Why is transformative learning crucial in a global crisis?


Firstly a warm welcome to our newest recruit - Macaco Tamerice (Martina Grosse Burlage), who will be working with us as a 'Face-to-Face Courses Consultant.' The converging global crises can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to grasp how you can contribute to the changes needed and ground yourself amongst the chaos. It seemed the perfect time to discover the different elements of transformative learning and how working with communities, facilitating and taking part in EDEs & TOTs are great avenues for deep transformation, connection and change. This type of learning creates a safe place where you're creativity can shine, and you're encouraged to explore alternative ways to take real action towards change in challenging times. 

That's why we caught up with Macaco to gain clarity, wisdom and insights into the world of transformative education. With years of experience as a life coach building meaningful relationships, specialising in community-building, inner transformation, leadership and conflict resolution. She's also one of GEN’s UN representatives and the President of the NGO Damanhur Education, where she now lives. And as a multi-lingual international speaker, facilitator of many courses/ seminars and a certified GEESE Educator - we knew we were in good hands!

Sonja Mbah (left) with Macaco (right). (Image from the latest EDE in Damanhur, September 2022) 

What do you love most about being a facilitator? 

"I love to be a bridge between what the people are going to become and what the people are not yet. To help people bridge the gap within themselves that they very often don't know their talents and possibilities yet. I like to be part of this transformational process! " 

What does it mean to be an EDE designer? 

"To be an EDE designer means that you are able to learn how to design your projects. First of all, if you want to create ecovillages, but actually to be an EDE designer is not at all only to create ecovillages. It's about being able to learn a lot about yourself and to really look at your life from many different angles and corners. It gives you the possibility to work with groups fundamentally - to create groups and lead them. An EDE designer is somebody who's gone through an intense personal transformational process!"

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(Image from the latest EDE in Damanhur, September 2022) 

As we face multiple converging crises, why are EDE designers so important, and how can working at local levels help to make a difference? 

"It can make a difference because you can learn about alternative ways of approaching ecology through permaculture principles and see in real-time through the eyes of regenerative practices. Whether you're working in a municipality, a farm or together in a group setting, this allows you to create concrete actions and learn how to act because of the knowledge you share & learn together in the same space.
At a local level, you do have a lot more possibilities than at a global level - at a local level, you can really change things! You can get in touch with your neighbours with the networks that already exist online or at the bioregional level. It's very empowering because you have the feeling that you have your life in your hands!" 

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(Image from the latest EDE in Damanhur, September 2022) 

In regards to the TOTs (Training for Trainers), why is there a need for worldwide facilitators at this time? 

"There are many different learning methods, and the one that the EDE is proposing is participatory learning, which also means experiential learning. In the TOT, you learn how to deliver that, so you really learn how to facilitate groups in a participatory way. It's very important for people who are already doing courses and facilitating courses to participate in the TOT as it will give you a lot of tools and practical exercises. Because one thing with the TOT is you're able to look at many different parts of facilitation; how to deal with difficult people, how to involve people... "

What is transformative learning? 

"It's something that touches you, and the areas that it touches are forever transformed. It's something that really moves you and gives you a new experience of yourself that adds something to your being."

"Transformative learning is all about unfolding your human potential because your creative potential comes out in the moments when you feel at ease and centred and when you feel like what you're doing matters. We all have this wish to contribute to making the world a better place, we're wired to want to contribute. So to give possibilities to these capacities to come out, rather than the competitive ones, which are very often closing, not opening possibilities is where change can take place."  

Have you had an experience in transformative learning? We'd love to hear below in the comments! 

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