Village Hosts bring new social, economic and ecological life to small villages and their local economy. They create new livelihoods, and good work, in emerging urban-rural markets: positive-impact tourism, nature reconnection, adventure sports, farm-shares, learning journeys, wellness retreats, work-vacations, heritage trails, and more.
To realise these opportunities, Village Hosts seek out and connect assets that may already exist in a community, but are unknown, or isolated: people, places, buildings, and skills.
Based on these new connections, Village Hosts develop services sustained by new business models: remote working, co-housing, platform co-ops and others.
Village Hosts enable diverse partners and stakeholders to work together – often for the first time. Their work is a form of green infrastructure.
Although the description ‘Village Host’ is new, similar work is of course being done at a local level by local pioneers, social innovators, and enterprising local officials.
But many more such people are needed. In Italy alone, 5,500 small villages (those with 5,000 or fewer inhabitants) have been declining; in Spain, 3,500; in Serbia, 4,700 – to name just three of the countries represented in this project.
- Identify the range of key competencies that a Village Host could need
- Pilot a training programme with 40 Village Hosts from different parts Europe
- Publish a manifesto to advocate for the work, and a handbook to help people do it
- Build a Collaboration Platform with three functions:
- collect and publish stories
- provide tools
- support and enable a community of knowledge exchange
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