“A human being is part of the whole — called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.”

- Albert Einstein

As we have repeatedly explored…

by David Fleming

Getting used to the idea of the oil peak was the easy part. The hard part, starting now, is facing up to how big this thing is going to be.

It will mean deep and lengthening energy shocks affecting (first) oil and (later) gas and the electricity grid. It will probably be part of a package of trouble: climate, water, food shortages and destabilised populations. We will come to regret the delay and denial which has stolen the fifty years we should have had to get ready. We will be in trouble.

And yet this could also be the moment…

by Ross Jackson. This is an excerpt from the Economic Dimension of Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability curriculum.

The 2007–2009 world economic crisis has been characterized by some mainstream observers as the final death throws of the neo-liberal economic model introduced by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Many are the calls now, primarily from the ordinary people who are suffering from the collapse, for a “third alternative,” a “new economic order” or a ”new Bretton Woods” agreement.

In the following, I will outline some of the major components that would be desirable in shifting the global economy towards a new economic world order that is not only efficient but protective of the environment and social…

“We are not a collection of objects but a communion of subjects…we must reinvent ourselves at a species level”
– Thomas Berry

It is widely known that humanity faces an unprecedented crisis of global proportions that threatens our viability and future sustainability on this planet. In many parts of the planet, we are suffering from the consequences of using up the natural resources at a far higher rate than they can be replenished. The production of many essential biological and physical resources has already peaked. Forests, fisheries, and coral reefs are damaged and disappearing, soils are impoverished by over-cropping and…

Excerpt from the ‘Ecological Dimension’ of Gaia Education’s online course in ‘Design for Sustainability

When we understand how the water cycle works, the next step into designing appropriate water systems should be to take a close look at the water budget for the building, community and bioregion. Even if you are only designing a single house in your community, to integrate your design appropriately into its landscape you will have to pay attention to water flows at the community and regional scale.

Here is a link to more information about creating a water budget.

In this enjoyable and excellent talk on rethinking and retrofitting for resilience, Brock Dolman, the director of the Water…

by Giovanni Ciarlo. An excerpt from ‘Ecovillages Around the World’

After fourteen years living as a nomadic tribe of roving artists, we began building our ecovillage in 1982. During our travels, we learned to put on theatrical productions and took on mysterious names like The Hathi Babas Transit Ashram, and then The Illuminated Elephants, a traveling theatre community. Members who joined us later came from diverse activist and youth groups or were attracted to our progressive values and way of life. After several years on the road, we decided to look for a place to settle. We found our home in the majestic mountains of Tepoztlan, Mexico. We named it…

By Albert Bates

Ecological and Regenerative Living in a One Planet World

Series: Ecological Design for Sustainable and Regenerative Futures. Read about this series below.

Assume that, all of a sudden, we were to awaken to the existential threat posed by our addiction to exponential growth as an economic prerequisite. What changes in our arrangements might, even at this late hour, offer some prospect of survival? It seems altogether obvious that it would involve some combination of bioregionalism, permaculture, and ecovillage design science. Frankly, I cannot imagine any alternative excluding those strategies that would remain viable for very long.

Suppose everyone in the world planted one tree every day. How long would…

Excerpt from the ‘Ecological Dimension’ of Gaia Education’s online course in ‘Design for Sustainability

Permaculture history and context

The term Permaculture was created by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978 in Australia, to describe a design-based approach to creating a permanent agriculture as a system that can support cultures with permanence. In its widest sense, it is an approach to creating sustainable and regenerative socio-ecological systems. As such Permaculture can be understood as conscious design of a sustainable future, based on co-operation with Nature and caring for the Earth and her peoples.

Permaculture draws together knowledge and skills from many ecological disciplines — old and new — to meet our basic needs for…

by Giovanni Ciarlo

Copyright @artisano — From Makati/Philippines

The current education paradigm holds the idea that the sole purpose of education is to educate individuals within their particular society, to prepare and train them for work in an economy that integrates people into the national cultural reality and passes on to them the values and morals of that society. In Carol Sanford’s critical analysis: “The Role of education is the means of socializing individuals and to keep society running smoothly and remain stable.” In other words, to form people who conform to the ruling class of their respective societies.

This theory has dominated modern culture and defined the…

This is an excerpt from the Social dimension of Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability curriculum.

Techniques to Create a Common Vision

There are different techniques for creating a common vision. The Futures History method we present here is a simplified version of the method developed by Warren Ziegler. Participants need drawing materials and space to work in. The exercise may last from a few hours to several days, depending on the group.

Gaia Education

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