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Essay Competition: Education as if People and Planet Matter

Person writing essay at Dartington

We’re very pleased to announce the launch of our 30th anniversary Essay Competition, “Education as if People and Planet Matter”, in collaboration with Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine.

The world is in a state of shock. The pandemic is forcing us to rethink a whole host of assumptions about what really matters to us. The Climate Emergency is forcing us to rethink exactly what ‘progress’ looks like on an inexorably warming planet. Persistent, abhorrent inequality, both in the global economy and in our own back yard, is forcing us to rethink what we mean by ‘fairness’.

Our responses to this state of affairs need to be both immediate over the next couple of years, as in genuinely ‘building back better’, and longer-term. In that respect, nothing is more important than rethinking our entire educational system – given how utterly ‘unfit for purpose’ today’s system is in terms of meeting those challenges.

It’s against that backdrop that Schumacher College, in partnership Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, is launching a major new essay competition on the topic of ‘Education as if People and Planet Matter’. Schumacher College has been a model of holistic, future-fit education for the last 30 years; Resurgence & Ecologist recently celebrated 50 years of inspirational leadership in this space.

Satish Kumar, the Founder of Schumacher College and Editor Emeritus of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, is the Coordinator of the Competition. He says:

‘Education is an integral part of transformation from the present paradigm of unsustainable economic growth to a new paradigm of ecological integrity. This essay competition will surely generate ideas which can inform the way forward to renew the educational system appropriate for the new challenges of our time.’

A Panel of judges has been brought together, to reflect a diversity of experience and interests, all of whom are passionate about the need to transform our entire educational system. The Panel will be chaired by Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future. He says:

‘This Essay Competition is so timely. If #NoGoingBack means anything, it surely means responding to the world as it is (and not as it once was), and empowering young people both to understand that world and to play their part in it as active citizens and shapers of their own future.’

We are accepting submissions until 1 July 2021. To submit your essay, please head to our submissions portal on the Dartington Trust website via this link.