Transitioning into the future…
Gaia U’s Transformative Action Un/Learning programs have, for the last 15 years, enabled hundreds of students and graduates to take both organizational and practical action in the wide field of ecosocial regeneration .Through our own, and the efforts of others, a wealth of ecoversities, permaculture programs, ecovillages, ecosystem restoration camps and transition towns are scattered across the globe.
Despite these positive actions, the destruction of our planetary, social and cultural systems and the lack of appropriate responses to our climate emergency, are of dire concern.
Our key questions: What strategic changes must Gaia U make to meet emergent planetary needs? How do we fill the gaps left by others also struggling with inadequate resources, shifting priorities, uncertain futures, ecosystem destruction? If the crises are so apparent, why do so many human beings deny their existence and fail to take appropriate action?
Exploring and reflecting on these questions led us to the decision to take a year long break in the offering of our usual programs.
These early responses are arising…
The first is to switch attention away from a program-start with Gaia U that involves taking courses that prioritize learning about learning and un/learning (in which ‘process’ activity is relatively mild and somewhat optional) towards trainings that focus explicitly on the critical process of shaking off oppression in order to liberate our full, flexible intelligences.
Our Designing Productive Meetings and Events training leading to an online Re-evaluation Counseling (RC) training is the practical manifestation. See details here.
Working at this liberation process early and holding to this as a primary directive throughout our programs (and beyond) has the potential to ramp up our effectiveness in learning and unlearning, in designing ecosocial futures and acting on bold, imaginative projects that bring nature-based futures into being.
The ESD (Ecosocial Design) course we have been offering would follow then from these initial courses (including the free Regenerative Livelihoods by Design course) which enable the recuperation of our natural intelligence and openness to more relevant approaches to learning and unlearning.
The second response (and, ideally, post RC training) is a focus on training and advocacy designed to enable ‘A Small Farm Future’. There is ever increasing evidence that small-scale, peasant owned and run, fossil-fuel free, agro-ecological systems offer the greatest doable opportunities for ecosystem restoration, social justice, food security, climate chaos resilience, convivial lives and more. There are no downsides to this approach (other than it challenges the mainstream addiction to private land ownership) and it is a proven, decentralized route known for millennia. Large numbers of people are already doing this and more of us can learn.
As a part of this response we are also focusing on our capacity as a consultancy in Rural Development and Regenerative Agriculture which you can read more about here.
We will be sharing more information regarding further access options as this transition phase continues.
Thirdly, we are connecting ever more deeply with allied movements and regenerative programs. We are clear that a collaborative approach is our most powerful pathway forward. Assessing overlaps and filling gaps will enable us to work more effectively as a global network. We are currently exploring closer collaborations with long-term allied organizations such as the Global Ecovillage Network, Gaia Education, Regen Network. Ecosystem Restoration Camps among others. Consolidating and enabling action relationships is a key vision to augment effectiveness.
And last but not least, we are listening–listening to you, our Gaia U community as well as those from allied networks and communities. What are your most strategic answers to the questions we have raised?
This is an ongoing conversation. Please feel free to comment below.