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Beyond Development 2018

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

£ 2 200.00
NOTE: Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials, Earth Talk ticket 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.

We understand that this course is a significant time commitment for some and so we have secured funding for bursaries up to a third of the cost of this course. Learn More and Apply

With Rob Hopkins, Ashish Kothari, Dr Stephan Harding FLS, Paula Andreewitch, Robin Bowman, Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti (Video Link), Jane Davidson (Video Link), Karambu Ringera (Video Link), Katherine Trebeck and Jonathan Dawson

In this three-week intensive, we will be seeking solutions and pathways towards creating 'a global heterodoxy of beautiful solutions to living well on a diverse and finite planet'. We will explore what lies beyond the one-size-fits-all development paradigm of the last half century as we step together into the profoundly creative period of innovation, transition and co-operation that marks our time.

At a Glance

  • Explore both conceptually and experientially with support from a large and diverse team of teachers and mentors
  • Critique development theory and practice
  • Open up whole new ways of understanding and generating reciprocal wealth and wellbeing within the biophysical boundaries of the planet

About This course

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 Hawkin, 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.


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

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, 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 Harding

Stephan coordinates and lectures on MSc Holistic Science, teaching on the core models of the programme, as well as on several short courses at the College.  He 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 which 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 later returned to Venezuela where he was a field assistant for the Smithsonian Institute, studying mammalian diversity in the rainforest and in the lowland plains. He also spent two years as Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica. 

In 1990 Stephan was one of the founding members of Schumacher College where he worked closely with James Lovelock, with whom he has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration.  They were jointly appointmed as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo.  At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.

Paula Andreewitch

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 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.

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change, at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  She has extensive experience working across sectors internationally in areas of education related to global justice, community engagement, indigenous knowledge systems and internationalization.  Her research focuses on analyses of historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of knowledge and inequalities and how these mobilize global imaginaries that limit or enable different possibilities for (co)existence and global change. She is currently directing research projects and teaching initiatives related to social innovations that gesture towards decolonial futures.

Jane Davidson

Jane Davidson (Video Link)

Jane Davidson is Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Director of INSPIRE, (Institute for Sustainability Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint Davi. From 2007- 2011, Jane was Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainable development its central organising principle – the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act came into law in April 2015. She introduced low carbon planning requirements; created a Welsh Climate Change Commission and Future Generations Commissioner, the 800 mile Wales coastpath, legislated on waste which has seen Wales become the lead recycling country in Britain, (currently 3rd in the world) and introduced the Welsh charge on carrier bags. She led on energy for the Silk Commission advocating the transfer of increased energy powers to Wales which was included in the Wales Act 2017.  From 2000 – 2007, Jane was Minister of Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills in Wales. She introduced major curriculum changes – the Foundation Phase and the Welsh Baccalaureate and integrated Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship into the Welsh curriculum.

Dr Karambu Ringera

Dr Karambu Ringera (Video Link)

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.

Katherine Trebeck

Katherine Trebeck

Katherine is Senior Researcher in Oxfam’s Research Team where she is exploring an economic model that delivers social justice, good lives, and which protects the planet. Before this role Katherine was Policy and Advocacy Manager for Oxfam’s UK Programme, and prior to this she led research and policy for Oxfam’s Scotland office. Here she developed Oxfam’s Humankind Index, a measure of Scotland’s real prosperity developed through wide ranging community consultation (see her Tedx talk outlining the need for the Humankind Index). She also managed Oxfam’s Whose Economy? project which asked why, despite decades of economic growth, Scotland’s poverty has not been addressed and inequalities have deepened.

From 2005 to 2008 Katherine was a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. Her work there included analysis of community development, corporate social responsibility and social housing. She has a PhD in political science from the Australian National University (her thesis considered techniques utilised by Aboriginal communities to compel mining companies to recognise and respond to community demands). She is an Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, and was part of the GIZ Global Leadership Academy’s New Economic Paradigm project. Katherine was a Commissioner on the Fairer Fife Commission, sits on WWF Scotland’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force, the Board of Ethical Scotland, and is Rapporteur for Club de Madrid’s Working Group on Environmental Sustainability and Shared Societies.

Her forthcoming book 'Arrival' (co-authored with Jeremy Williams) explores a new mantra for development that shifts attention from growth to quality and distribution of economic activity as we seek to 'make ourselves at home' in a wealthy world.

Jonathan Dawson

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.

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A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.