Become a village host, join the call!

Become a village host, join the call!

New projects, and new livelihoods, are sprouting up among Europe’s multitude of small villages and the regions around them. We call the people who start and lead such projects: Village Hosts.

The Open School for Village Hosts invites applications from rural pioneers, across Europe, to join its first training programme.


The first selection for the open school for village hosts closed on January 20th, 2023.

Who can apply?

The trainees in OSVH will be individuals or groups already active in their village and territory, or with a clear intention to return.

The Open School for Village Hosts open to 40 rural pioneers, social innovators, and enterprising local officials, regional planners, farmers, researchers, farm advisors, engineers, developers, elected officials. Local citizens with unique and valuable knowledge – based on local history and ecology – will be welcome. Must have an overall comprehension of english.

How to apply | Selection process

To apply, please fill in this form

The selection process will be as ethical and diverse as possible. OSVH project managers will make sure to guarantee a fair and inclusive choice.

Training programme

The Open School for Village Hosts invites applications from rural pioneers, across Europe, to join its first  training programme. It begins in March 2023, and lasts six months. Upon completion, you will have gained new skills, new connections, and the detailed plan for a pilot project ,in your region, that is suggested by you.

The six main subjects to be covered in the course

  1. Design a strategic vision
  2. How to discover and map opportunities and resources
  3. Storying of place
  4. Curate activities and encounters
  5. Assemble cooperation platform & new business models
  6. Design a pilot project
Rural trends that may impact sustainability

The skills and qualities involved as Village Host

An unusual combination of knowledge, skills and qualities are needed to be an effective Village Host. Village Hosts need ‘hard’ capabilities such as digital skills, or business planning. But as collaboration experts – people who connect people – a Village Host’s most valuable skills are often so-called ‘soft’ ones: hosting, convening, facilitating, animating, and co-ordinating. A Village Host needs to be an effective communicator and storyteller, and also know how to connect with the diverse members of a region’s community – from farmers, to local officials.

The benefits to you of participation in the course

On completing the course, you will be comfortable in the role as a community host and convenor. You will be confident when approaching potential funders and government officials. You will have learned about new tools and resources. You will leave with the plan for pilot project in your own region. You will be a member of a 40-strong Peer Learning Circle with members across Europe. Participants in the course will gain a rich collection of stories and inspiration for use in their future work.

Who will do the training?

The Open School for Village Hosts will source its trainers from several contexts: experts nominated by project partners; independent tutors and experts who are active online as independents; and above all a peer community of people who are already doing similar work. The OSVH platform will support the work of trainers with a curated collection of tried-and-tested online resources.

What will be required of you as a participant?

The course is free, but you need to commit time, presence and attention for three phases:

March, April 2023

Online training – about three hours a week for two months (see below).

Initial preparatory work is done individually or in groups for 40 people in total. Guided by lectures, and preparatory reading, you will investigate a situation local to you – the place, the issues, the actors, and the relationships between them. You will receive digital feedback on the task.

May 2023 

Five day in-person training in Grottole, Italy (travel, accommodation and meals covered by us).

20 people will be selected and will attend lectures, workshops, and group assignments.

Once back home the 20 people will peer to peer share their knowledge with the rest of 20 participants.

June-August 2023

Develop your local pilot project (three months) and online peer to peer sharing and learning.

Reporting and reflection individually or in groups (digitally on the platform).


Upon completion of your plan for a pilot project, you will be given a Certificate of Completion.

For more info please write to

1. Will a certification of skills be issued at the end of the OSVH course?

Yes, a certification of skills will be issued at the end of the course.

2. Is it possible to know more in-depth what this course is all about?

In the Competence Framework of the Open School for Village Hosts we identified 5 competence areas we used for the design of the modules of the Training Program of the Open School for Village Hosts: – Vision and map opportunities; – Map actors and resources; – Storying of place; – Make service prototypes & Curate activities and outcomes – Assemble cooperation platforms & new business models.

3. If I am not selected, will there be the opportunity to participate in other initiatives?

Yes, you will have the possibility to join the Village Hosts online platform to meet other activists all over Europe to share competencies and opportunities for rural areas.

4. Would it be possible to participate in the online part also with my partner who is directly involved in the project?

You can apply either as an individual or group. Only the applicant can  attend the weekly webinars, while all group can use the online platform and exchange, comment, upload homework on it. As a group you can work together on the pilot project, but you will need to identify the group leader who will join the weekly interactive webinars and the live training in Grottole in May.

5. Approximately, how many hours per week should I expect?

A presence of approximately three hours a week for two months will be required for the online training; extra time will be required for homework, to read the extra material and to work on your personal idea / project.

6. I’d like to know if we could watch the recording of the classes in case we cannot attend.

We recommend to follow classes on the planned timing. It’s a moment of interactions and classes are designed to work together as a group. However classes will be recorded and uploaded on the platform of the Open School for Village Hosts.

7. Would you inform us even if the application is rejected?

Yes, you will be informed.

8. Do you have an idea what is the next step of this project?

Open school for Village Hosts is a training project. After the training we will work and publish a manifesto to advocate for the work, and a handbook to help other people do it. Also we are building a collaboration Platform with three functions: a) collect and publish stories; b) provide tools; c) support and enable a community of knowledge exchange.

9. It would be nice if the online learning can be set to evenings so I could attend after work?

We will decide the most suitable timing for the practitioners once the selection will end.

10. Can any age apply?

Any age (+18) can apply to the Open School for Village Hosts.

11. What would be the parameters used for the evaluation of the applicant selection for the Grottole training?

Attendance (at least 80% of total online sessions); completion and delivery of homework; time availability for the whole duration of the live training.

12. What is the estimated hour engagement expected from the participants after April (how many hours per week and until when, how many hours of engagement expected in Grottole)

The due time to arrange the flights and transportation with the referent sending organization; plus the week spent in Grottole (third week of May) and, afterwards, monthly online meetings to catch up on pilot projects progression until August 2023.

13. Who will be the trainers?

The trainers will be international experts and researchers in the fields of: rural development, sustainability, design. They belong to Casa Netural, Elisava, Holis, Kobiety, Materahub, Radosa Partneriba, CDOP and other organizations.

Lead Partner