Holis North Star

Csórompuszta, Hungary
9-15 September, 2024

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Application deadline 31 May.


This year Holis celebrates its 10th anniversary. We will try something new, a slightly different format that allows us to have more discussions, more connections and hopefully more actions.

If you are working on programs or projects that aim to improve people's lives, you are most probably in the business of change. And change is hard. Change is hard due to the comfort of familiarity, the fear of failure, threats to identity, or loss of control and social influences. 

After running Holis School for the last decade, alongside working with numerous other partners from business, the nonprofit sector and civil society, we see four aspects that are present in almost every successful project. It’s not the qualification of the team members, it’s not the size of the budget and it’s not the extensive planning. It’s the right intention, the right attitude, the relationships, and luck. 

The main issue we want to discuss with you is the lack of a unified vision and coordinated efforts among organisations striving for social change. Despite the shared goal of making the world a better place, these organisations often work in isolation, leading to fragmented efforts and limited impact.

We wish to change this siloed approach to social change. We believe that systemic change can only be achieved through collective action, where practitioners meet theorists, the civil sector meets the public sector, and meaningful collaborations are formed.

Holis North Star is based on our 10 years of experience working with changemakers, where we’ve observed a “collective imagination crisis”. There’s a demand for an event where social change actors can discuss their vision, what’s working, and what’s not. Through the Holis North Star we aim to provide a platform for these discussions, fostering relationships and connections that lead to coordinated efforts for systemic change.


The Holis North Star format is based on the principles of collective intelligence design. Our goal is to bring the diverse perspectives of experts and participants so we can become smarter together.

You will start your day with an optional yoga session and a healthy breakfast.

Before lunch, you will hear thought-provoking presentations and engage in discussions with our experts.

After lunch, you will work in small teams to gain a deeper understanding of the topics discussed.

By the end of Holis North Star, together we will create a manifesto that will govern our actions for the next year.


We are looking forward to welcome back the Holis Alumni and our partners of the previous 10 years to this special event. We are also inviting you if the topic resonates with you.

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If you are a curious and motivated person with a "do it" attitude then you will fit well. We are known for curating a diverse group of people who enjoy spending this week together and stay in touch after the event.

Participation fee

Holis is a non-profit endeavor, made possible by volunteer work and support from sponsors and grants. Your contribution is essential to making it happen. We ask participants pay as much as possible within the following ranges.

Corporate / professional:
(Self)Employed / Freelancer:
Student / Unemployed:

Every year we offer scholarships (50% discount), and this time we are supporting 3 participants. Check the FAQ for more information.

The price includes access to experts, materials, teamwork, delicious food, accommodation, and the venue. It does not include travel costs or insurance. To minimize our environmental impact, we encourage participants to travel by bus or train.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel up to four weeks before the start of the event, we will refund 70% of the participation fee. If you cancel four weeks or less before the start of the event, there will be no refund. In exceptional situations, we will allow for a replacement. We do everything possible to not cancel any of our events, however, in the event that we have to cancel due to insufficient number of participants (this year minimum of 30) or funding, you will be refunded in full.

Holis Experts & Facilitators (more soon)

More information about facilitators and experts after April 18.

Three core rules of Holis

1. Don't be an asshole

2. No bullshit

3. Be useful

Application process

The application process for Holis School includes several steps, and we evaluate applications 7 days after they're submitted. If you're selected, you'll need to pay 50% of the fee within 5 days to secure your spot, with the remaining 50% due 30 days before the program begins.

This is a limited space venue and we expect places will go quick so don't hesitate to apply as soon as you can. We will close the application once we are full.

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Step 1: Application - Express your interest in participating and provide basic personal information. In your motivation letter, explain why you want to attend Holis, what you hope to gain from the experience, your relevant experiences, what interests you about the topic of this year, and how you can contribute to the program. In your CV or project portfolio, present relevant projects you've been part of. The project portfolio should be a one-page document.

Step 2: Video Chat
- Shortlisted applicants will have a 30-minute interview with us to get to know each other better and answer any questions.

Step 3: Selection of participants

The Venue, food & extra activities

Our approach sets us apart from similar events. We prioritise your well-being and learning by providing a natural setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, delicious meals, opportunities for sports & leisure activities, and typical summer experiences.

This time, we will be hosted by a unique place called Csórompuszta located in the beautiful surroundings of the Balaton Uplands. This is a special place that we as organisers have a history with and are very happy to get back here.

We are famous for our healthy
meals made with mostly local ingredients.

Holis has a summer school vibe that is also reflected in our room sharing set up. We will have some rooms with 2-4 people arrangements and we will have bigger halls for sleeping. Our first workshop will be about creating private spaces in the halls using textiles. We are confident you will enjoy this.

How to get there
There is direct bus from Budapest that takes about 2 hours to get there.

Any questions?

    We plan to have Q&A sessions so watch our social media accounts to get the date and time of those.

    Contact one of our Holis Ambassadors from Spain, Finland, Egypt, Denmark, Poland, Ecuador, Hungary, Slovakia, Mexico and Germany. Check the People Page to know more.

    The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.


    Why do I need to apply?

    Holis has a limited number of places every year. This is the main reason why you have to apply to be part of Holis. We also think that a limited size group (maximum of 50 people) helps establish meaningful and long lasting connections. And finally we are certain that the right mix of people will bring a better learning experience. Our main role during the selection process is to select the best candidates who will make a great team.

    Can we apply as a team?

    Yes, you can! If you are a team of at least 5 people and maximum of 7 and have a diverse set of skills and knowledge you can apply as a team. You will need still have individual applications where you can let us know about the name of your team so we understand who is part of the team.
    If you are applying as a team you will get 25% discount from your personal participation fee.

    What’s the cancellation policy?

    We might cancel the event if there is no sufficient participants or no sufficient funding. We do everything possible to not to cancel any of our events.

    If you have to cancel your participation, here is the deal. If you cancel up to 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the event we will refund 70% of the participation fee. If you cancel 2 weeks or less before the beginning of the event, there will be no refund. This is due to the short notice to reassign your place.

    I'm not a designer. Is Holis for me?

    The short answer is yes. The long answer is that we would love to have you. Holis is about interdisciplinarity and as you might guessed it doesn't work only with designers. Based on the feedback of our non-designer participants it's quite challenging to keep the tempo. We will do everything possible to prepare you for this experience. You will have an extra design methodology online session.

    How and when to pay?

    You will receive the information regarding how to make the payment once your application has been selected.

    Do you have scholarship?

    We offer a limited number of scholarship places for those who can't afford the full fee. With a scholarship you will receive a 50% discount on your fee (based on your needs and our resources). If you are planning to apply for the scholarship please let us know at the end of the application form. Scholarships are awarded based on financial needs and the quality of your application.
    We expect a participants with a scholarship to become a Holis Ambassador and help us in our mission to raise the awareness around soft skills, interdisciplinary collaboration, peer learning and social innovation.

    What’s the student/employed ratio?

    We allocate 30% of the places for students/unemployed.

    What’s included in the price?

    • Preperatory online session
    • Accommodation (9 nights)
    • Daily 3 meals (9 days)
    • A carefully selected international interdisciplinary team
    • An outstanding team facilitator
    • A real problem/task to work on and make an impact
    • High quality photos and videos that you can use
    • Certificate at the end of the programme
    • Follow-up online session
    Please note that you will be responsible for your travel to and from the venue!

    Life can only be understood backwards