Ecological Design Education for Sustainable and Regenerative Futures

The Ecological Design dimension of the full Gaia Education Design for Sustainability (GEDS) course starts 15 January 2018. Join our online course and become an ecological designer to create the change we would like to see in the world as a leader, facilitator and Glocaliser with local grounding and worldwide reach.

By Peter Gringinger, Gaia Education Certified Trainer and Acting Head of Innovation | 21st December 2017

Group standing in luscious green garden

On a daily basis we are bombarded with bad news stories on social and ecological calamities, like climate change and the overlapping and interconnected crisis, like biodiversity loss, land degradation, deforestation, water scarcity, overfishing, food shortages, energy crisis, over consumption and degenerating health and wellbeing, rise of mental illnesses, pollution, social disintegration and alienation, rise of fanaticism, escalating conflicts, poverty and inequity and inequality and much more, which is relentless and can be overwhelming and paralysing or create outrage and anger.

One might view any of these crises haunting humanity and our civilisation as isolated, disconnected and caused by specific, often local to national issues and circumstances, devoid of any significant connections and interrelations.

However, this opinion comes from a certain worldview- one of separation, separation between humans, from nature and from various aspects of self. This worldview leads us to see competition (survival of the fittest), and scarcity (not enough for all, hence driving everything else) as a given, on which our socio-economic and political systems are based, and penetrating deeply into our personal individual everyday lives, defining who we are and what we are.

But of course there are many different stories and narratives available to us. Looking at history alone will tell us. Looking at different religions and spiritual beliefs will tell us. And of course, all the different cultures in the world tell us loud and clear.

The stories we live by create our lives! Changing the stories from separation to connection, from competition to collaboration and from scarcity to abundance is a starting point to commence shifting our trajectories away from global calamity and collapse towards a future of hope, real prosperity for all, sustainability and regeneration of our life support systems, and most of all joy and happiness!

Sound Utopian – Think Again and become part of a Solutions Revolution!

“ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

An urgent call to action to tackle global issues in a holistic and integrated manner was at least acknowledged and slowly set in motion by the Paris Accord on Climate Change in 2015 and the Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A good start.

However, progress is certainly slow and needs to rapidly accelerate if we want to achieve the goals, but who will do all the work for this monumental shift in not only how we organise ourselves economically but take care and regenerate the environment to make it support us for future generations and all beings, but also for creating cohesive, caring and compassionate, socially just and culturally and spiritually fulfilling communities?

In the end it will be up to all of us to transform our worldviews, beliefs, and value systems and hence create paradigm shifts for our economies, ecologies and social and cultural organising principles and systems. All of us will be affected and will (have to) change fundamentally.

Changemakers, cultural creatives, radical activists, transformative innovators are at the forefront of co-creating and co-designing these changes locally and collaboratively. But we need more, many more to get involved, including professional, educators, academics and community organisers. We need them, with their heads, hearts and hands. We need them to get their hands dirty on the ground in local communities to create the change we all want to see in the world, and to create a future all our hearts know is possible. From the favelas in Sao Paulo, the rural traditional villages in Senegal and Gambia, impoverished indigenous farming communities in Bangladesh or Chiapas, refugees in Sicily, ecovillagers in North Dakota, urban gardeners in Detroit, co-housing residents in Melbourne, transition towners and resilience activists in San Francisco or Bristol, and everyone else.

So we want YOU! – to come on board, and become part of a growing global community of transformative Changemakers who have the skills and abilities to co-facilitate and help co-create the local to global transitions and transformations towards sustainable and regenerative futures.

In trying to Design for Sustainability, we seek to consciously reinvent ecological living from the ground up, honing in on aspects such as sustainable production and consumption, regenerative agriculture and food production, appropriate technologies for water and energy systems, green and sustainable building and construction, and weaving it all together through whole systems and regenerative design approaches and methods to achieve one planet living design and development outcomes.

Gaia Education is a leading-edge, UNESCO approved and supported, provider of sustainability and regenerative education (including the SDGs) that promotes thriving individuals, groups, communities and organisations within planetary boundaries.

At the heart of all Gaia Education’s diverse range of courses lies the 4-D Framework for integrative whole systems design. It transcends and includes the conventional three dimensional model of sustainability aiming to integrate social, ecological and economic concerns in the creation of sustainable solutions, by taking a more holistic approach that also addresses the critical importance of worldview of culture and value and belief systems change as the main drivers of behaviour change and cultural transformation.

Gaia Education’s online course in Design for Sustainability offers you an opportunity to learn practical and effective ways to create the change that we all seek. The Ecological Design dimension, which can be completed as a stand alone course, or part of the full 10-month course, advancing your skills, capabilities and your vocation as an Ecological Designer starts on 15 January 2018 and there are a limited amount of places left for this year, so sign up now.

In this course you will learn the skills to become an ecological designer and create self-regenerating sustainable groups, communities, settlements and organisations. After completing the Ecological dimension you will have the skills, confidence and ability to start positioning yourself in the field of Ecological Design for Sustainability.

Graduates of Gaia Education’s programmes have gone on to contribute to sustainability projects, build new communities and ecovillages, retrofit existing ones, become social entrepreneurs, partake in permaculture and regenerative design projects or organic farming, support transition movements and much more.

Sign up

This course begins on 15 January 2018 and runs for an 8-week period. You can find all the necessary details here.

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