by Giovanni Ciarlo
This past summer, Gaia Education’s e-learning programmes took a qualitative and quantitative leap with new courses launched and more courses in development.
We listened to the voices of the GEESE and students from all over the globe, and after a long period of planning and relationship building, we were able to launch a much awaited “Big Picture” course on Designing for Sustainability. This short 15-hour course is offered at an affordable price (£47) and is fully self-paced. It aims to bring to the front what are the main issues related to sustainable design for communities and lifestyles, and offers powerful examples of urban, rural, and practical application of sustainability principles in designing the world we want. Participants can join the course at any time, and form learning communities inside the course with their cohorts. For more information and to register, visit the course landing page.
On September 12th we launched the Renewable Energies for Sustainable Development course in partnership with UNITAR and the University of Strathclyde-Glasgow. This online programme gives a comprehensive overview of renewable energy as a means to enhance the capacity of local decision makers, energy/sustainable development officers and other personnel to make an informed decision on which renewable energy technologies will meet their own needs or the needs of their countries, communities, villages or neighbourhoods. The programme supports the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), which aims to provide universal access to modern energy services; double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Also in September, the first Design Studio was completed by four teams of students who produced amazing design projects for their case studies, including new ecovillage projects and training projects for teachers wishing to bring sustainability into their classrooms around the globe. Some of these designs will be implemented in various locations by the students who created them. The results of selected projects will be posted on our web site for the public to take a look.
And to complete the roster, this fall we will again run the online 2016-2017 year-long certificate course on Design for Sustainability. This five part e-learning course begins with the Social Dimension on October 17th, 2016. We will be launching it on an updated virtual platform with more interactive activities and enhanced classroom experience. This is the 9nth year of the certificate course, which was fully revised one year ago. Participants can sign up for the full Design for Sustainability programme, or register for one dimension at a time to fit their schedule. The 8 week portions of the Social, Ecological, Economic, and Worldview dimensions are repeated during the same time period each year. Students can join the Design Studio once they complete the four dimensions of theoretical content and interactions in the learning community.