A plethora of deep and pressing concerns is calling for our immediate attention, concerns such as: Earth's environmental degradation, including the loss of precious topsoil and forest cover, the encroachment of deserts, the depletion of fisheries and aquifers, the loss of habitat and the extinction of species, etc.; the glaring and increasing disparity between rich and poor leading to exploitation, poverty, and the associated regimen of malnutrition and over-population; the disintegration of families, communities, even entire cultures; unrestrained urbanization resulting in social alienation, displacement, and feelings of disconnection with the natural world; the dimming of a sense of spiritual awareness and purpose; global warming and ozone depletion; etc. And now, looming on the horizon is “peak oil,” with its coming adjustments and retrofits, including the probability of ongoing conflict over access to the remaining energy reserves.
All of these problems are quite real and, by now, well-documented; but gaining awareness of the extent of the problems is only half the project of becoming educated these days. Amidst these intense challenges, and largely catalyzed by them, lies the prospect for tremendous growth in human potential and consciousness.
People and communities all over the globe are coming together to reclaim responsibility for creating their own living situations – at local and regional levels. In the process, they are overcoming prior limitations and developing new talents, skills, knowledge and approaches. Paradoxically, many of the most innovative solutions rely on a timeless, perennial kind of wisdom that seems to have been disregarded recently. The potential for a refreshed, renewed, revitalized humanity goes hand-in-hand with meeting the challenges of our present Age.
The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) believes the most promising and effective way to deal with all these issues is through education – not a typical education but a new kind of global education, specifically designed to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century:
- This is an education where a thorough and objective assessment of the state of the planet is followed by regional, community, and place-based solutions;
- an education that empowers individuals and communities with the knowledge for shaping their worlds and becoming more self-reliant;
- an education that is universal in scope but local in application, directed toward preserving precious cultural diversity;
- an education where investigating theory is followed by practical application;
- an education that imparts useful and instrumental life-skills as part of the curriculum;
- an education relevant to peoples of both developed and developing countries, rural and urban regions;
- an education focused on the complexly interwoven, transdisciplinary issues pertaining to the transition to sustainable culture;
- an education promoting and facilitating healthful planetary evolution;
- an education exploring and expanding the perceived limits of human potential;
- an education identifying and reconnecting all these essential considerations to a meaningful, dignified, high-quality life for all the world’s people...
The Ecovillage Design Curriculum has the endorsement of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research- UNITAR and is an official contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development- UNDESD.
|Download Gaia Education Report and find out all about current trainings around the world and future trends...|
Download the Gaia Education 4 Keys book on Social Design- Beyond You and Me- Inspiration and Wisdom for Building Community