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The CAIA Cooperative





CAIA is an organization for concept development and applied research in sustainable spatial planning. We develop spaces for common good that combine business and science, culture and awareness.

The cooperative as an organizational and legal entity is in line with CAIA’s values and is ideally suited to shaping the future, both in terms of content and business management: The founders of the cooperative movement were social innovators. Around 175 years ago, they came up with solutions to the social problems and challenges of their time: reducing poverty, an end to hunger, humane working conditions and sustainable economic growth.

The organization of the ECO CiVi under the legal status of a cooperative, in our opinion, represents the fairest system. It enables us to work on implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in a common good and goal-oriented way.

„What one cannot do alone, manymany can.“can.“

Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen



Cooperations and synergies

The CAIA cooperative aims to network like-minded organizations, initiatives, associations, companies and individuals with each other. Over the next few years, we expect this network to steadily grow.

Together with the local government and the citizens of Steyerberg, we intend to create a model space that brings together innovation and visions of healthy living in such a way that transformation can take place organically.

The cooperative brings together expertise and experience from ABRO Team GmbH, Lebensgarten e.V. and Permakulturpark PaLS gGmbH, among other partners. On the following pages we introduce the initiators of the project and our early supporters, to whom we extend our sincere gratitude.

The cooperative brings together expertise and experience from ABRO Team GmbH, Lebensgarten e.V. and Permakulturpark PaLS gGmbH, among others.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have supported and encouraged us along the way.

Lebensgarten e.V. has now existed for over 30 years. Buildings of a former labor camp were converted into homes for over 100 people, using an ecological and future-oriented approach. It is the headquarters of the “Permaculture Park in Lebensgarten (PaLS)” and a founding member of the “Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)”, a worldwide network with several thousand member communities. Lebensgarten is a place of innovative ideas and is the origin of many different business start-ups in the fields of ecology, health and education. The first solar recharging station in Lower Saxony was also established here back in 1991. Lebensgarten is known nationwide especially for its seminars and research in the field of consciousness work.


PaLS, the non-profit permaculture park in Lebensgarten, is an integrated agriculture research project whose goal is to provide accessible, practical education in the field of sustainability. This includes the continuation and application of regenerative methods from a scientific point of view, training permaculture designers and offering children and youth an education in sustainability. The organic farming, the wild herb garden and the production of terra preta are not only research and demonstration projects, but also serve as a means of providing food security for this region, in addition to providing environmental education.

PaLS also acts as a project initiator, trailblazer and catalyst for the implementation of grand visions. Thus, a permaculture knowledge database, a research project on solar energy generation in agriculture and an integral development program for the qualification of managers are being created.


The ABRO Team GmbH, focus on the cultural transformation of our society and work environments.  Since 2016, they have organized events such as the MOYN MOYN Festival, the Ketoga series of events, and the Traumzauber Winter Market in Hanover. At the heart of ABRO’s success are the 700 volunteers from 20 different crews, project management units and sociocratic organizational structures. In addition to developing conceptual, artistic and staged spaces, ABRO also aims to bring the experience of co-creation to the cooperative. This means they operate as a hierarchy-free cooperative, guided by intrinsic motivation and individual freedom of decision.

Over the years, this corporate philosophy has become an integral part of concept developments in the areas of new work, crafts, art, culture and scenography.


„We should know that therethere isis immenseimmense powerpower inin thethe visualization of a new reality itself. “

Prof. Declan Kennedy


Prof. Declan Kennedy

Retired professor for urban planning TU-Berlin
and co-founder of Lebensgarten Steyerberg e.V.

The stages of his life:

1984 to 1989: Director of the Permaculture Institute for Europe.

1989 to 1994: Coordinator of the Ecoteam Program for the Global Action Plan (GAP) for the Earth.

1995 to 1999: Director of the European Secretariat and Chair of the Global Ecovillage Network for Europe (GEN)

2005 – 2009: Chairman of the Advisory Board of the international Gaia University, and Founder and President of GaiaU-Germany.

“Our social and political relationships are based on the recognition of differences and diversity, mutual respect and local autonomy. In the present concept, diversity is lived and valued.

This makes it possible for us to create our own reality in life and to be collectively responsible for everything that happens in our lives and in our community. With the aim of freely disseminating the results, the project gives many places or villages worldwide a perspective.”


Jürgen Weber

Mayor of the Flecken Steyerberg since 2013

Innovations of his term:

Since 2014 100% renewable energy municipality.

Since 2015 Zero land use policy to, among other things, protect local biodiversity and adapt to climate change.

Since 2015 Establishment of a citizen’s energy cooperative to, among other things, promote the expansion of a CO2-saving district heating network.

Since 2016 master plan municipality, thus self-commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2050

2018 Founder of the climate office

2020 Nominated for the German Sustainability Award

“The ECO CiVi project is an excellent fit for us as a municipality, as it ideally complements the basic pillars we have already created and places them in a larger context. With this holistic approach, we can generate perspectives that enable new and diverse synergies and cooperation within our community.”

CAIA eG will work together with the local government and the citizens of the Steyerberg to create a place that brings together innovation and a vision for healthy living in such a way that transformation takes place organically.


„If„If nono oneone starts,starts, wewe stop.“stop.“

Jürgen Weber, Mayor
Flecken Steyerberg

Join us

The CAIA cooperative aimsto connect with like-minded organizations, initiatives, associations, companies and individuals. As a result, we’re always looking for new collaborators.

Currently, the CAIA eG is in the process of being founded. Via our newsletter you can keep up to date with ourcurrent developments.

To express your interest, please use the contact form on our website.