Partnership between “Music of the Plants” and “Smily Academy”: the Italy-India axis for climate and nature


In a world grappling with environmental challenges, innovative collaborations are more crucial than ever. Music of the Plants is happy to announce our partnership with Smily Academy!

Smily Academy is a scalable, transdisciplinary, intergenerational challenge based edutech impact accelerator that is borned after 30 years of climate activism and Indigenous’ empowerment: “It’s time to accelerate the social and environmental impact by co-designing projects – says Rituraj Phukan -, which are able to become businesses and that’s what Smily Academy is doing”.

The Indigenous Imperative

Indigenous communities make up just 5% of the world’s population but are responsible for protecting a staggering 85% of global biodiversity. Smily Academy recognizes the invaluable role these communities play and aims to address their specific challenges, through innovative solutions. Their knowledge in traditional agriculture, natural resource management, and biodiversity conservation is a treasure trove that, when melded with modern innovation, can significantly propel forward the global agenda of sustainability and climate resilience. Through such collaborations, we inch closer to a future where technology and tradition harmoniously coalesce to foster a sustainable living paradigm.

The Smily Experience

Our Bamboo M was taken on the first discovery mission in Assam

The inaugural Smily Experience is slated to take place in Assam, India, from March 20 to 26, 2024. The academy will select 40 individuals under the age of 30 based on their values and profiles. These young talents will engage in a week-long immersive learning experience, visiting iconic places where humans and nature coexist in harmony. One such location is the Forest Man Foundation area, dedicated to Jadav Molai Payeng, who single-handedly planted a forest the size of 13 soccer fields over 40 years.

Assam,reasons why

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, and between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.

There are 22 different languages that have been recognised by the Constitution of India, of which Hindi is an Official Language.

All the five major racial types – Australoid, Mongoloid, Europoid, Caucasian, and Negroid find representation among the people of India.

Indian culture is the heritage of social norms and lifestyles  associated with the ethno-linguistically diverse India and it’s languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food and customs differ from place to place within the country.

India is one of the 17 Mega biodiverse countries in the world and accounts for 7-8 % of the recorded species.

India, with a special focus on Assam, the Northern India, is an iconic destination for biodiversity. As a part of the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Region, one of the two biodiversity “Hot Spots” in the country, with its diversity of ecological habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands and mountains and a large variety of flora and fauna. Besides, Assam represents a bright example for One Health hot spot, with about one thousand species of medicinal plants having uses in Ayurvedic, Unani, Homoeopathic and modern medicine. Assam is a conservation success story with 6 National Parks and 20 Wildlife Sanctuaries. Assam is the destination of the Smily Academy learning experience to train Conscious Feeders.


Nick Difino at the Music of the Plants stand at ‘Seeds&Chips’, The Global Innovation Summit, in Milan in 2017

The Genesis of a Remarkable Alliance

This partnership was born in 2017 when Claudia Laricchia, President and founder of Smiley academy, and Nick Difino, leader for Food Innovation in Italy of “Smily Academy India” fell in love with Music of the Plants, and us with them, with their ability to dream of a new world, based on ethical values and respect for nature.
This meeting marked the beginning of a collaboration and friendship that has now lasted 6 years.


Smily Academy Global founders: The Forest Man of India, Jadav Molai Payeng; Rituraj Phukan; Munmuni Payeng; Matteo Salerno; Claudia Laricchia

Music of the Plants is honoured to support Smily Academy India, as together we continue to create new visions of the future. Nature, the wisdom of indigenous communities, the energy of youth and the power of technology, come together in a creative mix for our planet!

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