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Geeseinformation Northern Winter/Southern Summer 2011/2012

Your Green Dream for 2012 and Beyond Gaia Education has joined the exciting UN-lead campaign Green Dreams Around the World, created to give voice to the dreams of thousands of individuals as a contribution to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, taking place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. From the very beginning of the first Earth Summit in 1992, people realised that sustainable development could not be achieved by governments alone. Now more than ever the urgent sustainability agenda requires the active participation of all sectors of society and all types of people and communities of interest.

The Green Dream campaign is rooted in the power of our dreams to invoke a future that is worth creating, a sustainable future that draws forth the deepest potentials of all citizens of the world. Green Dreams were first recorded during the Son Rul-lan EDE, followed by the GENOA meeting at Wongsanit Ashram, and now spreading with Isabela in Brazil, Rafa in Mallorca, Gjohn in Orissa, Penelope in Philippines, Paola in Thailand and many other dream catchers around the world. Dreams of 20 seconds to 1 minute are recorded with smartphones or cameras, clustered in one of 14 thematic areas and then uploaded to YouTube and www.green-dream.co.uk.


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The intersection of green dreams in these virtual galleries is converging in networks of people who share the same vision of the future. These networks possess a strong potential for transformation because they are powered by a 100% positive charge.

What is your Green Dream? Green Dreams can be a vision of tomorrow’s reality, created by the power of imagining a sustainable world. Your green dream can be about yourself, your community, your village, town, city, neighbourhood or country. It can be related to the food you eat, transport you use, energy you consume, available education, housing, arts, etc, etc. Your green dream can be about the future of life on this planet, a zero waste society, growing opportunities for low-carbon jobs or creative, local responses to global challenges. And green dreams can extend beyond the ecological world: you can dream of living in more just world, of more leisure options for the elderly or true contentment for young people… Whatever your dream is, it’s your dream and the possibilities are infinite! Share it in the eve 2012.

www.green-dream.co.uk

May 2012 provide us all with renewed opportunities to dream, implement, celebrate and fly further together!

May East Gaia Education Programme Director

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The Youngest Ever EDE Participant Elias Roan Robson Merklein, age 10 The Gaia EDE at Son Rul-lan was one of the best times of my life (but I am only 10, so I have a lot more life to experience). Son Rul-lan is so wonderful that it’s easy to fall in love with it. There are olive trees surrounding the house and a swimming pool. The house itself could make a whole book. But this is an article about the course, not Son Rul-lan, so I will keep going. I learned a lot in the EDE, so I won’t be able to tell you everything, but I will do my best. Let’s start with the first dimension, the social dimension. At first I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I decided that I’d give it a try, and now I’m glad I did, because it was so fun that when it ended I was so sad that I almost cried but I was so happy at the same time. It was so emotionally friendly from beginning to end! I learned how to interact socially, how to create a community, and how to be nice to somebody even when the person is being mean to me. I also learned to do profound listening and the whole thing was just so beautiful. You can see the social dimension was one of my favorites! The second dimension was the ecological dimension. This one was different as it was more hand’s on. We made a compost pile and we planted seeds in the garden. (I have a garden at my house so it wasn’t that new for me but for some people it was a new experience altogether). We made brick’s out of dirt, sand, water, and some other things I can’t remember. We cooked a solar paella. This dimension was just so fun that when it ended I was sad and happy again. The economical dimension was the third and in this one we did more sitting and listening than we did in the other two. This does not make it bad though, we learned a lot about how the economy works and a lot about how it should work. Jonathan Dawson told us that 83% of the worlds GDP is controlled by the richest 20% of the world’s people. We also learned how to create a better economy by using alternate ways of thinking. At the end of this course I had the same feeling.

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The forth and last dimension, the world vision dimension, kind of brought everything together. We walked in the rain for 1.37 km to represent 1.37 billion years of the life of the universe, we looked into spiral dynamics with Daniel Wahl and May East and we also took some sticks and put our wishes in them and then we put them in nature. The whole experience was so nice that when it ended my heart was full. That was the end of the EDE at Son Rul-lan, but even though it was the end, it still keeps going on in our hearts. Thank you Gaia Education!

From May to November of 2011, dreams came true on Mallorca: the first Gaia Education EDE was successfully implemented at Son Rul-lan. Among our goals was to make the EDE accessible to ordinary working people and families who might otherwise be unable to take a month off to attend a fulltime, residence programme. The EDE was spread over six months, each dimension being offered during a four day intense “long” weekend, with many complementary workshops, outings and lectures offered in-between. The response to this format was enthusiastic; the course was filled to capacity. It also allowed the inclusion of a very diverse group from bakers to bankers, teachers to students and elders to children. It was heartening to see many couples and adult children with their parents. This multigenerational participation offered special insight and strength to the experience. Several youths under 16 participated, encouraged and warmly supported by all and enriching everyone’s experience. They shared their insights, among which were some strong lessons to take home: “It is critical, for the future, to include youth in the Gaia EDE, as we are the ones becoming leaders and implementers of the change the world needs,” Victor Pla (16). “Please don’t ‘dumb down’ the message or experience for us,” Elias Robson (10). It’s clear our youth want and need to be included as full participants in the Gaia Education EDE movement. Mandy Merklein

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EDE Estonia: August – November 2011 Aale-Triinu Sonn Thanks to Gaia Education we have successfully gone through our very first EDE in Estonia! For a number of years now a small group of us Estonians have been diving into Gaia Education principles. Our time together has been intensive but joyful, gathering people who would like to be involved and translating the EDE curriculum into Estonian. After giving courses and lectures inspired by Gaia Education, to both grown-ups and high school children, we felt a need to go through the EDE fully as a group of potential sustainability coaches in Estonia. This dream came true thanks to the board members of GEN-Estonia (EÖÜ) and all the active members from earlier years who helped organise the course. We were happy to get substantial financial support from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. The first Estonian EDE was planned for Estonians who would in the future be interested in cooperating with our local Gaia Education team as facilitators, team leaders, organisers, project managers or anything they liked and that would be needed to promote education for sustainable lifestyles. The 30 participants, mostly in their 30’s, ranged in age from 25–62 and included school teachers, life coaches, instructors, business people, gardeners and members of ecovillages around us. The EDE was divided into three blocks, run separately over the months of September, October and November 2011. The Worldview and Social dimensions, facilitated by Ina Meyer-Stoll from ZEGG, were held in a very supportive venue – an old traditional log-roadhouse in the forest run by a family of artists. The Ecological dimension included a Permaculture Design Certificate course, facilitated by Albert Bates, Klaudia Van Gool and Maria Antonieta Martinez Ros. Lilleoru Ecovillage, a full member of GEN-Europe, formed the ideal venue for this dimension with its central communal house for spiritual practices, an organic garden, big future pond and the whole ecovillage with many smaller houses.

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The Economic dimension was facilitated by Iain Davidson from Findhorn and took place in a beautiful North Estonian health resort located in the middle of a pine forest by the seaside. Since the very first moment of meeting each other it was truly a beautiful recognition of soul brothers and sisters. A remarkably strong family-feeling exploded in the group. In between and after the three blocks participants stayed in contact, met for talking-stick circles and had long conversations about Gaia Education, sustainable living and their own lives and choices. Many of us left this course with hearty enthusiasm and a great wish to act! The work continues after the EDE as our aim is to spread sustainability education in Estonia and who knows, maybe we will even build a Gaia Education Center to do that! We already have business plans thanks to the Economic dimension! The EDE was a great life changing experience for many of us. Thank you Gaia Education, GEESE and GEN!

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GaiaeducationHands-OnEDE Ready to take your design skills and EDE know-how to the next level?

14-29 March 2012, Cambodia

Hands-On EDE Cambodia 2012 is intended for EDE/PCD facilitators & alumni specifically, a unique opportunity to upskill on a project site which has approved funding – designs participants create have a good chance of being implemented, benefitting traditional communities in the region. This is design at the frontlines of sustainable development – where carefully considered social, ecological and economic designs implemented now will result in ongoing impacts for future generations. Hands-On EDE Cambodia, 14-29 March 2012 with Max Lindegger. Visit www.gaiaeducation.net for details!

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Design and How it Matters Daniel Christian Wahl Design can most broadly be defined as intentionality expressed through interactions and relationships. Our worldview and value systems shape the way we relate to each other and the rest of the community of life. Out of these relationships arise a series of needs which shape our intentions – the way we aim to meet these needs. These intentions and the worldview and value system that underlies them define how, why and what we choose to design. As Winston Churchill once said “first we shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us”. The same holds true for the design of our communities, our patterns of resource use, our education systems, our monetary and economic systems and our systems of governance. Design goes on designing! For example, some Japanese city environments are so devoid of trees and plants that the phobia of having leaves fall on one’s head is now a recognized psychological condition among Japanese teenagers. Design is fundamentally worldview dependent, and the design decisions of previous and present generations have, at least in part, shaped and continue to shape our worldview and value systems. This cyclical relationship between worldview and design and the structure of the curriculum designed by Gaia Education – based on the four dimensions of Social Design, Economic Design, Ecological Design and Worldview – can be explained by analogy to the hydrological cycle, as I have tried to show in the image below.

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Imagine The River of Design! Way up in the mountains, where rain and snow feed the ground with the water of life, lies the spring of the river of design. The level of consciousness from which we choose to engage and experience the coming into being of the relationship between self and world begins to shape our worldview and value systems. As the stream flows down the mountain what we value shapes our perceived and real needs, and in turn, our intentions and therefore the how, what and why we design. As the little stream turns into a big river, our designs express themselves in the ways we interact with each other and the relationships we form, as well as through the material objects and physical structures we create. The river of design could now be thought of as three separate but interconnected streams: social design, ecological design and economic design. As these streams feed the sea of possibilities we live our daily lives in, the structures and process we co-created or adopted (often without questioning) from previous generations, in turn, shape the way we see ourselves, our relationship to the world and what we value. Water vapour rises from the sea of possibilities and forms clouds that shed their water as they hit the mountains, feeding the springs at the source of the river of design with new ways of seeing and being. Consciousness, worldviews and intentionality manifest through design, and the designs thus created in turn shape the way we see the world, what we value, our needs, and thus our intentions. Donella Meadows famously suggested that “the most effective place to intervene in a system is at the paradigm level�. If we can change the way we see the world - the explanatory maps and models we employ and the value systems we base our intentions and decision-making processes on - we are affecting change at the up-stream end of the river of design. Such subtle culture changes are fundamentally unpredictable and uncontrollable as they percolate through culture, giving rise to new and alternative structures and processes. Influencing the river of design up-stream is design at the worldview and value system level.

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Education, in general, and specifically the curriculum and courses created by Gaia Education, are powerful and effective examples of design at the worldview level (up-stream). Both the EDE and the GEDS programs empower people to question and re-examine their own worldview and value systems. People are enabled to become more conscious co-designers and co-creators of the world we all share in via the way we shape our participation and design our social, ecological and economic decisions. Buckminster Fuller put it well: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.� Design is the way we are co-creating this new model. For the complete article, Design and How it Matters, by Daniel Christian Wahl please visit http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/design-and-how-it-matters/

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Mão na Massa Hands-On EDE Brasilândia, Brazil MarCelo Todescan Portuguese (English on next page) A primeira experiência do “HandsOn” EDE foi lançada no Brasil pelo arquiteto urbanista Marcelo Todescan – diretor do Cris Sustentabilidade – com o apoio do “Transition Town Moviment” e do “Gaia Education”, como parte integrante de um novo processo chamado “Gaia para a Transição” que, por sua vez, foi liderado por Monica Picavea e implantado na comunidade de baixa renda Brasilândia. Trata-se de um projeto-piloto pioneiro que busca reunir o conhecimento e as aulas práticas desenvolvidas pelas Ecovilas com o processo dos “Transition Towns” que foram bem sucedidos e eficientes nas áreas urbanas e, assim, propor um novo sistema para a integração e evolução de ambos os modelos. Com o objetivo de complementar o Hands-ON EDE, que teve resultados excelentes com foco em questões práticas (transpiração) nos ambientes urbanos, a iniciativa brasileira identificou a necessidade da criação de mais dois níveis ou dimensões para o programa - as etapas de inspiração e expiração. Uma delas – a “Cabeça nas Estrelas” – contempla o design e a co-criação, já a outra etapa – “Pé no Chão” – busca garantir a continuidade e o legado para a população gerando movimentos de pulso e impulso para um novo paradigma. Confira mais informações em http://www.maonamassa-cris.blogspot.com/

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English The first experience of a Mão na Massa Hands-On EDE was launched by the urban designer Marcelo Todescan, director of Cris Sustentabilidade, as part of a new process called Gaia for Transition. Supported by the Transition Town Movement in Brazil and Gaia Education, Gaia for Transition was implemented under the leadership of Monica Picavea inside a lowincome, urban community called Brasilândia - the first Transition ‘slum’ of the world!

The working group together

Gaia for Transition is a pioneering pilot that seeks to bring together the knowledge and practical lessons developed within the ecovillage movement with the processes of Transition Towns – specifically, those processes that have been successful and efficient in urban settings. In so doing, the project is proposing a new system for the integration and evolution of both models. The Hands-On had excellent results, focusing on practical issues in urban environments. The Brazilian initiative identified two additional dimensions to complement the Hands-On EDE of Gaia for Transition: the dimensions of inspiration and exhalation. Inspiration is covered in “Cabeça nas Estrelas” or Head in the Stars, which includes design and co-creation. Exhalation is covered in “Pé no Chão”, or Feet on the Ground, which seeks to ensure the continuity and legacy of the movement by creating a momentum-generating pulse to a new paradigm.

For more inspiration, exhalation and hands-on information about this project, visit http://www.maonamassa-cris.blogspot.com/

Hands On process

The dome represents the result of the first step

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Findhorn EDE: 1 - 28 October 2011 Jane Rasbash The 5th Findhorn EDE had more than 40 diverse and highly skilled participants attending various constellations of the 5-week programme. The Graylag geese arrived with the fledgling EDE geese, flying vociferously in formation every evening as if to welcome and support the EDE journey. The Occupy Wall Street actions kicked in during the first week, forming a powerful backdrop to the course and stirring up strong responses from the group. How can we make real changes? What can we do? Is Findhorn really walking its talk? It was a lively and challenging environment. In general participants were well informed and craved cutting edge answers, space to share their considerable knowledge and time to reflect. The faculty made great efforts to respond, opening opportunities for talented participants to share innovation, inspiration and contemplative activities. From the start it was clear that this configuration of capable, responsive people would create an extremely strong learning community. Organisers took the bold step of piloting learning outcomes adapted from the new V5 curriculum and formalized the design studio process to relate to the outcomes. The faculty additionally experimented in adapting session content to outcomes, evaluating the results for effectiveness. Introducing the V5 pilot was a significant and a promising start to an ongoing lively debate in the living EDE curriculum. Design groups were live projects, voted in during a world cafĂŠ early in the first week. Some participants felt under-represented and the faculty, headed by May East, responded with some clever emergent design, opening spaces to hear the voices. This created a pattern that continued throughout the five weeks: lively feedback, expression of needs and redesigning some activities. Although stormy, it was clear by the end of the course that the stronger design structure played a significant role, resulting in the most robust design projects to emerge from a Findhorn EDE.

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Some areas of the EDE could be improved, namely a more relaxed schedule, allowing for input from skilled participants and possibly more focus on innovative solutions. This EDE was also significant in that it piloted a participatory Deepening the Training of Trainers in a fifth week, which more than half of the participants joined. Whilst it is clear that this course was a particularly rare and powerful community learning experience, it has also highlighted a trend for extremely able and knowledgeable people being drawn to EDE courses. With huge and relevant experience to complement that of facilitators, the question was raised: how can we, as organizers and facilitators, really step up and create a space for participants to share their knowledge and enhance the course? A suggestion mooted by a participant was to move the ToT to the start, introducing the participatory methodologies and facilitation skills, empowering all involved. Faculty and participants then co-design the course whilst staying within the constructs of the curriculum. Care is taken to match expectations and faculty open to opportunities for participants to contribute towards the sharing of their unique knowledge and skills. The faculty is considering! Watch this space to see if the Findhorn EDE follows this exciting path! V5 of Gaia Education’s Ecovillage Design Curriculum is in its final stages of development. Stayed tuned to Gaia Education on Twitter and Facebook for further information on this and other developments.

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Choque de Amor | Shock of Love Portuguese Iniciativa gestada por participantes do Educação Gaia Rio de Janeiro, consiste em promover intervenções urbanas não-violentas e afetivas para difundir valores de fraternidade, gentileza, amizade, parceria e amor universal. Brotam do coração da diversidade como ações de integração, de ampliação da confiança da população, rumo a mudanças estruturais de consciência. Na iminência do ano 2012, é uma chamada para irmos ao espaço público tecer novas relações de cumplicidade e criar ambientes de colaboração e apoio mútuo, em consonância com os movimentos de ocupação e organização da sociedade civil. Os choques de amor vêm para sacudir a pessoa comum trazendo um sopro de energia positiva para que esta possa sair do torpor e se recordar de sua verdadeira natureza de participante da comunidade da vida. Choques de amor são para serem replicados! Incentivamos grupos dos mais diversos, sejam colegas de sala de aula, de trabalho, jogadores do mesmo time, primos, amigos reunidos, a ideia é que possam se deflagrar choques de amor por todas as partes. Somos os 99% da população que queremos a mesma coisa: paz, alegria, satisfação, serenidade, conhecimento, criatividade, ternura e transcendência. Somos aquel@s por quem estávamos esperando.

English See this 7 minute film of a group of EDE students in Rio who decided to do an urban intervention called the Shock of Love. They went to a very busy part of town, divided in two groups, one each side of the street, and when the lights went green, they meet, hug and start spreading hugs and love around. http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com/video/ choque-de-amor-shock-of-love Their aim is to spread the Shock of Love in the city and call for all to join on New Year’s Eve, 2012. The group defines the initiative as “aiming to promote affectionate and non-violent urban interventions, disseminating the values of fraternity, gentleness, friendship, partnership and universal love”. All you need is 20 friends, a magic marker and cardboard.

Rio de Janeiro, primavera de 2011 Assistam ao vídeo do primeiro choque de amor realizado em 28 de outubro: http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning. com/video/choque-de-amor-shock-of-love

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4Keys: Ecological Key Now Available! Designing Ecological Habitats – Creating a Sense of Space is the 3rd of Gaia Education’s 4Keys to be released. Edited by E Christopher Mare and Max Lindegger, the Ecological Key, like the Economic Key, falls under patronage of UNESCO and UNDESD. As described by Mare, “The Ecological Key itself is a ‘whole systems design’ of a nested holarchy of comprehension required for the ecological dimension of ecovillage designing. It has rhythm and symmetry, form and purpose, at multiple levels of understanding.” Designing Ecological Habitats is available to download for free from www.gaiaeducation.net and can be purchased as a hardcopy book from www.green-shopping.co.uk at a 25% discount until the end of this year.

se puede descargar gratuitamente desde www.gaiaeducation.net ß Yala versión en español de Economía de Gaia. Vivir bien dentro de los límites del planeta’, la llave económica de la colección las 4Llaves editada por Gaia Education.

Ross’s Expanding Vision Ross Jackson had a couple of eye operations recently, improving his eye sight from -9 (thick glasses required) to minus -1: only reading glasses now needed! As Giovanni Ciarlo so lovingly put it: Ross, you are being held in our prayers for a quick recovery and always a clear vision.

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Current & Upcoming EDEs Around the World The Sénégalese EDE is currently underway in a journey that will see participants visiting 5 ecovillages in a country which has its own Ministry of Ecovillages. Meanwhile, Siddharth Village in Orissa, India, recently completed its first Oriya language EDE and Estonia its first ever EDE. 2012 is flush with EDE programmes around the world! January & February in particular will see a number of courses running simultaneously. For the complete list of 2012 programmes visit www.gaiaeducation.net, regularly updated with new and upcoming programmes.

UOC Online Programme Economic Module (English): 3rd January – 10th February 2012 Eco-design & Systems Thinking (Spanish): 21st March 2012 www.gaiaeducation.net Konohana Family, Japan 13th January –11th February 2012 ede.konohana-family.org Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand 16th January 2012 – 4th March 2012 www.wongsanit-ashram.org InanItah Community, Nicaragua 29th January 2012 – 25th February 2012 www.inanitah.com

Céu do Mapiá, Amazon, Brazil 19th February – 16th April 2012 www.isavicosa.org BASD, Bangladesh 10th March - 22 June 2012 www.gaiaeducation.net Brazil, Curitiba 13th April – 8th December 2012 www.ecohabitare.com.br Damanhur Ecovillage, Italy 5th May – 2nd June 2012 (Grundtvig applications closing 16 Jan 2012) www.damanhur.org

Siddharth Village, Orissa, India English: 10th February 2012 – 10th March 2012 www.siddharthvillage.com

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Certified & Recertified Programmes Congratulations to the newly certified and re-certified programmes! yy Gaia Sabiaguaba, Brazil yy Siddharth Village’s Oriya language EDE, Orissa, India yy Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD) yy Nova Genesis, Slovenia

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yy InanItah Ecovillage – Isla de Ometepe Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua

The Park, Findhorn Forres IV36 3TZ Morayshire, Scotland United Kingdom

Recertified programmes include

administrator@gaiaeducation.net phone: +44 1309 692011

yy Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, USA

yy Curitiba, Brazil

Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No 353967 Scottish Charity No SC040839

yy Siddharth Village’s (English), Orissa, India

www.gaiaeducation.net

yy Damanhur Ecovillage, Italy

yy Konohana Family, Japan yy Tuwa The Laughing Fish, Philippines yy Wongsanit Ashram, Thailand yy SOS Environment, Sénégal

This Edition of GEEESE In-Formation was put together by our extra-ordinary Gaia Education Communications team – Paola in Thailand, Michael in Glastonbury and Marijke in Bonaire, with the delightful contribution of the GEESE around the globe.

Gaia Communications Follow us and share your news with us! Twitter, Facebook and NING yy http://twitter.com/GaiaEducation yy http://www.facebook.com/GaiaEducation yy http://geese-gaiaeducation.ning.com yy May East is now tweeting, follow her via www.twitter.com/may_east Please forward Gaia Education news to your best friends!

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GEESE InFormation 2011 Southern Summer/Northern Winter  

Final Edition of Gaia Education's GEESE InFormation Newsletter.

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