. It all leads us to be in the present moment, the only place we can truly observe, connect, and act.



My heart beats for a lot of things and a lot of what it beats for has to do with regeneration. 

I am part of creating a structure that enables regenerative food to be marketed more easily and process it myself into nourishing menus. I also support the formation of regenerative relationship networks along my regional food supply chain and soon also (especially menstruating) people in using cycles as a regeneration tool.

I have been living in community for the past three years and have perceived this as the fertile ground that supports me in being able to act in a way that is sustainable and future-proof.

Diverse networks of relationships give me the resilience to face the complex and interrelated crises of today. Nature mirrors this mechanism for me: ecosystems are more resilient when biodiverse networks are found within them.


Scholarships are available for EU and non-EU citizens which cannot afford the Middle Path. Share your dreams, life aspirations and motivation with us and apply for this opportunity. Please send an email with your photo to:

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