Celebrating the achievements of the past year!
As Gaia Education enters its tenth year, bringing sustainability education to communities and individuals everywhere, we – including Gaia Education course organisers, volunteers, supporters and global strategic partners - have many achievements to celebrate! 2014 was a special year and a special number it is! I’m no numerologist, but even I know that 7, the sum of 2014, has a reputation for being a magical number associated with all knowing & the desire for knowledge above all else. 7 is well suited to the events of this past year, one of the key roles of Gaia Education being to facilitate & support learning, and strengthening communities globally.
The year commenced with a new Management Team and with this, new processes. After a year of integration and refinement, we now have a regular team and, along with numerous freelance collaborators, are serving a growing public interested in Designing for Sustainability.
School EDEs in India and Estonia. In a couple of firsts for Gaia Education, a school has opened in Estonia, inspired by and based on the EDE (see article below) and in Orissa, India, the EDE curriculum is being applied as part of elementary school education at a national level. Our hats go off to the dedicated people of John George and THREAD, a local community organisation in Orissa, and to Marit Otsing & the EDE alumni in Estonia! With more school integrated EDE initiatives planned for 2015, this is an exciting new space for all involved in ESD.
Online Gaia Education Design for Sustainability programmes (GEDS). 2014 saw the successful completion of our first Portuguese GEDS programme, also the first GEDS to run on our own elearning platform! The English track is now also available on this platform. The Spanish GEDS Posgrado, still offered in collaboration with the Open University of Catalunya, is being upgraded a Master’s Degree programme for September 2015, as is the English track. Exciting new opportunities for professional development & online learning!
Gaia Webinars Another first for Gaia Education was the launch of our much anticipated Webinars. Focused on key components of the EDE curriculum, webinars included: Daniel Greenberg on Carbon Consciousness; Ross Jackson on Shifting the Global Economy to Sustainability; and Hildur Jackson on The New Story for Earth. This exciting way of offering live discussions on key sustainability issues will continue in 2015 with master presentations from the global GEESE community. Visit gaiaeducation.net/gaia-webinars!
Closing the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development! Board member Jane Rasbash attended the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in November, capping off a remarkable journey for Gaia Education & creating a bridge for further contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, adding to our ongoing participation in the UN-DPI (see story below).
New PartnershipsNew Partnerships Collaborating in the common mission of bringing sustainability education to communities around the world, new partnersships include Local Futures, Earth Deeds and, as a founding partner, ECOLISE. These partnerships offer concrete actions everyone can take to reduce the effects of global warming, with the goal of becoming a Zero Carbon organization.
Digital Publications The Teachers and Youth Activities Guides, two new resources available via www.gaiaeducation.net and on Kindle, are complimentary resources to the EDE curriculum & are gaining momentum as valuable reference materials for course organisers.
Project Based Learning (PBL) Under the leadership of May East & in partnership with CIFAL Scotland, our PBL initiatives have increased from one to three projects, focusing on food security, renewable energy & meaningful employment to those in extreme poverty.
Board Changes After years of service & guidance, long serving Board member Michiyo Furuhashi and Michael Shaw have stepped down, while Graham Meltzer has joined us. I am grateful to all of them and to all those who have volunteered their time and energy to support our global mission this year!
The year ahead offers some exciting new opportunities and challenges:
- Continued development of new programmes
- The full engagement of our Gaian team of GEESE, Gaian@s, volunteers and ambassadors
- New partnerships and collaborations to intervene in disasters caused by global climate change
- The quest for further financial contributions to make the EDE accessible to economically challenged populations everywhere
- Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Gaia Education in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of GEN!
With your help we will achieve all this and more!
To all of you, THANK YOU!!