Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Transitioning To An Ecological Civilization: Dialogues East And West

Transitioning To An Ecological Civilization: Dialogues East And West

Course dates: 
Monday, 13 February, 2017 to Friday, 30 June, 2017

A collaboration between Schumacher College and the Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Southwest University in China

With facilitation by Julie Richardson and Lanying Zhang, and guest scholars and practitioners including Wen Tiejun, Li Shouli, Zheng Bin, Sit Tsui,  Liu Yingsheng, Rob Hopkins, Sophy Banks and Stephan Harding

Bursaries are available for this programme

Residential Dates in the UK and China

13 - 24 February 2017 Schumacher College, UK
18 - 30 June 2017 Southwest University and various locations in China
Supported by an on-line study programme from February - July 2017

During this programme we will explore what is wrong with the current economic system, in east and west, and why it is not delivering well-being for people and planet.  We will look at the seeds of new possibilities towards growing an ecological civilisation fit for the twenty first century.

This is a rare opportunity to be part of an inspirational and action orientated learning journey in which you will explore with intellectuals and activists the seeds of creating an ecological civilisation, east and west.  The journey will start in the UK at Schumacher College where we will learn about the global story of Transition Towns and how it started in the local town of Totnes.  Here we will meet with community activists and social entrepreneurs and visit inspiring projects that have emerged from the local community in response to climate change, peak oil and economic instability and inequality.  Together, we will experience inner transition and community participation processes to cultivate empowering, engaging, creative and enjoyable ways of being together as part of the transition.

Between residential modules, our journey continues on-line, where you will be invited to further study and be supported in creating your own initiative inspired by the transition movement.

The final leg of our learning journey takes place at various locations in China (Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu Province), in collaboration with the Institute of Rural Reconstruction at Southwest University.  We will experience first-hand the culture and ecology of China and have an opportunity to dialogue with intellectuals and activists about what creating an ecological civilisation means in contemporary China.  We will visit inspiring projects as well as exploring the cultural and ecological roots to traditional Chinese wisdom rooted in Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.  Participants will be introduced to the ancient holistic philosophy and practice of cultivating inner strength for outer action and have the unique opportunity to visit sacred places and monasteries related to modern day practices of these ancient holistic traditions.

This is an educational experience that will appeal to community activists, NGO’s, students, researchers, policy makers and entrepreneurs interested in cross-cultural dialogue;  exchanging holistic theory and practice east and west, towards creating a global movement transitioning to an ecological civilisation.

Completion of this non-formal Continuing Professional Development programme, will lead to a Certificate awarded by Schumacher College, UK and the Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Southwest University, China.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of two residential modules within a programme of on-line study.

Module 1:  Transitioning to an Ecological Civilisation: West

Residential at Schumacher College (Old Postern), UK, 13-24 February 2017 supported by an on-line study programme from February – April 2017
(This module can be booked as a single course as part of Schumacher College's short course Programme. Learn More>)

Module 2: Transitioning to an Ecological Civilisation: East
(This module can be booked as a single course as part of Schumacher College's Worldwide Programme. Learn More>)

Residential at various locations in China (Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu, Sichuan province ) organised by Southwest University, 18 – 30 June 2017 supported by an on-line study programme from May – July 2017. (Please note that participants arrive in Beijing on 18 June and depart from Chengdu on 30 June)

 

Programme Details

This is a 6 month learning journey in which participants will explore community responses east and west towards growing an ecological civilisation in response to the multiple systemic challenges of our times (including climate change, peak oil, economic instability, social inequality) .  We will compare and contrast the worldwide social movement of Transition Towns that started in the UK, with the Rural Reconstruction Movement in China and the ecological and cultural roots of both of these movements.  Participants will be supported towards developing their own project in their country – inspired by the East and West experience. 

Module 1:  Transitioning to an Ecological Civilisation: West

(This module can be booked as a single course as part of Schumacher College's short course Programme. Learn More>)

Participants will explore the global and local story of the Transition Network as a participatory social movement, with its roots in ecological thinking in the West. Transition Towns are community led responses to climate change, peak oil and financial and economic instability and inequality. The module will explore the philosophy and values of the great transition and will include field trips to local transition and related initiatives in the Southwest of England. There will be opportunities for participants to work on their own and in groups about developing ideas and plans for seeding new transition inspired initiatives in their own area:

The following areas will be included:

  • Exploring what is wrong with the current economic system and why we need a great transition
  • Mapping the global story of the transition town movement with its origins in the UK
  • Applying ecological principles towards creating an ecological civilisation
  • Connecting the inner and outer journey of transition
  • Experiencing social engagement and community participation methods
  • Field trips to transition town and related initiatives in the local area (including community supported agriculture; community land trusts; and community renewable energy services cooperatives)

On Line Study:

  • Developing seeds for new transition initiatives in your own area
  • Preparatory readings and resources
  • Steps and resources for setting up a transition inspired project in your own area
  • On-line study, films and discussion forum
  • Peer to peer support

Module 2: Transitioning to an Ecological Civilisation: East

(This module can be booked as a single course as part of Schumacher College's Worldwide Programme. Learn More>)

Participants will explore the New Rural Reconstruction Movement and its one hundred year history.  This is the biggest yet peaceful social movement in China with several organisations and tens of thousands of volunteers.  The movement provides an alternative to American capitalism and Russian socialism and grows out of a strong intellectual and social heritage that has particular relevance to creating an ecological civilisation in contemporary China. 

The learning journey will take place in 3 locations.  In Beijing we will learn about the political, economic, social and cultural evolution based on Chinese history and crises we have experienced.  We will be introduced to Chinese holistic philosophy about life, in connection with society and nature. 

We will then take a slow train journey through central China to Chongqing in the Southwest.  Here we will explore the values and ideas underpinning the new rural reconstruction movement (and its rich history) and visit projects to see what it looks like in practice – from small scale renewable energy technologies to community supported agriculture. 

The third and final part of our journey takes place in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.  Here we will explore the cultural and ecological origins of traditional Chinese wisdom rooted in Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.  Participants will be introduced to the ancient holistic philosophy and practice of cultivating inner strength for outer action. We will have a rare opportunity to visit sacred places and monasteries related to modern day practice of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism and consider what these holistic practices and methodologies can mean for the evolution to an ecological civilisation.

The following areas will be included:

  • Exploring current and historical crises in China
  • Mapping the story of rural reconstruction as a social movement towards transitioning to an ecological civilisation
  • Field visits to local rural reconstruction projects and participating in rural life
  • Experiencing participatory processes with village groups (including seasonal calendars linking with climate change; and dream mapping)
  • Dialogue with intellectuals and activists in the Rural Reconstruction Movement
  • Re-valuing indigenous culture and traditional knowledge and its links to ancient ecological and holistic thinking and practices rooted in Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism
  • Experiencing holistic practices for inner cultivation (such as calligraphy, TaiQi, and traditional tea ceremonies)
  • Visiting sacred landscapes; holistic and ecological technologies and community living at an Eco-Taoist Monastery in the Qingcheng Mountains
  • Synthesis, dialogue and sharing towards creating an ecological civilisation: East and West
  • Developing seeds for new transition inspired initiatives in your own area

On Line Study:

  • Preparatory readings and resources
  • Steps and resources for setting up a project in your own area
  • Developing action plans for project development
  • On-line study, films and discussion forum
  • Peer to peer support

Apply for the Programme

Reserve your place for only £150.00 deposit. The course fee includes all tuition, accommodation, meals and field trips in the two residential modules and the on-line study circle.  It does not cover travel to China or the UK, travel insurance or incidental expenses.  This course is delivered at Schumacher College in the UK, and at several locations in China, organised by Southwest University. For more information please see ourTransitioning to an Ecological Civilisation Terms and Conditions [link is external]

Once we have received your reservation, we will send you a short application and medical form.  Please note that the course will be offered in English language in the UK, China and on-line.  Some informal interpretation may be offered and limited materials will be available in Chinese.  To be able to fully participate in the programme, a standard of English of ELS6.5 (or equivalent) is highly recommended.

Bursaries are available for this programme

To support a wide cross section of participation on the Transitioning to an Ecological Civilisation Course, we have a small bursary fund available. We try to ensure that our financial assistance helps those most in need and is shared amongst as many applicants as possible. It is limited to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend.

For this course, most bursaries are in the region of 10-50% of the course fee and do not cover travel or incidental expenses.  Only in exceptional circumstances will larger bursaries be awarded. Bursary applications will be considered 3 months before the start of the programme.

Fees

£3980 Course fee includes all tuition, accommodation, meals and fields trips in the 2 residential modules and the on-line study circle.  Please note, it does not include travel to and from the residential modules, personal travel insurance, visa fees, or any personal incidental expenses.

The residential Module 2 in China starts from Beijing and ends in Chengdu.  Arrangements for participants to return to Beijing at the end of the programme can be organised for an additional fee of £150.

Teachers and Facilitators

Learn More about the contributors on the course modules


Contact

For more information about this programme and our bursary programme, please contact Julie.richardson@schumachercollege.org.uk (link sends e-mail)

East-West Dialogues Workshop in Beijing: Option

There is an option to participate in a two-day workshop ‘East-West Dialogues’ in Beijing on 3-4 July 2017 for an additional fee of £200.  ‘East – West Dialogues’ is a participatory workshop to explore the synergies between traditional Chinese culture, contemporary Western holism, and applications in modern life.   Further information will be posted at a later date. Fee:  £200: This is a special reduced fee for participants on the Transitioning to an Ecological Civilisation Programme. It covers workshop fee, accommodation and meals.  It does not cover transport to and from the workshop in Beijing. 

Fee: 
£ 3 980.00
Course fee includes all tuition, accommodation, meals and fields trips in the 2 residential modules and the on-line study circle. Please note, it does not include travel to and from the residential modules, personal travel insurance, visa fees, or any personal incidental expenses. The residential Module 2 in China starts from Beijing and ends in Chengdu. Arrangements for participants to return to Beijing at the end of the programme can be organised for an additional fee of £150.