Ormanevi Collective

Ormanevi Collective: Anadolu Meraları / Anatolian Pastures

Biga, TurkeyTurkey
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Ormanevi Collective empowers young individuals to become a land entrepreneur based on regenerative agriculture in order to regenerate our planet, our economy and our societies.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we create a new generation of regenerative, land-based entrepreneurs who are equipped with all the tools and assets they need to go and regenerate our planet, our economy and our societies?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Rural life and agriculture/food system as a whole is going downhill in Turkey in a state of crisis, creating many additional deep problems in the meantime. The socio-economical dynamics in rural collapse, leading a continuous flow of people to urban sites, which create systematic issues in the urban in cultural, social, economical and integration aspects.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our proposed solution is an agriculture based intentional community such as eco-villages, collectives -Ormanevi Collective- , cooperatives, and urban style allotments. We consider our collective (Ormanevi Collective) as the first community of OPMIWOHA standing for "Open Minds Workingg Hands". More it expands and improves, more OPMIWOHA framework (thus, the “way” we do manage the collective and “produce” the new-generation of entrepreneurs) brings hope and become a magnetic north. We put a special focus on sharing the know-how from regenerative agriculture to the custom micro-food communities model of ours, to the communicaiton and decision-making framework.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

After attending one of our trainings, Mustafa did internship for a while in our collective. After trainings and his internship experience, he decided to work on regenerative livestock management especially for goats. Whole support including financial capital, space, technic and infrastructure are all provided by us-Ormanevi Collective. Now, he continues working successfully.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

4 young individuals became land entrepreneurs ,for instance, one of the participants from Konya Project now is going to run an abandoned farm in an abandoned way. Approximately 200 young people have been introduced to land based regenerative agriculture and several thousands of people got inspired by Ormanevi Collective through several sessions; talks, writings, and practical trainings.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

First, Ormanevi Collective is building up every day so that we are more capable to host and inspire many more young people. Secondly, we are planning to establish a living and producer school with OPMIWAHA framework which stands for "Open Minds - Working Hands". This living and producer school will help us to reach ripple effect by inspring young individuals.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The financial sustainability is reached 18 months after the establishment of the initiative. The income is coming from the products that we do produce on regenerative agriculture practices and trainings. Further expansion that can make more people involved would be fastened from kick-start/one-time boost, such as Unilever Award.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Some ecological farms and initiatives provide somewhat similar solutions, but we differ in three main areas: 1) We operate as a collective, which goes far beyond a “cooperation” on sustainability of the enterprise, the bounding within the team, and the efficiency of the work done. 2) We do practice regenerative agriculture, which goes far beyond sustainability. The model we implement and teach and facilitate doesn't preserve, it regenerates the land and water and air. 3) We do offer a paradigm shift for the basics of economy and consumer-producer relations.

Founding Story

I believed the solution being in regerenerative, convivial and well-founded land-based collective since I was 19 years old. Our collective model, which so far inspired over several hundred people directly and more of them indirectly, was established after 4 years of planning and direct/open communication within the 4 co-founders. After being formed in urban area, the collective decided to move to rural and start working right after an unique experience and learning process of mine in a cooperatif farm in northern rural of Sweden, during my master thesis. My observation of local economy initiatives there made me able to develop the missing link, which was a special entrepreneurship concept.


The team compose of collective members, “apprentices” (which is the last stgage before being able to join the collective), 2nd phase volunteers, and 1st phase (short-term) volunteers. We have around 40 short term volunteers per year, each staying and experiencing the collective life for 1-3 weeks. We have at the moment two 2nd phase volunteer, and one apprentice, and 3 collective members. Beside them, there is an outstanding support in regional and national level by many individuals and groups who strongly believe in what we're doing after seeing the results. This applies especially in our efforts to build up a local economy system in Çanakkale based on our model, which had very good results so far. The collective has a strict and quite demanding involvement procedure, meaning it doesn't seek rapid expansion but prefer to go very carefully, putting a post-modern interpretation of antique philosophical concepts of “self-surrender”, “interdependence” and “reliance”. In other words, it's a very robust and reliable team, and that's the reason of us being able to do high amount of quality work with relatively small team.
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:


Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:


Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I've been co-founder of Yeşil Gazete (Green Gazette), the first daily (online) newspapers in Turkish focusing and exclusively covering ecology news in Turkey and the World. Yeşil Gazete is still up and running with an expanding work and I do continue my involvement as a Board Member and ecology editor. I've ben also co-founder of Young Greens of Turkey, an independent youth network working in green agenda in cooperation with worldwide Young Greens network. I've initiated several others platform and work groups for different purposes, ranging from youth involvement to climate change, from food communities/prosumer networks to music festivals.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We're working closely with a number of actors, including yet not limited to:

Buğday Association for Ecological Living
Çanakkale Local Economy Network
Güneşin Aydemir (also chairwoman of Buğday Association)
Green Thoughts Association
Urban-based food communities