It’s becoming ever clearer that a different way of life is necessary, to survive as a human species and as a planet. Solutions are needed for community, consciousness, sustainability and new economy. The month-long Ecovillage Design Education course (August 6 – September 3, 2016 this year) explores solutions drawing from Damanhur’s 41 years of experience that have been strongly put to the test. More than a course, it is a transformational journey that touches on so many essential themes of creating a new world.

Here are 10 reasons to come for the EDE!

ede-greenhouse-300x2251. Friendship, network and community building
The EDE experience naturally weaves bonds of emotion, support and collaboration. The web of connection is diverse and worldwide! Last year, participants had 20 different nationalities from four continents. There were many young people, along with mature and experienced leaders, all with an impressive density of skills, knowledge and sensitivity.

2. Practical techniques
Participants enjoy hands-on experiences in straw bale house construction, and connecting to the earth through gardening in the greenhouses, as a useful counterbalance to the theoretical learning.

3. Projects and collaboration
Several real-life projects are launched and developed throughout the month, using tools such as Dragon Dreaming, Open Space and World Cafe, approaching the work from the different perspectives explored in the EDE.

4. Collective art
Two half-days dedicated to individual and collective art-making gives space to reawakening and celebrating the artist inside us all.

5. Individual growth through group dynamics
There is always a living group process in the EDE that evolves throughout the month. The others serve as water-domemirrors to help accelerate personal growth, bringing to life the themes of decision making, conflict resolution and leadership presence.

6. The Temples of Humankind 
Visiting the Temples of Humankind, as well as returning for dedicated meditation time, gives space to connect with the clarity and synchronicity of the underground Temples, in support of the journey.

7. Economy and solidarity
Witness living systems of communal economics, ethical businesses and solidarity in action. Discover more about macro and micro-economy, complementary currencies and local economy. The EDE also addresses the green and blue economy, and practical tools for project development.

8. Time in nature
Stay in a calm and tranquil nature sanctuary during the course, and enjoy a trip into the Alps to swim ede-swim-e1465290319236under a crystal clear (and very cold) waterfall! A two-day intensive community-building time in the Sacred Woods Temple brings the group work to a new level. Bring a sleeping bag and be open to surprises!

9. Contact with Damanhur and the local area
During the EDE, you meet with a diversity of Damanhurians, eating some dinners in the communities houses (nucleos). There will be a brunch for speaking with community members and exchanging ideas. Day trips to nearby places help to increase understanding of local food sources, valuing traditional knowledge, and collaboration between intentional community and the bioregion.

10. Delicious natural foods 
Fresh, tasty food made with love by chefs from Damanhur are served at every meal, exalting organic produce harvested from our community farms and gardens, when possible. Various nutritional needs from vegan and vegetarian to gluten free can be taken into consideration. Experience how consciousness and intention can be transmitted through nutrition!