Craig Gibsone & Vera Franco
Co-creation with Nature and the Nature of Oneself
This pioneering month was inspired during the creation of the Global Ecovillage Network and contributed greatly to the formation of Gaia Education and the curriculum of its most successful international educational programmes.
There has been so much knowledge, love and passion. This has been a wonderful step on my path to re-gain the knowledge to live with the earth and learn from it.
Experience directly the interwoven tapestry of the Findhorn Foundation community - a pioneering ecovillage dedicated to co-creation with spirit and nature. The community/ecovillage is now well integrated into the local bioregion and engages symbiotically with it in ways that foster human and ecosystemic resilience.
Meeting the increasingly urgent global need for viable, sustainable human settlements, ecovillages serve as models of environmental, social, economic and spiritual sustainability. Providing an enhanced quality of life for all species, they reharmonise our relationship with the natural world in a regenerative and empowering way.
Applied Ecovillage Living is about connecting and belonging: connecting the interdependent dots of all of life’s diversity and exploring our place within the whole. You will come away from this programme with a sense of kinship to a rich global movement and gain a greater feeling of belonging to the Earth and the Earth belonging to you.
Ecovillages aim to restore the balance between the four elements: earth, air, fire and water, returning humans to a sustainable relationship with all other communities of life. With practical tools and living group experience we will cultivate an embodied sense of self and place. This dynamic world work opens you to vision, inspiration and insight into your true purpose in life.
Within the held space of our vibrant community we will create our own group dynamic and support one another in integrating the rich and diverse content of this course, giving you the opportunity to move from theory to deep practice in an environment of being valued for who you are. The structure and practical work of the course will empower you with the inner and outer tools to create your own place in the world.
Ecovillage communities are cohesive social structures, united by common collective and/or spiritual values. Working with the simple principle of not taking more away from the Earth than we give back, they are consciously diminishing their ecological footprint, which can be applied equally to urban or rural settings, in developing and developed countries.
Topics covered include:
- Comprehensive Permaculture design introduction
- Local organic food production and right livelihood
- Renewable energy systems and energy efficiency models
- Cooperative social economies and complementary currencies
- Inclusive decision-making processes and deep ecology
- Earth restoration and biological waste water treatments
- Ecological building and community design
- Cultural and Spiritual diversity
Join a growing global network of hundreds of thousands individuals and a globe-spanning and expanding community of ecovillage initiatives.
For the first two weeks we explore a model for a more urban approach to the ecovillage concept by setting up our living classroom at Cluny Hill, an old Victorian Hotel now converted to a community house where 130 people share a common living and working space. The building contributes greatly to the reduction of the community’s carbon footprint and is also located in the town of Forres, part of the Transition Town network.
Week 1 - People Care
Building Effective Groups, Deep Ecology & Designing For Transition
Introduce ourselves and our projects to one another. Co-create together the learning environment we need. Build group respect and understanding as a basis for concerted action. Through deep ecology we place ourselves within the web of life as a creative, accountable species and examine our impact upon the earth. The embodied expertise in the community and the three permaculture ethics - people care, fair share and earth care – guide us to our next steps in living a responsible future.
Week 2 - Fair Share
Economic Sustainability, Right Livelihood & Organic Food Production
Explore how we can live well on the Earth - providing for our needs in a way that respects our community, communities on the other side of the world and the ecosystems that support and sustain us. The Findhorn Foundation community provides us with tools and examples, including a large and diverse organic food production network, a community bank and currency, and a range of other social enterprises. Visit small community farms, studying their production methods, exploring their values and digging more deeply into underlying concepts such as right livelihood and voluntary simplicity that are needed to walk more gently on the Earth. Participate in a collective shared living experience.
For the last two weeks we move our living classroom to The Park, the original site where the Findhorn Community and Ecovillage was born. Here we broaden our enquiry in a more rural setting with smaller, dispersed dwellings, using as a case study the restorative process of transforming sand dunes on an old military base into the famous Findhorn gardens.
Week 3 - Earth Care
Human Settlements, Ecological Building & Wilderness Restoration
Explore the design and construction of settlements that fit harmlessly into the landscape and into the climatic regions of programme participants. Hands on learning of our biological waste water treatment and a diverse range of renewable energy systems you will design and build ecologically. You will explore the Scottish wilderness and support the restoration and protection of our wild frontiers.
Week 4 - Design Projects
The Principles of Permaculture & Designing for the Future
With celebration and ritual, the final week weaves together the various threads we spun during the first three weeks, grounding the experience and preparing the next steps. Working on projects in groups and drawing on the human, physical and spiritual resources of the Findhorn Ecovillage, create practical designs for new initiatives that can be implemented in your home environment. Integrating and harmonising our human footprint starts at home.
Tiered price: £2370 / £1950 / £1790
We want to ensure that our workshops and events are accessible to a diverse range of people and recognise that one person’s financial situation will differ from another. So that money is not a barrier to participating in our workshops and events, we offer a tiered pricing structure and ask that you select the price appropriate for your personal circumstances. Please take a moment to read about our tiered pricing here.
Includes four weeks accommodation, full board (vegetarian meals), refreshments, the programme content and field trips.
Convert to your own currency using The Universal Currency Converter.
- If you cannot afford the full fee, you can apply for a bursary when completing the Application Form. A limited number of bursaries, funded by trusts and the Findhorn Foundation itself, are available to suitable applicants. Applications for financial assistance should be made as soon as possible. This will enable us to assess all applicants and allocate funds in the fairest possible manner.
- If you can afford to pay more than the full fee for this programme you can make a donation to the bursary fund when completing the Application Form. Your donation will be gratefully received and used to help those who cannot afford the whole fee.
For more information send an email to
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