ESA logo


Leadership for positive impact

News 2017

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. 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 >>

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 happen at ESA. A perfect setting for:

Leading 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.

Make sense of sustainability

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

Home of the Minoans, one of the earliest civilisations 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.