How might we rethink the role of schools in promoting circular economy and culture locally?

Phase 1/1: Spekulationsphase completed
Sustainability is increasingly an issue for the younger generation’s future and teenagers are starting to mobilize, usually in forms of demonstrations. However, there is not an organized structure inside the Greek educational system that supports awareness of climate issues, and it seems to be left to the individual teachers' initiatives. Let’s envision all possible futures, and reimagine our present world together.
Challenge beendet
How might we rethink the role of schools in promoting circular economy and culture locally?
How might we rethink the role of schools in promoting circular economy and culture locally?
The efforts of previous generations to educate young children on environmental issues has led to a rapid decline of wasteful practices.
Since circularity became a mandatory subject in schools, a large number of graduates have taken on careers in circular economy contributing to sustainable futures from a variety of disciplines.
The common goal of building a sustainable life and protecting the environment has promoted the strengthening of intergenerational relationships.
Circularity education programmes overcome robotics as the preferred extra-curricular activity chosen by parents.
Schools and their surrounding neighborhoods are tightly integrated in a zero-waste loop that concerns scientists.
Schools are hubs of citizen science, gathering environmental data daily as part of their science curriculum. The data gathered by the schools is used by councils to make hyper local decisions about environmental policy.
Challenge Details

Virtuous Circles: Schools as Catalysts for Sustainable Neighborhoods

Due to a prevailing profit driven economy, unofficial and unjust waste management networks are creating a “black box” on the life cycle of materials when it comes to littering and waste. Overtourism and high fluctuation of habitats in combination with the insufficient infrastructure, contributes to resource stress on the energy-water-food-employment nexus in Greece.

As circularity emerges as a solution in both societal and economic constructs, we explore the ways to develop or stimulate circular practices and habits among youth in the educational environment who will transform habits and communities. What is the role that art and technology could play in this transition? How might we re-invent our relationship to design, production and consumption? Currently circularity is gaining ground as a “one-way” solution. We aim at galvanising circular awareness within our educational structures, as youth are the heirs of this system, by fostering the investigation of new models of participation on environmental issues, transforming the habits of ourselves and our communities.

Read more ↓
Artist Response


Cindy Strobach and Mike Vanis

On the local challenge “Virtuous Circles: Schools as Catalysts for Sustainable Neighbourhoods”, Unit Lab gives solutions on how we might engage school communities with the practices of a circular economy both locally and globally by encouraging innovative design thinking through the use of advanced technologies, participatory creative research, storytelling, and contemporary artistic media.

As part of the S+T+ARTS Residencies, the artists will prototype an online platform where schools, teachers, and students in Greece can share their ideas, projects, and data about circular economy with each other. Schools will be given the tools to collect environmental data, students will be empowered to share their ideas and teachers will gain access to a wide range of resources to enrich their classes.

Read more ↓
Challenge Context

Repairing the Present

Since June 2021, as part of the European Commission’s S+T+ARTS initiative, 12 new Regional S+T+ARTS Centers have been creating a space for artists, scientists, and technologists to work together on a common mission: Repairing the present. The S+T+ARTS initiative is a program funded by the European Commission aiming to bring artistic perspectives into the innovation process to address current challenges in today’s society.

Repairing the Present as part of the S+T+ARTS Residencies encourages a critique of the present, the exploration beyond its current limitations, and the re-imagination of other possible futures. To that end, the program fosters the development of methodologies and frameworks for long-term cross-disciplinary collaborations that can lead to products, tools and processes with a positive impact on society at large.

In October and November 2021, 12 Regional S+T+ARTS Centers called international artists working at the intersection between science, technology and the arts to apply for a 6-month residency. The residencies respond to local sustainability challenges that have been defined by invited Local Experts Groups during workshops that took place in July-September 2021. During the residency, the artists engage with the Local Expert Group, the general public as well as other relevant stakeholders in a strongly collaborative process. This crowdsourcing campaign on Futures Canvas forms part of this process.

Your contribution matters and will be part of a larger endeavour: it will be integrated into the S+T+ARTS project report that will be shared and discussed with the EU Commission as well as local stakeholders. This is an opportunity to think along with artists and local experts involved in the challenge.

Read more ↓
Challenge Hosts

Challenge Hosts

The challenge is co-commissioned by Onassis Stegi within the framework of Repairing The Present. Repairing The Present is co-funded by the S+T+ARTS initiative of the European Union.


The S+T+ARTS initiative is a program funded by the European Commission aiming to bring artistic perspectives into the innovation process to address current challenges in today’s society.

S+T+ARTS Residencies

Since its launch five years ago, the S+T+ARTS initiative has hosted over 125 residencies across its different projects.
Repairing the Present will be adding 21 thematic residencies to the portfolio. Each of the residencies points to an EU Green Deal or a New European Bauhaus goal and reflects pan-European or global issues that require solutions tailored to specific regions.

Onassis Stegi

Onassis Stegi is a multi-disciplinary cultural space in Athens, hosting events and actions across the whole spectrum of the arts from theatre, dance, music to visual arts and hybrid art, with an emphasis on contemporary cultural expression and a strong focus on new media and digital art.

Read more ↓