FIVE DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY
Five key integrated areas of learning during the course are as follows:
- Emerging Worldview, Self Discovery and Healing (EDE worldview dimension)
- Interpersonal Dynamics: Power Sharing & Compassion (EDE social dimension)
- Eco-political Economy – From Global to Local (EDE economic dimension)
- Ecology & Ecovillage Design (EDE ecology & design dimension)
- Skillful Means for Social Transformation
Emerging Worldview, Self Discovery and Healing
(EDE worldview dimension)
The multi-dimensional crises human beings are facing in the contemporary world demand a fundamental change of the mindset that creates them. The European Enlightenment paradigm that has been dominating the world in the last few hundred years is under serious re-assessment and inquiry from East and West, North and South. Humans and other living beings have been facing serious crises across the globe for decades: climate change and the increasing rate of natural disasters, ecological destruction, violent conflicts between nations and groups, poverty and hunger, loneliness and meaninglessness in modern life, etc.
We need to understand and holistically analyse the root causes of these crises at macro and micro levels. To address this, several workshops will cover cultural issues and paradigm shifts, mindfulness practice, self-discovery through healing of internal wounds. Meditation, body movement practices and mindfulness will be part of the daily schedule to enhance self-cultivation as an important part of new paradigm education.
Learning Module Details
Interpersonal Dynamics: Power Sharing & Compassion
(EDE social dimension)
Interpersonal relationships become a very important issue in rebuilding community in the modern world. Participants will learn skilful means that enhance compassion and power sharing as a core of new values. We will also explore diverse aspects of leadership issues and trust building. The first module is to build a community of learning so participants feel comfortable and safe in the process of participatory education within this programme. Nonviolent Communication will be very helpful in putting compassion into practice in daily life of living together, taking into account one’s own needs and the needs of others. Conflict Transformation and Process Work will be part of this key area so that participants will be ready to work with conflict that is a natural part of community life.
Eco-political Economy: From Global To Local
(EDE economic dimension)
This area of learning is to take structural violence seriously at personal, local, national and global levels. We will explore in-depth the origins and progression of the global economy to the form it takes today, including the interactions between State, market, and the commons, and tensions between production and consumption.
We will look into the philosophical foundations of the different kinds of capitalism operating in the world today, investigating the strengths and weaknesses of each. We will try to see how socialism of different shades has failed and survived. We will also examine green politics and localisation as alternative ideologies for sustainable futures, including in-depth exposure to a wide range of community economic systems in practice, alongside exploration of social enterprises, the gift economy, and indicators for wellbeing beyond economics.
This kind of critical examination will enable us to envision different kinds of structures and create practical models based on non-violence, compassion and sharing of power.
Learning Module Details
Ecology & Ecovillage Design
(EDE ecology dimension)
Modern society ignores the fragility and interconnectedness of ecological systems. We breathe from the air, eat food from the soil, drink water from rivers, using energy from all sources without really knowing how they work and work together. We have taken planet earth and the universe for granted and have messed things up to the point of crisis. It is important that we look at nature with new eyes, and it is imperative to build a new relationship with Mother Earth.
We need to re-embody our deep interconnection with the world around us; relearn how to live in ways that heal instead of harm nature, and how to redesign or co-create with nature so that we can co-exist with all other beings in harmony with a better quality of our human life. This includes the redesigning of the individual way of life and new habitats for community. New relationships with nature will in turn inform our new relationship with ourselves and other human beings and will be a base for a new political economy in the longer term.
Skillful Means for Social Transformation
The final modules of the program focus on learning practical skills that enhance participants’ abilities to get seriously involved in social change work. The skills range from how to organise a small community to empower themselves to improve their situation, to building collaborative tools for confronting systemic injustices through mindful activism.Alongside these, an important foundation to build on is mastering mindful facilitation skills for empowerment.
This includes a lot of practice using facilitation skills and meta-skills to contribute meaningfully to others with deep respect and deep listening. In short, the programme is designed to equip participants with inspiration and the skills needed to be a change worker who can function meaningfully in the present global context.