Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Beyond Development 2018

Beyond Development 2018

Course dates: 
Monday, 22 January, 2018 to Friday, 9 February, 2018

With Rob Hopkins, Ashish Kothari, Dr Stephan Harding FLS, Paula Andreewitch, Robin Bowman and Jonathan Dawson

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 weaknesses in the ‘one-size-fits all’ structural adjustment programmes that have been enforced throughout the global South (and more recently also in Greece). For large swathes of the human population, the last quarter century has seen economic stagnation, with a growing gulf in wealth between the rich and the poor.

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.  All of these, together with much of the planet’s ecological wealth, have been sacrificed at the altar of an economic growth model that has served primarily the 1%.

We are, however, living through a period of profound innovation and transition. In the words of environmentalist and author Paul Hawkins, the explosion of ecologically informed, community-centred activism that we are witnessing worldwide represents the ‘earth’s immune system kicking in’!

From Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, to buen vivir in the Andean region of South America, from Ubuntu in southern Africa to Swaraj in India, and beyond, we are seeing multiple experiments in redefining and reorienting the process by which peoples define and realise wealth. These movements are not limited to the global South. Also – perhaps especially! – in the global North, there is a growing recognition (manifested in such movements as degrowth, commons, Transition Towns, steady-state economics and permaculture) of the need to transition to a post-materialist, post-developmental paradigm.

All of these various approaches, North and South, are rooted in a validation of cultural and ecological integrity, making of these the very foundations on which planning and policy, values and norms are built. In place of the economic and cultural monoculture that has prevailed this last half-century, what we are seeing emerging is, in the words of the Zapatistas, ‘A world in which many worlds can fit’.

And yet, the transition is still in its infancy and remains fragile.  How do economies whose role in the global economy is predicated upon the export of raw materials make the transition beyond ‘extractivism’?  How can the legitimate desire for indigenous people to have their ancestral lands protected from exploitation be reconciled with the requirement by governments to raise funds for schools, hospitals and rural electrification?  How to catalyse the revolution in consciousness and values required to enable us to transition away from consumerism?  And what are the complementarities and perhaps also potential conflicts between the various movements, North and South.  How can we optimise the synergies between these different players and accelerate the transition to a richer and more diverse global ecological civilisation?

In this three-week programme we will explore both conceptually and experientially, with support from a large and diverse team of teachers and mentors:

  •     Evolution of different theories of development
  •     Critiques of development theory and practice
  •     The emergence of post-development and more pluriversal models and concepts
  •     The contribution of indigenous wisdom traditions to the mix; sumak kawsai/buen vivir
  •     The challenges of operationalising buen vivir; the political economy of transitioning beyond extractivism
  •     Cross-overs/complementarities between buen vivir and other movements/concepts future pathways to alternatives to development

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 Schumacher College's MA Economics For Transition 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.

Teachers

Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins is co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network. He has many years’ experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and set up the first 2-year full-time permaculture course in the world in Kinsale, Ireland, which was also the first community to develop an Energy Descent Action Plan. Futhermore, Rob set up the Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability in Ireland. He is author of The Transition Handbook and The Transition Companion, and publishes www.transitionculture.org, recently voted the 4th best green blog in the UK.

 

Ashish Kothari

Ashish Kothari is an Indian environmentalist working on development, environment interface, biodiversity policy, and alternatives.  He is one of founders of Kalpavriksh, a Non-Profit Organisation in India which deals with environmental and development issues and has been associated with peoples' movements like Narmada Bachao Andolan and Beej Bachao Andolan. He has been a member of Steering Committees of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP) from 1998 to 2008 .  He has also been a co-chair IUCN Inter-commission Strategic Direction on Governance, Equity, and Livelihoods in Relation to Protected Areas (TILCEPA) from 1998 to 2008. Ashish Kothari has also served on the steering group or governing board of the CBD (Convention On Biodiversity) Alliance, the ICCA Consortium, and Greenpeace International. At present, he is the chairman Greenpeace India’s Board

Dr Stephan Harding FLS

Stephan coordinates the MSc Holistic Science, and will teach on the Economics for Transition programme. Stephan was born in Venezuela in 1953 and came to England at the age of six. Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world, and his scientific cast of mind led him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the Muntjac Deer at Oxford University. He has been involved in ecological research, expedition and teaching in Zimbabwe, Peru, Venezuela and Costa Rica. Stephan became a founder member of Schumacher College in 1990. The College’s first teacher was James Lovelock, with whom Stephan has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration that culminated in their joint appointment as chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo. Stephan lives on the College campus with his wife Julia Ponsonby and their son Oscar, and is the author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia published in 2006

Paula Andreewitch

Paula facilitates Theatre of the Oppressed workshops, drawing on the work of Agosto Boal, around the UK, and delivers life coaching and training to inner city young people in London. She is also a classically trained yoga teacher with a background in Capoeira Angola.

 

 

Robin Bowman

Robin has run nature connection and wilderness skills and awareness events and camps with a variety of organisations, charities and schools for 15 years. Many moons ago he was also one of the founding members of Landmatters Permaculture Community, and lived in a bender he made out of hazel for 5 years. Nowadays as well as being an integral part of the Art of Mentoring and 8 Shields movement in the  UK, Robin currently runs Hunger Games themed camps for teenagers through WildWise as well as working with young prisoners and recovering adult addicts for the charity Write to Freedom. Robin manages a large woodland called Moor Barton Rewilding Project which he manages as a venue for organisations to run camps, to rewild people and for the land to rewild itself and increase bio-diversity. In his 'spare time' (ha ha ha) he lives with his young family in the middle of Dartmoor running a smallholding.. Robin shares his skills, knowledge and experience with passion and humour.

 

Jonathan Dawson

Jonathan Dawson is a sustainability educator, currently working as coordinator of Schumacher College’s innovative Economics for Transition postgraduate programme. He has a deep fascination with the power of narrative and language to shape how we understand the world and as a potential source of radical change in the norms, values and behaviours of our societies.  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, 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 has taught this curriculum at universities, ecovillages and community centres in Brazil, Spain and Scotland.

Fee: 
£ 2 200.00
NOTE: Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday of the first week to Friday afternoon the last week, and includes twenty nights private accommodation from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. This course is an elective on Schumacher College's MA Economics For Transition 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.
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