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Sotiris Karagiotas

2017/18 Karditsa

Sotirios is primarily a socio-cultural worker and a farmer. He has an MA in Business Administration and owns an organic farm in Karditsa, Greece since 2012. For some periods during the year, he works on his farm; the rest of the time he focuses on socio-cultural activities with a social impact. After having participated in many socio-cultural projects in Greece since 2000 and visiting several socio-cultural centers in the EU, he decided to create a socio-cultural center in his hometown; Karditsa.

The START program gave him the opportunity to enhance his knowledge while having a great time with his job at Altenburg‘s Paul-Gustavus-Haus in Germany. Now he aims to bring all this experience back to his hometown.

A socio-cultural center in Karditsa will be able to host people and projects from all over the world that need to express themselves in a creative way.

Project Progress Phase III Phase II Phase I

Phase III

Scaling the projects in Greece

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Sep onwards

Project Title

2BD (2 Basic Directions)

The main goals of the project 2BD are to connect and support ‘typical’ citizens, people with special characteristics, and individuals and groups of those in need. Workshops, events and activities will help people at the margins to integrate in local society and get the support they need to move on. Our concept is to focus on the special characteristics of every group and create respectively integrating and supportive workshops and events. The project will have 2 basic directions (2BD). One direction will be educational and the other one will be cultural. The educational direction includes supplementary teaching for high school students seeking to participate in national examinations for universities but who cannot afford additional educational assistance. Moreover, in the same educational direction, there will be language lessons for immigrants, focused on classes for children.

In both cases there will be volunteer psychologists to give support. Lessons will be given by volunteer teachers. The cultural direction of 2BD includes workshops and events for local immigrant women in collaboration with the local women’s union. In addition, farming and gardening workshops in our backyard focus on immigrant communities, offering them opportunities to feel and become integrated and productive.


Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Dec - May

Project Title

PERI VIOU sociocultural center in Karditsa

PeriViou socio-cultural center is a project that began as an idea back in 2014.

The need was and still is to socialize typical citizens and people that became outcasts because of the financial crisis, in a creative way. Based on “think global, act local”, PeriViou team offers host to socio- cultural movements and to artistic/ scientific projects, events and workshops. In a rural area in central Greece like Karditsa, a socio-cultural center that empowers the integration between the European and global population is a necessity for the local community. The aim is to offer a variety of creative activities that mixes groups of people with different socio-cultural background with safety and good vibrations. START program fund the project according to set the PeriViou socio-cultural center functional. The innovation point is that in a local level a variety of activities, arts and social sciences combines to transform the vision of unity into reality. Social café bar and kitchen, art events, urban gardening, web radio, library, jamming studio, scientific and political lectures, neighborhood assemblies, experimental exhibitions, theatrical acts, creative pop-up laboratories and workshops are just some of PeriViou socio-cultural center activities and there are yet more to come.


Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title

Socio-Cultural Café on Sundays

Goals of the mini-project at the Paul-Gustavus-Haus in Altenburg were to activate the local community and inspire new ideas in the members of the hosting center.

Every Sunday, another topic of collaboration with local organizations and institutes attracted different groups of people in several events and workshops. Newcomers had creative and qualitative time with the current members and visitors of the socio-cultural center.

In addition, by visiting other socio-cultural centers in other German cities where START fellows did their own mini-projects, participated for a day or two as well as questioned the centers’ managers, enhanced new perspectives about networking and operating methodology.

The mini-project’s goal was to be adaptable and sustainable as part of the main project.

Every workshop, event and collaboration had a primary aim of being applicable to any Socio-Cultural Center in Germany, Greece and finally Europe.

Host Institution


The Paul-Gustavus-Haus is a cultural heritage building within the inner city of Altenburg. Built 1905 as a factory for coffee-substitutes, it constitutes one of the few examples for the combination of living and working in the former residence town in the turn of the century. In 2009, a nonprofit association was founded with a clear mission: to preserve and gradually restore the long disused building, and to revitalize it by various cultural events. 2017, almost sixty members are voluntarily involved. The aim of the Förderverein Zukunftswerkstatt Paul-Gustavus-Haus e.V.

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Socio-Cultural Café on Sundays
Socio-Cultural Café on Sundays
Socio-Cultural Café on Sundays