The CO Project is a sustainable retreat for inspiring creatives and change makers
United Nations Champion of the Earth Dr. Leyla Acaroglu has launched the world’s first ‘brain spa’ in the rural village of Serra, Tomar in central Portugal. The CO Project so named for its goal of inspiring Creative Optimism was conceived as a unique space for experiential regeneration of the body, the brain and the world around us.
But what exactly does this mean? After finding herself completely drained as a result of her hectic life’s work as a serial social entrepreneur, Leyla wanted to establish a retreat venue in Portugal that supports personal and planetary wellbeing and promotes experiential learning, all while building on new science around the evidenced health benefits of spending time in nature.
The founder Leyla says, “Sustainability should be fun, cool and creative we are trying to find ways of solving complex problems, so we need spaces that help facilitate that. The CO Project is a place for exploring how to make a positive impact on the world.”
The beautiful CO Project campus sits on a 100yearold farm, abandoned for over a decade and now lovingly restored into what the founder calls a “living learning laboratory for exploring contemporary sustainability and regenerating creative minds”. Surrounded by verdant hills of olives and vineyards, the CO Project offers small scale organic farming combined with brian activating workshops and handson learning experiences, offering visitors an opportunity to explore natural systems, sustainable living practices, and creative experimentation into making a positive imapc. Everything at CO is designed to ignite creative thinking and offer people from every walk of life the opportunity to learn directly from nature.
The CO Project runs single and multiday learning experiences that offer foreigners and locals alike a compelling immersion into rural regeneration and sustainable lifestyles, all with a Portuguese flavor. Recent features in TAP Airlines’ UP Magazine and Taste of Portugal have highlighted their newly announced summer programs. In keeping with the CO Project’s social enterprise model, the last Sunday of every month celebrates a donationbased Community Open Day, which last year brought hundreds of people to visit this rural part of Portugal.