Social Design

Programme Overview

Type: e-Learning
Start Date:
4 October 2021
Study Time:
10 hours/ week
Facilitation: 
With Facilitators
Level: 
Intermediate
Registrations: until 11 October


Developed by:
GE2021_BRAND_LOGOMARK_FICHA (1)

In this online course, you will gain the understanding and skills to become a confident changemaker in social issues of sustainability.

The aim of this programme is to give you a better understanding of the true meaning of social equity and participatory action and to enable participants to apply transformative tools that align us with more resilient social systems. Our relationship with others is too dear to let it default to old domineering paradigms.

After completing this course, you will have learned practical and effective ways to create the change we all seek. Our distinct programme is your chance to learn about the different ways to participate in this (r)evolutionary shift in paradigms.

Many of us feel that our current social system is no longer sustainable and that more compassionate and just ways of organising are possible, but what are the alternatives? How can we consciously re-invent cooperative and harmonious ways of living and working together?

If you have been part of a group, you already know that one of the most common reasons for failure of group projects is conflict. Conflict is a structural issue in the formation of groups so propagating successful group projects will necessarily entail a healing process in which we step out of the cycles of pain and violence that have run through human history and take responsibility for initiating new patterns.

Rebuilding human community is an endeavour whose immense challenges should not be underestimated.

In this online course, you will gain the understanding and skills to become a confident changemaker in social issues of sustainability.

The aim of this programme is to give you a better understanding of the true meaning of social equity and participatory action and to enable participants to apply transformative tools that align us with more resilient social systems. Our relationship with others is too dear to let it default to old domineering paradigms.

After completing this course, you will have learned practical and effective ways to create the change we all seek. Our distinct programme is your chance to learn about the different ways to participate in this (r)evolutionary shift in paradigms.

Many of us feel that our current social system is no longer sustainable and that more compassionate and just ways of organising are possible, but what are the alternatives? How can we consciously re-invent cooperative and harmonious ways of living and working together?

If you have been part of a group, you already know that one of the most common reasons for failure of group projects is conflict. Conflict is a structural issue in the formation of groups so propagating successful group projects will necessarily entail a healing process in which we step out of the cycles of pain and violence that have run through human history and take responsibility for initiating new patterns.

Rebuilding human community is an endeavour whose immense challenges should not be underestimated.

Programme Overview

Type: e-Learning
Start Date: 
4 October 2021
Study Time:
10 hours/ week
Facilitation: 
With Facilitators
Level: 
Intermediate

Registrations: until 11 October


Developed by:
GE2021_BRAND_LOGOMARK_FICHA (1)

 

Who can take the GEDS course?

The GEDS course is open to everyone! No prerequisites. All you need is access to a computer with a current browser, an Internet connection and a commitment to learn.

When does the programme start?

You can sign up for the full certificate at any of the dimensions and complete the programme within two years (GEDS start dates below). However, the Design Studio is only offered at a specific time and can only be taken after all 4 dimensions have been completed (more info on the start dates of the Design Studio here). You can also take one dimension at a time and complete the program within a maximum of three years.

Gaia Education Design for Sustainability start dates:

  • Social Design: 4 October 2021
    (Registrations are open until 11 October 2021)
  • Ecological Design: 10 January 2022
    (Registrations are open until 17 January 2022)
  • Worldview 21 March 2022
    (Registrations are open until 28 March 2022)
  • Economic Design: 30 May 2022
    (Registrations are open until 6 June 2022)
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Social Dimension

The aim is to give you a better understanding of the true meaning of social equity, inclusivity and justice as well as the need for widespread participation and collaborative action in a collectively envisioned and implemented transition towards resilient, nourishing and thriving social systems. In your journey through the Social Dimension of Design for Sustainability you will rediscover the importance of community cohesion and collaborative rather than competitive advantage, and reconnect with the beauty, compassionate nature and innate power of human beings to co-design the changes they wish to see in their communities and bioregions.


In the Social dimension we will address the following questions:

  • What is the vision that will support projects to be coherent and inspiring?
  • How will decisions be made and conflicts resolved?
  • How will we walk that delicate line between being an individual and growing our personal empowerment, while being part of a collective endeavour?
  • How will we celebrate our diversity in a just and inclusive manner when we are challenged by our differences?
  • What will we do to reconnect with the creative source in the web of life and bring a sense of beauty and artistic craftsmanship to everything we do?
  • How will our group, organisation, project or community reach out to other local and bioregional communities, to build bridges and facilitate learning from each other and more effective collaboration towards shared goals?

In the Social dimension you will learn:

  • To create a common vision for a collective project
  • To improve your communication skills and communicate in a more compassionate way
  • To use consensus to make decisions that everybody can accept
  • To navigate conflict and embrace diversity – of ideas, beliefs, roles, etc.
  • To map the network of connections needed for your projects
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Course Content

Module 1: Building Community and Embracing Diversity

Introduces the basics of building community and some of the values that help foster an atmosphere of trust. We also explore engaging the energy of conflict toward generating meaningful actions and social systems that work for all.

In Module 1 you will learn to:

  • Appraise the immense power for social change that lies in the building of community

  • Describe common elements for starting a community, including organising a core group, forging a common vision, creating community glue, and instilling an atmosphere of trust and goodwill

  • Relate issues of  “interbeing,”  the intrinsic value of all life in community building

  • Combine qualities of compassion, empathy, and reconciliation in our relationships

  • Defend diversity and difference and the richness they bring to community life


Module 2: Communication Skills and Decision-Making

Continues our journey into learning about group dynamics and the art of collaborative decision making.

In Module 2 you will learn to:

  • Evaluate the range of definitions of  “consensus” and why consensus is the decision-making process preferred by sustainability organizations
  • Describe the role of the facilitator in participatory processes and how it differs from traditional, autocratic leadership
  • Relate the basics of conflict and compassionate communication
  • Specify the relationship between planning, feedback, reflection and evaluation in community building
  • Practice the making of a facilitated, consensus decision

Module 3: Leadership and Empowerment

Module 3 offers lessons in distinguishing between “power from within” and “power over” as well as developing leadership skills that serve the group and the world. We also look at the impact of privilege, power, and oppression on individuals and social systems.

In Module 3 you will learn to:

  • Recognise the differences between ‘repressive power’ and ‘creative power’
  • Develop the concept of empowerment and the empowerment of others
  • Determine how a group of powerful individuals can work together in organic patterns of shared and interdependent responsibility
  • Indicate awareness around the issues of rank, power, and privilege
  • Demonstrate leadership in groups: integration of leadership skills

Module 4: Art, Ritual, and Social Transformation

Reminds us that in the individual and collective expression of creativity there is a re-unification with the source of all creativity, and a recognition of our deeper selves as expressions of the beauty and complexity of the world.

In Module 4 you will learn to:

  • Create Art as a wonderful medium for personal growth, healing, and transformation that can be used by people of all skill levels
  • Relate  the reclaiming of unbounded creativity as our true nature, as a flow from a universal source, as natural as the blossoming of a flower
  • Arrange beautiful and stimulating environments in which inspiration and intuition are enhanced, and in which creativity may flow unencumbered
  • Design community celebrations as an expression of group Art, and the experience that living in community allows members to develop a shared culture of celebration
  • Propose that the highest form of creativity, both individually and in community, is for our lives to become works of Art

Module 5: Education, social Networks, and Activism

Broadens our perspective and investigates the value of networking, teaching one another, and taking direct action to shape our world. We look at the threads that connect us to past and future generations, as well as to local and regional communities all around the globe.

In Module 5 you will learn to:

  • Indicate respect for the community of life across generations; those that have lived before, those that live now, and those that will live later
  • Manage to build friendly relationships with neighbours
  • Design for social ecology; balancing public and private space
  • Formulate ways of catalysing sustainability in our bioregion
  • Broaden our scope for change on a global level: networking, knowledge exchange, education initiatives, and solidarity

You can also learn more about the content of the Social Dimension in the Social Key book ‘Beyond You and Me‘ of the 4 Keys book series.

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Certificate of Completion

Upon certification you will have the background and confidence to take an active role in designing for sustainability, resilience and regeneration, both professionally and personally, working for small and large- scale community projects, eco-social enterprises or transition initiatives in civil society, the public sector or business.

You will feel ready to offer your contribution and facilitate others to contribute to the collaborative transformation of our existing communities, institutions and neighbourhoods towards more sustainable and regenerative patterns of being and doing in the world.

What is more, you will be able to support yourself and others in leading healthier, more joyful and more meaningful lives.

To receive a Certificate of Completion students need to engage in all four dimensions plus the Design Studio over a 14-month period. However, the dimensions do not need to be completed within the same year. For those who require more time it is also possible to complete within 36 months, once registered in the full programme. At the end of their participation students will have successfully completed the minimum required activities for each dimension and a satisfactory team-design project.

Read more about the Design Studio here

Registration

  • The Social Design course will run every year and runs for 8 weeks (including an orientation period).
  • We suggest you dedicate a minimum of 10 hours a week to receive maximum benefit from this programme.
  • If you register early, you are able to get a discount. The full price of this programme is £350 GBP.
  • For further information, please email: info@gaiaeducation.org

The Social dimension can be taken as a stand-alone programme or as the starting point for our 10-month online Design for Sustainability certificate course.

After completing the Social dimension, you will be equipped with the understanding and skills to become a confident change maker in social issues of sustainability.

Graduates of our programmes have gone on to contribute to sustainability projects, build communities, become social entrepreneurs, partake in permaculture projects and bio-dynamic farming, support transition movements and much more.

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