Solution Overview

Solution Name:

The Meraki People

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One-line solution summary:

"Meraki People" invent the protocol of "wise" rural villages creating local incomes while working IN and FOR Nature stewarding the planet

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Pitch your solution.

I am Christiana Gardikioti, Founder of the "MERAKI PEOPLE" , a mission driven for profit company. We are enterprising minds full of Passion-Dexterity-Commitment-Focus. We convene to develop concrete action perspectives that lead to income generation as well as business and planetary wellness. 

We invite S.T.E.A.M. practitioners, entrepreneurs, policy makers, corporate  and NGO decision makers to service learn while co-designing with locals commercial applications of their knowledge in the  community bio and fab labs during retreats and acceleration periods.

The protocol of the first wise community  includes data for natural capital  and decision making with a 7 generation perspective.  It aims to serve as  map of action to bridge a  much needed urban rural cooperation.  Its impact changes mind sets, cultures and institutions. It can serve any evolutionary leader globally.

Is  valorizing waste,  net zero  living and working IN and FOR NATURE of interest to YOU?

Join us 

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Humans have broken the balance between the life supporting systems on Earth. 

Constant resource depletion disrespects the rights of all other natural kingdoms that coexisted with humans for centuries, causing their mass extinctions. At global scale the key greenhouse gases are emitted by human activity and are the cause of climate change. 53.6 million metric tons (Mt) of solid waste, plastic in the oceans almost more than fish. I9.6 million cancer dead and 1.9 billion obese people, 422 million suffering from diabetes. Most linked to food consumption and lack of exercise. Income disparities often leading to violent conflicts and deaths. Water and Food depletion are eminent death threats globally.

Nationally Greece suffered 10 years of economic austerity. Its hope for the future, its 650.000 young well educated minds, flew away living behind an aging population with no hope. Urbanization has lead to rural degradation and no protection from physical calamities like fires.  The Nation's human and physical systems are in peril of extinction. 

Thus we need to move from the Anthropocene Epoch A to Epoch B. FAST! 

We do not have a methodology, a map and the human capacity to make the fast change. 


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What is your solution?

The term autopoiesis (from Greek αὐτo- (auto-) 'self', and ποίησις (poiesis) 'creation, production') refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself by creating its own parts and eventually further components. The original definition by Humberto Maturana define the self-maintaining chemistry of living cells. We aim  to apply the concept in the village of Agiannis and define the conditions for food, energy, water and income autonomous community cell.

“The Meraki People” is inspired by the implemented projects of Dr.  Gunter Pauli, Founder of (www.myblueeconomy.com).  It facilitates the much needed transition. It empowers people via bio entrepreneurship in the Bio and fab labs nodes it will create. Revenue flows via workshops, the net zero incubator, citizen engagement, consulting, knowledge navigation, building team capacity, service learning and service tourism both virtually and in a physical space.

Society and Nature are calling for more collaboration and urgent implementation of change towards regenerative business models. Fungi, fermented foods, energy cooperative, food forest, living soil, algae products and fabrics produced locally, VR film making, monitoring Natural Capital via drones are some of our projects in the making.

In this new paradigm everybody wins but also everybody is needed!


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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

We mainly target the local young Greeks. We particularly focus on underserved women to develop the courage to create their own enterprises and feed their families in a dignified and empowering manner.

We also insist on inviting young graduates from all over the world to service learn.

We urge corporate leaders to include us in their CSR policy as a project worth engaging both senior executives and employees 

We call upon all S.T.E.A.M practitioners to put sciences and arts to the service of communicating cooperation and connection rather than competition and individual performance. They all create a new narrative of collective intelligence to make a new societal cell that is just, sustainable and thriving!

Thus business, sciences and arts all converge to support the making of new human story: that of co existence, respect and opportunity. Creating income is the most pivotal element for people to stay and develop purposeful and meaningful lives. It is definitely not an easy task but a necessary for survival one that can be shared and networked across the globe. 

Learning a new way of operating with less being more, connecting for the benefit of the many and respecting all other species is our equation to solve and is not easy at all. On the contrary it is frustrating and turbulent and it is a global matter with a terribly focused local solution! 

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Other
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

 We regenerate life conditions in soil and seas in a "Smart Village context" by 

a) Multidisciplinary scientists educating people about living soil, food forests and developing Natural Yeast products (sour bread, sauerkraut, stale urban bread into a local beer, algae beauty products) for local employment and keeping income generated locally to benefit the locals 

b) Communicating sciences, technology, engineering with the ARTs for a new story accentuating participant's involvement  https://vimeo.com/259546997 

c) Seeking impact investing for  bio fab labs and bio start ups 

d) Networking globally for co creating in retreats 

 https://www.facebook.com/elcme...

f)  Supporting female business talent https://www.sege.gr/en/ via energy cooperative


 

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Astros, Arcadia, Ελλάδα
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

Agios Ioannis N.Kynouria 

During winter only 10 residents 

July + August the people who live in Astros  visit their homes in Agiannis. 

We are now in the process of getting an operating license for our fungi production selling them in the farmers market. Important: We grown our mushrooms on olive brunches that are now getting burned jeopardizing the region to fires and releasing an incredible amount of Carbon dioxide into the skies.

All events self financed and made some small profit 

We usually organize individual events and invite people (82 participants from 12 countries attended the  Blue Economy weekend Sept 2015) 

https://www.facebook.com/media...

World Health Innovation Summit 2016 85 people including the 32 speakers

Presentations on Living Soil 2017 attracted about 20 locals 

Boy Scouts visit to Agiannis Christmas of 2019 - 50 young people were received by the Mayor, President of the Village and 3 Local Council members 

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Christiana Gardikioti B.A. B.Ed MBA C.Wellness.O

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
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What makes your solution innovative?

It combines interdisciplinary intergenerational cooperation in rural areas while creating jobs via entrepreneurship 

Humans are separated from Nature while destroying the very ecosystems that support their lives. They miss the being an integral part of this life supporting ecosystem. City growth is monumental. Rural areas are deserted. Forests burned down.  Waste disposal a global challenge. Food produced and consumed is very poor on nutrition. About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes,1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes. Nutrition rich food and daily exercise a must. Agriculture, farm practices and carbon sequestration as well as cultivating in the ocean while cleaning are ALL catalytic actions: 

A "smart village"  can attract urban dwellers to rural areas. Income creation is a precondition  to attract them. We propose to call upon science and business to work with society. 

Also data to be gathered to prove Nature's contributions to National Economies. 

Creating a successful paradigm linked to old wisdom in the birth place of Democracy and Western Civilization can be indeed leading the way to the new era. It will facilitate agricultural practices that enhance lands, inspire young people to become Nature's stewards.  Young graduates to make products for the 60+ market that is the 20% of the 7.0 billion human population. 

By creating a paradigm of full employment for youth and income democratization while living in balance with all other 5 kingdoms of Nature can set a new mind set so much needed to face the calamity of the Anthropocene era.


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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Ancestral Technology & Practices
  • Audiovisual Media
  • Biomimicry
  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Robotics and Drones
  • Software and Mobile Applications
  • Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Elderly
  • Rural
  • Low-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
  • Persons with Disabilities
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Greece
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10. Reduced Inequality
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 15. Life on Land
  • 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

2021 We serve the community of Astros and Agiannis population 4.500 and 8 young entrepreneurs 

2022 We estimate to serve Northern Kynouria population 11.000 and Southern Kynouria 9.500 and support the creation of 30 bio entrepreneurs 

2026 We aim to serve globally reaching  300 young bio entrepreneurs and 75 new evolutionary leaders creating an economy of 12.000.000 euros in the 24 villages of Mt Parnonas inspiring them to make a significant contribution to other  parts of the globe in their communities.

Being part of 

a) the InterHub team https://www.google.com/search?... and 

b) the AIME IMAGI-NATION mentoring program  

https://imagination.aimementor... 

we will be transforming education, giving opportunities to young and old and anyone that simply wants to learn a chance at making it happen for them.

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

1. We have caught the attention and support of several KEY PEOPLE 

Dr. Sheridan Tatsuno https://www.linkedin.com/in/st...

Dr Pauli Gunter Z.E.R.I. http://zeri.org  scientists including Dr Ivanka Milenkovic Mycologist 

Ms Alexandra Mitsotaki Founder of https://convergences.gr/ Sister of P.M.

Dr Peter Whitehouse and his INTERHUB Team 

Bert Ola Bergstrand https://www.linkedin.com/in/be...

James Ehrlich  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ja...

Elizabeth Carney https://www.linkedin.com/in/el... 

Dr David Kong & MIT BioSummit Family https://www.media.mit.edu/peop... 


ACTIONS 

2. We reached the 1.589 visitors in our village due to 14 events organized by the  "Meraki People"

3. We created 5 new enterprises that will lead to local employment 

4. We raised awareness about democratizing the food chain

 https://localfoodnodes.org/en 



 

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

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How many people work on your solution team?

 

Christiana Gardikioti Founder Full time

Senior Independent Contractors 

Anna Blume, COO  

Zad Mehdawi, CTO 


Junior entrepreneurs 

Maria Paraskevopoulou I.T/Data 

Ioanna Hisiridou Business Development Officer (Agriculture) 

George Kolovos local farmer 

Dimitris Kourogiorgas, Finance/Accounting 

Advisors 

Dr C.Vorgias Professor of Biochemistry 

Nikos Mantas City Councillor, Scarborough - Agincourt at City of Toronto

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How long have you been working on your solution?

Since 2015 Atypical Formal Registration May 2018

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Multi dexterous, spirited team. Performs best under pressure. Hard working yet fun loving, renown for generating innovative solutions during Greek symposia.

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Christiana Gardikioti. Mother, Actress, Educator, Financial Consultant, Level V Chartered Manageress, globe trotter. An articulate, energetic, young at heart, passionate Greek/Canadian visionary.

Anna Blume, Behavior change practitioner, Community builder aficionado, creative designer and dexterous programmer. Organized German

Zad Mehdawi, gamer, athletic, artistic and entrepreneurial maverick, acute strategic thinker, agile negotiator Libyan executive.

Maria Paraskevopoulou I.T/Data Mathematician, creative spirit in film & danse from Tripolis Arcadia. Totally amfi dexterous brain capability.

Ioanna Hisiridou Business Development Officer - Young Master of Agriculture graduate with experience in a Medical Supplies Company Sales.

George Kolovos local organic farmer. National Chess Champion. An analytical thinker in touch with the soil! 

Dimitris Kourogiorgas, Finance/Accounting Certified Mountain guide who pays attention to details religiously. 

Advisors 

Dr C.Vorgias, Professor of Biochemistry at National University of Athens with 17 pages of Academic Scientific Excellence in his C.V, born in Piraeus Port 

Nikos Mantas City Councillor, Scarborough - Agincourt at City of Toronto born in Arcadia Greece. Connector of Greek Diaspora Globally 

Nikos Marnieros, CEO of IBM Europe, Senior Board Member and Chief of Operations in National Telecommunications Company (Cosmote) CEO of IFCO Greece nicked named "Dracumel" as nothing escapes him and is a Master of Perfection 

Dr. Maria Saridaki CEO of ATEXELIXI, Education Centre of National Agricultural Bank of Greece. The "iron lady" with the most eloquent and profound knowledge of Ancient Greek Language and Philosophy 

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

Christiana Gardikioti is the founder of the Meraki People. She was born in Greece attended a French Catholic Nuns School and left for Canada at 17 years of age where she became a Theatre Person, a French immersion Educator and a Financial Planner. She worked voluntarily as a General Manager for the Greek Pavillion Folk Fest in Saskatoon serving 23.000 visitors in 3 days. She also served as a Principal in the Greek School, a French Immersion teacher and President of the Greek student association. She became a Canadian Citizen after being an Immigrant for 5 years.

At age 35 she moved to Financial Planning ending up as a NYSE trader with Merrill Lunch in Athens. Divrsity and inclusion are absolute part of her DNA and personality

Zad Mehdawi is a serial entrepreneur and a Greek Libyan citizen. He has lead the technology gaming cluster Nationally, international NGOs, sporting organizations and Artistic Galleries and events. Inclusion is in his DNA. On top of her designing capabilities her programming skills serve to bring technology to people who need it most as she is a community builder for several years. Equity is the main characteristic of her DNA 

The young people in the team are often made to feel equal partners as we often codesign and lead world cafe harvests. Thus they learn in practice not in theory the work space is inclusive, diverse and gives everyone across the generations a voice and a stage for creativity. 


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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

I will get both Financial and Social Capital 

When people see that you are funded they believe it is possible so they come and become part of the change 

Chicken and egg situation 

Money does have the power to "MOVE MOUNTAINS" 

We believed first then we see the change 

Others first want to see then they believe MONEY FACILITATES the transition 

Individual Mind sets, Cultural Changes and Institutional changes can be assisted with capital channeled our way a great deal


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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Please explain in more detail here.

Meraki People has worked extensively in building a network of people on a shoe string. The things we have not done yet is because we have no available capital to spend to thrust forward like the making of the Bio lab and the Fab lab, hiring of more people including a scientist and marketing budget 

We have attended Innovathens incubator, Orange Grove and European Sustainability Academy. We feel ready to start sharing the methodology, inviting people to share their knowledge and plan together a new mor just, mor sustainable and more flourishing world 

We do greatly need the money to move faster, more focused and with greater impact. The bridging of Rural to Urban settings, the Regenerative frame of mind, the democratisation of food chain and the making of new bio entreprises needs funding to advance. 

We would love to co design co create with MIT and LOCALS a WISE VILLAGE 

a village where applied knowledge of technology will lead to VR shopping, to VR fire simulator, to a smart Sheppard's den and smart agriculture including water desalination, hydrogen powered mobility and food forests . They cannot be done without financial support. 

We aim to generate numerous jobs from creating new business that steward the environment but unless people offer their knowledge a wise village cannot materialise. People need to think with a 7 generation horizon in mind, integenerationaly, interdisciplinarily and with ecosystem preservation as the absolute starting point.

We all need to synergize to make it happen living no one behind 

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

United Nations water management

Bio MARINE organisation

MIT FAB LABS 

MIT MEDIA LAB 

MIT AGE LAB 

and the PRESENCING INSTITUTE and the GAIA project 

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GM Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The GM Prize to advance your solution?

Having thriving villages gone empty is a harsh reality 

We lost the most valuable of all assets OUR YOUTH NO INCOME 

LET US BRING THEM BACK with business that help ecosystems 

Having a Natura 2000 area be threatened by fires leads us to create the business to protect it ...a VR Fire simulator 

I feel the social emptiness, the poverty of the aging and the environmental distruction and threat to one of the most historical and culturally rich regions of the world. 

I want to ACT and MOVE MOUNTAINS TO STEWARD PLANET PEOPLE and PROFITS 


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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Innovation for Women Prize to advance your solution?

I am a mother a woman and a professional 

Working in the most adverse financial conditions  in a partriarchical environment 

Alone for many years against all odds

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Solution Team

 
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