When: 27th of August - 4th of September 2023
Where: Centrum Veronica Hostětín / Czech Rep.
Duration: 9 days
Fee: €400–800 (see details below)
31st of March, 2023
Tired of the same old summer plans?
Want to make a meaningful impact & learn about using resilience in design-oriented work?
Join Holis School and take control of your summer.
Our nine-day intensive program teaches the essential soft skill of interdisciplinary collaboration while working on real-world resilient solutions for NGOs and organisations in the Visegrad Region. Plus, you'll meet like-minded, creative individuals.
Sign up now & make a real difference this summer!
In 2023, Holis School is tackling the most relevant topic for design - resilience.
With our eight years of experience in collaborative and interdisciplinary work and a team of expert professionals from various fields, we are working to find resilience solutions for NGOs and non-profit organisations... and we need YOU to be a part of it!
Resilience, what is it?
Simply, it is the capacity to withstand
or recover quickly from difficulties, deal with adversity, withstand shocks, and continuously adapt and accelerate as disruptions and crises arise.
Holis School participants have been making real-world changes for years by working on social and environmental issues and collaborating closely with NGOs and non-profit organisations to address their challenges and needs.
Now, more than ever, organisations need to build resilience from within to survive and thrive in today's "permanent crisis" (according to Accenture).
As a designer, you understand the importance of paying attention to potential factors that may affect your project, research, service, or organisation. Resilience is about the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties, adapt and evolve in the face of change, and thrive in adversity.
At Holis School, we'll give you the tools, methods, and team you need to design for resilience. Join us and increase your ability to predict, prepare for, respond to, and adapt to change and crises.
Check out our past experiences with resilience in our last edition of Holis School (focused on Early Childhood Development organisations) and our case study on resilience for the Places to Grow project.
Are you a problem-solver who isn't satisfied with the status quo?
Do you have an interest in social design
If so, Holis School is the perfect fit for you. We're looking for participants at any level of experience who are eager to challenge themselves and contribute to interdisciplinary teams.
Join us & be part of an intensive experience that will empower you with the know-how and network to cause real change.
Not sure if you're eligible to apply? Contact our CEO Justyna for more information.
We welcome applicants from a wide range of fields, including but not limited to:
Program Lead & Social Innovator
Expert on sustainability, grassroots leadership, human-centred and social innovation. Avinash is an award-winning grassroots youth leader with a focus on environmental sustainability. Back in India, He worked with over 5000+ volunteers and 100+ full-time employees as the CEO of Waste Warriors Society - a grassroots nonprofit providing waste management solutions to communities living in eco-sensitive zones of the Himalayan region. Currently, Avinash is a master's student of Public Management at the University of Potsdam as a Helmut Schmidt Scholarship holder by DAAD. Further, he practices Design Thinking at Hasso Plattner Institute Germany. He can be found running, cycling, or climbing when not debating on environmental issues.
Lector, designer & Expert
Lector of environmental education, designer, environmental projects co-creator, and sustainable development expert. She is associated with Veronica' Ecological Institute and Centre since 2021. Veronica is an NGO that protects nature, the environment and the climate and shows others how to do it. Veronica has been involved in this field for over 35 years through different projects and activities aiming for carbon neutrality and connecting with all relevant stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally. Her experience comes from inner sustainability, resilience, robust networking and linking local, national and international stakeholders. Irena used to work and lived in Scotland, in Edinburgh, for a decade, where she obtained a design degree. She profoundly appreciates art and crafts, linking environmental education with experiential and experimental learning and art education.
Action philosopher, academician & consultant
Action philosopher, academician, consultant and expert. Oleg regularly serves as a guide, lecturer, facilitator, and action researcher for EU institutions, Baltic Sea regional partners, cultural institutions, universities, food start-ups, municipalities, and governments. Expert in existainability, regenerative paradigm, pollination, organisation culture and immersed culture. In the past 20 years, Oleg has been developing methods combining social science tools, aesthetic research and creative interventions, focusing on biological and physical systems and their affordances and demands. Co-founder of Growing Pathways, Leader of the Centre for Regenerative Transformation at Promentum, Postdoctoral Researcher at Københavns Universitet - University of Copenhagen, Teacher at Copenhagen Business School and Roskilde University and many more.
Design Lead & Service Designer
A cross-disciplinary designer, Paul designs experiences which embrace the societal issues emerging at the friction between new technologies, social demands and sustainable challenges. His approach combines design research, systemic thinking, co-design and prototyping to deliver detailed design grounded in industrial and societal reality. With a love of crafting meaningful and people-centred experiences, he often works at the intersection of the physical and digital landscape. He has worked to improve tech consumer-goods products and services, enables social innovation and disrupt the healthcare industry. He is skilled in industrial & development design, user experience, organizational change, circular thinking & sustainability. He works at Scania Group and is a co-organizer of Speculative Futures Stockholm.
User experience researcher, design strategist & speaker
Archie works as UX Design Researcher at GE Transportation, a Wabtec company, serving the global freight industry by driving user-centric practices, modernizing products, and finding new opportunities for humans to interface with artificial intelligence and industrial automation. On the side, she collaborates on projects, mentors students, and co-organizes the ATL Speculative Futures meetup in the local design community. In addition, she is part of the organizing committee of Primer 2020 taking place in Atlanta, USA. Archie loves people, working with them, getting inspired by them, and most importantly solving for them. Oh! by the way, she is a Yes and! person.
Circular design strategist & sustainability advocate
A circular design consultant, strategist, leader and facilitator. His expertise comes from human-centred design, circular design, design process & management. He helps companies create product and service strategies based on innovation, sustainability and circular economy. Teacher at various universities around Europe. A co-founder of two design consultancies, Change Pilots in Poland and Next Agents in Sweden. He always brings a multicultural perspective thanks to years of practice abroad, including New York and London and such organisations as Parsons School of Design - The New School and IDEO. In the past 20 years, He worked as a strategist, manager, team leader, and sustainability advocate.
Innovator, researcher, business & service designer
An innovator and mindfulness practitioner, Yang designs services and experiences informed by rigorous research, inspired through iterative prototypes and integrated via a collaborative approach. With unlimited curiosity about the complex humanity and imagination of the world from different perspectives, he has worked in industries from healthcare and logistics to agriculture. He is skilled in research, facilitation and rapid prototyping. Besides working as a design researcher, he also starts his company Studio Nwak designing for consciousness, intelligence, and being. He worked at H&M Group and did his internship at IDEO!
Industrial Design/ Speculative Design
Dominika is a designer, researcher and social innovator based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She works at the intersection of social design and environmental transitions, focusing on creating balanced connections between human-made and natural systems. User experience researcher passionate about psychology. Explorer, looking for connections between the urban and rural tomorrows.
Social Designer & Researcher
Multidisciplinary designer working in the intersection of design, art and technology, focusing on social innovation. She became fluent in design thinking, inclusive design, facilitation, co-creation, speculative design, and six languages by exploring different fields in four other countries, from hardware-software startups through social and cultural associations to businesses. She co-founded Open the Kimono, a grassroots association to invite creatives and laypeople to co-create art based on essential topics for humanity's future. Another project of hers, Sinematic Xperience, allows people to be in a safe space to discuss sensitive and taboo subjects. Her main strengths lie in research and concept development. She finds an infinite source of inspiration in life, light, nature, people, social interactions and science for her ideas.
At Holis School, we believe in the power of diversity
& interdisciplinary collaboration. Our facilitators bring a unique perspective and approach to the program, while adhering to the core curriculum set by our Program Lead.
This allows for a constant exchange of knowledge and ideas among our teaching staff. With eight years of experience, we have assembled a team of exceptional facilitators, experts, and supporters. Check out our People subpage to learn more. Join us and benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our facilitators and experts.
More updates on experts & facilitators are released accordingly. We like suspense! Stay tuned!
At Holis School, we believe that real value comes from collaboration and a collective mindset. That's why we work in international and interdisciplinary teams, with support from experts, facilitators, team leaders, and organizations in V4 countries.
You can expect a balance of work and fun, with 70% collaboration and 30% leisure activities. Our summer school programs focus on developing skills that will help you solve complex problems, regardless of your field. While hard skills are important, they can quickly become obsolete with the rapid pace of technological change. Instead, we focus on developing soft skills that will enable you to adapt and evolve more quickly.
During the program, you will learn:
communication, storytelling, community building, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, cross-cultural teamwork, learning strategies, interdisciplinary collaboration, long-term thinking and resilience.
Join us & learn skills that will help you navigate the complex and ever-changing world of today and tomorrow.
The Holis School program 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 that you pay as much as possible within the following ranges.
Corporate and/or professional: €700-800
Student / Unemployed and/or nonprofessional €400-500
(Self)Employed / Freelancer €600-650
We also have limited opportunities for scholarships (50% discount) and one free participant. Check the FAQ for more information.
The price includes access to experts, materials, approach, 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.
If you need to cancel your participation, here is our cancellation policy:
If you cancel up to 2 weeks before the start of the event, we will refund 70% of the participation fee. If you cancel two 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 participants or funding, you will be refunded in full.
Besides the obvious part of learning
the previously mentioned skills, you will become a part of an ever-growing Holis School alumni community worldwide.
Over 100+ participants participated in Holis School for over eight years, allowing you to enter a new network.
The Holis Alumni consist of team facilitators and participants spread across the world. It’s a network of like-minded people who are helpful and occasionally even collaborate on projects. Additionally, you will be working on projects that might be executed in real life (especially relevant for junior designers willing to upgrade their portfolios).
You will join our brand new Discord community while attending the preparation before the Holis School
& after - to stay in touch with your colleagues and others in the network.
We know how important it is to pass to the next game level. To help you do it and scale your professional design carrier at the end of Holis School, you will receive a certificate/diploma signed by all facilitators & partners.
We are committed to three core principles that guide our program:
Feedback: Openness to, awareness of, and effectiveness in giving and receiving feedback is essential to the learning process.
Team development: Understanding the various tools and research on team development and group dynamics, and increasing confidence in utilising team-building tools.
Social impact: Understanding how the project can positively affect the community and the well-being of individuals and families.
Join us for a unique & impactful experience that will challenge you & help you grow both personally & professionally.
At Holis School, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Visegrad rural region while deepening your design practice alongside fellow designers
& working on issues that truly matter.
Our goal is to find easy-to-implement, resilient solutions for Early Childhood Development organizations in the Visegrad region. You'll work on a real-world project in an interdisciplinary team, learning soft skills through hands-on experience.
The program is a 9-day, 8-night on-site workshop that includes preparatory work and post-workshop assignments.
The ultimate goal is to produce project deliverables that can be used for further development and implementation, resulting in real-world impact.
A typical day at Holis School includes movement (such as yoga and running), meditation classes, family-style meals made with regional and seasonal ingredients, social activities (dancing, sauna, movie nights, walks, sightseeing, etc.), and plenty of time for reflection and relaxation. There will also be small excursions, study visits, and meetings.
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.
Early Bird applicants are required to pay the full amount upfront.
Note that if we don't receive enough applicants, the program may not run.
Step 1: Registration - Express your interest in participating and provide basic personal information.
Step 2: Motivation letter & Project Portfolio - In 500 words, explain why you want to attend Holis School, what you hope to gain from the experience, your relevant experiences, what interests you about the topic of this year's summer school, and how you can contribute to the program and your team. In your project portfolio, present relevant projects you've been a part of. The project portfolio should be a one-page document.
Step 3: Video Chat - Shortlisted applicants will have a 30-minute interview with us to get to know each other better and answer any questions.
Join us and take the first step towards
a challenging & impactful experience by applying today!
Why choose Holis School? Our approach sets us apart from traditional courses. We prioritise your well-being and learning by providing a natural setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, delicious meals prepared, opportunities for sports & leisure activities, and typical summer experiences.
We are famous for a breathtaking meal made with homemade ingredients and organic food. This time, we will get our ingredients directly "from the source", including the famous Hostětín juice and fair trade coffee. Our chef Dominka Targosz, is a plant-based rising star of Poland and ambassador of RoslinnieJemy. She nailed down the art of making breakfasts. Your morning porridge won't be the same after this experience.
These elements are intentionally designed to create a unique & unforgettable educational experience. Join us for a one-of-a-kind program that focuses on your holistic development.
Veronica' Ecological Institute and Centre
This time, we will be hosted by a special place called Veronica' Ecological Institute and Centre at the very foot of the White Carpathians / Czech Republic. Veronica is an NGO that protects nature, the environment and the climate and shows others how to do it. Veronica has been involved in this field for over 35 years through different projects and activities aiming for carbon neutrality and connecting with all relevant stakeholders on a local, national and international level. They are experts in the implementation of resilience in real life!
"Our mission is to support environment-friendly attitudes towards nature, landscape and their natural & cultural values"
We will serve you a typical summer school vibe, meaning we have a room-sharing policy. For more about the rooms type > click here or here.
Hostětín & Surroundings
Every year we choose a remote village for our school on purpose. We want to support them, bringing new creative activities to their lives. Known for its famous apple festival, the region of Hostětín offers a range of activities like nature trails, sculptures in the landscape, castle ruins, wooden houses, a spa and some stories about magical healers and herbalists (village Žítková).
How to get there? We assist our participants in arriving at the venue as soon as possible. As sustainability is a big part of our event, we suggest taking the train. If this won't be possible, the closest airports are in Ostrava and Brno / Czech Republic, in Bratislava / Slovakia and in Vienna / Austria. Then, you will need to take a train or bus to Hostětín (including 2-3 transfers). The closest big city is Zlín / Czech.
Holis School is an element of a Places to Grow project supporting 11 organizations that work with the topic of Early Childhood Development daily in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
This year we have the pleasure of cooperating with well-known partners from V4 counties like SK - Socia, Flowers of Slovakia and Nase Skolstvo; CZ - Court of Moravia and Nadace OSF; PL - FRSI and KobieTy; HU - Carpathian Foundation.
This year we have an Educational Partnerships with Laurea University of Applied Sciences from Finland.
Early childhood experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. How might we improve the system of early childhood development in the Visegrad Region?
We partnered with CLARA - Center for Rural Future to revitalise the economic and social fabric of the Odemira Region in Portugal