It’s in at the ecovillage “La Cite Ecologique of Ham-Nord” that took place the first EDE courses in French. Not only for the first time in French, but for the first time in Canada. Six students participated from August 10th to July 10th 2015. EDE = Ecovillage Design Education

————— What is  EDE? —————

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Ecovillage Design Education programmes, commonly referred to as ‘EDEs’, are a 125 hour courses which have been carried out over 180 times in more than 39 countries on six continents since 2006. More than 5,000 people have participated in these sustainable design programmes worldwide! The EDE programmes are meant for anyone wishing to learn about sustainability principles, and especially for those who might like to teach the EDE in their local area. Feel free to download the open source Ecovillage Design Curriculum in different languages from our web page. EDE-MandalaThe EDE is organized as a mandala, called the Sustainability Wheel, encompassing what is perceived to be the four primary dimensions of human experience – Worldview, Ecological, Social, and Economic aspects.

————— What is Gaia Education? —————

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Gaia Education promotes a holistic approach to education for sustainable development.  It develops curricula for sustainable community design drawing from good practice within ecovillages worldwide.  It works in partnership with urban and rural communities, universities, ecovillages, government and non-government agencies and the United Nations. Gaia Education was created by a group of educators called “GEESE” (Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth) who have been meeting over a series of workshops in order to formulate their transdisciplinary approach to education for sustainability.

————— The first EDE course at “La Cité Écologique”  —————

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The training took place from July 10th to August 10th 2015  in the largest ecovillage in Quebec, Canada. A week devoted to each of the 4 dimensions of sustainability.

1st dimension: Worldview is what predetermines economic, social and ecological relations. In this part, we will address: the role of culture, global and individual health, the role of the celebrations, the tools to allow us to better align (yoga, meditation, reconnect with nature, walking …), integrate our daily mindfulness exercises, wellness (wellness), nutrition, etc.

2nd dimension: Social Design is the foundation of any community relationship: it creats the links and provides tools to realize the aspirations of a community. However, it involves getting to know yourself as those around us. Topics: Self-awareness and personalities of the triangle (love, learn and act), effective collective decision-making (majority, consensus, sociocracy) cultivate intergenerational ties, build momentum and complicity in a group, etc.

3rd dimension: Economic Design leads us to reflect on the creation of economic activities where greater attention is paid to the human and his environment; the adoption of practices that reduce our environmental footprint while meeting our needs and values. The themes: Economy of proximity, leadership and entrepreneurship, social economy and alternative, legal aspects (zoning, financing), budget management team, etc.

4th dimension: Ecologic Design, you will learn how it is actually possible to adopt green practices, while maintaining or even increasing our quality of life. Topics covered: Pooling of resources and equipment, consumption reduction, organic farming and permaculture, sustainable forestry, renewable energy, ecological constructions, etc.

————— Thanks to everyone 🙂 —————

From the perspective of a resident of “La Cite Ecologique”, it was very pleasant and inspiring to rub shoulders with the participants of the course. This brought joy and dynamism in our living environment. A beautiful energy circulating throughout the month in our community. Thank you to C.A.P. Eco-Communautaire for organizing this wouderful event. And thank you to all participants for coming to share this beautiful experience that we all enjoyed 🙂

————— For 2016… —————

The EDE courses will happen again in 2016 at La Cite Ecologique. In french, at Cité Écologique de Ham-Nord. Stay tuned for EDE courses in English, O.U.R. Ecovillage in BC or La Cite Ecologique of New Hampshire might have something for you 🙂