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A Schumacher College Alumni Gathering in Japan


by Peter David Pedersen

20 years ago, in June 1994, I participated in the four-week Fritjof Capra Course at Schumacher College. This experience deeply influenced my future choice of career and view of
the world. Working in Japan since 1995, deep ecology, new ways of approaching business, sustainability and civilization have continued to be the major cornerstones of my work.

Still living Japan today, I have wondered for many years what kind of people in Japan might have visited the College and was very happy with the fantastic support of three fellow alumnis and help from Schumacher College - to be able to gather a small group in the wooded highland town where I live, not far from Tokyo.

Below is a short report from the two days we enjoyed together. We hope to keep the alumni network alive with future events.


The first Schumacher College Alumni Gathering was held in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture in Japan in 14-15 September, 2014. 

Thirteen participants gathered this time. The courses they attended at the college were varied -- not only MSc in Holistic Science but also various short courses from the one by Dr. Fritjof Capra in 1994 to "Art of Invitation" in 2014, and others like "Ecoliteracy", "Gaia's Garden", and "Walking with Earth Pilgrim." 

We had three sessions during the two days:

1) sharing experiences at Schumacher College,

2) brainstorming on Next Leaders' Initiative for Sustainability (NELIS),

3) open sessions with the themes including "What is spirituality?", "How to cope with fear?", and "Japanese wisdom".

Many of the participants met for the first time at the alumni and their backgrounds are different, but they soon opened up to each other. So discussions at all the sessions were very lively and deep. It was impressive to see what they experienced at the college are very special to them, and what they learned from Satish and other lecturers are ingrained in them.

In between, we also enjoyed talking with each other at a tea break (with sweets made from the recipes of Gaia's Kitchen!) and during walks in the woods. 

Karuizawa's nature and cool air reminded us of England. The days in Schumacher College were wonderful. But living away from the UK, sometimes it feels like a dream, distant from reality. So this was a very good opportunity to connect with the alumni here in Japan. We hope to get together again, and also hope to connect with those all over the world in the future.

Hosting Team:

Peter David Pedersen
Takuya Goto
Keiko Hoshino
Natsuyo Iida