Blogs >> Iberian and Colombian Certificates starting in Autumn 2014

Iberian and Colombian Certificates starting in Autumn 2014

Philip Franses

Philip Franses teaches complexityand hollistic livingThe weather is hot, when we arrive at Walter Ludwick’s farm and eco-resort in Southern Portugal. Walter proudly shows us around the land and the ingenious ways that he has found to keep the water from the winter rains accessible over the dry summer months. Sitting in the cool of the new dining room, over a sumptuous salad, Walter talks about the need to identify and take back ownership of common problems, such as desertification, into locally realised solutions.

As much as one can argue about the theoretical side of out of control capitalism, and increasing climate change, where the message sinks home is in places as Walter’s where the economy and the desertification are turned around into opportunities for reconsideration of what we are doing. The real problem it is clear is in the minds of people. By allowing this place to speak its own living quality, the negatives are all turned into the positives of a vibrant local concern. With collaborator and advisor Sergio Maraschin, we discuss how the forthcoming new Certificate in Iberia is shaping up, and how necessary it is that centres as these can come together in an overarching narrative.

The Certificate in Holistic Science & Transition Economics developed by Schumacher College joins together lessons of how our mind-set of western scientific thinking has been forged, with practical examples of how this world-view and its associated problems can be changed in quite simple and generic ways. The understanding of the college translates to a network of centres and individuals reintroducing local solutions around science, ecology and economy.

The Iberian Certificate brings together three centres, Albayda Centre in Cordoba, Spain; Vale da Lama in Algarve, Portugal; and Posada del Valle in Asturias, Spain as a network of initiatives giving new perspective on the unique opportunities of the region. Instead of being weighed down in talk of dilution of culture, land , desertification and economic depression, the emphasis shifts to embracing of values from Iberian past heritage, the simple storing of water from the rainy winters and thriving educational practices.

The Certificate becomes the forum for a different type of discussion around Iberia to take place, not seeing a problem area with existential, environmental and economic weaknesses but a neglected potential in diverse areas waiting to be reinvigorated.

Each centre hosts a module. Each module consists of a four day residential weekend and a further period of online study with one month of facilitated learning, discussions and project work. The Iberian Certificate starts with the inner reconnection to holism, in Cordoba, with Shantena Sabbadini and Cruz Manas. In the second module the Certificate shifts to Portugal with focus on complexity and Gaia theory illustrated by the change of mind-set needed to live with a fluid pattern of response to modern day challenges. The third module explores the new economy with a residential in the north of Spain at Asturias, with MSc’s Sebastian Burch and Maria Llanas. The course ends with a self-organising pilgrimage to allow the lessons of the four months to sink in.

The Schumacher certificate was begun in 2010 in Kyrgyzstan, and has developed through two successful pilots of the program at centre “Efecto Mariposa” in Colombia. The Certificate offers online and local access to materials, videos and tutoring around the core elements of the College’s Holistic Science and Economics for Transition masters programmes. In each land where it is run, it gives the opportunity for local centres to combine and develop their individual narratives within a greater fabric of understanding.

Also this autumn “Efecto Mariposa” (the Butterfly Effect) outside Bogota run by MSc’s Silvia Gomez and Adriana Puech is hosting its third edition of the Colombian Certificate. In Colombia the certificate is run with a flavour particular to its place: the nearness of local indigenous traditions, the presence of nature on the doorstep of the city, the living of an old culture just under the surface of global modernity. Again here the certificate is transforming views of the world, according to the local opportunities of the area to reclaim a whole view of life.

“The program has led me on a journey to the depth of my soul, challenged my mental models and opened my heart to the challenges and opportunities that I feel we are facing as humanity. A journey guided by insightful texts, stimulating conversations, an amazing diverse group of co learners and our inspiring guides. I have been charged with passion and insight – touched by simple yet revolutionary thoughts, inspirited people and ancient wisdom of the land.” Rowan Simonsen – Student of the Certificate in Holistic Science and Economics for Transition – Colombia 2012-2013

The new certificates and their associated building of networks in country are also the invitation for other alumni around the world to set up their own forums of inquiry around holistic science and transition economics. If you would like to know more about the upcoming certificates or would like to set up your own alumni base for exploration of the vibrant themes in your area then please make use of the contacts below.

Certificate in Holistic Science and Economics for Transition – Iberia 2014-2015 >>

Contact for Iberian Certificate: Sebastian Burch website at contact

Certificate in Holistic Science and Economics for Transition – Colombia 2014-2015 >>

Contacts for Colombian Certificate: Silvia Gomez –, Adriana Puech – or Alejandra Balcazar

For general inquiries including any Schumacher College Alumni wanting to run the certificate in other parts of the world, please contact Philip Franses