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The Curriculum, Internship and Assessment

The Curriculum

The curriculum for this course is organised in nine clusters /modules:

1. Connecting to the Land, Community and Ourselves

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. While part of the module is co-created by participants, based on their interests, it will include the following:

  • Activities on the Land & Community Living:Most of us in cities have lost a sense of belonging and co-ownership of land and community. 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. What emerges and can be fleshed out in the process are also innumerable issues concerning ecological and sustainable living
  • Holistic Enquiry: This includes enquiry into the ecology of our bodies and minds as well as of other ‘outer’ ecosystems; understanding reductionist science and linear logic as well as Gaia theory, systems and complexity theories. The approach to such enquiry is through applications to food, health, farming, our economic system etc.

2. 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, through sharing, interaction, meditation and other processes of exploration.

3. Ecological Food and Agriculture

These two sectors, which contribute significantly to carbon emission, are studied through the works of Dr Vandana Shiva, Masanobu Fukuoka, Dr Frances Moore Lappé, Devinder Sharma and other pioneers. As part of this cluster, workshops on holistic nutrition and field visits to organic farms are also organised.

4. Communication – Video and Documentary Making & other media and methods

While communication in all forms will be valuable for anyone, an introduction to videographing and documentary making will be very useful to anyone taking up social entrepreneurship or any new green project. During this module, participants will learn hands on how to conceptualise and make a short documentary individually or in small groups.

5. Education and Sustainable Living

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, Ron Miller, Fritjof Capra, Gustavo Esteva and others. There will also be class observation sessions and face-to-face discussions with the children and teachers of Prakriya Green Wisdom School, an alternative school located in the same campus.

6. Livelihoods, Technology and Economics for Wellbeing

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

7. Leadership for Social Enterprises and Projects

Participants who wish to start a social enterprise or project can experientially learn about various issues by working on a proposal or actually beginning a project from the beginning of the course. Participants will also get to interact with some social entrepreneurs and also explore various issues of working in the ‘alternative’ world.

8. Ecological Living in Urban Areas - Perspectives and Practices

Here, we cover localisation vs. globalisation, understanding the significance of commons and community, preservation of wilderness and biodiversity, transition, resilience, renewable energy, water and waste management. We will also enquire together the issues of relentless urbanization and whether the concept of regenerative cities can be made a practical reality; Other areas touched upon will be legal issues for environmentalism, human justice and equity as well as political processes governance.

9. Deep Ecology

This is a 5 day retreat at a farm within the Sharavathi rain forest, a beautiful space with the simplest of modern facilities, conducive to explore our connectedness with Wild Nature. Through a group participative process as well as solo sessions in the spaces around, opportunities are available to get in touch with deeper aspects of our embeddedness in Gaia, our living Earth.

Internship / Project work

During the period from Jan 1 to Mar 31, 2107, participants need to take up an internship with NGOs, schools, farmers or others engaged in meaningful activities working towards ecological living. Alternatively the participant may take up a project for which she should submit a project proposal.

A participant may also choose to not take up internship / project work, in which case she will be awarded a certificate of participation in the six month of sessions at the Bhoomi College.

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. If the participant wishes it, the rest of the group including the facilitators may offer feedback and suggestions.

Students completing the one-year programme with a fair degree of commitment according to the rest of the group will be awarded a Diploma in Science & Management for Sustainable Living by Bhoomi College.