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Sinal do Vale in Brazil:
Developing Agents of Transformation

Sinal do Vale is a living laboratory for the transition to sustainability and an international platform for students, volunteers, and social entrepreneurs. On the way to becoming a School for Agents of Transformation, Sinal do Vale has teamed up with Trans4m to co-create integral curricula and practices.

Sinal do Vale Logo

Sinal was founded in 2010 by Thais Corral , one of Brazil’s leadings social activists. Its vision is to be a catalyst for tangible social and environmental change both in our local and global community. The lab offers projects and services that respond to the challenges of social-environmental restoration and resilience, providing social entrepreneurs, students, and volunteers from all over the world a space for both dialogue and practical experimentation in the field of sustainability.

SINAL is an acronym standing for Sincronicidade (synchronicity), Inovação (innovation) and Alegria (joy): three core principles that embody the purpose of this inspiring initiative. With approximately 400 acres of land, and equipped with necessary infrastructure SINAL has grown into a vibrant hub for the development of alternative futures. Located in the Valley of Santo Antonio River, just 50 minutes away from the urban center of Rio de Janeiro, it is embedded in a lush tropical ecosystem known as Mata Atlantica, and is rich in water sources and biodiversity. Part of Sinal is an innovative organic farm, and an event center with multiple houses spread throughout the valley. The volunteer program of SINAL has hosted, since 2012, over 300 volunteers and students from around the world. An enormous amount of experiences and knowledge has been accumulated over the years.

The next developmental challenge of SINAL is the setup of a “School for Forming Agents of Transformation for Resilient Communities”. In an initial workshop the key objectives of the new school have been identified, among them the development of a pedagogy of integral education for young agents of transformation that combines theory and practice in sustainability in the fields of agriculture, restoration, technology and local governing systems (and to become a reference for this kind of education). The development of inner resources is seen as a key aspect of such an education.

From the outset, Trans4m was intimately involved in designing the new school. We participated in the Global Leadership Lab in Brazil in 2015, contributing initial design input, followed by the immersion of two of our Junior Fellows, Annia Costermani and Anne-Sophie Koehn, who join SINAL for on-site research-to-innovation initiatives in relation to the school, as well as to participate in the framing of the integrated development model of Adapta Sertao (in the state of Bahia), one of Brazil’s most renowned rural development projects.

Sinal Global Leadership Lab April 2015
Sinal Global Leadership Lab April 2015, with participation of Trans4m
Sinal: Trans4m (Alexander Schieffer) Contributing to Design of School
Contributing to the Design of Sinal’s School of Transformation, during the Gobal Leadership Lab