The Dutch EDE vision

In this EDE we try to create a close interaction between teachers and students and between students themselves. Participants with expertise in specific fields are invited to share their knowledge with the whole group. Hands-on activities will also be facilitated by course participants. We as teachers will often participate in group – and other processes, partly as supervisors/counsellors, but also co-discovering the actual teachings and the learning process as result of the current (socio-cultural) situation.

Authenticity is achieved by using real situations within learning environments. The exercises will draw on real situations from participants’ and facilitators’ lives, so that the learning will be both an understanding of theory and abstract concepts and – often more important – a deepening experience of the applied concepts in concrete socio-cultural situations. The several levels of learning environment are

  • your individual inner universe with your personal imprints from your past life, your world-views, your stories, feelings, possibilities of thoughts,
  • the participants as a group with its inter-individual dynamics like shared cultural backgrounds as well as inter-cultural dynamics; personal reactions on one another; co-creations like mutual support and potential shared ideas as well as conflicts and misunderstandings;
  • and the different ecovillages and excursions, with all its existing and tangible examples.

The Dutch EDE team

Local economy, Social transformation

Co-founder and chair of the board of Transition Netherlands and initiator of Transition Town Deventer. and Olst in Transition. He started out as a journalist and consequently worked for 13 years at a regional educational centre for international cooperation and sustainable development, of which he was director in the last five years until 2007.

In 2006 he initiated the Aardehuis ecovillage project and a cooperative by the same name, which in 2012-2015 built 23 homes and a community centre nearby the village of Olst. The concept of Aardehuizen is a Dutch variant of the earthship concept: fully self-sustaining homes constructed with second hand and natural materials. The building project was realized with help of nearly 2,000 volunteers from 27 countries worldwide.

From 2008 onwards, he is working as a self-employed consultant, lecturer and trainer, specialized in local sustainability issues, in his company Inclusief-services. Amongst other, for three consecutive years he was guest lecturer Sustainable building concepts at the Engineering faculty of the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Currently, he facilitates a self-designed course in social permaculture.

For Transition Netherlands from 2009–2017, he has been working as a national fundraiser, one of the national media-spokespersons and international liaison officer in Transition Network. Starting 2009, he still is active as the Dutch senior Transition Trainer for starting and advanced local Transition Initiatives. In more recent years, he is also involved as a trainer and facilitator for the CLIPS program of the global ecovillage network (GEN), and has been one of the co-founders and board members of GEN Netherlands.

Currently, he is active on the national level to get Extinction Rebellion as a movement rooted in the Netherlands. He is now concerned specifically with helping local branches getting started.

In 2011 and 2012 the Dutch national newspaper Trouw put him in a high ranking position in their Sustainable 100 , a national listing of ‘the 100 most influential Dutch persons in the field of sustainability’.

Local economy, Social transformation

Ishi Crosby works from an integrated ecological and social approach to the healing of the Earth. As a Permaculture designer and teacher, he has almost twenty years of experience in designing and constructing sustainable food gardens. He has developed the concept of “Integrated Landscapes”: landscapes that are designed in such a way that everything that a person needs, such as a place to live, food, water, energy, etc., is produced on site. Ishi is involved in Permaculture on a daily basis and has created food gardens for various projects and clients in the EU. He is currently working in the Netherlands with clients and local groups such as the Transition Town movement, Eco-village projects and an Urban agriculture project in The Hague. At Centrum Wilgenhoeve he is busy with the construction of an Earthhouse (a zero energy and CO2 neutral house) and the construction and further development of the Permaculture Garden. He also provides training on the practical use of archetypes and mythology for daily life. He has years of experience with the “Open Space” method. Open Space is a very efficient way to solve problems in groups and to make decisions. Open Space is fully in line with the three ethical principles of Permaculture: care for the Earth, care for people and fair sharing

4D framework, deep listening
Monica prefers to accompany children, adults and groups in nature and with the help of horses. She did the EDE in Damanhur. Monica is committed volunteer for GEN Netherlands and is engaged in the development of (international) training. Recently Monica took a masters in Design for Sustainability through Gaia Education and completed the Training of Trainers coarse in Findhorn. Monica became the first Dutch member of the Geese as a certified Gaia Education Trainer.
Horticulture, Group constellations, Coaching with Horses - Certified Gaia Education Trainer
Legal and Financial

“Do not ask me who I am. If I am already … then I am emptiness … emptiness through which that breathes what breathes through everything. ‘

Bas is co-initiator of the ecological home-work initiative De Zwerm in Winterswijk and co-owner of Levensland, a 3.5 ha large food forest laid out according to permaculture and Anastasia principles. He lives in a farm (starting home-work group) in Winterswijk.

Bas is a lawyer and, among other things, uses his knowledge to supervise starting ecological home-work initiatives and eco-villages. In addition, he has immersed himself in all sorts of cultures and shamanism. The teachers he names are Dave Hegglun (Maori), Ayako Goh (Japan), Ahamkara (Altai), Erik Berglund (USA), Daniel Crane (Tsuu Tina, Canada), Wai Turoa (Maori), Moon Deer (Objibwaj, USA), Elliot Rivera (Cuba), Suvalaq (Inuit, Alaska), Philip Carr-Gomm (Druid, England), Inti Cesar (Peru), Kiesha / Little grandmother (USA), Tulku Lobsang Rinopoche (India), Ayangat (Mongolia) ), Anastasia (Siberia) and all who live close to nature, close to the Source.

Legal and Financial
Angelien Hoppen
Landgoed AlGoed representative, Biology, Drawing and Mindfulness

My attitude to life is optimistic and practical. Organizing and teaching are a common thread throughout my life. I enjoy it and have talent for it. I am versatile and have an analytical ability to help me keep track of complex situations. I communicate easily, listen well and always look for harmony. I really enjoy working together and I like to have my own responsibility it. Finally, not unimportantly: I bring life experience and humor.

My interest is in the field of sustainability, greening and citizen participation.



Trained and experienced teacher (Biology, Drawing and Mindfulness) and trainer. In addition to my formal work experience as a teacher at various secondary schools, I often take on the role of information officer in other situations. I also taught as a volunteer in Bali.



Strong on an organizational and creative level. I have extensive experience in organizing large projects where the involvement of different groups is paramount.



Since 2015 I have been intensively involved as one of the coordinators in the organization of Landgoed AlGoed. This live-work community runs an OutdoorCommunityCenter together where we form a group of around 50 volunteers who maintain the estate and engage in numerous activities. Well-being and personal development are paramount.



✆ 06 – 55773670

Henry Mentink
New economy, Uno Box

Next to being founder and Director of MyWheels henry took the challenge of founding Het Veerhuis Varik. Together with others it’s there that he gives meaning to the new economy. His mission is to give awareness and love a practical place. With this aim he founded the first Village Trade Centre. The Veerhuis is also the home of the Club of Budapest, Global Ecovillage Network Netherlands and is connected with Damanhur in Italy.  Practical work in the village of Varik as well as being connected with the world. He developed the first 3D business plan, the UNO-Box with Source plan and a new legal form of legal entity that is easy to establish and still meets legal requirements. This is called the Participantship.

Anneliesvan Rijn
van Rijn
River of life, Deep listening

Annelies only feels at home in the multipotentiality box, because it’s one of the few boxes that isn’t a real box. She worked as a gymnastic teacher, entertainer, actress, theater reviewer, teacher, presenter, and coach. Over ten years she was team leader of diverse entertainment teams at more than 15 leisure parks all over the Netherlands. Usually, she was in places where a stunning team performance had to be done in a very short time or where underperforming teams must shine again quickly. The goal: make the team, guests, and manager happy and deliver them a great and amazing time with mostly ordinary things. She studied pedagogy at the University of Amsterdam and became a primary school teacher with a passion for a more holistic education system. She pores over music-education, psychomotor / movement-based learning, cooperative learning and a lot of theories that stimulate brain-friendly and natural learning environments. She believes that exciting experiences and a warm ambiance are necessary to develop wondering, expression skills and body awareness. Hands-on, minds-on, hearts-on activities let us learn, grow and love. Now she tries to combine all here different experiences and personal love for nature, dancing, singing, theatre, playing, spiritual growth, unboxing-thinking and system work in her own business: De Verwonderkring; to help children, adults, and teams to shine their own powerful uniqueness.

Hugo Schönberck
Blockchain, Sustainable Energy

Hugo Schonberck is an inspired entrepreneur and experienced consultant in various projects, research and consultancies. He brings a practical and warm hearted approach to sustainability and a large international network. He loves the challenge of bringing together the best people for any given task. He is an expert in sustainability and behaviour change, designing programmes and facilitating teams in communities, local authorities and companies for Global Action Plan, Nuon Energy, British Gas and currently partner in GPX Energybank, a sustainable energy and smart grid start-up, as well as promoting the very low energy sustainable block chain Energy party from the Energy Coin Foundation. Co-founder of a Dutch think-tank on climate change with government officials, NGO’s and representatives from industry that did ground-breaking work on carbon reduction and compensation.

Blockchain, Smart Grid, Sustainable Energy

Ingmar likes to view things from a different angle. She finds it a challenge to portray people on all sorts of materials, such as waste cardboard. In the studio where she can be found every week, she tries to breathe new life into waste. For example, she turns old jeans into new fun things, such as a pencil case. In addition, she graduated as a restorer and she loves to restore works of art and ancient ships. She has followed the vocational school for design (Cibap). Ingmar is currently developing a curriculum for schools focused on overcoming barriers to expressing creativity.

ICT, Education
Henk is owner of ‘De Verbinding’; a company that developes education about sustainable technology and sustainability. He is also a science teacher at a secondary high school “Ecolyceum” in Deventer and coordinator at CleanTech. In this job he is building a network of secundary high schools working on sustainability projects.
ICT, Education
Deep democracy
Deep democracy
Daphnevan den Broeke
van den Broeke

Daphne van den Broeke is a grounded and sensitive coach. Working as a psychiatric nurse, she facilitated different training programs for clients. Always eager to learn more, she educated herself also in NLP, constellation work and other techniques/methods including The Work That Reconnects.

Her main focus is for people to connect with themselves, their surroundings, the earth and spirit. She has a great sense of knowing what a situation needs and is open, sympathetic in her approach. Not shying away from confrontation when needed. Always being in service of the group and for maintaining a healthy balance.

Last year she was invited to give two workshops in the EDE 2020 at Gaia Netherlands. Appreciating the way the EDE course supports a new earth and a new way of living, she now committed herself for another year.

Woodworking, Bushcraft

Gijs Staghouwer has been interested in nature for as long as he can remember, and since he discovered Bushcraft he feels at home. In February 2018 Gijs started a year-long education at Living by Nature, which he finished in September 2019 with a final expedition to Sweden. Particularly interesting and fun to him are ‘bow crafting’ and ‘tanning leather’. The fact that he is able to create his own clothing with this skill completes the picture for him.

The year-long program has made him realize that wood is an important component in many different crafts. It has been used for many different things since time immemorial. Wood is his biggest interest, partly due to it being rather abundant and because it is relatively easy to work. Woodworking can be translated to many different aspects, like for instance making cups, bowls, bow-and-arrows or making a fire. “The amazing thing about wood is that it is alive. Therefore every piece of wood feels unique, smells differently and should be worked differently. Ashwood, for instance, has very long fibers and can therefore be bent easily. Beechwood on the other hand has very short fibers, making it difficult to bend without snapping it. Both types of wood have their pros and cons.” As you can see, Gijs is very fond of wood.

Thanks to Living by Nature, Gijs became acquainted with the more primal aspects of wood: the ancient crafts of our ancestors from the stone age, and now he would like to learn more about them. “Luckily, I am still at the beginning of my Bushcraft-career, so I have plenty of time left to learn and discover. I feel like the more I know, the more I get the feeling that I don’t know.” That’s why Gijs is now working on his Instructor training at Living by Nature, to continue to develop his skills and pass them on to others.

Woodworking, Bushcraft
shamanism, ceremonies, personal development

Kees Zoethout (1968) is a cognitive psychologist with a PhD in Management Science. For ten years he followed an academic path by conducting research on self-organising social systems. Simultaneously he developed a strong interest in shamanism, ceremonies and personal development.

After his vision quest in 2008, both paths merged, resulting in a professional career as a coach, trainer and lecturer, both for Katina, the company he founded, and at the Hanze University of applied science. It is his passion to facilitate the individual search for direction towards a sustainable societal and ecological existence by making people aware of their personal power and qualities. He combines strong analytical skills with intuition and creativity, is both visionary and down-to-earth and builds bridges between common sense and making sense.

In his free time, he likes to be in nature, by buscrafting in the woods or sailing on the waters in the Netherlands. For about 25 years he makes theatre plays and likes to write. Kees Zoethout is married to Karin Prins. Together they have two children: a son of 18 and a daughter of 17. They live just outside Garmerwolde, a small village nearby the city of Groningen.

shamanism, ceremonies, personal development

Landgoed Algoed

Landgoed Algoed

EDE course fees

We are updating our website. The 2021 fees will be published over here shortly.

Special accommodation

We are updating our website. The 2021 accommodation fees will be published over here shortly.

For whom?

  • Students with an interest in sustainable design
  • Teachers who want to educate on sustainability
  • People who are interested in developing sustainable group projects
  • Residents or builders of sustainable communities and eco villages
  • Urban and rural activists, organizers and designers
  • Urban planners and municipalities who want to bring about a positive change for their citizens
  • University faculties that want to offer their students a holistic approach
  • Professionals in architecture, engineering and construction
  • Local businesses and multinational companies interested in social, sustainable and ethical issues


The program consists of several fun components:

The theory is explained on the basis of the twenty themes that are illustrated in the sustainability mandala, with the help of exercises and examples. The theory is linked to the experiences gained during the exercises and the knowledge, skills and personal experiences of the participants.

The EDE uses many different methods to learn. The theory is also applied in practice. From the beginning, the group forms a community in which tasks are divided among the participants. In addition, we almost daily work together with the community practicing our practical skills, such as working with clay, gardening in the permaculture garden, making art and making designs.

The training is given at various locations. Excursions in the area are also part of the curriculum. The following locations are included:

  • Living Village Festival
  • Bioenergiepark Saerbeck

Design groups are created that work together on an assignment. The assignment is based on real problems and on the targets that the participants bring in themselves. At the end, the participants present the results.

At the beginning of the EDE training you get the opportunity to formulate the goals you want to work on during the course. During the EDE training we will concentrate on different ways to work on our own goals. We work with peer-to-peer groups, where you can reflect on your own processes in pairs. We also work with ‘home’ groups (CLANS), which reflect on group processes, the content of the EDE, personal goals and feedback. 

Every day we pay attention to relaxation through meditation, mindfulness and visualization.

Learning outcomes


Social Design

In the Social section participants learn:

  • to develop a common vision for a collective project, including and transcending individual perspectives;
  • to make decisions that everyone can accept and support;
  • to improve their communication skills and communicate in a more compassionate way;
  • to deal with conflict and diversity as an invitation to growth.


Ecological Design

In Ecological section participants explore:

  • Whole Systems Approach to Ecological Design;
  • Benefits of Bioregionalism;
  • Key principles in the application of Appropriate Technologies for clean energy, living water, green buildings and healthy soils.
  • ‘hands on’ play with earth materials and mini eco-kits to purify waters, tours of local gardens and eco-buildings, calculating carbon footprints and opportunities for artistic expression.


Economic Design

In Economic section participants explore:

  • The dominant pattern and possible leverage points for change within today’s globalised economy;
  • Ways to bring economic life into alignment with ecological values;
  • Right livelihood & social enterprise;
  • How money works; community banks and local currencies;
  • Relevant legal and financial issues for Ecovillage projects.


In the Worldview section participants learn:

  • to recognise and communicate sustainability to diverse worldviews;
  • to create a deep connection with Nature through personal experience;
  • to develop a regular spiritual practice that facilitates the ability to balance inner and outer work;
  • to design ceremonies for the most significant moments in their projects;
  • to apply transition principles and ingredients in their project.


Program 2021

With a proviso