The Curriculum, Internship and Assessment of Sustainable Living

Anok Hajra

The Curriculum, Internship and Assessment of Sustainable Living

The Curriculum

The curriculum for the Sustainable Living Fellowship is organised in eleven clusters /modules:

1.  Connecting with Self, Land and Community

This module is designed with the belief that the first lesson of sustainable living is for us to own up a sense of belonging and stewardship to the eco-systems we are a part of. It will include the following:

  • Activities on the Land & Community Living: Participants will have the opportunity to connect with the land through the Bhoomi garden as they observe, work on and grow food as a community. They also dwell on understanding the significance of commons and community.
  • Holistic Enquiry: This includes understanding reductionist science and linear logic impacts our perception. Looking at Gaia Theory, Systems Thinking and Complexity Theory enables participants to engage with the holistic approach.
  • Inner and Outer Ecology: This is a five day residential programme to learn from principles of Nature and focus on our patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior. Facilitators and the group participate in a journey of holistic enquiry in Nature, within oneself and with each other.

2.  Food and Wellness

This module focuses on building awareness about conscious eating and health. Connections are drawn between chemical free food and ecological living, also how food affects climate change.

3.  Ecological Farming

Chemical Agriculture is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. This module focuses on different approaches to ecological agriculture. Through interactions with practitioners and farmers, field visits, hands on work, book reviews and discussions, participants engage with possibilities in the field. Work of Dr. Vandana Shiva, Masanobu Fukuoka, Bhaskar Save, Nammalwar, Devinder Sharma and other pioneers is studied for building perspectives and application for future action.

4.  Economics for Wellbeing

This cluster covers the connections between technology, ecology, economic growth, GDP, issues of scale, the role of powerful corporations and the questions assumptions of prevailing economic systems. Economics for wellbeing and various experimental alternatives will also be explored. Participants will be introduced to the work of Mahatma Gandhi, E.F. Schumacher, Jerry Mander, Dr. Ashish Kothari, Dr. Aseem Srivastava, Charles Eisenstein and others.

5.  Ecological Living in Urban Area

This module examines the issues of relentless urbanization and whether the concept of regenerative cities can be made a practical reality; other areas touched upon will be renewable energy, water and waste management.

6.  Ecological Design for Sustainable Living

This module focuses on looking at design through the lens of ecological sustainability. Participants reflect on the direction they wish to take and design their living accordingly. They work on a project proposal integrating the learnings from this module.

7.  Education for Well-being

This cluster focuses on a critical analysis of the role of education in supporting an unsustainable development paradigm. It includes building awareness regarding alternatives proposed by thinkers such as Tagore, Gandhi, Ivan Illich, Satish Kumar, David Orr and others.

Experiences are shared of Prakriya Green Wisdom School, an alternative school located in the same campus.

8.  Equity & Social Justice / Social Entrepreneurship

This module brings to focus the connection between the current economic model, environmental degradation and marked social inequalities. Experience of legal issues for environmentalism, human justice and equity as well as political process governance, is shared by activists and experts.

The social entrepreneurship module looks at making connections between individuals’ intent, strengths and possibilities for meaningful social action.

9.  Communication and Expression

The fellows will learn from experts and practitioners the significance of various means of expression and communication. The module will give hands on experience of film making and writing as means of communicating stories in depth.

10.  Ecological Option for Livelihoods

Participants will get to interact with some social entrepreneurs and explore various issues of working in the ‘alternative’ world. This opens up avenues of exploration for them.

11.  Deep Ecology

This is a 5 day retreat at a farm within the Sharavathi rain forest, conducive to explore our connectedness with wilderness. Through a group participative process as well as solo sessions, participants get in touch with deeper aspects of our embeddedness in our living Earth.

Internship / Project work

  • In the month of November and December participants need to take up an internship in areas that they wish to explore, with NGOs, organisations, farmers or others engaged in meaningful activities working towards ecological living.

Assessment and Feedback

  • The soul of assessment we believe, ought to be the wish for the other to learn and grow. Participants are invited to make presentations, documentaries or reports for certain modules, on topics of their choice. The rest of the group including the facilitators may offer feedback and suggestions.
  • Sincere effort, maintaining structure and boundaries, keeping the deadlines and regularity is desired and appreciated.