Blogs >> Schumacher College a new phase - Jon Rae

Schumacher College a new phase - Jon Rae

Jon Rae – Head of College

jon raeI have learnt much since I assumed the leadership of the College. Apart from service to the College it is the scope of what I might learn from my colleagues and the wider College community that drew me to the role. In the spring of 2012 it seemed fair to characterise the College’s aspirations as Rooting in Place, Networking Worldwide: an approach that deepens our inquiry and learning into sustainable living through greater sharing, practice and collaboration, locally and globally. Over the past couple of years the College has put in place the necessary foundations for this to flourish. We have worked productively to extend our influence and activities within Dartington Hall Trust and to deepen local partnerships on research and applied initiatives in support of local, creative and resilient communities. At the same time we have begun to deepen and link our relationships with alumni and others across the globe, sharing and informing learning and practice through open learning, joint programmes and soon an on-line platform for the network to connect, collaborate and learn.

To underpin this learning, and explore its application through doing, the College has supplemented inquiry and practice in holistic science and short courses with the development of year-round programmes in economics, design and agro-ecology. Each combines postgraduate and other courses with varying degrees of applied activity on the land, with communities and through enterprise. We are taking a special interest in how we usefully support our alumni in what they go on to do. Come 2014 the College will breakeven – the first time in our 22 year history and managed through a mixed economy of gift (good will), fundraising and fees. With foundations in place, the College is entering a significant new phase: flourishing as a member both of a local community rooting in place as well as a global, mutually-supportive, family of communities learning and experimenting – and themselves Rooting in Place, Networking Worldwide.

I sense, but then I might, real life at the College – a period of regeneration replenishing our confidence and hope – a hope, as David Orr might say, with sleeves rolled-up. It is beautiful to see and to be a part of a period of flourishing at the College, and I thank the College and the wider community here at Dartington, Totnes and around the globe for all that you are doing as part of this.