Apheleia aims at structuring a convergent set of strategies based in the methodology of the Humanities that will foster the need for a properly Integrated (as opposed to dispersed) Cultural (i.e. human and diverse) Landscape Management (rooted in human understandings and leading towards governance through awareness and critical thinking) for Local and Global Sustainability (addressing the great global dilemmas, but also focused on individual anxieties and needs). Such a program implies a high degree of complexity to be dealt with by the academia, but also requires efficient operative tools, that render such complexity simple for non-academics and for daily lives. Apheleia , the spirit of simplicity in ancient Greece, stands as the leading and inspiring word for the current partnership, since rendering simple the complexity of things is an academic obligation and an urgent need to foster tangible down-the-line convergent actions. For instance, Cultural Landscapes result from past effective behaviours facing local natural disasters, climate impacts, etc., thus being a true paradigm of past sustainable and integrated territory’s management. Yet, academic courses are “physiologically” specialized and often fail to enhance such examples, so the contribution of multiple institutions, including non-academic, is necessary. Moreover, the Apheleia specifically aims at working for a European contribution towards the global challenges as they are being internationally designed, building from the need for a global epistemological and methodological renewal of the Humanities, in which the only way to achieve convergence of different traditions is through deepening them through an interaction with other epistemological approaches. Europe has been the cradle for many of the best practices in terms of sustainability, including its address to science and society interaction, and it must now contribute for a new framework of reference, anticipated in several European documents, but not yet consolidated. A European contribution must, per definition, be open to other cultures, interests and perspectives, make the most of European diversity itself, and of distinct universities. It must build from the European generated knowledge to be able to discuss and integrate other regional contributions, having the whole planet as its focus of interest.

The main aims of Apheleia are:

  • To consolidate a solid academic consortium, involving academic and non-academic partners, focusing in education and best practices that for students’ applied training in transdisciplinary innovative approaches to integrated cultural landscape management.
  • To train students on the complex use of convergent multidisciplinary tools for cultural integrated landscape management, through theoretical teaching and collective applied training, as well as tailored made individual study and essay, all combined in a new Intensive Program on Integrated Cultural Landscape Management for Local and global sustainability, rooted both in academic knowledge and in regional autorities co-operation. 
  • To collect, analyse and synthetize the rich field experiences gathered by the partner members on diverse case studies distributed worldwide in order to present practical testimonies, records and professional perspectives to the involved students.
  • To involve basic disciplinary core required competences (archaeology, history, communication, geography, technology, economy, law, sociology, urban planning, etc.), permanently integrated through transversal competences on materiality, anthropology, communication, leadership and entrepreneurship.
  • To maintain and improve the website apheleiaproject.organd a series of reference publications on the topic, merging theoretical and applied knowledge.
  • To collaborate with other international research and education organisations, namely UNESCO and the International Council for the Philosophy and Human Sciences, also implementing the program of the International Year of Global Understanding on the level of education and everyday practices.