50 years of embodied knowledge and wisdom
This unique four-week programme is a living experience of the Findhorn Ecovillage, giving you the concepts, tools and techniques needed for creating sustainable human settlements.
In a world where there is an increasing need for viable, sustainable human settlements, ecovillages offer an enhanced quality of life for all, providing environmental, social, economic and spiritual sustainability. Ecovillage communities are cohesive social structures, united by common social and/or spiritual values. Working with the simple principle of not taking away more from the Earth than one gives back, ecovillages also consciously keep their ecological footprint to a minimum. Ecovillage principles apply equally to urban and rural settings, to both developing and over-developed countries.
The Applied Ecovillage Living programme provides a practical forum for learning and for developing action plans. It draws on the experience and expertise developed within the Findhorn Ecovillage over the past 50+ years, as well as on other local and international initiatives, and is delivered within the structure of a successful large-scale, full-featured human settlement working in true co-creation with nature.
Findhorn Ecovillage has one of the lowest recorded ecological footprints for any community in the industrialised world, just half the UK national average.
Topics covered include:
- An introduction to permaculture design
- Local organic food production
- Renewable energy systems
- Cooperative social economies
- Group building and deep ecology
- Earth restoration and environmental art
- Ecological building and community design
Week 1 – People Care
Building Effective Groups, Deep Ecology & Designing For Transition
Introduce ourselves and our projects to one another. Create the learning environment we need together. Build group respect and understanding as a basis for concerted action. Through deep ecology we place ourselves within the web of life as a creative accountable species and examine our impact upon the earth. The amassed expertise in the community and the three permaculture ethics: people care, fair share and earth care, guide us to our next steps in living a responsible future.
Week 2 – Fair Share
Economic Sustainability, Right Livelihood & Organic Food Production
Explore how we can live well on the Earth – providing for our needs in a way that respects our community, communities on the other side of the world and the ecosystems that support and sustain us. The Findhorn Ecovillage provides us with tools and examples, including a large and diverse organic food production network, a community currency and investment fund, and a range of other social enterprises. Visit small community farms and study the production methods employed. Explore the values underlying concepts such as right livelihood and voluntary simplicity that are needed to walk more gently on the Earth.
Week 3 – Earth Care
Human Settlements, Ecological Building & Wilderness Restoration
Ecovillages aim to restore the balance between the four elements: earth, air, fire and water, returning humans to a sustainable relationship with all other communities of life. Study the design and construction of settlements that aspire to fit harmlessly into the landscape and what features need be considered in different climatic regions. Imitating natural cycles, you will start to design and build ecologically. At the end of week three we will explore the Scottish wilderness and support the restoration and protection of our wild frontiers.
Week 4 – Design Projects
Principles of Permaculture & Designing for the Future
The final week weaves together the various threads explored during our first three weeks. Working on projects in groups, and drawing on the human, physical and spiritual resources of the Findhorn Ecovillage, create practical designs for new initiatives that can be implemented in your home environments. Integrating and harmonising our human footprint starts at home.