Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Beyond Development: Living Well on a Diverse and Finite Planet - Three Week Intensive

Beyond Development: Living Well on a Diverse and Finite Planet - Three Week Intensive


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Course dates: 
Monday, 18 January, 2016 to Friday, 5 February, 2016

With Eduardo Gudynas, Dr, Karambu Ringera (via videolink), Paula Andreewitch, Isabel Carlisle, Jonathan Dawson, Liepollo Lebohang Pheko, Yannick Beaudoin and Megan Seneque

The development paradigm that has dominated thinking and policy on the political and economic trajectory of ‘Third World’ countries, since the end of the Second World War, is drawing to a close.

Even key players such as the World Bank and IMF now recognise the manifold weaknesses in the ‘one-size-fits all’ structural adjustment programmes that have been enforced throughout the global South (and more recently Greece) these last four decades. These have involved privatisation of state assets, liberalisation of markets and swingeing currency devaluation.

However, the critique of this kind of ‘development’ goes far beyond its failure in purely economic terms.  A deeper critique points to the conceptual and cultural impoverishment entailed in defining wealth in purely monetary terms, and the resulting steamrollering of regionally distinctive cultural, economic and political forms of organisation.

We are now seeing ‘development’ that involves sacrificing democratic political process as well as cultural and ecological integrity at the altar of an economic growth model that serves primarily the 1%.

In this three-week programme we will explore at a very deep and transformational level:

  • The historical evolution of development concept and practice
  • The many critiques of the development paradigm
  • Systemic forces that are currently undermining the paradigm and creating space for new ways of understanding and organising to emerge
  • Clues presented by the many pioneering and alternative approaches (including Buen Vivir, economic Swaraj, Gross National Happiness and De-growth) as to how the post-Washington Consensus world may self-organise

We will be drawing not just from economic theory and practice but also from the fields of anthropology and ecology

These disciplines are a great place to start in the search for a language fit for the purposes of the 21st century.  Both reveal a mosaic of diverse, elegant and creative adaptations to the specificity of place; a global heterodoxy of beautiful solutions to the challenge of living well on a diverse and finite planet. 

The concepts that lie at the heart of these disciplines – such as resilience, adaptability, symbiosis, the power of networks and so on – open up whole new ways of understanding and generating reciprocal wealth and wellbeing within the biophysical boundaries of the planet. 

The course will seek to educate the whole person, and will draw on multiple ways of learning including small group design work and techniques drawn from Agosto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed  as well as more conventional, conceptual approaches to the subject.

This course is an elective on our postgraduate programme. It is open to external participants who would like to deeply explore this subject material and can join us for the whole three-week programme.


Eduardo Gudynas Senior Research at the Latin American Center for Social Ecology

Eduardo Gudynas, is senior researcher at the Latin American Center on Social Ecology (CLAES), a think tank based in Montevideo (Uruguay). His work focus on environment and alternatives to development, involved with different social movements and organizations in the continente. He hold a masters degree son social ecology, is a member of the Uruguayan Research System, associate researcher at the Dpt. Anthropology, University of California, Davis, and Duggan fellow of the National Resources Defense Council (US). He is a regular visiting professor or lecturer in different universities in Latin America, Spain, Austria, the US and Canada. He was coordinator of the Latin American sections of the United National Environmental Programm annual environmental outlooks for several editions, and an expert member of the Amazonian Sustainable Development Programm of the F. Ebert Foundation. His latest books include one on environmental ethics and Nature’s rights with a review of the situation in the Andean countries (with editions in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and nextcomming in Ecuador), and another one on the theory of extractivisms (with editions in Peru and Bolivia, and nextcomming in Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil). He is also author or co-author of several scholar papers in academic journals. He is also a regular contributor with op-eds in different newspapers, magazines and web portals in several Latin American countries and Spain. He can be followed on twitter at @EGudynas; blog

Paula Andreewitch

Paula is a Theatre of the Oppressed Facilitator trained by Augusto Boal’s team in Rio de Janeiro. Her work with politic-aesthetic and inclusive theatre has led her to work with refugees in the Uk, prisoners in Mexico, students in Tanzania, children in India, and a youth group that she founded in Brazil. Inspired by Boal’s techniques she has developed and delivers a dynamic and creative curriculum for London’s inner city youth to explore amongst other topics, citizenship, self aweareness and communication. A yoga teacher as well as theatre facilitator, Paula’s aim is to provide spaces in which we challenge and carefully critique the 'reality' that society provides us with through delving beyond mechanised and oppressive movement and thought patterns in order to remember and liberate the creative, free expression of body and mind that we are born with.

Jonathan Dawson

Jonathan is a sustainability educator, currently working as Head of Economics at Schumacher College in Devon. Until recently a long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network, he has around 20 years experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.

Jonathan is the principal author of the Gaia Education sustainable economy curriculum (link is external), drawn from best practice within ecovillages worldwide, that has been endorsed by UNITAR and adopted by UNESCO as a valuable contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. He teaches this curriculum at universities, ecovillages and community centres in Brazil, Spain and Scotland. He has also adopted the curriculum to virtual format and teaches it through the Open University of Catalunya in Barcelona.

Dr Karambu Ringera

Dr Karambu Ringera is the founder and president of International Peace Initiatives (IPI:, an organisation that works to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence in the lives of women and children. She has used her extensive academic background and international experience working in many countries to design and implement models of effective community engagement, women’s grassroots organizing programs, collaborative problem solving models, pre-emptive and post conflict reconciliation, proactive health campaigns, and a successful, working model of “Amani Homes,” community homes of peace for orphans and vulnerable children. Karambu is a visionary, an activist, a compassionate, committed, formidable force for change, and an inspiration to all who meet her.

Isabel Carlisle

Isabel Carlisle is Education Coordinator for Transition Network, leads the team that is bringing the South Devon Bioregional Learning Centre into being, and is co-founder of the Community Chartering Network.

After a long career in the art world (art critic for The Times, deputy head of exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, initiator and director of The Festival of Muslim Cultures 2006) Isabel moved into education and designed and delivered creative responses to sustainability with schools in the east end of London. In 2010 she moved to Totnes and is a trustee of Transition Town Totnes.

In 2013 she taught a short course at Schumacher College (Voices for the Earth) with Polly Higgins that brought the Falkirk Community Charter into existence. She is now working with St Ives in Cornwall to make a similar Community Charter, a process that empowers local communities to become stewards of their eco-systems and have a voice in their long-term economic future.

She is currently setting up a Bioregional Learning Centre in South Devon to address the systemic problems in making our food, water, energy, waste and transport systems resilient for the future. And she is replicating One Year in Transition (the livelihood creation programme that she created for change-agents aged between 20 and 35 with Transition hubs in Europe.

Liepollo Lebohang Pheko

Liepollo is policy and advocate director at the Johannesburg-based The Trade Collective. She is an activist scholar, public intellectual and development practitioner whose research interests lie in international trade & global financial governance, feminisation of poverty, regional integration and the impacts of globalisation on labour migration. She works in Africa, Europe, Asia, the US and Latin America​.


Yannick Beaudoin, PhD

Yannick is Chief Scientist at GRID-Arendal, a United Nations/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborating center in Norway and an alumnus of Schumacher College’s Economics for Transition Masters programme. This involves him in working to apply new economic thinking, a science of change and participatory social processes to GRID-Arendal’s Green Economy and Green Economy in a Blue World activities that include working with countries, communities and industry to increase human well-being while preserving and enhancing ecological health and quality. He has also provided advisory services on green economy/blue economy to the East Asia Pacific group of the World Bank and to various UNEP Regional Seas Conventions.

Megan Seneque

Megan’s career both as an academic and as a social process and development professional began in South Africa at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. She was involved in long-term work on curriculum transformation in the transition to post-Apartheid South Africa. Megan was Founding Director of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Leadership Centre – established to build new and appropriate forms of leadership for sustainable development in the African context.

She is currently involved in a number of global projects, working with participatory processes that enable collaboration across traditional boundaries and which promote systemic change. These projects integrate research, process consulting and human development. Details can be found on her LinkedIn profile:

£ 2 200.00
Course fees include single accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.