Face-to-Face EDE Programmes


Ecovillage Design Education programmes, often referred to as 'EDEs', provide students of all ages with the knowledge and practical skills on how to design a society which uses energy and materials with greater efficiency, distributes wealth fairly and strives to eliminate the concept of waste.

Students become change agents and sustainability designers, taking active roles in transitioning their existing communities, institutions and neighbourhoods, to more sustainable patterns of production and consumption, as well as leading more joyful, meaningful and healthier lives.

Feeling intrigued?

Our immersive Face-to-Face programmes are known to have transformed lives; previous students have become agents of positive culture change in their communities and regional economies; they've co-created social enterprises and cooperatives, started community projects and became trainers for sustainability themselves - to name only a few paths you can take afterwards. The course will equip you with skills and knowledge you will be able to put in action in any field or sector you are involved with.

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What You Study

EDE programmes are based on the four core dimensions of Gaia Education’s Ecovillage Design Curriculum: the Social, Worldview, Ecological and Economic dimensions of sustainability. The Curriculum was developed drawing on the experience and expertise developed in a network of some of the most successful ecovillages and transition settings across the Earth.

Explore learning outcomes

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Where the Programmes Take Place

In a nutshell - everywhere! Since 2006, Gaia Education has successfully supported the delivery of more than 240 programmes in 43 countries over 6 continents, reaching over 12 100 students. Our EDES have been offered in settings ranging from tribal and traditional communities to intentional ecovillages, from urban slum settings to universities and training centres. The duration of these programmes are around 125 hours over a full month, or 20 immersion, although this may vary slightly depending on where and when they are taken. Please have a look at the Current Programmes page to find out more about the current EDE programmes taking place worldwide.

Current Programmes

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How to run an EDE

Several of our EDE graduates have carried on organising EDE programmes in their local areas, and you are warmly encouraged to do so after completing your course. The recommended time frame of an EDE is four weeks, however this is not fixed and varies with each individual programme. The material can be condensed into smaller workshops, spread out over a longer period, or distributed in blocks at different times and locations.

See how to Organise and to Certify an EDE Here

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What they have done in the past

Over 4,900 students have joined the EDEs worldwide and we are happy to announce an impressive satisfaction rate of 95%. To hear directly from them and their experiences, and further information about past EDE´s around the world, please visit our Reports page.

Visit EDE Reports

"When I went to Auroville in 2007, I could not imagine that my life would expand to the extent it has reached now. Since then so many people have been reached through my personal experience. I've been on several radio and tv shows, written articles in newspapers, interacted with thousands of youth through our Facebook page, electronic newspapers, and conferences.

As a result, hundred of rural and urban community leaders, including mayors, religious leaders, students and youth associations, have contacted to express their interest in transitioning their communities into sustainable ones. A lot is happening here in West Africa."

Ousmane Pane, EDE Student 2007

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