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+10 A decade of education for sustainable development

The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves. Paulo Freire

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W.B. Yeats

To all dedicated Gaia educators who have provided the fiery learning environment to thousands of learners, refining the art & science of world work through experiment, experience and expression

Index Mission Statement The Landscape of Collaboration

May East

Americas Europe Africa & Middle East Asia & Oceania The Inspiration and Relevance of Gaia Education Hildur and Ross Jackson Project Based Learning Gaia Education's DNA

Giovanni Ciarlo

The Dream of the GEESE

Giovanni Ciarlo

A Living and Learning Pedagogy

Daniel Greenberg

Learning Outcomes 4 Keys to Sustainability

Maddy Harland

Curriculum & Guidebooks E-learning: Design for Sustainability


UNESCO ESD Global Action Programme

May East

GEN and Gaia Education

Kosha Joubert

Vision of the Board

Jane Rasbash

Financial Report Partnerships The Gift of Partnership At The Cutting-Edge of SDGs Capacity-Building

02 -03 04 - 05 06 - 09 10 - 13 14 - 17 18 - 21 22 - 23 24 - 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 - 39 40

Mission Statement Gaia Education's programmes empower change makers with inner and outer skills to redesign the human presence in a sustainable world. Our transformative programmes respond to the interlinked challenges of our times and disseminate grass-roots wisdom and practices through learning communities.

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

In our interconnected world we are the first generation that can end poverty and possibly the last generation that can take bold steps to avoid the worst impact of resources depletion and climate change. 2015 marks the consolidation of the Sustainable Development Goals providing a once in a generation opportunity for transformative change and the potential of ushering in a new cycle of shared prosperity and a sustainable future for all. 2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of Gaia Education and the 20th of the Global Ecovillage Network- our sister organisation and synergistic partner over the last decade. Gaia Education was created over a series of meetings among innovative ecovillage educators with academic and professional backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines. Our working pattern has always been group work for group benefit. Drawing from the experience and expertise of a network of some of the most successful ecovillages and community projects across the globe, a key achievement of this gifting think-thank was the development of the Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) curriculum.

The Landscape

of Collaboration in the Fiery Urgency of Now May East Chief International Officer

For the last decade Gaia Education has been empowering change makers with inner and outer skills to redesign the human presence on Earth. During this period Gaia Education has successfully supported the delivery of over 170 programmes in 34 countries, across 5 continents, reaching almost 5,000 people, who in turn developed lasting relationships. Our programmes have been offered in settings ranging from tribal and traditional communities to intentional ecovillages, from urban slum settings to universities and training centers. Our courses support the emergence of communities of practice and qualify students of all ages with the appropriate skills and analytical tools to design a society which uses energy and materials with greater efficiency, distributes wealth fairly, and strives to eliminate the concept of waste. Students become sustainability designers, taking active roles in transitioning their existing communities, institutions and neighbourhoods, to more sustainable patterns of production and consumption, as well as leading more joyful, meaningful and healthier lives. Today Gaia Education has diversified its activities in three learning streams: • Face-to-face certified EDE programmes in partnership with over 60 institutions worldwide; • E-learning Design for Sustainability global classrooms in English, Spanish and Portuguese; • Project-based learning activities in the Global South, supporting the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda. Life grows and changes through the strength of its connections and relationships. We take this anniversary as an opportunity to reinvigorate the landscape of collaboration with our many partners in the fiery urgency of Now.


Number of Programmes 179 programmes: 2006-2015

31 55

Europe Americas Africa&ME

39 54



Number of Participants 4197 participants: 2006-2015

472 Europe



Americas Africa&ME Asia&Oceania



Global Satisfaction Programmes 2006-2015

Excellent Good Fair Poor Very Poor


Americas CĂŠu do MapiĂĄ

At the heart of the Amazon where the living world is the matrix for all design


Design within the ecological limits of the planet

Americas Providing more than 55 EDEs over the decade, the Americas have served as the most active continent... Most of the programmes have been conducted in the main capital cities of Brazil paving the way for the adaptation of the EDE mandala to urban settings. Mexico's trainers succeeded in cooperating with the Mexico City government, Buenos Aires tested the solidarity economy principles while hosting the EDE amidst a country-wide acute economic crises. Chile and Nicaragua have been the most recent recipients of EDEs and have carried out the programmes with innovation and enthusiasm, in beautiful surroundings and achieving the learning outcomes. Brazil Brazil has hosted EDEs across the country extending from the far South with Gaia Sul, in partnership with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and CEBB Buddhist Community, to the extreme North, hosted by the rubber-tapper community Céu do Mapiá. The Brazil EDE community, known as ‘The Gaianos’, came into full power during Rio+20 Summit in 2012. The crowd-sourced Gaia Home at the Peoples Summit developed a steady and regular attendance of hundreds, and much to our surprise, by the final day of the conference we were told it had become the main stage for the entire Summit! Experts, authors and activists were flown in from around the globe and our large circus tent had barely enough standing room on days when education, ecovillages, transition towns, networks and social equity were discussed.

Gaia UMAPAZ at the heart of São Paulo's Ibirapuera Park and the first ever urban EDE; hosting 101 Gaianos each year for 6 consecutive years under the auspices of the Secretary of Environment. Gaia Rio at the luxuriant Botanical Gardens, thriving year after year in attracting ‘Cariocas’ from the voluntary, private and public sectors, who go on designing interventions in the “Wonderful City”: from restoring urban wetlands to community currencies and transition neighbourhoods. Gaia Brasilia, consolidating the engagement of a strong community of sustainability and permaculture educators in deep dialogue with mainstream education and teachers with a view of introducing nothing less than a revolution in learning methods. Terra Una in Minas State and Pedra do Sabiá in Bahia, showing up as the two ecovillage-based EDEs in Brazil, advancing new frontiers of bioregionalism and spreading communities in tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems. Gaia Salvador sharing skills for the emergence of ‘Eco-bairros’ and introducing new ways of governance combined with contemporary approaches to spirituality as service.


Gaia Fortaleza gathering academics and practitioners in a learning journey spread over a year in the context of protecting remnant dune ecosystems threatened by real estate market forces. Gaia Curitiba and Gaia BH, embedded in the landscape of respective cities and building upon existing good practices, such as the renowned Curitiba spatial development strategies; creating communities of learning with lasting links rooted in non-violent communication, bio-dance and solidarity economy. Gaia Transition Brasilândia providing the first official blended learning between Transition Training and EDE in the largest South American slum, where youth activists, social workers, environmentalists and film-makers were empowered in advancing campaigns such as the Forest Invades the City and the Health Fair. Gaia Sul balancing classes between University settings and community living in a Buddhist Centre where final designs included solutions to projects such as co-housing, a utopian community and a kindergarten. Last but not least the Amagaia - EDE Amazonas – facilitators arrived in the heart of the Amazon via a transformative boat journey to input in Mapiá's master plan and learn from the community, their purpose being to live fully from the forest resources. El Manzano regional centre of international learning in Chile hosting an international EDE blended with PDC, leading to the design of integrated projects

such as a school, an ecovillage, a village in transition and a green campus. Huehue Ecovillage providing a beautiful learning space surrounded by mountains and lush nature, conducting transformative EDE courses building bioregional bridges in partnership with the local government and neighbouring villages. Inanitah EDE in Nicaragua, described as a natural paradise, bringing together permaculture, ecovillage development, social participation, urban youth, and renewable energies; where participants learn cob building and how to set up compost heated showers; combined with dance, yoga and active meditation sessions. Dancing Rabbit EDE drawing together sustainability-oriented intentional communities – Red Earth Farms, Sandhill Farm and Dancing Rabbit, building skills in natural building, food preservation, creative community play and conflict resolution, decision-making processes and a Vision Quest. The Colombian EDE hosting one dimension per ecovillage with the Worldview being extended over the three, providing a rich learning environment for participants. EDEs in Argentina have been conducted in the Asociación Gaia with their handson approach to design; and the Buenos Aires EDE activating the city's appetite for design for sustainability by offering “taster” sessions of the four dimensions and a life-changing course to some who decided to leave old jobs and begin a new life.


Some data analysis on EDE courses


Dancing Rabbit 2013,

Overall Satisfaction


The Quality of the Programme in Dancing Rabbit EDE in 2013 enjoyed a high satisfaction rate; 67% of the respondents rated it as “Excellent”, and 33% as “Good”.

63% 3%


Excellent Good

Colombia EDE 2013 “Talleristas muy estructurados, formados y experimentados, gran equipo de trabajo con bonitas relaciones entre todos, enseñan con el ejemplo.” “Siento que estas tres semanas del EDE fueron más productivas para mi que tres semestres que hice de gerencia, con el sistema tradicional.”

Fair Poor Very Poor


After EDE Rio 12, how empowered do you feel to start your own project?

Mexico ‘11

Mexico HueHue 2012 “El Curso está muy bien, los felicito por cumplir con el objetivo de sembrar una semilla en cada uno de nosotros para ir corrigiendo el impacto ambiental de nuestra presencia en el planeta y buscar una mejor calidad de vida con los que nos rodean.”

Programme Feedback Average score: from 1 - Poor to 5 - Excellent

Economical, Ecological & World View


The programme delivered what advertised


The programme was well organised


I accomplished the intentions I had for the programme


The programme helped me to accomplished these intentions I would recommend this programme to others


ll ta


No ta








ou En






89% of the respondents felt that they succeeded in accomplished the intentions they had for the programme with an “Excellent” or “Good” rating, with a corresponding percentage stating that the programme itself helped them to achieve those intentions. Eight out of nine rated the organisation of the programme as “Good” or “Excellent”, and would similarly recommend the course for others.

“Excelente curso que cambió mi vida.”







Europe Fostering ecological imagination

Europe has hosted close to 60 EDE programmes over the past decade attracting a high number of inspired students from Europe and across the planet. Broadly global in scope yet determinedly local in application, each course promotes an education that makes quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking and action.

With 14 countries hosting EDEs and more than 1330 students, European courses have been mainly hosted by ecovillages -the living and learning laboratories of sustainability - and conveying the fundamental principles and themes needing to be addressed in any comprehensive introduction to sustainable community design and development. The ecovillage classroom presents itself as an inspiring and viable solution to eradication of poverty and degradation of the environment, while combining a supportive social-cultural environment with a low-impact lifestyle.

Findhorn Ecovillage

European EDEs taking place in the best research and development centers for carbon-constrained lifestyles



Findhorn Ecovillage, the low carbon pioneer in Scotland, sharing 50 years of experience in creating a sustainable society and offering its campus as a teaching resource for refining community design skills. Keuruu Ecovillage in Finland offering multifaceted design programmes with a wide range of experts from several fields with an emphasis in food production and the role of arts in building community. Sieben Linden Ecovillage in Germany hosting numerous EDEs and attracting significant numbers of Global South co-workers, who are exposed to new social tools such as Dragon Dreaming within an atmosphere of intercultural celebration, learning and exchange. Damanhur Ecovillage EDE in Italy building global consciousness for local action, developing an artistic approach to life and problem solving and enhancing students integrative design skills in the four areas of sustainability. The Mallorcan EDE in the former monastery Son Rul-lan offering the programme over six months, amidst 500 ancient olive trees, with each dimension arranged on long weekends to ensure that as many individuals could take part as possible.

Estonian EDE hosted by Lilleoru MTĂœ & Estonian Ecovillage Network focusing on getting together a core group of inspirational teachers engaged in empowering future students and providing an understanding of the importance of design for sustainability. Tamera Ecovillage EDE in Portugal attracting a high number of participants over the Summer, with a focus in the social design, applied permaculture practice, and deepening the connections between inner world and issues of global concern. Hallengelille Ecovillage and Ananda Gaorii conducting the Danish EDEs attracting students across Europe and the rest of the world due to the high concentration of ecovillages and co-housing in the country, enabling study trips to other communities. Permacultura Cantabria in Spain offering the EDE with an emphasis in permaculture approaches, regenerative agriculture, bio-construction and social design drawing inspiration from Buddhist psychology and ancient healing systems. El Cortijo Los Banos-Al Hamam EDE in Southern Spain hosted by the social enterprise Atletiko providing a dynamic learning environment for designers of sustainability incorporating the experience of the local organic farming school and socio-economic interventions in rural development. Open University of Catalonia providing the Design for Sustainability e-learning programmes in Spanish, enabling the flexibility for today's busy lifestyle for global participants.


Some data analysis on EDE courses


Overall Satisfaction 3% 2%


Excellent Good Fair


Poor Very Poor

Findhorn EDE - 2013

EDE Sieben Linden 2010 - 2014

Learning Objectives Strongly Agree

Overall Quality of Sessions and Activities Average score: from 1 - Poor to 5 - Excellent

Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree


The programme helped me to create a common vision for a collective project

SOCIAL Dimension ECOLOGIC Dimension

The programme helped me to improve my communication skills


The programme helped me to deal with conflict and diversity of ideas, beliefs, roles Number of People

DESIGN Dimension











Africa & Middle East Podor Region of Senegal

where the skills and worldview of the farmer and small-scale artisan are not a problem to be solved by the development officer but an asset to be cherished by the community


power in the climate change age

Africa and Middle East have been active EDE hosts over the decade, working in collaboration with a wide variety of local communities from tribal groups to members of kibbutzim, from academic circles to traditional villages. Empowered by the programme, participants go on to develop networks and projects, achieving transformative results on the ground and seeding EDEs further afield. As one participant expressed ecovillage design serves the “Big Dream [which] will initiate sustainable development and promote peace and inter-ethnic harmony reaching throughout Africa and the Middle East�. South Africa's Lynedoch Ecovillage a socio-economically mixed intentional community centred around education and ecological design, provides collective wisdom, community building, rank awareness and Dragon Dreaming visioning. Against a backdrop of the legacy of Apartheid, supporting a diverse spectrum of participants to deal with critical themes, revealing tragic and triumphant stories of the human will, capacity to heal and spirit of coming together. Kibbutz Lotan EDE in Israel concentrating on peace, justice and the built environment and focusing on hands-on experience including earth building and straw bale structures; cultural exchanges with Bedouin communities; and community service as a path for strengthening community and individual resilience.


Umphakatsi Peace Ecovillage in northeast of South Africa has offered an EDE programme “For Women by Women” with deep sharing and moving stories. Kibbutz Hukuk EDE in Israel addressing themes of land use, income sharing economies, consensus decision making and tools for individual and community wellbeing and harmony. Guneskoy Ecovillage in partnership with Middle East Technical University and Abant Izzet Baysal University in Turkey carrying out weeklong EDEs and workshops on Sustainable Living for a continuous flow of academic and practitioner students.

Africa & Middle East EDEs recognise that biodiversity and ecological integrity are part of the irreplaceable life support systems upon which their communities depend.

Mama na Bana EDE in the Democratic Republic of Congo building capacity on sustainable development strategies and climate change adaptation; with attendees gaining fresh perspectives and innovative solutions in local development, land use, reforestation, pisciculture and agroforestry. Sandele Eco-retreat Learning Centre EDE in the Gambia, working in collaboration with community elders to build environmental, cultural, community and economic resilience, and giving birth to the ‘Kartong Ecovillage Network’ and ongoing gatherings and projects. Senegal's EDE for traditional and pre-literate villagers in Senegal, inspired by Paulo Freire literacy method, providing learning tools in cultural preservation, social, ecological and economic design and aiming to transition 14,000 traditional villages into ecovillages. Espoir pour Tous EDE in DRC focusing in sustainable development strategies and adaptation to climate change offering pathways out of poverty towards a sustainable future to participants of 13 villages including members of the pygmies indigenous communities.


Some data analysis on EDE courses

Africa&Middle East

Overall Satisfaction

Sustainability Institute 2012 South Africa

57% 6%



Strengths of the programme? “Excellent facilitators, professionalism, the diversity of participants from different backgrounds, the spiritual elements that were woven throughout, the incredibly important content, the overall organisation of the programme.”

Good Fair Poor


Very Poor

Kibbuzt Lotan’12


Average score from 1: Very Poor to 5: Excellent

Average score from 1: Very Poor to 5: Excellent

Learning Community

In what ways have your understanding of sustainable community developed during this programme?

Quality of the Teaching Staff

“Sustainable communities are real with challenges and flaws, we are not striving towards an isolated safe utopia but rather looking and integrating an alternative system that require a huge shift of paradigms. Patience and perseverance is important.”

Knowledge of course content; Ability to transfer this knowledge

Appropriate balance of personal/group time Appropriate balance of free/structured time

Overall presence; Mentorship and/or role modeling provided

Group interaction/connection throughout the programme

Challenging you to go deeper and to question assumptions

Your participation in the development of the group

Overall support offered for your learning






GEN Africa and Sustainability Institute hosted the first full EDE course held in South Africa at the Lynedoch ecovillage. 47% of the students rated the Overall quality of the course as “Excellent”, 42% as “Good” and 11% as “Fair”. All responding students rated the average score for the general programme above 4 (“Good”); they felt that the programme indeed delivered what it promised, that they succeeded in accomplishing their personal intentions, and that the course helped them in achieving them.







Asia & Oceania Asia and Oceania have provided a beautiful setting for several EDE programmes over the years. From the deep embrace of tropical forests to the vast wetlands of Southern Bangladesh, each programme has assisted its participants in developing their communities and even rebuilding devastated ones. The participants have been drawn from some of the most vulnerable communities in their countries, and after the course have returned to their villages to share their newly acquired skills with their neighbours.

Bangladesh has been going through difficult times after cyclones hit the country. In order to help the country to get back on its feet, ‘Building Capacity and Empowering Communities’ project was launched in the country in 2013, aiming to improve sustainable food security and livelihoods of the local communities through capacity building programmes. It has offered its students hands-on experience with natural disaster and climate change mitigation techniques, and enabled the construction of a local knowledge network.

Asia & Oceania

Healthy soils, wholesome communities

Mongla, Sutarkhali

and Banishanta communities in Southern Bangladesh learning climate resilient agriculture techniques for increased yields and improved livelihoods



Some data analysis on EDE courses

“With commitment to learning, practicing and sharing, and the confidence to facilitate and raise others’ awareness, these experiences can be transferred into action among family, friends and community.” Eka Ratawit, EDE student, Indonesia

Asia & Oceania

Overall Satisfaction


“An excellent overall programme that exceeded my personal expectations. I felt like i was given all the tools necessary to start my own community and avoid many of the pitfalls that have unraveled the plans of many other good intentioned founders.” Anonymous from Philippines 2010 course

Excellent Good Fair Poor Very Poor


“All my naive preconceptions of what off the grid living meant have been shattered. I now feel that I understand the inner and outer transformations that are necessary before starting a community.” Anonymous from Philippines 2010 course

“I want to ride my bike again, share meals with my family and friends from what I grow in the garden, and sing and dance in the moonlight! Thank you for letting me reconnect with what is true and beautiful!” Joyce from Philippines 2012 course

“I have learned more than I expected. Time to share.” Ramon Flores from Philippines 2012 course

Wongsanit Ashram’12


Average score from 1: Very Poor to 5: Excellent

Average score from 1: Very Poor to 5: Excellent

Evaluation of Ecological Dimension

Programme Feedback

Whole approach to Ecological Design

The programme delivered what It advertised

Solar Energy & Solar Collection

The programme was well organised

Green Building

I accomplished the intentions I had for the programme

Local Food: Organic Agriculture, Collecting EM, Making Probiotic Solutions, Compost & Soil Enhancers

The programme help me to accomplish these intentions I would recommend this programme to others

Ecovillage Ecological Design











Wongsanit Ashram in Thailand has been hosting several EDEs over the decade, generating a whole new generation of Asian trainers and designers, and offering its students hands-on experience in adobe building, low-cost bio-char production and solar water heating process. Tuwa the Laughing Fish Ecovillage in the Philippines providing the perfect milieu for participants to appreciate off-grid living and permaculture principles embedded in the food systems and built environment. Partnerships for Community Development hosting EDEs in Guizhou, China, strengthening the capacity of integrated sustainable design of local farmers and school teachers and drinking from Tao Te Ching and traditional wisdom. Konohana Family EDEs in Japan sharing its food growing approaches with students and contributing efforts in rebuilding Japan post tsunami. Under the empowering work of THREAD and Siddarthavillage EDE approaches spreading in Orissa through an impressive network of 3.900 villages and 200.000 tribal people. Courses have been conducted in Oriya language and a new version of the programme has been piloted for children in Bangalore. Nepal's EDE tailor-made for the local farmers and marking the overture of the new training centre built from local materials and attended by enthusiastic participants.

Alinein and Kalyana Mitta Development Foundation, Myanmar conducting ‘Inspired by’ courses promoting sustainable living through organic food production, holistic health, green building, conflict facilitation and sustainable economy. Auroville EDE in India applying practical design principles in two community sites and exposing participants to the community ethos of harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Sarvodaya EDE in Sri Lanka bringing Western and Eastern students in village design exercises, fusing permaculture with Gandhian self-governance principles of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement. Crystal Waters in the land of Down Under immersing the participants to a true sense of community and connection with the richness of the natural environment – it is no wonder it is the UN Habitat Award-winning ecovillage!

Asian & Oceania EDEs supporting communities to replace input-intensive agriculture paradigms with new food systems, focused on well-being, resilience and sustainability



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The Inspiration and Relevance of Gaia Education Hildur Jackson

author, visionary, mentor, philanthropist and founder of Gaia Education

Everything in this cosmos is connected We live today in a global web of interdependence, connected technologically, economically, politically, and socially. These expanding and deepening interdependencies provided the background for the establishment of the Global Ecovillage Network in 1995, and later Gaia Education in 2005. Nature is sacred The natural circulatory systems we are part of are to be celebrated and respected. A key task for our generation is to strengthen living systems and cease violent attacks on nature. Redefining the sacredness of nature is the first step toward finding new ways forward. Every step we take matters. Vision of a peaceful world Gaia Education embodies the values of understanding and love among ecovillagers and transition projects. We share a curriculum and a vision that it is possible to create a peaceful world where no one is left behind.

21st century civilization is inexorably heading for a major collapse for a number of reasons, of which the ultimate one is the failure to understand that the human species is an intimate and inseparable part of nature. When we abuse nature, as our modern technologies do, we are inviting disaster. Gaia Education is a global attempt to convey the facts concerning this interdependency to all who are interested in engaging with change. Nothing could be more relevant to the coming crisis. No matter how it develops, slowly or quickly, through violent climate change or resource wars or mass starvation, major physical destruction and a massive die-off is likely. A new civilization will eventually rise, one which will vow not to repeat the same mistakes, one based on the recognition of humanity and nature as a single entity. Gaia Education's role is to help prepare us for that future.

Ross Jackson

businessman, economist, author, philanthropist, initiator of global ecovillage movement


Project-Based Learning Supporting community-led implementation of

Funded by the UK Government Partner: Le Partenariat

Funded by the Scottish Government Partner: Team for Human Resource Education & Action for Development - THREAD

the Sustainable Development Goals- SDGs

Funded by the Scottish Government Partner: Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development - BASD





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The seeds of Gaia Education's DNA were sown during the 90s when the Global Ecovillage Network, GEN, was formally created. During this period there was much talk of the need for an educational component to the burgeoning ecovillage movement, one that would focus on designing and instilling regenerative lifestyles in harmony with nature.It became clear that if we are to model a way of being that integrates care for the Earth and each other, with the transformation of self and society, we would need to create an education which encompassed this vision. Our mission is to promote a holistic approach to sustainable development by creating curricula for resilient community design and to make these curricula accessible to every person on the planet: urban to rural communities set in traditional and modern cultures, young and old, both globally and locally. It was this kind of thinking and shared vision, with the generous support of Gaia



Gaia Education’s DNA


by Giovanni Ciarlo

Trust, that brought ecovillage pioneers of the past few decades and sustainable design experts from across the world to several week-long working retreats to encode the instructions and give birth to Gaia Education's Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) Curriculum. Chris Mare, of the Village Design Institute, played a key role in compiling contributions from numerous sources and editing the content to present the first four versions of what became the EDE curriculum. The curriculum went onto to become the base for close to 180 courses worldwide and online, and an official contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, a key endorsement of its global relevance and timely appearance.The curriculum has been translated into 10 languages, available for free download from Gaia Education's web site. You will also find there the EDE Teachers Guide, a comprehensive manual for facilitators. The curriculum is also equally adaptable to on-site locations and online courses.




The DNA of an organism encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functionality of that organism.

Organisational The Dream of the GEESE - Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth Over the past ten years, Gaia Education has developed a unique organisational structure suited to its mission and goals, one that has made it possible to turn the original dream of the GEESE into reality. It consists of four levels of active engagement – the GEESE, organisers, participants and Gaian@s - each feeding into and receiving feedback from the other in both a top-down and bottom-up flow of information, resources and direction. The GEESE - Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth - are the foundation of the organisation. They are the people with vast knowledge, wisdom, expertise and commitment to developing sustainable communities globally. They come from the ecovillage and permaculture movement, but also from the numerous community resilience and regenerative groups that have sprung up internationally in the past few decades. The GEESE are activists in academia environmental restoration, economics, cultural recovery, social transformation, climate change, community organising, and spiritual awakening. They come from every continent and from diverse backgrounds. They provide the vision, design, and content for the Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) curriculum. The GEESE are the heart and soul of Gaia Education. The EDE course organisers and participants: almost 5,000 individuals of all ages, gender, ethnic affiliation, nationalities, economic level, and professional backgrounds have completed certified on-site courses in the past ten years. The heroes here are the organisers and facilitators worldwide. To date, they have organised 170 courses in 34 countries, and in the past two years have averaged 20 courses per year. This is an impressive achievement considering the rigorous process they go through to design, certify, produce, and publicise courses, providing successful and meaningful learning experiences for everyone. These individuals become the Gaianos and Gaianas who act as a bridge to their local communities. They are the catalysts of Gaia Education's vision.



by Daniel Greenberg

A Living and Learning Pedagogy In this time of great transformation, Gaia Education is inventing a future where we can truly live in harmony with each other and all life. On our courses, students immerse themselves within new stories and ways of being and emerge as embodied leaders and designers of sustainable communities. Each EDE strives to manifest our Living and Learning Pedagogy in their

Gaia Education is about learning to live in right relationship with each other and the planet.

own unique way and make their programme: Applied: Focusing on solutions to real problems, we train leaders with the knowledge, skills and commitment to design working sustainable communities and organisations Experimental: Through hands-on work (and play!), students engage with new technologies, social and economic structures and worldviews Non-Hierarchical: Everyone is a designer and has something valuable to share. We cherish diversity in ages, cultures, abilities and even contrasting points of view Cooperative: Recognizing our common challenges and goals, we create the space for power with rather than power over and celebrate both individual and collective success Holistic: Interdependence is at the core of the Gaia Education curriculum. We share a systems perspective that sees the forest for the trees Trust: Through open communication, deep listening and transparency, a sense of trust and belonging is created within our learning communities Spiritual: We educate whole persons and recognize that innovating new worldviews and ways of being is fundamentally a spiritual endeavor Local: While thinking globally, we focus on local production of food, energy, and goods as well as local governance, currencies, and cultures Positive: Focusing on solutions and actions we can say “Yes!� to, we are creating sustainable cultures that are engaging and transformative Gaia Education is educating for transition by holding a strong vision for what is possible for us as communities of inspired individuals. We are a pivot point upon which humanity is turning towards a more resilient future!

Learning Outcomes In the Social Dimension students learn: 1. to create a common vision for a collective project 2. to improve communication skills and communicate in a more compassionate way 3. to use consensus to make decisions that everybody can accept 4. to deal with conflict and diversity of ideas, beliefs, roles 5. to map the network of connections needed for their projects

In the Economic Dimension students learn: 1. to understand the dominant pattern and activate leverage points for change within today's globalised economy 2. to design sustainable, resilient local economies 3. to create community currency systems best suited to different contexts 4. to bring economic life into alignment with ecological values 5. to identify the most appropriate legal forms and financing mechanisms for organisations and social enterprises

In the Ecological Dimension students learn: 1. to make a whole-systems design of their projects using permaculture principles 2. to calculate their carbon footprint and design to be carbon conscious 3. to design a whole water system for their projects 4. to compare technical differences between renewable energy sources 5. to apply green building principles in their projects 6. to design a bioregional and local food production system, including a CSA

In the Worldview students learn: 1. to have a regular spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, contemplation...) 2. to write a diary with their dreams, insights, and observations 3. to create a deep connection with Nature through personal experience 4. to create rituals for the most significant moments in their projects 5. to develop a healthy life style: food, body care, friends, etc. 6. to become a world worker


Publications by Maddy Harland

4 Keys to Sustainability Imagine a World full of enlightened ecovillages where the very fabric has been designed and implemented from wisdom and experience: from infrastructure and buildings; income streams and enterprise, to farming and horticulture; social organisation and conflict resolution, to a philosophical grounding based on caring for the Earth and its people. All this is underpinned by the understanding that whilst we may hold differing beliefs and worldviews, we are connected ecological beings, enmeshed in the beautiful web

Economic Key Editors

Chris Mare


Max Lindegger

Designing Ecological Habitats Creating a Sense of Place

The Economic Key of the EDE


of Life on Earth. Hildur and Ross Jackson and the founding GEESE have held this vision from the very beginning of Gaia Education. With Hildur as a guiding editor, the Four Keys to Sustainability – ecological, social, economic and worldview – were devised, edited and written by a group of ecovillagers with contributions from others outstanding in their field. Thomas Berry, Starhawk, Manitonquat and Wangari Maathai rub shoulders with Albert Bates, Richard Heinberg, E.F. Schumacher, Gunter Pauli and many others. This extraordinary collection draws deeply on the knowledge and vision of each editor and forms the basis of the Gaia Education curriculum. They provide a blueprint of how to create a sustainable, peaceful world. The English version is published by Permanent Publications; and the Spanish version by Ecohabitar.

Under UNESCO Patronage the books offer widely applicable solutions to the complex problems of climate change, resources scarcity, carbon reduction and community resilience.

Curriculum&Guidebooks Ecovillage Design Education Version 5: The EDE curriculum is organised as a mandala, also called the sustainability wheel, encompassing what we perceive to be the four Ecovillage Design Education A four-week comprehensive course in the fundamentals of Sustainability Design Conceived and designed by the GEESE - Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth Version 5 © Gaia Education January 2015

primary dimensions of human experience - Ecological, Social, Economic and Worldview. Each of these contains five modules - twenty subject areas in total. Ecovillage Design Curriculum has been translated into 11 languages including Danish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Finnish, Estonian, Orya, English,

Japanese and Mandarin.

Gaia Youth Activities Guide: A practical manual for teachers and facilitators teaching sustainability in courses that seek to inspire youth to design long lasting sustainable Gaia Youth Activities Guide A Supplement for Educators Working with Youth in Design for Sustainability Courses Conceived and designed by the GEESE - Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth

© Gaia Education January 2015

societies.This manual serves to awaken the transformational potential of youth while empowering them to be change agents working for the conservation of natural resources and leading lifestyles of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. This manual covers theoretical knowledge and practical activities arranged around

the 4 dimensions of sustainability, making learning sustainability comprehensive, practical and fun.

Teachers Guidebook: A practical manual for sustainability teachers, ecovillage and community design educators and facilitators who are conducting courses on the Teacher’s Guide Design for Sustainability

broad sustainability agenda.Some of the key topics covered in this guide include: creating community & embracing diversity, decisions that

Conceived and designed by the GEESE - Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth

© Gaia Education January 2015

everyone can support, circular leadership from power over to power with, shifting the global economy, plugging the leaks of your local economy,

local currencies, appropriate use of natural resources, urban agriculture 1

and food resilience, transformation of consciousness.



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by Ulisses

Design for Sustainability A key development in Gaia Education's ten year journey was marked by the partnership with the Open University of Catalonia, UOC, in 2008, to jointly offer GEDS- Gaia Education Design for Sustainability - the e-learning version of the Ecovillage Design curriculum.

“A high-quality, flexible, well-organised, inspiring and encouraging, thought-provoking e-learning programme.� GEDS Student

Initially offered in two languages, English and Spanish, the course attracted students from both developed and developing countries, rural and urban regions, on all five continents. In 2011, the Spanish GEDS became a formal postgraduate course at UOC, attracting mostly Spanish participants, with some students coming from Latin American countries. Since then, Gaia Education has converted the GEDS post-graduate Spanish course into a masters degree, scheduled to start in October 2015. In 2013, Gaia Education started to offer GEDS in Portuguese, in its own online learning platform, where it has also been possible to take the GEDS course in English since 2014. Over the years our e-learning courses attracted participants from many different fields of specialisation: from professionals in architecture, engineering, urban planning and community development, designers and researchers of sustainable habitats and food systems to entrepreneurs and business leaders, energy officers, educators, technicians and social workers. In the coming years Gaia Education, in collaboration with the Open University of Catalonia, intends to conduct GEDS masters degree programmes in both Spanish and English. Plans also are underway to offer GEDS on our own platform in a dynamic and flexible format with different learning pathways for participants, providing a cutting-edge, high quality education in holistic and integrative design.


Global Action Programme - GAP In 2005, the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was launched to enhance the role of education in promoting sustainable development. The Decade has generated thousands of success stories, with many intergovernmental agreements on sustainable development duly recognising the role of education as a key enabler to advance the critical agenda. Gaia Education been an active partner of the Decade. We were present at its launch in New York in 2004, featured in the newsletters, offered GEDS bursaries to Biosphere Reserve directors under UNESCO's MAB programme, and were selected as one of the 25 official exhibitors of the World Conference in Bohn in 2009. We have submitted activity reports, launched 4 Keys books under the Decade's umbrella, were present at the end of Decade event in Nagoya and submitted fresh commitments for continuing advancing ESD over the coming decade with our constituencies in 34 countries. In 2014 UNESCO has launched the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD as the follow-up to the Decade, intended to make a substantial contribution to the Post-2015 agenda. The overall goal of the GAP is to generate and scale up action in all levels and areas of education and learning to accelerate progress towards sustainable development. To help implement the GAP UNESCO has set up Partner Networks consisting of a limited number of strategically selected

by May East key ESD stakeholders whose actions are expected to have a catalytic effect. GAP 5 PRIORITY ACTION AREAS: 1. Advancing policy 2. Integrating sustainability practices into education and training environments 3. Increasing the capacity of educators and trainers 4. Empowering and mobilising youth 5. Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level

Gaia Education has been invited as members of Network on Priority Action Area 5 -Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level-on the basis of the ESD Commitments we submitted before the World Conference. Under GAP Priority Action 5, we would promote further the integration of ESD perspectives into the planning, design and decision-making processes of the communities we work with. We would support the reorientation of education towards one that uses energy and materials with great efficiency, distributes wealth fairly within and between generations, promotes well-being for all at all ages, and most of all contributes with a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. Gaia Education GAP Commitments  Translation of the 4 Keys for Sustainability  Expansion of EDE to 50 countries  Translation of GEDS in Hindi and Mandarin  Expansion of Project-Based Learning Activities


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GEN and Gaia Education My dedication to Gaia Education and GEN became intertwined as I started offering EDEs with a strong focus on participants from Africa. In 2012, after the ‘Arab Spring’, I received a phone call from the German Foreign ministry, asking whether GEN could convene a conference with civil society networks of Northern Africa and we called the first GEN-Africa conference.

By Kosha Joubert

A story of Love and Collaboration What a joy it was for me to be invited to the 2nd founding meeting of Gaia Education, taking place in Findhorn in 2004! I was one of 24 ecovillage educators who came together to integrate, synthesize and write the core curriculum of the EDE. In 2008, I was also asked to take on a central role in GEN. One reason for my appointment was the sense that the time was ripe for an African Network to emerge in its own right. I had grown up in South Africa and my love for Africa remained strong – it seemed a helpful connection.

When GEN and Gaia Education work closely together – the power can be immense!

Theamazing magic of that gathering grew from the seeds of 5 international EDE's that had gone before. Participants, who had grown into a close-knit community over the 4 weeks of an EDE, brought with them a field of trust and friendship. Together, we could build on the consolidating force of speaking a common language. The conference gave us all a profound experience of collective wisdom: within three days, we enjoyed presentations, wrote a vision statement, crafted a strategy document and elected a Council, Advisory Board and NextGEN Council – GEN-Africa was birthed! Thisiswhatcan happen when GEN and Gaia Education work closely together – like riding a tandem bicycle, the power can be immense! The EDE provides a platform for intense reflection and mutual inspiration, the results of which can then be woven into the developing networks of GEN. Could their combined impact be improved by even stronger collaboration, as many think? Whether in the areas of further development of educational curricula, the Solution Library, consulting, disaster relief work or community-based approaches to international development, Gaia Education and GEN together are a force for the good that is just starting to manifest its full potential. May we all be surprised by the power that is yet to unfold!

Vision of the Board Building on this strong foundation Gaia Education has a vision for the next 10 years! We see Gaia Education expanding to provide effective sustainability education to a much wider variety of settings. By 2025 we we aim to have: Reached out to marginalised communities and those most at risk from climate change with EDE at the core of at least 10 flagship project-based learning initiatives e.g. villages in delta area of Bangladesh Translated the EDE curriculum into 20 languages; Partnered with prestigious higher learning centres offering EDE based degrees and academic support material both in situ and online Conducted webinars and online versions of EDE courses in Mandarin, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish and French; Gained further recognition as a key player in the global Education for Sustainable Development community and deepened partnerships with Transition Town, Bioneers, Global Ecovillage Network,

Key achievements of Gaia Educations impressive first ten years of operation include: Successful adaptation of EDE curriculum in 34 countries around the world meeting diverse needs including indigenous groups, traditional villages, ecovillages, local government, Youth, slums, universities Four keys of sustainability social, economic, ecological and world view known as a cutting edge roadmap for sustainable change GEESE, Gaianos and Gaianas (EDE alumni) ambassadors for sustainable change applying locally appropriate low carbon, resilient community design solutions.

by Jane Rasbash Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Ecolise, disaster recovery institutions, the UN and other such organistaions; Establishedfunding programmes for scholarships and EDE training opportunities for youth and marginalised community leaders in 5 continents; Initiated a flourishing mentorship and needs based consultancy programme with GEESE, Gaianos & Gaianas supporting the emergence of sustainable solutions around the world; Created with local partners relevant EDE support materials showcasing innovative sustainable solutions in the Global South; Drawn lessons learned from EDEs around the world and shared them through social media, networking and exchange. After 20 years of operation Gaia Education will have become one of the world's top sustainability education providers at the forefront of an effective movement for personal, community and planetary healing. The four dimensions of sustainability have become common parlance around the globe and considered necessary for effective low carbon interventions. EDE programmes and learning based projects providing resilient, holistic solutions are showcasing some of the most innovative methodologies in the light of the Post2015 Sustainable Development Goals.


Financial FinancialReport Report GaiaGaia Education Education

Income Income Evolution Evolution byby Type Type

Gaia Trust Gaia Grant Trust Grant Course income Course income ScottishScottish Government Government Orissa Project Orissa Project

ScottishScottish Government Government Bangladesh Bangladesh Project Proj

£140,000 £140,000

UK Government UK Government SenegalSenegal Project Project Donations Donations Publications Publications and other and income other income

£120,000 £120,000 £29,071 £29,071 £39,546 £39,546

£100,000 £100,000

£29,098 £29,098

£80,000 £80,000

£4,815 £3,945

£4,815 £3,945



£28,742 £28,742

£60,000 £60,000







£23,963 £23,963

£103,401 £103,401 £40,000 £40,000

£82,450 £82,450 £9,676




£69,800 £69,800 £53,000 £53,000

£20,000 £20,000

£52,500 £52,500

£29,400 £29,400 £0

£0 2010










2015 April2015 YTD April YTD

GaiaGaia Education Education

Expenditure Expenditure byby type type

Programmes/ Programmes/ Start-upStart-up Grants Grants Staff & Office Staff & Office Outreach/ Outreach/ Travel Travel

£140,000 £140,000 £1,079 £120,000 £120,000

£100,000 £100,000







Publication/Promotions Publication/Promotions


Other (Bank Othercharges (Bank charges etc.) etc.) £17,667


£16,907 £16,907 £732

£80,000 £80,000

£29,332 £29,332








£714 £1,705 £5,687

£714 £1,705 £5,687

£60,000 £60,000 £39,506 £39,506 £46,767 £46,767





£40,000 £40,000

£20,000 £20,000







£64,688 £64,688

£38,037 £38,037

£54,365 £54,365 £36,927 £36,927






£26,090 £26,090 £10,695 £10,695

£0 2011








2015 April2015 YTD April YTD

Main Partner

NGO Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information Institutional Partners

Over the last 10 years Gaia Education has been generously supported by Gaia Trust, a Danish-based charitable association founded in 1987 on the initiative of Hildur and Ross Jackson, with the intention of supporting the transition to a sustainable society through grants and proactive initiatives. Most recently Gaia Education's income has diversified through a number of initiatives, including its online programmes, Project-Based Learning in the Global South, publications and donations. In terms of expenditure, Gaia Education has granted Start-up Grants to over 50 host-sites over the decade, to support organisers in adapting materials, exchanging mentoring support from the region and offering partial bursaries to students.

Project-Based Learning Partners

Publishing Partners

Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No 353967 Scottish Charity No SC040839 Company Secretary Jordans (Scotland) Limited t/a Oswalds French Duncan Chartered Accountants Registered Office: The Park Findhorn Forres IV36 3TZ

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El Cortijo Los Hamam, Atletiko, Spain | Findhorn | Hallingelille Ecovillage, Denmark Keuruun Ekokylä, Finland | LilF ElBanos-Al Cortijo Los Banos-Al Hamam, Atletiko, SpainEcovillage, | Findhorn Scotland Ecovillage, Scotland | Hallingelille Ecovillage,| Denmark | Keuruun Ekokylä,

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Congo | Sandele Centre, Gambia | Senegal EDE, Senegal | Sustainability Institute & Lynedoch Africa | Umph CongoEcoretreat | SandeleLearning Ecoretreat Learning Centre, Gambia | Senegal EDE, Senegal | Sustainability Institute &Ecovillage, Lynedoch South Ecovillage, South Afr

Development Foundation,Foundation, Myanmar |Myanmar Auroville, India | Bangladesh AssociationAssociation for Sustainable Development, BangladeshBangladesh | Crystal Waters, Aust Development | Auroville, India | Bangladesh for Sustainable Development, | Crystal W

CommunityCommunity Development PCD, ChinaPCD, | Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka | Swedish for Individual SOIR-IM, Nepal | THREAD, Development China | Sarvodaya, Sri LankaOrganisation | Swedish Organisation forRelief, Individual Relief, SOIR-IM, Nepal Siddharthvil | THREAD, S Ysab, Philippines | Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand Ysab, Philippines | Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand

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pe: Ananda Gaorii, Denmark Damanhur, Italy | Torri Italy Superiore, | razil Europe: Ananda Gaorii,|Denmark | Damanhur, | TorriItaly Superiore, Italy |

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any | Son Rul-Ian, Mallorca, | Tamera, | ZEGG, Germany nden, Germany | Son Rul-Ian,Spain Mallorca, SpainPortugal | Tamera, Portugal | ZEGG, Germany

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38-39 38-39

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At the cutting-edge of SDGs capacity-building

Sustainable Development Goals Goal 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation Goal 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and

Gaia Education is an active partner of the UN New Agenda for Global Action for people, planet and prosperity that also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. Acting in collaborative partnership we are determined to take the bold and transformative steps needed to shift the world on to a sustainable path.

revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development *Acknowledging that the UNFCCC is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Credits Editor

May East Contributors

Fasil Bogale Giovanni Ciarlo Daniel Greenberg Maddy Harland Hildur Jackson Ross Jackson Kosha Joubert Jane Rasbash Ulises Reviewers

Milla Harju Paola Vidulich Design and Layout

Alex Pereira Photos

©May East Americas ©Céu do Mapiá Europe ©Findhorn Foundation/ Tamera Asia & Oceania ©BASD Africa & Middle East ©May East/ Sieben Linden Orissa ©THREAD Senegal ©Eco-sentinels Bangladesh ©BASD Photos of Partners

Terra Una Cité Écologique Wongsanit Ashram Siddhartavillage Mas Franc Damanhur UMAPAZ Transition Brasilândia Huehuecoyotl Kibbutz Lotan Inanitah Crystal Waters Torri Superiore Mama Na Bana

Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No 353967 Scottish Charity No SC040839 Registered Office: The Park Findhorn Forres IV36 3TZ

Education for a resilient future within planetary boundaries where no one is left behind The Gaian@s programme celebrates generation after generation of worldwide EDE participants from a multitude of fields of service: social and health workers, urban permaculturists, educators and head-teachers, ethical entrepreneurs, spatial planners, architects and eco-building professionals, economists and philosophers, environmentalists and food growers. Some are at the center of municipal decisions, some at the cutting edge of urban resilience. Some embedded in community living, while others holding the memory of traditional ways of life. The Gaianos and Gaianas campaign not only acknowledges the power, gracefulness and fun of flying together, but also encourages further, wider, deeper collaboration across the globe.

Gaia Education +10 Report  
Gaia Education +10 Report