Gaia Education Design for Sustainability
Incorporating Transition Towns Training
Social Design - Week
Saturday 5 - 11October, 2013
May East & Lisa Shaw
Community and Embracing Diversity
The overall focus of this week is on the social aspect, designed to develop the skills needed to work effectively with both large and small groups. Using an experiential format, we will start by looking at how to create a learning environment that meets the needs of all, looking at individual learning styles and needs. From there we will learn how to design inclusive group agreements as a foundation for embracing diversity. We will explore the role of games in building groups and community - both theory and practice. We will learn the processes which define community glue and common ground - including values, vision and mission - and will understand the relationship between task, process and relationship.
Facilitation Skills and Decision Making
An organization's performance and ultimate success is directly related to its ability to make decisions that are high quality and that can be sustained over time. Making clear choices about the fundamental issues of power and process can transform a diverse group of people into a strong, stable, healthy community. This module will introduce a range of fair and participatory decision-making methods to avoid conflict over power imbalances. We will look at the role of facilitation in the process of finding common ground between people with diverse points of view. We will look at facilitation techniques that make meetings productive, participative, cooperative... and fun, while balancing the focus across three dimensions: Results, Process, and Relationship.
Scales of decisions - from autocratic to unanimity
Essential elements of consensus
Facilitation techniques – World Cafe, Think and Listen, Open Space, Mind mapping, Fishbowl
Communication Skills and Feedback
The heart of good communication is a simple but profound capacity to listen. This module will give participants the techniques and insights needed for creating environments informed by a culture of deep listening. We will learn how to support one another in the shift from a defensive to a collaborative communication and from debate to dialogue. We will practise mindful speaking and explore how to handle and welcome critical and constructive feedback as a vehicle for learning and growing.
Nonviolent & compassionate communication
Skills of dialogue
Giving and receiving feedback
Deep listening & mindful speaking
Conflicts are a part of our life like storms are a variety of weather. In fact, in groups that are truly diverse, differences are both a sign of health and an invitation to creativity. The most important lesson is to change our attitude from avoiding conflicts to looking at them with interest and openness. This means stepping out of a "winner-loser" and into a "win- win" perspective. Win-Win solutions become possible after all involved parties of a conflict have been heard and understood.
Steps for facilitating differences and conflicts successfully
Obstacles to harmonious interaction: rank and privilege, cultural and structural roots of conflict, gossip, personal attacks and cynicismply
Celebrating Life: Creativity and Art
This module will explore how to integrate art, land, creativity and community life. We will learn how, by creating a culture of ethics, aesthetics and beauty, we can free ourselves progressively from the tyranny of a materialistic worldview which has separated us from each other and alienated us from the earth. We will look at the role of the artist in reinvigorating and healing local communities, and at art as a liberating force for collective transformation and self-realisation. We will work creatively with environmental art in a variety of ways which are not simply about the landscape, but which actually take place in it. Such art can contribute to our becoming a less destructive and more benign presence on our planet. Facilitated by Lisa Shaw.
May East is a sustainability practitioner, educator and designer heading two international organisations: Gaia Education and CIFAL Scotland - UNITAR Associated Training Center for Northern Europe. Based at the UN Habitat Best Practice Designation Findhorn Ecovillage since 1992, May has been coordinating ESD courses in 29 countries in the most different stages of development and in both urban and rural contexts, under the umbrella of Gaia Education. A tireless networker she has played a prominent role in developing relationships between the UN and the Findhorn Ecovillage, culminating in the launch of CIFAL Findhorn in 2006. She facilitates the international think-tank Club of Budapest World Wisdom Council and delivers Transition Training since 2008.
Lisa Shaw is an artist, designer and environmental educator. She is a partner in the Ecovillage Institute, an ecological design and engineering firm based at Findhorn. She has worked on water restoration projects in India, China, Bolivia, Russia and the UK as part of the Ecovillage Institute team, educating for the restoration and sustainable use of water and soil. She-co founded Lookfar Connections, an environmental education cooperative, and Grasshopper Art and Nature Camp for children in Vermont USA, which she ran for five years. Lisa uses art as an educational tool, bringing people together in a creative and inspirational way, teaching art to adults and children.
Income related price for the five weeks
£2245 payable by participants with low income
£2350 payable by participants with medium income
£2795 payable by participants with high income
£495/£545/£695 per module according to income
Fees include tuition, accommodation, vegetarian meals and materials
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