Ifigha, Algeria, December 26th - January 3rd


  • What are you doing at the end of this year?

    Why not join a retreat in the Algerian mountains to decelerate, learn and reconnect with Mother Nature?!


    For its 3rd edition, the Maghreb Social Innovation Retreat takes you to Kabylie, Algeria's ancestral mountain region for 8 days of self-discovery & wonder. We will be staying far from civilisation, at Ifigha, a magical rural village with thousands of years of history and an amazing olive oil tradition


    MISR is an invite-only gathering. As a participant, you will join a group of 15 outstanding social innovators from around the world. The highly interactive program is centred on olive harvesting, you will spend your day collecting olives from an organic field owned by the villagers, at the end of the retreat, we will visit a traditional oil distillery to press your own olive oil and take it back home with you. The program also includes sightseeing, personal time, co-created workshops, group discussions with the locals and few other surprises.


    Our objective is to help you decelerate, learn more about yourself, about the beautiful world that surrounds you and unleash the lovely innovation potential your heart contains.


    When / Where: December 26th 2016 to January 2nd 2017 in Algeria.



    The unique program of the retreat alternates between yoga & meditation, olive harvesting, visits to a breathtaking surrounding and a series of co-created workshops to learn and engage with your peers and with the locals.

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    Olive Harvesting

    Let's go back to the roots. In this retreat, we will have plenty of time to join the Ifigha villagers in their annual ritual of collecting olives. We will harvest olives the traditional way, learn more about permaculture, the (organic) olive oil production process, permaculture and we will get to produce and taste our own olive oil!
    Have you ever been to an olive oil tasting? that's your chance!

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    Yoga & Meditiation

    A mindfulness session helps re-connecting with oneself. Through a daily meditation practice, you will learn to listen to your body, relax and refocus your energy. Meditating in a group is an opportunity to connect, learn from each other’s experiences and develop a positive habit.

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    We will be staying at Ifigha, a small village nested amongst Kabylie's majestic mountains. Ifigha is well-known for it's olive oil production, it's peaceful atmosphere and the many saints which protect it. While in Kabylie, we will visit local artisans, the largest dam in the region, an eco-village in the vicinity and we will indulge in some of the most beautiful sun rises the country has to offer.

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    Co-created workshops

    Each day, we will make some space to discuss the projects of the participants and to learn from each other. You are able to pitch your project, share a burning challenge or teach a new skill. Participants are welcome to take this space to offer their own content.


    If jumping into the new year in a fairy-like scenery
    with some of the most talented people in North Africa is not enough.

    Here are few more reasons to join :

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    1. Connect with Nature

    Enjoy a peaceful oasis secluded from the frenzy of urban cities. Produce your own olive and learn how ancestral traditions have been preserved are passed onto new generations in Algeria. Forget smartphones and wifi and instead connect with Mother Earth in a unique way. In other words, Disconnect to re-connect.

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    2. Connect with amazing people

    Meet likeminded people who are passionate about making change in their community. Create bonds and long-lasting friendship across countries. Explore social innovation in the Maghreb region. Learn from your peers. Discuss solutions, challenges and practical recipes / success stories and work together towards a vision for positive change in the region. People from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and beyond all sharing a vision of a positive future.

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    3. Connect with yourself

    In this peaceful setting, take time to relax and refocus your energy. Follow our guided mindfulness program and learn more about yourself: what drives you here and where you are called next. Stories from your peers and mentors will ignite the light for your next year's adventures!

    Meditation creates new networks and cells and activates certain parts of the brain linked with concentration, wellbeing, empathy and compassion and less so parts linked with ego, fear and depressive feelings. Meditation is thus a training of your brain. Anything you hear or read about meditation; is only to be seriously understood once you have investigated and experienced it for yourself.


    Previous Participants share their feedback on the Maghreb Social Innovation Retreat

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    Rym Lamrani

    Chantier de l'économie sociale - Canada

    "I realized challenges are similar in every part of the world, only scale is different. By getting together, we can find collective solutions to the challenges our world is facing."

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    Mohamed Sifaoui

    Enercoop - France

    "Join the MSIR and have a chance to learn loving each other and working together for a better future."

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    Hamza Debbarh

    CodCodCodet - Morocco

    "MSIR was a real, organic, life changing experience. It's funny how meeting and spending a whole week with 19 absolute strangers in the desert can help getting a deeper understanding of oneself. When is the next one ?

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    Maëva Tordo

    ESCP Europe - France

    "One of my best memories from MSIR were the co-creative sessions where each of us shared something of importance to him with the group in a very playful way"

  • Team

    Meet the organisers

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    Anaïs Amazit

    Currently working for Barefoot College, an NGO that trains and empowers rural women through solar energy. After Zanzibar, she’ll be based in Madagascar to supervise the opening of a new training center there. As a global connector, she loves discovering new cultures and supporting positive initiatives, in particular across MENA and Africa.

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    Melissa Yami

    Working in Paris as a strategy and management consultant, Melissa was born in Kabylie and loves to make people discover her native region. She recently founded Yes Lukan : the Facebook page gathering positive initiatives in Kabylie.

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    Ismail Chaib

    COO of the fintech start-up Open Bank Project. Previously cofounder of the award-winning Algerian startup SMSBridge. Ismail is based out of Berlin where he is actively involved with the global social entrepreneurship community MakeSense. Ismail has hosted the previous two Maghreb Social Innovation Retreats. He loves helping people discover the many wonders of Algeria.

  • FAQ

    Why Olive Harvesting?
    In Kabylie, we say Olive Oil heals everything. Kabylie region, where we are heading to, is known for two things: the stubbornness of its people and the olive oil culture it developed for thousands of years. You already know how stubborn Kabyles can be if you know the organisers, now we want you to discover our second most important ancestral tradition which, as the Kabyle saying goes, can healing pretty much anything under the sun and a good deal else besides.


    Do I need to have experience in Olive harvesting or farming?
    Not at all. Actually, you will learn one thing or two about olive harvesting during this retreat.


    Do I need a Visa to come to Algeria?
    Probably yes but please double check here. We can provide invitation letters if need be, please email us for more details.

    Do I need a travel insurance?

    We strongly recommend that you subscribe to a regular travel insurance


    When should we arrive and where to?
    We all meet in Algiers, Algeria's capital on the 26th. You should arrive to Algiers airport no later than the 26th at 1pm.

    How to get to the retreat location?

    We go from Algiers to Ifigha by private bus. It takes about 4 hours. We will have some get-together time during this ride. The road is quite beautiful and very safe. The bus is scheduled to depart at 18h on the 26th.


    Is Ifigha safe and secure?
    We believe Ifigha is super safe. Algeria may not be the safest place (most of the security agencies advice against traveling to Kabylie), however, the particular region where we are heading to in Kabylie has been secured for people to come freely, also, we will be hosted by locals who know very well the village and surroundings (village of one of the organisers). In a nutshell, if we would have thought there would be the slightest risk for your safety, we would have chosen a different place.


    What’s the type of accommodation we have?

    We will be in Ifigha, a small of few thousands inhabitants. We will stay in a big house in the center of the village. This is how it looks like. It is very comfy and specifically designed for guests. If you are wondering, we do have access to proper showers and toilets ;-)


    Do you cater to vegetarians?
    Yes - as much as we can, all the meals we provide will be vegetarian. Vegan is also possible most of the time. Gluten-free is however very difficult to cater to. Please email us if you have any dietary requirements and we will advice more appropriately.

    What language are we expected to speak?

    We expect to use English in order to accommodate everyone and be inclusive. Although, we speak Arabic, English, French and Tamazight.


    What should I bring to the event?

    You should bring:

    • Your passport
    • Sporty/ functional clothes for the day (bear in mind we will be in a mountain and it might rain at some point)
    • Sleeping bag and warm clothes for the night (at night, it get very cold)
    • Mosquito spray
    • A note book to take notes 
    • Few books to relax
    • Camera
    • Your biggest smile and good spirit :)

    You won’t need your laptop/tablet/smartphone.

    How much does it cost?

    The full price for this 8-days retreat is 420 EUR (excluding eventbrite fees). We try to be as inclusive as possible. If you are a student or you can't afford that price. Please contact us and we will see how we can help.


    What is included in the price?

    The full price of 420 EUR (excluding eventbrite fees) covers 8 days. This includes pretty much everything except your travel ticket to Algeria. Namely:

    • Bus ticket from Algiers to Ifigha and back
    • 7 nights accommodation in Ifigha
    • Food: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and unlimited supply of tea and olive oil :-)
    • 6 days facilitated yoga and meditation program
    • Olive harvesting and olive oil production
    • Olive oil tasting 
    • Sightseeing activities such as guided walks, visiting local saints, local associations..etc
    • Traditional music evening 
    • Co-creation workshop facilitation
    • Access to the outreach program and alumni community after the retreat

    How should we pay? Can I pay in my local currency?

    You can purchase a ticket on Eventbrite. You can pay using paypal or your credit card. Should you need to use cash, please get in touch with us. We accept: Euro, Dollars, Algerian Dinars and Bitcoin.


    Are there some discounted tickets?

    If the price is an issue, please contact us and let us know why you want to join and we will look for a solution.


    Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

    Yes. As long as you let us know beforehand.


    What is the refund policy?

    • Full refund until November 17th

    • 50% refund until December 1st

    • No refunds after December 1st


    Why are you doing this?

    Because we know how entrepreneurship and social innovation can be overwhelming and that sometimes once needs to make a break. We are passionate about providing safe spaces where entrepreneurs can reveal their full potential. We feel an Olive Oil Harvesting Retreat is the perfect place to make this happen. Also, we believe it’s important to strengthen the bonds between North African countries and the rest of the world. It’s also just fun and exciting to meeting with you!