Welcome to a future where rural areas thrive with digital nomad activity. This guidebook is your key to turning this vision into reality. Learn how to market your community, provide essential amenities, foster a vibrant remote work community, and ensure long-term success.
Whether you’re a local government official, entrepreneur, change-driven youth, or community leader, this guide is for you. Together, let’s transform rural areas into flourishing hubs for digital nomads, preserving them from outmigration.
Discover the growing appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle, where individuals can work online from anywhere worldwide. These highly skilled nomads, with disposable income, seek meaningful experiences in communities like yours. Rural areas offer affordable housing, breathtaking scenery, and a relaxed pace of life. Join us in creating a world where rural and digital coexistence thrives.
Learn more about youth work and what experiences you need to prepare a retreat for digital nomads! Explore financial opportunities for financing your retreat!
The Bergstrasse-Odenwald region in Germany offers several attributes that make it attractive for both tourism and digital nomads. Here are some reasons:
1. A Germany’s Hidden Gem
The Odenwald region is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, including rolling hills, dense forests, and charming river valleys. It offers abundant opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and nature exploration. The region’s scenic beauty and tranquility attract tourists seeking a peaceful escape and provide an inspiring environment for digital nomads looking for a serene work setting.
2. Immerse Yourself in History and Inspiration
The Odenwald region boasts a rich cultural heritage with its historic towns, castles, and traditional half-timbered houses. Places like Heidelberg, Michelstadt, and Erbach offer a glimpse into the region’s fascinating history and architecture. Tourists can immerse themselves in the local culture, visit museums and galleries, and experience traditional festivals. Digital nomads can find inspiration in the region’s historical ambiance while enjoying a vibrant community of artists and creatives.
3. Embrace Nature’s Playground in Odenwald
The Odenwald region offers a range of outdoor recreational activities, making it appealing to both tourists and digital nomads. The area is crisscrossed by an extensive network of hiking and cycling trails, providing opportunities to explore the region’s natural beauty. Additionally, there are numerous lakes and rivers for swimming, boating, and fishing, providing ample leisure options.
4. Unveiling Odenwald’s Authentic Haven for Work and Leisure
The Odenwald region is known for its peaceful and authentic atmosphere. Away from the bustling city life, the region offers a slower pace of living and a close-knit community. This serene ambiance is highly valued by tourists seeking relaxation and digital nomads looking for a calm and focused work environment.
5. A Culinary and Cultural Journey Like No Other
The Odenwald region is renowned for its culinary traditions and local delicacies. Visitors can indulge in regional dishes, such as the famous Odenwälder Äppelwoi (apple wine) and hearty local cuisine. Exploring the local gastronomy adds to the overall tourist experience and provides digital nomads with opportunities to savor authentic flavors during their stay.
6. Where Accessibility and Serenity Meet
The Odenwald region benefits from its convenient location in central Germany. It is easily accessible by train, car, or bus from major cities such as Frankfurt, Heidelberg, or Mannheim. The well-connected transportation infrastructure enables tourists and digital nomads to reach the region quickly and efficiently.
7. Odenwald is Tech-Ready Haven for Digital Nomads
Digital nomads require reliable internet connectivity and adequate infrastructure to work remotely. The Odenwald region has made significant strides in providing high-speed internet access in both urban and rural areas. Several coworking spaces and business centers have also emerged, offering digital nomads the necessary facilities to work efficiently.
8. Thriving Community Life in Odenwald
The Odenwald region has a thriving community of artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals. This community creates opportunities for networking, collaboration, and social engagement. Digital nomads can benefit from connecting with like-minded individuals, attending local events, and joining professional networks in the region.
While the Odenwald region in Germany is known for its natural beauty and tranquility, it may not have as many dedicated coliving and coworking spaces as larger cities. However, there are some options available for digital nomads and remote workers who are interested in staying and working in the region. Here are a few possibilities:
CoWork & Sleep (Heppenheim): Located in Heppenheim, a town in the Odenwald region, CoWork & Sleep offers a combination of coworking and accommodation. It provides shared workspaces, private offices, meeting rooms, and fully furnished apartments. The space is designed to cater to the needs of digital nomads and offers a comfortable environment for both work and relaxation.
Coworking Space Erbach: In the town of Erbach, you can find a coworking space that provides a flexible workspace for individuals and small teams. It offers amenities such as high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and a collaborative environment for professionals seeking a dedicated workspace.
9. Going beyond traditional workspaces
While not exclusively coliving or coworking spaces, there are regional initiatives and hubs in the Odenwald region that support entrepreneurship and digital nomadism. These initiatives may offer events, networking opportunities, and resources for remote workers. Examples include the Odenwald Start-up Center and regional economic development agencies that promote innovation and provide support to businesses.
As an alternative, you can also consider renting an Airbnb or vacation rental property in the Odenwald region. Some accommodations may provide suitable workspaces and amenities for remote work. It’s worth exploring the listings and contacting hosts to inquire about their internet connectivity and suitability for working remotely.
While the options for dedicated coliving and coworking spaces may be more limited in the Odenwald region compared to larger cities, the serene environment and community spirit can still be conducive to remote work. Additionally, exploring local cafes, libraries, or community centers can provide alternative workspaces with internet access.
It’s recommended to conduct thorough research, contact the available spaces, and inquire about their amenities, services, and pricing before making any decisions.
Overall, the Odenwald region’s combination of natural beauty, cultural heritage, accessibility, infrastructure, and peaceful environment make it an appealing destination for both tourists seeking relaxation and digital nomads looking for an inspiring and well-connected work environment.
Learn more about digital nomadism and Nomadland project:
The youth energy, amazing stories and inspiring places are the focus of the Nomazine – a magazine about digital nomads in the countryside. The colourful and youth-friendly magazine brings 11 stories of digital nomads with an insight into their world and places. Prepared by the international European Team from Slovenia, Spain, Germany and Croatia and as a part of the Nomadland Erasmus+ project, the magazine Nomadland is a journey into a modern countryside, combining the best approaches from rural and urban areas!
Rural areas in Europe face both challenges of the outmigration of young people and the increase in the ageing of the population. Day by day, there are fewer job opportunities, and challenges are growing. Although the trend started already before, the COVID-19 pandemic showed us that a countryside is a place for creativity. Due to the digitalisation of jobs and the emergence of new industries, a new trend has begun – an increase in remote work. Many employees began to understand that they could be as successful working from their home garden as in the office.
11 authentic stories of digital nomads
We asked 11 digital nomads about their first steps into stepping out of their comfort zone and searching for their new home in the countryside. The journey was not easy; many obstacles and challenges were on the way, but benefits prevailed. Nature and rural life make way for an inspirational new start, as Gokulnath, interviewed digital nomad, acknowledged: »Walking in nature daily is a great inspiration and makes me more productive. I even noticed that I achieve better results at work now«. Each story is unique, revealing a part of the modern digital nomads’ world.
Soil, Sea, Ice and fire
Digital nomads have their stories, but the same applies to places that connect them to the local community and other digital nomads. Many new colivings, retreats and other projects have recently developed around Europe. A former farm has become a centre for makers, and a castle again has become an ideal place for remote work. In Nomazine, 20 unique places in the countryside are presented for the first time – each a hotbed for creative and innovative projects. Exploring interesting places has never been easier – complemented with attracting images, information about its funding and impact, and founders’ quotes. To quickly navigate the sites and their stories, we have sorted them into four groups: Soil, Sea, Ice and Fire.
The new trend of digital nomadism is about new sustainable approaches for the countryside. Many digital nomads in Europe have found a new home in former or abandoned mansions, farms or houses. Instead of building new houses and creating an unnecessary carbon footprint, the precious cultural heritage is revitalised and ready for new settlers. Many ambitious and inspiring founders understand what technology and digitalisation can bring to the countryside. As co-founder of Project Bay, Toni Gurski said: “A supposedly structurally weak rural region can become a technology hotspot through the shift to digitalisation and thus lose its image as a purely agricultural and touristic region.” By settling in the countryside, digital nomads bring life, new skills and knowledge and support the local community by buying local food, developing new local projects and making new connections.
Some coliving places, such as Anceu Coliving or Coconat, support working with the local community by organising unique festivals (Rural Makers, Coconauts programme).
Coliving – when young people return to their roots
Recently, many European rural areas have experienced the ageing of the population. Many young people have moved to the bigger urban areas. Established good practices and stories of digital nomads show us that new and innovative solutions already exist. Colivings are spreading into the rural areas from overcrowded cities.
Based on our survey, also published in the Nomazine, the cost of living is the most important aspect for digital nomads when choosing a place to live, followed by a reliable internet connection and a strong community.
The Nomazine serves as a first step towards the guide for attracting digital nomads in the countryside, which will be published in autumn 2023. It will be aimed at tourism workers, youth workers and other decision-makers interested in bringing the philosophy of digital nomadism to their areas. In May 2023, a training activity will be implemented in Iž, Croatia, which will help us to develop a strategy for attracting young digital nomads to the countryside and improving rural youth work. As recognised in the survey, 90 % of digital nomads would prefer to have a local facilitator to help them settle down in the area. Within the project, we will explore how youth organisations, including youth centres, can make a change by attracting digital nomads to the rural areas.
The European Learn-IP project officially ends at the end of February this year. It involves partners from five countries – Germany, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia. The entire team was dedicated to the creation of a special training and self-education program for those working in the field of cultural tourism and cultural heritage, which touches on the topic of intellectual property, ways of protection at the national and international level, the economic effects of IPR and ways of developing activities , based on IPRs that bring more revenue. INI-Novation Bulgaria participates in the project, as the Bulgarian partner.
In Bulgaria, intellectual property rights (IPR) can be used not only to protect but also to monetize cultural heritage and tourism assets. This may include the registration of trademarks for cultural-historical values and tourist destinations, copyrights for historical documents and works of art, and patents for any new technologies or methods used in the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. By protecting and effectively managing these rights, Bulgaria attracts more tourists and generate revenue from the sale of goods, licensing and other commercial opportunities. Moreover, it can prevent the unauthorized use of the country’s cultural heritage assets and thus preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the country for future generations.
Bulgaria, as a member of the EU, is obliged to comply with EU regulations and laws related to intellectual property rights. Therefore, intellectual property rights (IPR) in Bulgaria are generally governed by the same laws and regulations as in the rest of the European Union (EU).
In Bulgaria, there are several examples of how intellectual property rights (IPR) can be used to protect and monetize cultural heritage:
Trademarks: The ancient city of Plovdiv, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, registered its name as a trademark. This allows the city to protect its brand and prevent unauthorized commercial use of its name.
Copyright: The National Archaeological Institute and Museum of Bulgaria owns copyright on the images of the ancient Thracian treasures that are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Sofia. This allows the institute to control the reproduction and distribution of these images and generate revenue from licensing fees.
Patents: A Bulgarian company has developed a new method for the restoration of frescoes in churches and monasteries. They have patented this method, which allows them to control the use of the technology and charge fees for its implementation.
Geographical indications: Bulgarian Rose Oil is an example of a product with registered geographical indications. Bulgaria has applications for entry of “Bulgarian yoghurt” as Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) in the European Register of Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications. This means that only products produced in a certain region and following certain rules can be labeled and sold as “Bulgarian yogurt”. This protects the reputation of the product and helps promote the region and its specific qualities with the proven health benefits of a probiotic superfood.
Now, you see with these small examples that by protecting and effectively managing IPR, their holders can promote the cultural heritage better, and at the same time generate revenues.
Many more examples and best practices can be found in the Learn-IP training program. Just follow the link to our interactive Learn-IP training platform for blended learning: https://moodle.learn-ip.eu
About Learn-IP project
The online training programme is developed 2020-2023 to support cultural heritage managers and cultural tourism actors with the effective use of digital technologies to check for compliance with IPR regulations. It will raise awareness of the many IPR regulations and their relevance for products and services.
The training programme will act as an online “guided tour” through IPR regulations and will indicate what can be done to legally protect your property, expertise and knowledge. It will provide transparency in a field that for many representatives of cultural heritage and cultural tourism is still a no man’s land. The training will also show when professional help is recommended.
Three learning materials are developed:
LEARN-IP Modular Training Course with seven learning modules
LEARN-IP Guidelines / Handbook for training courses
The main target groups are cultural, religious and creative tourism professionals, cultural workers and cultural/religious heritage managers. The secondary target group are training providers who will offer the training in the future.
The Learn-IP Training Programe is developed on 6 European langugaes: english, german, spanish, bulgarian, macedonian and romanian.
The project Nomadland is a story about life, new beginnings and adventure. Within the project, we want to show that the countryside is a perfect destination for digital nomads – through stories, a blog, a special guide and a magazine. The future of the countryside is in attracting young people who will become an active part of society!
The rural areas in Europe are facing the outmigration of young people and ageing of the population, leading to stagnation in regional development, social polarization, impoverishment, underutilized public infrastructure and a negative image of these areas.
At the same time, due to the digitalization of jobs and the emergence of new industries (digital content creation, digital marketing, online sales …), a different trend began – an increase in remote work, which became significant during the COVID-19 epidemic. We believe that digital nomads are the new future for the European countryside!
An inspiring gate into the countryside
Henry Miller, a prominent American novelist, once said, that “one’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” We believe that the countryside is an inspiring destination for young people. It’s a paradise, waiting to be discovered.
The partnership of the project is composed of partners that understand, feel and believe in the countryside. The organizations ID20 Institute (Slovenia), ATPERSON (Spain), Prizma Association (Croatia) and INI-Novation (Germany), which are forming the partnership of the project, have one common goal – bringing new hope to the European countryside. The project is co-financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ project.
In recent months, a new webpage has been launched, which should become an inspiring gate into the countryside. A webpage nomad-project.com will bring up-to-date information about the advantages and disadvantages of the countryside. Take a tour into inspiring new destinations for digital nomads which are spreading throughout the European countryside or read personal stories of digital nomads who developed their passion for the countryside and delved into the world embraced by nature and adventures. Understand the power of nature by reading the stories of young people, living in the countryside.
A year of new ideas
Next year, 2023, will be full of positive insights into the countryside and life of digital nomads. In the spring, we will publish the first magazine, dedicated to the world of countryside digital nomads and organize a training activity for youth workers from 4 different countries – Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, and Germany. A special guide for implementing digital nomadism in rural areas will be published in the autumn of 2023 with 4 insightful events in our home areas where we will work with the public and private stakeholders in developing new digital nomad paradises!
Many adventures ahead
The Nomadland: digital nomads – a new opportunity for the European rural areas project will:
– explore how digital nomadism can provide a positive impact on the development of youth work and young people’s personal and professional development in rural and peripheral areas (including smaller towns);
– develop the first guide to help youth workers and decision-makers in providing conditions for attracting digital nomads to rural areas;
– present the countryside as an innovative, multicultural area with many new opportunities for young people;
– raise awareness of remote work in rural areas as a possible response to the outmigration of young people (all intellectual results);
– address the digital transformation of rural areas, with a special focus on the areas of Idrija (Slovenia), Odenwald (Germany), Iž (Croatia) and Cuenca (Spain).
– bring together young people, decision-makers, and youth workers to provide new ideas for the local community.
Become a part of our community
Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) or sign for the regular newsletter! Or just visit the platform of the project: www.nomadland-project.com
Good Practices, Interactive Database and a Catalogue with all collected materials free for download
We, the team of the European project “Skills and Competences for Work in Industry 4.0”, funded by the Erasmus + program, are proud to present the results of our work, intended for all stakeholders interested in increasing their knowledge and adapting their skills to the challenges of Industry 4.0.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, as a trend towards automation and data exchange in production technologies, requires a transformation in various basic technologies, processes and organizational changes. This framework serves largely as a guideline for companies and their work teams in their quest to become part of Industry 4.0 with the right technologies and the right skills.
We are ready to inform about more than 60 successful examples of how to make the transition from labor-intensive work to intensive work in an industrial environment, and present to stakeholders (such as trainers in VET and adult education, human resource management, labor market policy experts, industry workers, students and job seekers) good examples of how other organizations have implemented new policies, initiatives, methods, programs and projects to achieve the necessary transformation of skills in their work teams.
We have been working on the topic for two years and now our work on the project is coming to an end. In this regard, we are proud to announce our achievement.
A collection of good practices. More than 60 good practices have been collected as use cases and successful approaches for implementing professional training according to the needs of Industry 4.0. Our focus on people and their skills, as transversal competencies, present many technology use cases that illustrate the changes occurring at the company level and the resulting benefits for both organizations and employees. In addition, three types of technologies are described as examples: enabling technologies, process improvement technologies, and organization improvement technologies.
Database. All good practices can be searched and downloaded separately from our purpose-built electronic platform, position on our website. The database is publicly available here: https://industryfourzero-skills.eu/database/.
Forum. We have created a Facebook page and group as a forum for discussion and various topics. There we promote various materials, educational videos, articles that present opportunities and obstacles that Industry 4.0 brings to businesses and employees.
On 12.04.2022, an extremely exciting European project named Nomadland was kicked-off online. The project will tell stories about the young people (millennial and generation Z), about the identity and needs of rural area, about the support and helping each other.
The project is a voyage through different rural areas of Europe, exploring stories of the digital nomads, discovering young people in rural areas, believing in the potential of rural areas between different generationsand guiding youth workers on the same path.
The representatives of all partner organizations in the consortium of four European countries Slovenia, Croatia, Spain and Germany met online in high spirits and good mood. Under the leadership of ID20, our project coordinator from Slovenia, we laid the foundations and distributed our first tasks together.
We, at INI-Novation GmbH, are proud to be part of this great consortium. Stay tuned for more news and information about the project Nomadland.
Our CreatINNES Project consortium is happy to announce that our web-platform for blended learning called “CreatINNES Academy” is ready. It is created under Erasmus+ Program with the participation of six partner organizations from Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Hungary and France. The coordinator of the work on the development of the web-platform is the team of professionals of our Bulgarian partner Budakov Films EOOD.
What is “CreatINNES Academy”?
The web-platform “CreatINNES Academy” provides effective organization of the learning process and ensures secure access and registration of all users. It contains two training programs: “Entrepreneurship for CCI freelancers and startups” and “Creative Thinking for Innovation”. The training programs have been developed with the participation of all partners from the CreatINNES consortium. Each training program contains 8 modules with very well selected short-burst of information which is clear, concrete and easy to be memorized.
You can enter CreatINNES Academy by following the link: http://moodle.creatinnes.eu . Create your user profile and start your learning journey.
The Users of “CreatINNES Academy“
All interested students, organizations and people with activities or professions belonging to the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) ca be trained or can have self-training through the web-platform. Training Program 1 “Entrepreneurship for freelancers and startups” will fulfil their need for knowledge in business development, financing and IPR.
Also, non-CCI startups and small companies who need more creativity in their working process are welcome. Training program 2 “Creative Thinking for Innovation” is for them.
Navigation of “CreatINNES Academy”
“CreatINNES Academy” is aesthetically designed to provide easy, free and secure access for every user. The platform is based on the Moodle software package, designed to create web-based educational courses and websites. The “CreatINNES Academy” interface is designed to provide learners with easy-to-use learning materials in six different languages. For many potential users, may be, our training platform will be the first that they will use.
CreatINNES proudly invites you to join our international webinar, entitled “The Fundamental of Becoming a Creative Entrepreneur” on July 20th, Tuesday, 15:00-15:40 CET. You will hear inspiring speakers, such as Wolfgang Kniejski and Petyo Budakov.
The event is initiated by INI-Novation GmbH, co-organized by XU Exponential University – a very prestigious German state-recognized academic institution where revolutionary ideas become innovations!
The first second training program, called “Creative Thinking for Innovation” is aimed at non-CCI digital companies and startups who are facing the need for more creativity in their work. Innovation is closely linked to creativity, thus, topics such as design thinking, branding, growth hacking, brainstorming and problem solving are covered in 8 modules. The focus is mainly on concept development and creative thinking. All modules are available in six languages: English, German, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Hungarian and French.
All partners of the CreatINNES consortium were involved in the content creation process. They created 26 exercises and 19 good practices to support the learning experience of the students.
Learners have easy access to the training program. All modules are uploaded on a special training platform for blended learning “CreatINNES Academy”. CreatINNES Academy is an aesthetically designed web platform for providing easy, free and secure access. The platform is based on the Moodle software package, designed to create web-based educational courses and websites. The platform is currently being tested.