Concept Note of mOther Earth

An international program to revive rural areas by mobilizing local youth and contributing to a green, digital and resilient recovery of their economy. It is officially recognized and published by the United Nations as the SDG Acceleration Action #SDGAction46967.

The big mission of the project is to bring new residents, especially new generations, to rural areas and help them build a fulfilling life there that is sustainable both for them and for the planet. 

The key element to achieve it, is Las Aldeas del Futuro – a full-rounded development center located in a rural area of Spain. It will bring together local communities and people who are looking to build a sustainable future. Among new residents we’ll see makers and entrepreneurs, students and young adults, researchers and green technology startups, young families, and people from around the world looking to embrace conscious living from the heart. 

Las Aldeas del Futuro is a prototype of new life – in harmony with yourself and nature. Our goal is to shift the way the planet lives now. From one village it will be replicated across Spain, Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries, with a potential to be brought to all continents.


Our partners are governments of municipal, provincial, and regional level, investors, local community, activists, businesses, and NGOs, universities and schools, research centers and incubators. 

Level 1: Land, Construction, and Funds

1.1. Location

The whole village becomes a circular, yet open network where each element is a business partner to the other. We use the power of a think tank to bring the community together. The project starts with a community town hall that invites current residents to speak and co-create. To revitalize rural places, we have to build the place together to allow ownership. 

1.2. Construction

All processes embed sustainability by design. The aspiration is to use building materials that are abundant in the location (0 km traveled). Harness nature to help the community. We will explore zero-footprint housing and engage students of sustainable engineering to design how to utilize some of the unique natural features present. The art, architecture, and vocational schools will be invited to participate in building and decorating.

1.3. Investment and funds

The land and properties of the project are a long term investment. Additionally, conscious investors can take the extended village under patronage, for example existing vineyards, farms, entrepreneurs and startups. That would ensure a functioning support ecosystem. Investment might come in-kind in a form of building business capabilities and distribution channels. 

For different conscious businesses developed in Las Aldeas del Futuro, there can be other funding options available in collaboration with municipalities: the EU and Spanish grants for rural, digital, infrastructure, female entrepreneurship, youth development, reviving villages, and agro tourism. It is also possible to run a crowdfunding campaign to microfinance them.

Level 2: Co-living as an Integration Engine

Co-living and co-working become the glue that brings together new and current residents, thinkers and doers, advisors and entrepreneurs, youth and elders. Combining co-living with an ecosystem of actors and a landscape will nurture and develop conscious businesses and close-by settlements. 

Co-living will provide the social and technical infrastructure for the functioning of the development center. The services of the co-living are covered by a pay-to-stay model for all residents of Las Aldeas del Futuro.

Level 3: Ecosystem - Development Center

La Aldea del Futuro is a full-rounded development center located in a rural area. Below are the five key target groups we focus on. Its new ecosystem will consist of people who 

3.1. Sustainable Living Retreat

Everybody who interacts with Las Aldeas del Futuro has a mind change. It makes them feel or do things that they have not done. “Aha moment”: life can be simple. The retreat may include a meditation program; a Nourish Program where people subscribe to stay at any time to rest, get nourished through fresh food, healthy diet and nature. We will use the Encyclopedia on Sustainable Living to guide them. Possible guests could be eco-tourists, yoga and spiritual schools.

3.2. Apprenticeship School

The whole village and neighboring settlements become a vocational school for young adults where craftspeople take them in as apprentices. It will encourage intergenerational learning and allow the preservation and promotion of traditional arts and crafts. 

3.3. Pioneers Village

La Aldea del Futuro becomes a pioneers’ village where people who want to relocate to the rural areas together with their families can start their new life. It is especially relevant for recent graduates, young couples, people working in remote jobs with children, and corporate employees who were asked to retire early.  

3.4. Conscious Businesses Builder

To help the newcomers to settle in, we will run a six-months Entrepreneur-in-Residence program where people looking to live in the rural areas are hosted in La Aldea del Futuro to identify a business opportunity relevant in the local circumstances and develop it with the help of facilitators, fellows, local community, and invited experts. After six months, participants who qualify and are willing to stay find a place to rent locally. Others could be offered to go to another Aldea of our network or complete the program with a certificate. 


It addresses several key challenges of existing projects:


Relevance: Business opportunities are identified locally, tested, tailored, and revised with the help of the supporting network.  

Integration: Local people will be invited to join the program as participants or advisors. 

Low threshold: Participants do not need to commit to move permanently or work on the business that is not viable. 

Focus: Participants don’t need to worry about a place to live or food, and can spend their time on their projects.

3.5. Innovation Maker Space

The startups have the opportunity to pilot their invention in our sustainable village and its surroundings. They become builders of the place where they can showcase their product, and get the United Nations badge for their contribution.

We will invite green tech startups, university researchers, and independent experts. The place becomes a mecca for experts and learners to meet and exchange knowledge. We can also invite representatives of big businesses and corporations to engage them in innovation brainstorming and showcase the applied sustainability. 

We will work together with local businesses and farmers to help them build more sustainable business models, train successors, and modernize their processes to have a positive or zero impact on the environment.

An innovative multi-stakeholder partnership

The innovativeness of the approach to SDGs implementation on the ground lies in three dimensions: integrating and enabling; going to the ‘field’; and including everyone. 

First, instead of duplicating what’s already being done – we INTEGRATE and ENABLE others. We find local entities and activists who have already been trying to implement one small element of the project on their own. We learn from their experience and the ideas they have. Using our methods from the SDG Good Practice (#SDGAction33515), we enable them to make small but impactful changes to multiply their positive effect. We feature and promote what they do under the umbrella of the SDG partnership to add credibility to their initiative and allow them to open doors. We connect them to initiatives locally and internationally that can give them a boost. 

Second, instead of inventing or re-inventing how the project for rural areas can be done from the comfort of a city apartment – we GO TO THE ‘FIELD’. We spend months in various rural locations, meeting local people, asking what they enjoy about living in a village and what they are missing. At the same time, it allows us to truly experience local life - the challenges and advantages it has. And of course, to create deeper meaningful connections with the people and entities who will become the partners in implementing this SDG action in the near future.

Third, instead of limiting this SDG partnership to only a few entities – we INCLUDE everyone. Starting from the pilot project in Spain, to make sure that there is support, political will, and alignment with existing policies and actions, we have invited every single regional and provincial government to be part of it. In the brainstorming process during the fieldwork, we have already included local people from 3 years old to 87 years old. For example, we asked 260 children from a local school between 3 and 12 years old to draw or write what they love about their village and what ideas they have for it. They were extremely enthusiastic and proud to participate in formulating what will be the future of their village. We made all results, including featured drawings and stories, available online publicly. 

The encompassing nature of this project calls for truly a multi-stakeholder partnership.


Rural Development

The DNA of the project is Rural Development. The goal is to revive and repopulate the rural areas of Spain. It will be achieved through integrating several pillars: Local Youth Development; Academic Innovation; School-to-Work transition; Ecological transition and energy; Agrifood; Biotechnology; Social Entrepreneurship. In line with the Next Generation EU, the idea is to create Villages of the Future (Las Aldeas del Futuro) while preserving the local communities, environment, and cultural heritage.

We aim to provide opportunities for education and employment to rural youth; bring and develop sustainable entrepreneurs in rural communities; and solve the housing crisis by creating rural alternatives. The vision is to create sustainable self-sufficient rural communities driven by youth. 


The approach to solving these is to create Villages of the Future – innovation settlements that bring rural youth, researchers, schools, startups, businesses, experts, and NGOs to reside there and co-create solutions to the most pressing local problems together with the community. 

Once we have defined the practice that can be applied more widely, we will create a “learn by doing” movement. We’ll invite representatives from rural communities of the EU and Spanish-speaking countries worldwide to come, stay, learn and then bring this model to their villages with our guidance.

Challenges we address

We will address the key problems of rural areas: 

Key Objectives

Acting in full support of the Next Generation EU and Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan we aspire to

All of these will be achieved through tight partnerships with regional and municipal authorities, local community leaders and entrepreneurs, green incubators and accelerators, universities, and vocational schools, and investors.

SDG Good Practices

The project will integrate the existing SDG Acceleration Actions of the Think Tank AlterContacts:

In the implementation, we will utilize the practices we developed for SDG Good Practice “Lockdown Economy” #SDGAction33515.

Impact on Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 8: Sustainable Economic Growth

Target 8.2: Diversify, innovate and upgrade for economic productivity

Target 8.3: Promote support for job creation and growing enterprises

Target 8.4: Improve resource efficiency in consumption and production

Target 8.6: Promote youth employment, education and training

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Target 1.4: Equal rights to ownership, basic services, technology and economic resources

Target 1.5: Build resilience to environmental, economic and social disasters

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Target 3.4: Promote mental health

SDG 4: Quality Education

Target 4.4: Increase the number of youth who have relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

Target 4.5: Eliminate all discrimination in education

Target 4.7: Education for sustainable development and global citizenship

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Target 5.5: Ensure full participation in leadership and decision-making

Target 5.A: Equal rights to economic resources, property ownership and financial services

Target 5.B: Promote empowerment of women through technology

SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Target 10.2: Promote universal social, economic and political inclusion

Target 10.3: Ensure equal opportunities and end discrimination

Target 10.7: Responsible and well-managed migration policies

SDG 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Target 15.1: Conserve and restore terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems

Target 15.3: End desertification and restore degraded land

Target 15.9: Integrate ecosystem and biodiversity in governmental planning

SDG 17: Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Target 17.6: Knowledge sharing and cooperation for access to science, technology and innovation

Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development

Target 17.17: Encourage effective partnerships