The 6 day gathering of the nascent ecoversity network was an exercise in emerging threads in education that covered all levels of learning, from schools for young indigenous tribes recovering their traditions, to adult education and job training projects. There was a rich exposure of cultural diversity, global themes for change, and learning about the wonderful work of so many change makers across the world. Meeting 50 innovative and impactful educators from 15-20 countries provided a very different perspective and a life-time opportunity to share and learn. The “unconference” format of the gathering provided discussions, equal participation and democratic ways of focusing discussions, breakouts and leadership styles. One of the best gifts to take away from the conference was the possibility to form partnerships and synergies with many organisations to amplify the impact of the innovative work each organisation is carrying out in the world. The ground was prepared for working with multiple organisations (Ecoversities) and design models, for student exchange, cross pollination and cooperation. The meeting provided a global forum for issues concerning the education and convergence of efforts for a positive change in education.
Some of the specific topics that were discussed are:
A broader definition of “Sustainability” where it’s not just economic and environmental but social, political etc.
Alternative/parallel educational models
The inclusion of informal learning approaches to education.
What came out of the gathering:
Earth CARE Intergenerational Justice Educational Community
The Earth CARE Intergenerational Justice Educational Community is an international network of 20 community-based educational centres in which educational leaders offer learning experiences for change-makers that integrate ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, economic (EARTH CARE) and intergenerational approaches to justice. This alliance is committed to developing forms of social innovation that alleviate the effects and transform the root causes of material and existential forms of poverty.
The 20 centres involved in this initiative share a vision of transformational learning as doing (together), trusting (each other), deepening (analyses) and dismantling walls/barriers (between peoples/knowledges/cultures). Each has a specific learning methodology rooted in the contexts, knowledges and histories of local and/or intentional communities. All cultivate practices of sustainability that challenge, transform and move communities beyond what it is possible to imagine within socio-economic systems that neglect the bio-physical limits of the planet and the ecological and social costs of market-driven modern development.
These programmes will nurture the yearning for change and connection, while allowing learners to delve into the complexities of thinking and acting beyond dominant paradigms to develop problems such as peak oil, climate change, economic instability, wars, welfare fragility, job precarity, political volatility, forced migration, modern slavery, gender, racial and sexual violence, in the face of food and water crises. It also identifyies viable possibilities for economic dignity; and intergenerational justice: securing relationships and forms of organization that can uphold the health and wellbeing of present and future generations
Gaia Education trainer
Become a Gaia Education Certified Trainer. Get the skills & methodologies to facilitate transformative learning environments that enable collaborative action.