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EDE Lost Valley, USA

Programme Description

The Holistic Sustainability Semester is a transformational 12-week program that introduces students to five spheres of sustainability — personal, social, ecological, economic, and worldview. It integrates classroom learning with an immersion experience in Lost Valley’s 28-year-old intentional community.

Students earn two internationally recognized certificates: the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), which is the global standard in permaculture education, and the Ecovillage Design Education Certificate (EDE), described in detail on this site.

This program is a good fit for individuals who:

  • Are aware of the ecological crisis on the planet and want to learn ways to be part of the solution
  • Seek deep and meaningful social connection, going beyond the superficial
  • Are taking time off to develop sustainable and environmental approaches on their career/life path OR who would like to do an independent study program
  • Are interested in learning fundamental skills to participate responsibly in a sustainable society
  • Seek to cultivate personal enrichment in a community context
  • Seek healthy outlets for creativity
  • Consider themselves to be in a transitional period of discernment
  • Are pursuing a higher quality of life with a smaller ecological impact

The program is run by Lost Valley Educational Center, a nonprofit NGO focused on sustainability. Lost Valley is located near Eugene, Oregon, USA, and has been in operation since 1989. It houses a residential intentional community – an aspiring ecovillage – of about 50 residents, runs its own educational programs, and hosts outside groups as a conference center. Community life is possibly the richest element of the Holistic Sustainability Semester, and the students and residents compliment each other quite well.

Programme Details


Current & Future EDE Programmes

What is an EDE (Ecovillage Design Education programme)?

Change Agents

Ecovillage Design Education programmes, often referred to as ‘EDEs’, take place in more than 48 countries in settings ranging from tribal and traditional communities to intentional ecovillages, from urban slum to universities and training centres. The duration of these programmes are around 125 hours over a full month, although this may vary slightly depending on where and when they are taken. The 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.

How to run an EDE

Run a EDE Programme

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.