Already the first day – hiking an hour through a mountainous landscape uphill to a remote house promised something unusual. Training course “Think Like Nature: Sustainability with Permaculture” in Romania is nothing alike – 24 youth workers from 7 countries (United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, Italy, Poland and Lithuania) had to rediscover themselves and how the world functions through the lenses of permaculture.

After 14 days of Permaculture (basics, sharing circle, Gaia theory, permacultue principles, biodiversity, yield, ey line & key point, reading the landscape, chaos and order, zoning, personal design exercise, forum, local farm visit, food forest, land regeneration, water consciousness, water retention landscape, hands on, earth connection, soils, soil regeneration, climate strategies, bioconstruction, companion strategies, personal outline design, deep ecology, urban permaculture, design methodologies, group design, bioregions, intentional communities, cooperatives, permaculture and economy, ethic investments, action learning, permaculture path, evaluation circle and celebration) and no other human beings apart our community and a farmer neighbour, it became strange to return to buzzing urban lives.

Being isolated in the mountains, surrounded by forests, using dry toilet, sleeping in the tents, attending daily morning circles, eating and singing at mostly vegan meals, brought lots of contemplations how the world should look like, but also connected participants and partners of the project more tightly: Rooted (Malta), Lythian Pathfinders (Turkey), Eurohugs (Lithuania), Comitato d’Intesa (Italy), ReCreativity Social Enterprise (Hungary), La Víbria Intercultural (Spain), Romania in Transition (Romania).

Think Like Nature consisted of three parts:

Testimonials by Abroadship’ers

Bhunesh (UK):  “I acquired a new perspective in alternative way of life. Learned what permaculture is. Has encouraged me to Re design my garden looking at edible plants.and insight into land planning for putting a building. Looking at sun paths and the elements and how to draw maps to organise land.”

Beata (Hungary): “Amazing experience, lovely people, great organization and useful/ interesting knowledge gained! Thank you for the opportunity! :)”

Dario (Italy): “I got the power of the hope that change is possible and it depends from ourself and our behavior in everyday life.”

Inga (Lithuania): “I feel much more secure and passionate about my path in life, about my choices and consciousness about mother earth. This experience allows me to be myself the way I am, be more confident, fail fast and tweak it. Grateful in every possible way. I is worth more then silver or gold.”

Dilan (Italy): “What did I get out for myself is a huge care on me, nature, people and earth that I ive with.15 ”

Alice (Italy): “Beautiful Training Course “Think Like Nature. Emotional Intelligence with Forest School” that gave me the opportunity to know so many people full of positivity and motivation. There were moments not simple, but I could take it as a starting point to improve, especially thanks to Justinas’s help. This experience has been marked by professionalism and seriousness, without forcing anyone to be different from what it really is. I could discover many new things about nature. All based on respect for the environment and people.”

Karina (Lithuania): “My first project, my first emotions and expressions, MORE and MORE I want to repeat it! Exciting activities, amazing people, and perfect trainers. What else can be better? I can not find the words to express myself how I feel after it… It was the best experience in my life! Thank you so much!!! <3”

Ina (Romania): “I got valuable insight into Forest School as is practiced in UK and the potential to use/ expand to my country. Very well organized training, including the preparation before. Excellent delivery, great care for the participants. Thank you for a wonderful experience!”

Stoia (Romania): “new ideas, methods, friends and relaxation. We were learning and doing a lot during this week different games (both serious and funny), different ways of expressing your ideas and feelings. All these activities combined with amazing participants and their stories made it perfect experience. It looks like one should be tired after such intense week, but really I am not. I feel really relaxed and ready to get going forward again.”

Diana (UK): “I gained knowledge about myself in a personal and professional way, which is invaluable. ”

Rouven (Germany): “A working group consisting of very different kind of people with different skills, maybe different age, language, background and knowledge can do an amazing work if everyone trusts the others, accepts feedback and brings in his or her gifts.”

Sara (Italy): “I learned to get out from my comfort zone and to openly express my feelings and my opinions.”

Modesta (Lithuania): “A lot of inspoiring ideas how to think more like nature. How to be more aware whats happen around me and inside me. How are important to be more connected with nature.”

Alperen (Turkey): “that I learn more about myself, the nature itself, basic principles of designing a landscape, presentation of a work and team play.”

Eva (Spain): “I got to know myself better and I got to know people and realities from other countries, always something very welcoming as I felt enriched by all of them”

Paola (Italy): “I got more confidence with myself and a better relationship with other people and with the Nature.”

Sofia (Spain): “To find the way that I want to live all my life,the pathway comes more,more clear…This project help me to find the things that I have to heal and to put more energy to make something for our Mother Earth. I found more clear my skills to make this dream real. Thank you, thank you so much.”

Mayar (Hungary): “deepening in the “spiral” ”

Project description

Training course: Think Like Nature: Sustainability with Permaculture

Location: Aurora Community, Romania

Dates: 26 August – 10 September 2017

Number of participants: 24

Participating countries: United Kingdom (3 participants), Lithuania (2 participants), Italy (3 participants), Hungary (3 participants), Turkey (3 participants), Malta (2 participants), Romania (5 participants), Spain (3 participants)



Inquiries about this training course: Justinas at

Think Like Nature: Sustainability with Permaculture

Download infopack here: Think Like Nature: Sustainability with Permaculture – Romania – training course –

Download the PDF file .

Think Like Nature project is a long-term approach to education for children, young people, families and adults, maximising the benefits of learning with the help of nature. Whilst its roots are planted firmly in the theory of how children learn, Think Like Nature puts the learner at the heart of their learning experience. From this fundamental platform, we want to offer youth workers and subsequently children and young people the opportunity to engage with the rich natural diversity of the woodland environment to help build confidence, sensitivity, resilience and curiosity. We believe in the holistic learning process that aims to raise self-awareness and self-esteem in participants. As a result, sessions will take place in a woodland environment, where the landscape itself adds to the experience of learning. An outdoor element offers leadership and team problem solving challenges that allow to practice new behaviors in a supportive collaborative environment.

The ultimate goal of this project is to equip and inspire youth workers and youth leaders, educators, partners and other involved parties (especially communities) with a set of innovative methods and tools as part of the “Think Like Nature” framework, so that to develop competences, enhance work with target groups and further spread the non-formal methods. We want to deconstruct, reconstruct and test with the participants the framework, which is based on non-formal nature- and community- inclusive methods. This project is practical, based on real problems and needs, offerng competences and skills that are applicable and transferable in participant’s personal life and work with youth.


  • Raise the awareness of youth workers on the influence and importance of nature and outdoor activities as part of the education.
  • Promote a non-formal nature-inclusive education as an important way to grow emotional and social intelligence, leading to self-development and stronger community sense.
  • Equip participants with the new concepts, innovative tools and methods of “Think Like Nature” framework
  • Facilitate discussions and activities to find out together methods, actions and events, which can boost youth’s self-awareness, self-esteem, self-development and consequently community development with the help of nature.
  • Empower youth workers and leaders to learn, share and be able to teach others on “forest school” methodologies. We expect participants to apply the learned methodologies, both theoretically and practically, in their communities at home.
  • Develop participants’ competences and skills in learning systems of collaborative consumption, co­-distribution, co-working, co-sharing and accompany them with practical examples when and where they can be used.
  • Create a collaborative environment, where “Think Like Nature” framework will be both extensively discussed by participants, but also new projects to further deepen, develop or extend the topic be developed during and after the project.
  • Engage with a educational project in deep connection with nature. Connect with the Romanian emerging permaculture community.
  • Connect and relate with the Romanian traditional lifestyle.

Who Should attend?

  • You are above 18 years old and from one of the partner countries: UK, Romania, Spain, Lithuania, Italy, Malta, Turkey;
  • You have a diverse background, which could be a source of inspiration for others;
  • You are eager to gain new competences for your oragnization in the field of sustainability, design thinking, system thinking, regenerative practices, personal and community development with the help of non-formal method application outdoors;
  • You are youth educator, worker, project leader, facilitator, trainer, NGO representative, teacher, volunteer, staff member or other multipliers, who are already involved in non-formal youth education, outdoors education, environmental and community projects, and social work.
  • You want to learn “permaculture design”;
  • You seek to find new ways how to approach and motivate youth to be active and contribute to their community;
  • You want to share experience and help others to see new perspective and opportunities in their environment;


DAY 0 (August 26): Arrivng day. Tunning in the space. Movie night.

DAY 1 (August 27): Course overview. Venue visit. Permaculture basics.

DAY 2 (August 28): Sharing circle. Gaia Theory. Permacultue Principles

DAY 3 (August 29): Biodiversity. Yield. Key line & Key point. Reading the landscape.

DAY 4 (August 30): Chaos and order. Zoning. Zone 5.

DAY 5 (August 31): Focus reflexion day. Personal design exercise. Forum.

DAY 6 (September 1): Local farm visit day. Food Forest. Land Regeneration.

DAY 7 (September 2): Water consciousness. Water retention landscape. Hands on.

DAY 8 (September 3): Earth connection. Soils. Soil regeneration. Climate strategies.

DAY 9 (September 4): Bioconstruction. Companion strategies. Personal outline design

DAY 10 (September 5): Focus Reflexion day. Personal design exercise. Deep Ecology.

DAY 11 (September 6): Urban Permaculture. Design Methodologies. Group design.

DAY 12 (September 7): Bioregions. Intentional Communities. Cooperatives. Academies and Institutes.

DAY 13 (September 8): Permaculture and economy. Ethic investments. LETS

DAY 14 (September 9): Action learning. Permaculture path. Evaluation Circle. Celebration.

DAY 15 (September 10): Last circle. Departure day.

Delivery Style

This project is based on non-formal education principles. Methodology is a combination of learning by experience, outdoor activities, theoretical input, discussions, case studies and group permaculture design exercises.

Think Like Nature Team

Project initiated by:

  • Martin Harrison (UK)
  • Bhunesh napal (UK)
  • Adrià Sonet (Spain)
  • Eva Dumitrescu (Romania)
  • Edward Gabriel Moise (Romania)
  • Katlier Brigi (Romania)
  • Justinas Brikys (UK).

Joined the project:

  • Chris Wishard (UK)
  • Ionut Badica (Romania)
  • Claudian Dobos (Romania)

Trainers of this TC:

  • Mauricio Umann (Portugal) – Regenerative designer and educator at MUBIOCULTURE, Founder at O FOJO permaculture education, Portugal.
    Permaculture writer and lead Permaculture Consultant.
  • Claudian Doibos (Romania) Entrepreneur, evolutionary mentor and facilitator. Trainer for almost 20 years, he is also a educational journey co-creator. Co-founder of Arise Education, Terra Livre Movement and Permaculture Research Institute of Romania. Member of the Coordination Circle of the European Permaculture Network
  • Teodora Radulescu (Romania) is a facilitator and permaculture designer. Her passion as gardening and emerging experiential learning processes. She is Garden Manager at Aurora Garden, Aurora Community and co-creator of the Children in Permaculture learning experience.


The training course will happen in Aurora Community, which is located in West Romania, in the Carpathian Mountains, more specifically in the Poiana Rusca Mountains, at 900m altitude! Find the map of the location here.

Aurora Community take cares of 10 hectares with orchards, vegetable gardens, forest, rich wildlife and biodiversity, springs of pure water, a beautiful traditional house, several barns and breath-taking views! Aurora Community is surrounded by ancestral forests, home of many wild animals.

How to Get There

VIA Budapeste, Buchareste, Sibiu, Timisoara or Cluj-Napoca:
(1) use to fly to any of the above airports.
(2) use to check bus connections to Deva, Romania – costs and duration depends.
(3) use o take a train to Deva. Fares and durations depends accordingly.
(4) from Deva take a bus to Hunedoara (don’t miss the castle!).
(5) we will organize a cab or a pick-up from Hunedoara.
Plan your journey that you are in Hunedoara, RO latest 17:00 of Day 0.

More info and questions about arrival:

Travel will be reimbursed only up to the limits (see Financial costs slide)

Traveling options must be confirmed at prior to the purchase of tickets.

When to Get There

Arrival Day: 26th August

Programme: 26th August – 10th September

Departure Day: 10 of September, after breakfast

Allowed to stay in RO days: You are allowed to come max 4 days before the TC or leave after max 4 days after the TC, but the total amount of the days that are not part of the programme is max 4 days (so it can be 2 days before and 2 days after for instance, in total 4 days). If you decide to stay more than 4 days longer than the official programme, you will have to cover the traveling expenses yourself. During these extra days, you have to find your own accommodation and no other expenses are covered

Practicals – What to Bring!

  • Casual, warm and sports clothes for outdoor (take into consideration rainy weather);
  • Small backpack (not necessary, but very practical for the outdoor activities);
  • Comfortable walking shoes;
  • Bring Passport, ID cards also works for EU citizens;
  • Medicines;
  • Sleeping bag, mattress, towel and organic personal higiene products
  • Sun hat, gloves and working clothes for the practical sessions
  • Insurance – this is critical! Please bring European Health Card or Insure in other ways
  • Any “stuff” for intercultural evenings
  • Attention! In Romania the currency is RON.


In August/ September temperature in the area ranges from 6 to 30 degrees, sushine lasts about 6 hours and of course of course of course (not so) beautiful rain is a constant friend and a mandatory discussion object in all conversations

Medicine, Allergies and Diet

If you have illness, physical limitations and/or use medicine we need to know about, please inform us. If you are vegetarian or have special diet, let us know, indicating what you can and cannot eat, so that we can arrange the suitable food.

How to Apply?

In order to apply for TC “Think Like Nature: Sustainability with Permaculture, you must be over 18 years old and a citizen of one of the partner countries. Please fill the application form: If you have a question in terms of application, please contact partner organisation: UK
Rooted Malta
Lycian Pathfinders Youth Group Turkey
Apkabink Europa Lithuania
Comitato d’Intesa Italy
ReCreativity Hungary
La Víbria Intercultura Spain
Romania in Transition Romania



For information about practical matters, accommodation or how to get to the place, please contact at