Reflections on a Transformational Edge Event
“Teaching is service and generosity, the goal is to meet the needs to assist learners to learn”
- Rosemary Morrow
Passing through the beautiful British countryside dotted with stone houses, tiny villages and farms lined with hedgerows, the world seemed to be as it has been for hundreds of years.
The landscape that inspired Narnia of CS Lewis and Middle Earth of JRR Tolkien has an almost immortal feel, despite the rapidly transforming modern world intensely apparent in the bustle of the bigger cities.
Arriving alongside 16 other amazing permaculture people who have traveled from across Europe, Africa, Oceania, Asia and North America to converge in an evolutionary learning experience and empowerment into the next level of their life work as teachers, facilitators, mentors and leaders in their communities. Our global collective traveled into a living example of permaculture in action. The Sustainability Centre, an independent learning and study hub with a holistic, practical and creative approach to education.
This old military site has been converted into a community centre for all things sustainable, and thousands pass through each year to study, share and take retreats from the wilds of the world. It is a historic turning point for the Centre who are embarking on a journey to create a new building that exemplifies the values of Earth care and People care.
The site already hosts Permaculture Publications, one of the most prolific publishers of permaculture media in the world including the renown Permaculture Magazine. To stack functions and cover more territory, our colourful group split up and did two courses running at the same time in different buildings on site, coming together as a whole to share inspiration and learnings during meals and evening sessions.
One group did an intensive Resilience Planning with Rosemary Morrow, whose lifetime of aid work in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Uganda, East Timor, Vietnam and the Solomon Islands has culminated in a profoundly relevant educational program. Participants deepened their understanding of Disaster response and preparedness while applying the learning to do Resilience assessments and planning for their own communities.
The course was designed as a teacher training to empower participants to lead their own versions of the program in different areas of the world. The depth and power of this program hit home for the global participants who left empowered with a vastly upgraded toolkit and new awareness.
The other group did an inspirational Dynamic Groups, Dynamic Learning course with Robin Clayfield and Looby Macnamara, two of the Permaculture Pioneers forging new ground along the creative edge of education. We went through countless interactive learning processes using break out groups, movement, music, role play and a melange of multi-sensory, transformational and empowering teaching practices.
Our life toolkits were enhanced along with an amazing increase in confidence and competence in facilitating groups. Many of us had never had such fun while learning.
It was an incredibly transformational learning experience and a wonderful launch point for the next level of our lives as artful actionaries and activators.
Rosemary Morrow www.bluemountainspermacultureinstitute.com.au
Robin Clayfield dynamicgroups.com.au/about-us/
Looby Macnamara www.designedvisions.co.uk
Sustainability Centre www.sustainability-centre.org
Permaculture Publications permanentpublications.co.uk
Text : Delvin Solkinson
Photos and Media : Dana Wilson
Team : Annaliese Hordern and Kym Chi