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Beyond Development 2019

Key Info: 
  • 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

With Dr Stephan Harding FLS, Paula Andreewitch, Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti, Jane Davidson (Videolink), Jason Hickel, Helena Norberg-Hodge (Videolink), Morag Gamble and Jonathan Dawson

£ 2 200.00
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.

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 Dr Stephan Harding FLS, Paula Andreewitch, Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti, Jane Davidson (Videolink), Jason Hickel, Helena Norberg-Hodge (Videolink), Morag Gamble and Jonathan Dawson
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.

Dr Stephan Harding FLS

Stephan Harding

Stephan coordinated and lectured on the college’s MSc Holistic Science for nearly two decades, 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, Brian Goodwin, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.  He is now the Deep Ecology Fellow at Schumacher College.

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.

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

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.

Jason Hickel

Jason Hickel

Dr Jason Hickel specializes in development, finance, democracy, violence, and global political economy. His most recent book, "The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions" (Penguin 2017) explores why the income gap between North and South has grown so dramatically since the 1980s. The book argues that the global economy has been organized, from the onset of colonialism to the modern trade system, in a way that benefits a handful of rich nations at the expense of most of the rest of the world.

Jason's ethnographic research focuses on politics in South Africa. His first book "Democracy as Death: The Moral Order of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa" (University of California Press, 2015) looks at why many migrant workers from rural Zululand regard certain liberal elements of democracy as morally repulsive and socially destructive. It argues that this trend can only be understood with reference to popular conceptions of collective well-being and healing that hinge on the hierarchical order of domestic space in rural areas.

Jason's present ethnographic work looks at how the South African Reserve Bank manages monetary through public communication that masks the political and distributional entailments of changes in the value of money. The research also explores growing political conflict between the ANC government and an emergent left movement over interest rates and foreign capital flows - a conflict that hinges on competing conceptions of democracy and sovereignty.

In addition to his academic research, Jason writes regularly for The Guardian and Al Jazeera, and contributes to a number of other online outlets. He sits on the board of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) and is a founding member of /The Rules.

Jason is convening the MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics. In the past he has taught courses on development, labour, globalization, economics, and Africa. He has received five teaching awards for his work in the classroom, and in 2013 won the ASA/HEA National Award for Excellence in Teaching Anthropology.


Helena Norberg-Hodge

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the new economy movement and recipient of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goi Peace Prize. Her inspirational book Ancient Futures has been translated into more than 35 languages. She is co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home and From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture and the producer of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness. She also is the director of Local Futures and the International Alliance for Localization (IAL), and a founding member of the International Forum on Globalisation (IFG) and The Global Ecovillage Network.

Morag Gamble

Morag Gamble

Morag Gamble lives a permaculture life at Crystal Waters with her family, the UN World Habitat award-winning Australian ecovillage in Australia - a community she has called home two decades.   From this living laboratory, and urban community garden oases, she shares a new story of living - a one-earth, nature-connected, community-rich story inspired by indigenous cultures of sustainability, voluntary simplicity and the relocalisation movements. It is an inspiring story full of joy and possibility.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

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

NB: Please do not pay your deposit for the course yet. Any applications received where a deposit has been paid will be rejected and the deposit refunded.

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.

More about our growing areas and philosophy

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing, and all it entails, a truly transformative time.   Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

Integral to the College’s international learning community, you will get to know students, staff and volunteers through daily meetings and shared activities. There is also a diverse programme of events and evening talks, offered by college residents, visiting teachers and local experts.