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EUGREENWEEK 2018 partner event ‘Bamboo Bike Ride Crete’

EUGREENWEEK 2018 partner event ‘Bamboo Bike Ride Crete’ was a success “more than we could imagine”. See here for yourself.



May 21 - 25 ‘Bamboo Bike Ride Crete' was a ESA, official EUGREENWEEK partner event organised by Sharon Jackson to promote ESA's #MakeCretePlasticFree campaign. The event was designed to involve diverse stakeholders from local government, eco- activist groups, young entrepreneurs club, the general public and to collaborate with organisations interested in creating greener living and working practices in Crete. The full 5 day event consisted of open seminars, a 4 day bamboo bike ride from Rethymnon to Falasarna and a 'Trash Art' exhibition organised by Chloe Dimitriades at Biolea. The brilliant core team of ‘bamboo bike riders' consisted of Thomas Mönch and Sharon Mechta of Biotic Bikes and Spyros Petrakis of ΔΕΔΙΣΑ ΧΑΝΙΑ with guest rides by Suzanna Scott of Charma Beer-Cretan Beer, Anargyros Koutroumpas of Cleopatra's Sponges. The start was hosted in Rethymnon by Vice Mayor Pepi Biriiraki and Rethymno Tourism, thereafter local businesses The Olive Grove - Armenoi, Piperia-Klaives Salis - Chania and Fisika in Tavronites hosted the exhibition and rest stops along the route to give a wide range of people the chance to see the bamboo bikes and engage 'hearts and minds' about reducing single use plastic in Crete. For back up support, Mr, Stelios Mylonakis from Strata Tours provided transfer services.. The event created 480 impacts with diverse people including more than 100 school children who care about reducing plastic waste in the ocean. Not surprisingly Bamboo Bike Ride Crete attracted media interest with 3 TV broadcasts and 5 news articles in Crete and Athens. ESA is already planning BBRC 2019.

Bamboo Bicycle Ride Crete on NEA TV

Bamboo Bicycle Ride Crete was covered on NEA TV. Here are some video clips of their coverage:

ESA bamboo bikes on NEA TV


ESA bamboo bikes at biolea on NEA TV


Kostas Nitos from NEA TV covering ESA bamboo bikes

Bamboo Bicycle Ride Crete - day by day

Bamboo Bicycle Ride Crete, a video summary of each day.

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Bamboo Bicycle Ride Crete for a Green Future

ESA is an official event partner for EU Green Week - Green Cities for a Greener Future. In collaboration with Biotic BikesBiolea and local municipalities of Crete, ESA is hosting a fun, educational event and the FIRST EVER Bamboo bike ride East to West of Crete.


Further Details

GLOBAL SUSTAIN, Sustainability Forum Tour 2018, Crete 6th – 7th October.

Booking is now open for limited places on this impactful and deeply enjoyable sustainability leadership tour.

At ESA we are delighted to be partnering with Global Sustain to create a rich and immersive sustainable enterprise learning experience for managers and directors in business.

We are pleased to showcase successful sustainable enterprises in Crete such as award winning Biolea cold press EVOO and Dourakis Winery.

During this peer group knowledge sharing weekend, you will visit other thriving sustainable enterprises such as Fisika and Tzompanakis Blown Glass (beautiful glass art from recycled bottles) and hear about setting up and leading innovation in sustainable enterprise.

Other organised actives include visits to Technical University of Crete and world class Mediterranean Agriculture Institute Maich followed by some appreciation and reflection time at the beautiful Chania Venetian harbour.

Of course participants will get a chance to enjoy the beautiful off grid ESA biophilia feeling and Cretan catering hospitality which is above excellent.

Full Agenda

This will be a small group experience so book soon for this unique and wonderful sustainability weekend.

Women Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise (WISE) just went GLOBAL!

International Women’s Day 2018 brought with it the launch of Women Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise (WISE) GLOBAL learning and community of business support for women.


Originally focussed on Women in Social Enterprise, WISE was founded between 2013 and 2015 as an EU, Lifelong Learning Programme, pilot project for 60 women in Greece, Spain and Croatia. Since the close of that pilot programme, at ESA we have been testing the interest in WISE around the world and found that although there are many start- up support programmes, there is a need for more skills development about the fundamentals of a profitable sustainable business and  maintaining a sense of ‘sustainable self’. WISE Global is updated and enhanced from the original pilot and blended with elements from the Growth through Sustainability (GTS) programme designed at Cranfield School of Management and from The Gateway (confidence building) programme designed for Cambridge University (Murray Edwards College). This new programme ticks all the boxes for what women in enterprise told us they need and want from a business skills development programme. WISE Global is a rigorously researched and designed, blended learning programme, which means 90% of the learning experience is online with the support of a virtual teacher, online mentors and a rich, diverse, global peer group for knowledge sharing and support. WISE is a programme ‘beyond start up’ that guides participants to be investor ready for the next phase of their business. Continued 1:1 business growth coaching and lifetime membership of the thriving global WISE community supports participants after the formal learning modules are finished.

Further details

Join our WISE Global Community at FB Women Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise

Bamboo Bicycle 'build and ride Crete' for a Green Future


Between 17th and 25th May 2018, as part of EU Green Week, Green Cities for a Greener Future, in collaboration with the Bamboo Bicycle Club in London, ESA is hosting a fun, educational event and the FIRST EVER bamboo bike ride East to West of Crete. Riding over 302km, between Sitia to Kissamos, to encourage people to be part of creating change and #MakeCretePlasticFree #EUGreenWeek.

We are looking for Bamboo Bike Builders, Bamboo Bike Riders and Event Organisers to be part of the 'build and ride' team to build 4 BAMBOO BIKES at the beautiful ESA, off- grid, natural materials eco-building, in the Natura 2000 location of Drapanos, Apokoronas.

Would you like to sponsor a unique, one off, made to your specifications, personalised branded 'Made in Crete' Bamboo bike?

These Bamboo Bicycle bikes are NOT FOR SALE! You have to build them and enjoy the lasting pleasure of design and creation.


James and Ian, co-founders of Bamboo Bicycle Club: Bike riding engineers, who after their own enthusiastic experiments in building bamboo bikes, decided to create a bicycling community with others who are interested in building their own beautiful, robust and environmentally friendlier bamboo bicycle frames.

Further details and how to join the team
Find out more, follow our FB event page

Empowering Women in Tourism at ESA

17th September

As part of the extraordinary and impressive offerings of ESA 5th Women Empowerment – Global Summit and Awards this year we are breaking new ground and collaborating with Travel Massive Crete to host the first event for ‘Empowering Women in Tourism’ roundtable discussion and workshop.


At this event we will examine the importance of women in the tourism sector, explore the issues facing women in tourism and present some practical guidance.

Come along and share your thoughts and ideas with likeminded people who are experiencing the same issues, in a beautiful setting, accompanied by Cretan wine and Cretan savouries.

Travel Massive is the world’s largest network of travel industry change makers who want to make travel better in more than 176 countries. The core values of the group include:
• We believe that great ideas happen when you bring talented people together.
• We stand for – building meaningful partnerships, fostering innovation, supporting diversity, empowering change, promoting responsible travel. And creating happiness.

ESA 5th Women Empowerment – Global Summit

15th – 17th September 2017

Global Summit, Gala Dinner and Awards: Empower, Educate Employ- ENLIGHTEN.

WE2017 will be year 5 of empowering workshops, WE Awards, fine dining gala event, Cretan music and dancing set in the most magical and inspirational place, ESA on a mountain in Crete. People of all ages and backgrounds assemble from all around the world for this amazing and unique annual experience. This year we will build on the previous 4 years' themes of Educate, Empower and Employ by adding the 4th ‘E’ - ENLIGHTEN !


The WE 2017 event will open with the first screening of ESA Founder Sharon Jackson’s TEDx Talk at The Technical University of Crete. TEDx TUC subject was ‘Light Leak’ and how in particular young Greek people, about to graduate and enter the world of work, can find their own ‘golden ribbon’ of light to lead them through the difficult conditions of life in Greece. Understanding how to take advantage of ‘Light Leak’ is important for people of all ages and all nationalities and this is why we have chosen ‘ENLIGHTEN’ as the key theme for this year’s WE Summit.
The ESA Women Empowerment programme is designed for women to learn techniques for empowering themselves and men, and vice versa. Join us for a weekend of enlightenment and learn how to be a ‘LIGHT ATTRACTOR’ and how to ‘MANAGE YOUR GOLDEN RIBBON OF LIGHT’. Hear about techniques to capture and sustain light in your life, and to enlighten those around you for thriving and adapting in a chaotic world!

View the full agenda

This is what one of our attendees from WE 2016 has to say about why you should join us.

Goddesses of Food

20:00 Friday 15th September

Book your place early as this event will sell out!

Tantalize your senses and expand your mind at this wonderful evening of Cretan sensations.

ESA resident astronomer Christos Sotiropoulos will present ‘The Universe in a Wine Glass’ and explain about the mythology and constellations of winemaking. Later you observe the wonders of the planets through our state of the art robotic telescope.

All the way from California, Global Gardens founder and ‘Californian / Mediterranean fusion food’ entrepreneur, Theodora Stefan will demonstrate in the ESA kitchen how to make wonderful savoury sushi baklavas.

Your evening will be further enhanced by local Cretan business ‘Women in Food,’ Evie Dourakis, Co-Owner of Dourakis Winery and Chloe Dimitriades, CEO of Biolea, Stone milled organic olive oil, who will give you an appreciation session about their Cretan natural delights.

There will be plenty of savouring moments, enjoying a Cretan buffet of finger food, wine and olive oil.


Nominations for ESA Women Empowerment, 5th Awards, 2017

We are looking for your nominations for ESA Women Empowerment, 5th Awards, 2017.
Previous award winners and Cretan role models of Empowerment include:
*Filio Sika, co-owner of Fisika handmade olive oil cosmetics
*Stella Diomantaraki, fine-dining, fusion food entrepreneur
*Antonia Diamantakis and Zeta Chrysafakia, Eco architects and designers
*Eleni Orfanoudakis. Chania Lawyer, mother and marathon runner
*Peli Tzompanakis, restaurant owner, chef and mother

Who will you nominate for this award? email us


Greenpeace Greece

Bravo to Greenpeace Greece for raising awareness about the HUGE problem of plastic in our ocean. We can all make a difference.


Global Sustain annual Sustainability Forum

Do come and join Sharon Jackson, founder of ESA, for some sustainability abracadabra!
She will be speaking again at Global Sustain annual Sustainability Forum event in Athens, 5th October.
This year she will be sharing the 'magic of capacity building' for creating sustainable organisations. She will be sharing 'practical magic' tricks and techniques and a tool-kit for participants to take back to their own organisations.


ESA contributes to Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Sustainability Network) forum on waste

Sharon Jackson was invited to join more than 40 diverse, passionate Circular Economy and waste reduction professionals at  the Dubai Chamber for an invigorating meeting about Dubai's aim to divert 75% of waste from landfill by 2021. Sharon said "It is amazing how similar the challenges of waste management in a modern day city like Dubai are to an ancient island like Crete. We can all learn from sharing knowledge."


To celebrate Open Source Circular Economy (OSCE) day 2017, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sustainability Network) and Dulsco joined hands to take the lead in bringing together more than 40 different stakeholders for this important discussions on achieving Dubai Plan 2021: The Place: “A Smart & Sustainable City”. Black Forest Solutions, a German waste management thought leader provided guidance from a global perspective. ESA's Sharon Jackson was invited as the closing key note speaker.


Cretan Natural Treasures

ESA hosts wonderful, intimate and informative evenings each week for guests to be immersed in the experince of Cretan wines, olive oil, food and nature. ESA, Cretan Natural Treasures tour in collaboration with Crete Urban Adventures. Bookings taken for each Thursday.


ESA's Sharon Jackson TEDx Speaker


ESA founder Sharon Jackson was thrilled to be invited as the closing TEDx speaker at The Technical University of Crete, Chania, in May 2017. She said "I am really looking forward to being part of this event - especially because it is happening in my chosen area to set up an international business and my second home, Chania, and because of the long time relationship between ESA-Crete and TUC. I feel very honoured to have been asked to close this important event. We will leave our audience with a unique and memorable closing experience". Sharon Jackson’s TEDx Talk 'Sensing Light and Dark: A Cretan Story'.

It was a great honour to be the closing speaker at this event.


Star and planet watching Tuesdays at ESA !

We all enjoy getting ready at European Sustainability Academy - Crete for our star-watching 'Night with the Gods' each Tuesday. The area is beautiful in day time with beautiful flower covered meadows of Drapanos and the bees working hard to make their fragrant Cretan honey. At night another wonderous natural show of pure delight starts in the sky!


Circular Economy workshops at ESA

In March 2017, ESA started a series of events and knowledge sharing activities to learn about applying Circular Economy activities in Crete. This innaugural event focussed on brainstorming practical projects for sustainable tourism in action. Issues of WASTE, WATER SHORTAGES and ABANDONED ANIMALS - all PUT TOURISTS OFF! Attendees from  accross Crete, from Athens and UK gathered at ESA to discuss how to address these issues in Crete. This programmme of events aims to engage people to become actively part of creating magical solutions for a healthy circular economy in Crete!



For the second year (2016 and 2017) ESA founder Sharon Jackson was invited to Mumbai, India, at the prestigious World CSR Day at the Taj Hotel, to receive an award in recognition of the global outreach of the work done at ESA.

Sharon said "It was a great surprise and an honour to be awarded for a second year. This award is testament to the collective efforts of colleagues in Crete and around the world who are dedicated to the overarching aspiration of ESA to make a positive impact in the world" .World CSR Day 2017



View News Archive 2016 >>

A truly inspiring venue for events

Host your event at ESA

Powered only by Cretan sunshine, ESA is a beautiful building rooted in the earth amongst ancient rocks and olive trees, surrounded by nature. Its construction is a leading example of sustainability in practice. ESA is an experiential and creative place where people feel enlivened, uplifted and creative. Great living and great learning happens at ESA. A perfect setting for:

Leading enterprise for the future

Innovators in Sustainable Enterprise

Our passion is contributing towards co-created sustainable enterprise for positive impact on communities and the natural environment on a global scale. Leadership and entrepreneur issues of adaptation, resilience, authenticity, sustainable-self, values connected sense-making and the continued emancipation of women (WISE) to take up more leadership roles in the world are at the core of the ESA sustainability experience.

Sustainability created in Crete

Your sustainability experience

Crete is the sustainable destination of the past and of the future.


Home of the Minoans, one of the earliest civilisation on earth, nestled between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Crete is rich with mythology, gastronomy, music, art and agriculture. You can have your own authentic experience of a sustainable lifestyle and feel first hand the strong connection between nature and community. ESA is thrilled to collaborate with Cretan Urban Adventures to co-create an 'immersive experience' for a richer connection with LIFE!