SHE-EDE | 2024 -2025

Portugal – Italy

After the success of the program in the EcOstello Magliano Sabina in the spring 2023, a 4 week journey to empower women, raise awareness and create resilient communities inside the Ecovillage Design Education Model of Gaia Education.

This year we are offering a new format of she-ede.

Women led with mother values, open to everyone held through the years 2024 and 2025 in a cyclic program of eight days sessions each held in two startup communities in Portugal and in Italy.


Spring 2024
April 28 – Mai 6

Covão do Feto,
Alcanena, Portugal


Summer 2024
20 – 29 July

Umbria, Italy


Fall 2024
11 – 19 October

Covão do Feto,
Alcanena, Portugal


Winter 2024
1 – 9 December

Umbria, Italy

This SHE-EDE program is designed and follows Mother Earth seasonal rhythms of life, Matriarchal Wisdom, the Spiral wheel of the Work that Reconnect and the Wheel of Gaia Education, Ecovillage Design Education program. This last is an  award-winning provider of holistic learning for Sustainable Development. Gaia Education and the Work that Reconnects are meant to empower students across the globe to see the interconnections of life by learning to design sustainable communities, restoring balance to our planet in the urgent transition to a more regenerative future, reversing the climate crisis. Modern Matriarchal Studies are eye openers to a new ecological egalitarian way of life.

This new program’s format of She-EDE combines all these wisdoms to empower participants to a new way of living in communities focusing on maternal values. It will be held in presence, but rather than being structured as a monthly program,  it is designed to be a cycle of 4 separate weeks per year, each corresponding to one of the four dimensions of the Gaia Education Wheel. It will be held  in two different locations in Europe, in Portugal and in Italy. Led by a group of passionate facilitatresses coming from different fields of education and care, this series of events are open to everyone. English will be the official language even if all the facilitatresses speak many languages.The course will be held first in 2024 and repeated in 2025 in order to facilitate attendance and personal learning pace. This program will be certified by Gaia Education if the four dimensions that are taught during the two years are attended and Gaia Education requirements fulfilled. 

We teach the knowledge and skills needed to design truly regenerative communities, which thrive within planetary boundaries.

This new series of event we are offering is open to everyone and will be held by certified and experienced facilitatresses in cycles of eight days each.

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 worldwide need of mutual maternal values support and empowerment.

In order to be certificated by Gaia Education it is necessary to attend the four different dimensions for a total of 4 weeks, but the courses can be attended without the objective of certification. 

These courses are meant to give also many other tools such as the one belonging to the Work That Reconnects (WTR) practices on weaving connections, uplifting creative ecological expressions and collaborating in service to the Great Turning or the Transition Town Movement tool kit and last but not least Matriarchal Societies knowledge

The program is structured with the model head, heart and hands of the four dimensions of Gaia Education wheel: the ecological, the cultural, the social and the economic dimension. There will be also comparisons to the principles of matriarchal societies’ dimensions that are sisters to the ecological values and of which all the ecological movements take primary inspiration.

This cycle of the four dimensions will be repeated in 2025 switching dimensions so that the ecologic and social dimension will be taught in Italy and the economic and cultural will happen in Portugal, allowing everyone to attend if unable to do so in the first cycle of 2024.   

This new SHE-EDE program is also divided in four different moments in two different countries to enable participants to have the time to digest all the tools learned during each experience, take time to study and practice each dimension in their own realities and reconnect to the group each time stronger and more motivated. We will offer online zoom sharing in between each session to deepen the participants’ experiencing. 

Each weekly session will be crowned with design group projects chosen by participants and many other activities related to the different dimensions of the wheel.  Each week experience will be composed of 25/26 hours dedicated to the main dimension of the program and 8 to 12 hours to each other dimension, plus time for design, embodiment practices and leisure.Participants will learn and live community life in practice. An intense experience starting early at 7:00 am with embodiment practices and going through a joyful intense day until 10:00 pm every day. Meal will be cooked by participants and by the hosting community. The courses will be hosted in ecovillages or startup ecological communities. 

SHE-EDE in 2024 renews herself by opening and welcoming everyone, not only women yet created and facilitated by experienced facilitatresses women with the objective of spreading our FEEM values: FEEM -FEMININE ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION in MATRIARCHY. Bringing to all communities the tools and principles of Matriarchal societies that still exist in our contemporary world and live in peace with Mother Earth.



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

With the aim to empower beings to contribute to the world they wish to live in with maternal values, we met around the world in different Ecovillages and we came together to create SHE-EDEs. Our collaboration benefits from our shared vision as well as the diversity in skills, personal and professional background, age, and personality. 

Each facilitatress bringing her 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, 65 years old, Italian, mother, architect, designer, teacher, spiritual ecologist and artist runs a Boutique Architecture & Design Firm in Rome. The firm’s philosophy gives exclusive attention to Eco-design and sustainability issues. In the last 30 years, she is committed in designing new and old residential buildings, with all respect to their contest and life quality. Her focus is to use energy saving principles 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 also paints subjects related to Feminine Energy and currently she is writing and researching for a book on the Energy of the Feminine. In the last five years, she has devoted her time in learning feminine spiritual ecology, being in activism for Extinction Rebellion, facilitating the Work that Reconnects, Community Building in the Transition Town Movement and Gaia Education Ecovillage Design Education, She-Ede as a certified trainer. She is currently studying at the International Academy Hagia, Modern Matriarchal Studies with Heide Goettner-Abendroth, as well as re-thinking and embodying her life as a new journey of discovery, healing and dedicated commitment to develop new strategies of resilience to the climate and ecological crisis. She is the President of the Association BestUp-BelloEquoSostenibile-Rete per la promozione dell’Abitare Sostenibile APS, association that is working for the empowerment of women. Her Eco-sophy focus on Spiritual Feminine Ecology. She is starting a school retreat ecovillage on the hills of Umbria in Narni with the name of MatriCulture.The opening will be in July 2024 welcoming the Cultural Dimension of the second edition of SHE-EDE

Sofia Martins


mother, Artist, Designer, Facilitator of creative and expansive processes, Explorer and creator of spaces in the creative mind, Movement researcher

Sofia is a Woman of Nature who, in her essence, explores herself, transforming, dying and being reborn cyclically. This surrender feeds her creativity, which she brings to her creations and dances.

Her curiosity for the creative expression of the being, led her to become a teacher and facilitator, exploring the individual’s ability to express their feelings, looking for what each person has to say and how they want to place themselves in the world, motivating natural creative expression and awakening the need to nurture the self, without fear or prejudice, just following the stories of each person intuitively.

As a designer, she combined her professional career with an academic one, creating her own design studio. She has taught in the areas of design, design methodologies, design thinking and participatory methodologies. 

She has been developing her self-knowledge by participating in programs and workshops in the areas of art, design, spirituality, and sustainability. She has taken part in training courses specializing in body and movement and the practice of body psychotherapy, dance as a somatic narrative, which esteems the body as a ritualistic territory of appeal and reconnection with primal knowledge, and which serves as a exposure and antidote to today’s elemental syndromes.

She participated and was part of the communications team for the first edition of She-EDE, WOMEN ECOVILLAGE DESIGN EDUCATION, in Magliano Sabina (Italy), in May 2023. Between 2021 and 2022, participated in the Gaia Education Design for Sustainability & Regeneration (GEDS).

Her work as a facilitator endorses the creative nature that exist in all human beings. With this vision, she seeks to expand a common language that transcends verbal language, accessing symbols and meanings that relate and interconnect experiences, located in the individual and collective conscious and unconscious.

Macaco Tamerice


Sociologist and Life coach, specialized in trauma work, inner transformation, community-building, leadership and conflict resolution.

Macaco Tamerice (Martina Grosse Burlage) is a sociologist, a life coach for meaningful relationships specialized in trauma work, inner transformation, community-building, leadership and conflict resolution. 

She has been living at Damanhur, Federation of Communities since 1993, where she has held many roles of social and artistic responsibility, not last being at the Guide of the Federation.  

In 2008, she also became Vice President and then President of the Global Ecovillage Network-Europe (GEN Europe) until 2015. She is now one of GEN’s UN representatives and the President of the NGO Damanhur Education.

Macaco is an international speaker, facilitator, Gaia Education’s certification manager and certified GEESE Educator (Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth). 

Trained in music and voice, she has toured as a professional jazz singer in Europe, Canada and Japan for over twenty years and has taught voice and led classes and seminars since 1984.

In her life she has been active in many fields of sustainability, from the social realm and economy to renewable energy and eco-building, and she lives in a straw bale house that she built together with her husband, a Peruvian architect.

Francesca Lulli


Mother, socio-anthropologist, Community development and self-funded communities Trainer, Feminist for a Maternal Gift Economy..

Francesca Lulli, socio-anthropologist, community development and self-funded communities trainer. Member of the network  International Feminist for a Gift Economy, she has been collaborating for several years with the Feminist Study Center for the Gift Economy of Rome (Italy).  She has been involved in studying gift and popular economies, community building dynamics and grassroots women’s associationism, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. She wrote the book Microfinance, Informal Economies and Associationism.

A Feminine Perspective, (Editori Riuniti 2008) and several articles including : “Grandmothers at the Centre in Velingara, Senegal. The Transmission of Knowledge, education, intergenerational relationship and the gift logic”, in Canadian Women Studies 2020. She has taught at La Sapienza University and in several Master’s programs. She has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several NGOs mainly on issues related to education, social and economic inclusion of women and youth, and gender issues. She has been involved in project design, researches, data analysis and evaluations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

She has been collaborating since 2011 with feminist philosopher and theorist of the Maternal Gift Economy, Genevieve Vaughan, through supporting activities to promote the Gift Economy and feminist visions for more equitable societies. She has been working as a research consultant with the American-Senegalese NGO Grandmother project – Change through Culture. She has been leading studies on  women’s relationships, intra-and intergenerational relationships, gender relations, female sexual health in adolescence, adult education, girl schooling and changing social norms. 

Maddalena Ferraresi


Mother, Free-lance Architect, specialist in Bio-Architecture, Bio-Climatic Design, Performarce Artist

Since 1991, I have been directing the archesis studio I found in Milan.

Over the years, I have developed an original methodology that involves close involvement of people both in the design phase and in the implementation one.

I am a specialist in bio-architecture, practice and facilitate participatory planning and auto-construction.

I am an expert in advanced energy design technologies.

I conduct continuous research and experimentation with natural materials and bioclimatic design.

I am a trainer on the most advanced natural techniques, straw, raw earth, lime plaster…

I lead projects for the experimentation of innovative housing practices, co-housing, solidarity condominiums…

Alongside these, I also carry out construction work for public works for which I take care of the accounting, executive and works management.

I also dedicate myself to artistic activities where I direct and create site-specific installations and performances.

Sandra Capri


Sociologists and International Project Manager, Activist and Feminist for Women’s Health, Founder of “Le Matriarcali“

Sociogist and international project manager, her activism is directed to  women’s  health , to reclaim women role in human evolution and is  rooted in  anti-war philosphy, with Women in Black; her feminism and  modern matriachal studies  are closely interconnected. She  researches link between women oppression in  patriarchal  systems,   ecological destruction and historical roots.

Founder of Le Matriarcali collective in 2005 she  is interested in how  studies of egalitarian societies of the present and the past can inspire  new forms  of  mothers -women centered communities  weaving peacefull relationships. 

She views decolonizing practises an ‘empowering action” for women  which involve  criticism  patriarchal logic with its social and economical structures. 

Believer of the  Earth as  living entity, she advocates  combining nature based  spirituality immanence with social justice  issues.    

She devotes her time to  explore and develop rituals linked to ancient wheel of the year  (wheel of life) celebrations rituals  as tools to personal spiritual path; she travels  often  to  experience ancient  places  energies. 

Her love of dance and  working with groups  as Biodanza facilitator  support her commitment towards live  embodied experiences to enhance human and nature interconnection and reclaiminin ancient ways of the Feminine.  

Avid reader, passionate hikers, love meditating and creative gardening as permaculture beginner; she   enjoys  collecting wild herbs and  making clothes  for herself and friends. 

Formed with Vicki Noble, Starhawk and Lama Tsultrim Allione, currently graduating in Modern Matriarchal Studies with Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth (Hagia Akademie),

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.


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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