Module 1 – Green Building and Retrofitting begins the teaching of how to construct or retro-fit healthier, more ecologically friendly and energy efficient environments with a distinctly vernacular, regional flair.
Module 2 – Local Food and Nutrient Cycles makes participants aware of the need to grow food locally, for reasons of personal health and planetary well-being.
Module 3 – Water, Energy and Infrastructure (appropriate technology) provides an over-view of ‘state-of-the-art’ technologies with a realistic appraisal of their effectiveness.
Module 4 – Nature and Urban Regeneration, and Disaster Recovery describes the many ways in which the ecovillage knowledge may be useful in restoring and regenerating the health of the local environment. An Integrated Ecovillage Design, then, is the most effective way to re-build after human- and nature-caused disasters also recreating the social fabric.
Module 5 – Whole Systems Approach to Design. This is an abbreviated and condensed in-troduction to the very holistic, systemic process by which designers integrate the ecovillage or the Transition Towns project into its local ecology, thus creating a human-scale microcosm of the macrocosm, a focalized holographic representation of the cosmic whole. This is the culmi-nation of all previous Modules in the EDE series, in both concept and practice. The ecologi-cal/Permaculture part of this is given special treatment.
Module 1 – Shifting the Global Economy to Sustainability begins the Economic Dimension with an exploration of the forces and interests that shape the current global economy, and of the types of policies that are required to set it on a more sustainable course: this forms the ba-sis of the first module – an analysis of global economics. While noting that structural changes are required at the global level, we also note that there is a need for the emergence of vibrant, locally based alternative economies so that the shoots of the new burst forth, even as the old system crumbles in on itself. This is where ecovillages have a key role to play in researching, demonstrating and teaching new, alternative approaches to economic life.
Module 2 – Right Livelihood looks at how current economic structures and incentives make it generally less profitable to produce on a small scale for local needs using local raw materials – exactly the kind of production systems required if we are to live within the Earth’s carrying ca-pacity. Until those structures and incentives begin to change, our economic behaviour needs to be strongly informed by values-based choices: how much is enough? What is the relationship between levels of material consumption and human well-being? Is our wealth dependent on the poverty of others? Is our wealth dependent on the degradation of the other than human world? In what cases might one choose to consume less or to pay more than strictly necessary? Such values-based questions form the subject of our second module.
Module 3 – Local Economies looks in particular at social entrepreneurship in a local context, which has greatly grown in significance in recent years. Social enterprises, a growing feature of many ecovillages, are engaged in providing employment to the marginalised and disadvan-taged, restoring degraded ecosystems and providing for community needs, including child-care, care for the elderly and the supply of healthy, organic food while also making a reason-able profit. This module explores both the theory and practice of social entrepreneurship and helping course participants understand how, in practical ways, they may become more in-volved in creating or supporting such enterprises in their own communities. We will also look at the range of goods and services that appear to be appropriate for ecovillage enterprises.
Module 4 – Community Banks and Currencies explores another principal dimension of nur-turing the local economy: the role of money and wealth. Community banks have enabled com-munities to channel the savings of members and supporters into local enterprises and initiatives, while local currency systems have helped to retain money within the local economy rather than haemorrhaging out into the wider speculative economy.
Module 5 – Legal and Financial Issues looks at the legal and financial aspects of creating ecovillages and social enterprises. This includes how we can create a climate of abundance and distinguish between different types of finance. Emphasis is laid on the importance of aligning the ownership and legal structures chosen for ecovillages and social enterprises with the types of finance to be mobilised to create and grow them.
Module 1 – Building Community and Embracing Diversity discusses the basics of building community, and teaches values and skills that help foster an atmosphere of trust.
Module 2 – Communication Skills and Decision Making is a journey into learning the art of decision making, conflict management, and the effective facilitation of groups.
Module 3 – Leadership and Empowerment offers lessons in distinguishing between ‘power from within’ and ‘power over,’ and developing leadership skills as an important part of taking responsibility.
Module 4 – Art, Ritual, and Social Transformation describes how communities and individuals can awaken their creative powers of celebration.
Module 5 – Education, Personal Networks and Activism Takes a Look at the dimensions of knowledge and awareness that connect us to past and future generations, as well as to communities all around the globe.
Module 1 – Holistic Worldview is an articulation of the nature of the transition we are cur-rently living through, re-integrating science and spirituality, as a new worldview is emerging
Module 2 – Reconnecting with Nature is a guide for reconnecting human beings with the natural world, as a spiritual practice
Module 3 – Transformation of Consciousness is a poetic account of the consequences of a commitment to the spiritual journey
Module 4 – Personal and Planetary Health reminds us of the unity in the close link between planetary and personal health
Module 5 – Socially Engaged Spirituality expounds on the view that a spiritual life well-lived is a life of active social service, and in these times the two cannot be separated