A unique event and opportunity for “Pioneers of Change” from all EU-countries!

October 5 -12, 2012 near Vienna

In cooperation with the Academy for Visionautics we condense our common experience into an 8-day training  – to empower changemakers in early phases to kick-start their sustainable innovations.


The Sustainable Innovation Quest opens eight days of creative space for you. The workshop offers expertise, support, feedback from others, encouragement and learning – enabling you to turn your intention and vision into a real project ready to effect real sustainable innovation.

The experiences in the 8 days shall empower you to actively engage within their surrounding, take responsibility and implement concrete projects (mostly on a regional scale). The workshop integrates know-how & tools, personality development as well as the development of visions and projects for a sustainable society. It supports the participants to become more aware of their ability of creation and action.

Key questions for the week will be:

• How can I achieve the highest possible sustainable impact?
• How do I want to grow personally, what do I want to learn?
• How can I act in such a way that it is sustainable for me personally, how to gain energy and not to burn out?

You will be supported and accompanied in your own process of development: that includes group-workshops, some presentations and a wide range of creative methods – from deep ecology to business modeling, best-practice examples, some coaching for implementation and free space to work in individual pace. And of course you will learn a lot from the other participants and also learn by supporting the others. And yes, it will be fun.


Expected learning outcome for the participants:

- an innovative concept for a sustainable innovation, that arises from ones own intention
– courage, drive and self-confidence to implement ones own project-idea
– increased skills in project-design and understanding of project phases
– increased communicational competence through practicing different communicational methods and attitudes
– increased inner clarity and self-knowledge
– strengthened tolerance and intercultural understanding
– first steps for the implementation and strategies in order to work over times of difficulties

- An EU Grundtvig lifelong learning workshop, ref. nr.: 2012-1-AT1-GRU13-07510
– Open also for Austrians for a participation fee of 800 € plus food and accomodation costs.
– Language of the workshop: English – minimum level B1, better B2 is required
– Expected number of participants: 20-22
– Time: The workshop will begin on the 5th around 3 pm and end on the 12 around midday (not 100% fixed yet)
– Venue: Beautiful retreat setting in Biohaus Walsberg, 2 hrs southwest of Vienna (friendly, nice and inspiring, accommodation mostly in double bed rooms)
– Food: vegetarian food, if you have any dietary needs let us know once we have accepted your application

You will receive detailed information about the venue and the program after your application was accepted.

You want to help create a more humane, sustainable, enjoyable and healthier society in your neighbourhood, region or country…
… you see your own personal development as part of social change and have the willingness to break new ground and refine yourself. …
… and you want to  kickstart your venture, gain the necessary power, clarify bright ideas, money issues, knowledge and contacts?

We invite changemakers from all European countries. Those „Pioneers of Change“ are people who have the urge  to contribute with their initiative and innovation to a more social, ecological and sustainable society – in the regional surrounding and as a contribution to the common welfare.

You are welcome if you have an idea or already a project in an early stage but still search for clarity, tools or courage to really have the impact you desire.

We welcome people of every gender, age, educational background, culture or religion. We especially encourage people who experience grievance within their direct surrounding or from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in the workshop.

English skills required: minimum level B1, better B2


- Please read carefully who we are searching for and consider our selection criteria below! Do you fit in the profile? Don’t be scared, follow your heart!
– Fill out the application form: Download Application Form – you do not need to sign it – the signature is needed later, when we have accepted your application
– Write a short CV (1 or 2 pages)  including a picture of you  (please do not send separate and not in a very high resolution)
– If you have already a project idea or are already in the implementation phase – send us something so we can get an idea: a flyer, folder or concept of max. 2 pages, an internet link to your web page, etc.

Send these complete application documents until August 31st 2012 to quest@pioneersofchange.at (only electronically not by snail mail/post). Please name your documents starting with your surname and first name.
Only complete applications will be considered.
We will let you formally know by email until September 5th if your application has been accepted.

Then you need to book your venue ticket (plane, train or bus) and send us a copy of the receipt by email until September 9th to confirm your participation. (Then we are sure that you will come! If not we will give the place to somebody else.)

… And then we will be looking forward to meeting each other! ;)

Selection Criteria

We expect more applications than places available and need to select 20 participants. So please check if you are the one we are calling for!
We are searching for people who have a strong intention to contribute to sustainable development and social change and who are also willing to work on their own personal development.

In your application we would love to sense:
– Spirit of entrepreneurship (pro-active, innovative and solution oriented)
– Integrity and Commitment (do you have enough time to kick it off, perseverence)
– Quality of project (if already existing) or project idea, professionality and innovation content

We focus on people and projects in early stages. If you are already far in the implementation of your project please state why you want to participate and what exactly you are searching for (e.g. for re-orientation).

We are especially encouraging people from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate.

>>Download Application Form


p l e n u m – association for holistic sustainable development was founded in January 2008 as succession organisation of the Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development. The association is since then in the ownership of the employees. We consult, train and accompany businesses, organisations and individual persons in the area of sustainability, value-oriented management, reporting and corporate social responsibility since 1998.

Pioneers of Change

Pioneers of Change is a program offered by p l e n u m which is empowering young changemakers in a year long process to connect to their hearts, find inner clarity and to start a concrete venture which contributes to a change in society towards sustainable development. Pioneers of change is a regional program weaving the web for transformation currently mainly around the Vienna region. At the same time we are part of a global movement of empowerment, of people who become more authentic, compassionate, elastic and act as “cultural innovators” in their individual or local contexts – but in a global consciousness.

Academy for Visionautics / Berlin

The Academy of Visionautics is an adult education institution that aims to foster social innovation towards a more humane, sustainable, enjoyable and healthier society for all. Its main approach in order to reach that goal is to facilitate and support visionary thinking as well as the implementation of visions. Through workshops, coaching and consulting, the Academy of Visionautics help its learners to shape their visions towards a better society and to take necessary steps for their realization.


What Quest?

The Sustainable Innovation Quest is about following your own, individual and unique way of contributing to and taking action for a social change on earth towards a sustainable society. It is the insight how your personal skills, talents and urges meet what the developments on earth are calling for.

Starting at your deep inner intention to contribute to social change you will follow a path of self-discovery and acquiring down-to-earth skills to outline and take your first steps to realise your own project. What a quest!

What do you mean by sustainable innovation?

A sustainable innovation does not have to be a huge project. It can be an initiative or organisation or enterprise which aims to contribute to sustainable development of society.

What will happen during the training?

You will be supported and accompanied in your own process of development: that includes group-workshops, presentations, a wide range of creative methods scaling from deep ecology to business modeling, best-practice examples, some coaching for implementation and free space to work in individual pace. And of course you will learn a lot from the other participants and also learn by supporting the others. And yes, we will have fun.

Who is going to support us during the workshop?

Some of us pioneers and visionauts (Martin Kirchner, Jutta Goldammer, Boris Goldammer and Irma Pelikan) will accompany, guide you and be available to you during the workshop.

And of course the other participants will be an inspiring ressource and support – hopefully also continuing after the training ;)

Could you give me some further information on food and accommodation?

You will be living in a beatuiful retreat setting, 2 hours away from Vienna, surrounded by vast spacious nature. You will be staying in a two-bedroom with people of your same gender. Please, let us know as soon as possible if you are uncorfortable with this, or if you have particular needs, and we will do our best to find an alternative.

You will be catered full board with a vegetarian diet. If you have any dietary needs please let us know once we have accepted your application.

You will get more detailed information about food, accomodation, venue and preparation when your application is accepted.

I have an important appointment that doesn’t allow me to stay for the entire workshop. Can I come a little later or leave a little earlier?

No. That is not possible. We had to guarantee the EU Agency that we’ll host you from 5th afternoon until 12th of October afternoon. There are specific regulations we fully need to fulfill, otherwise our funding will be withdrawn and we won‘t be able to refund you. So, if you decide to take part, it is very necessary to stay for the entire time.

Apart from that, it would be a pity for you and the group because there are very important parts you should and you would not want to miss – also at the beginning and the end of the workshop.

Do I need a sending organisation or can I apply as an individual?

You do not need to have an organisation, apply as an individual.

How much do I have to pay?

Nothing, if you are EU-cititzen not resident in Austria. This opportunity is absolutely free, with board and lodging taken care of. Travel costs will be refunded, we are calculating with around 200 € per person. If you don’t manage to arrange your venue below this amount please contact us!

If you are Austrian and want to profit from this unique possibility of condensed experience of Pioneers of Change and the Academy of Visionautics we ask for your contribution of 800 €. Additionally there will be costs for food and accomodation. For detailed information please contact quest@pioneersofchange.at