REAL HOPE 4 Peace & Sustainability


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Workshop Session Plan
Key Learning Outcomes



The UK Stern Report, United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change and various ecological conferences, summits and treaties have made clear that the environment is under duress and that climate change is a reality.  The environmental problem is considered the number one priority not only for the current generation but for up and coming generations. 

The definition of sustainability is provided below.

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions.

Sustainability and peace are intimately linked.  Seldom is sustainability spoken about in terms of inner peace but without inner peace sustainability is not possible.  Why is that?  It is because human nature when it is connected with natural systems through living in nature and knowledge of nature, sustains in compatiability with nature.   Tribal societies are a good example of how humanity gained a deep knowledge of nature in order to survive and thrive.   Humans have proved to be robust overtime.

Since the agricultural and industrial revolutions human beings have become increasingly disconnected from their natural instincts and understanding of the natural world.  Increasingly humans have created human environments that are developed on economic systems which work on the theory of demand and supply.  When this demand is increased through marketing which fuels more demand for material products where wants exceed needs, human civilisation moves out of balance with the natural system.

Humans require resources to sustain standards of living.  As most human societies are operating from a model of profit maximisation the goal for resource use is to increasing profits thus increasing demand.  The basic economic model is not in harmony with natural systems which are closed systems highly interdependent and self regulating.  The natural system has inbuilt homeostasis (balance) and it readjusts to change through genetic natural selection or extinction. 

Humanity has emerged from nature and is embedded in nature even though it appears to be living separately.   Human universal values are the natural navigators which when developed can lead people back to their true nature.   When values such as love, compassion, empathy, responsibility and peace are integrated then people naturally will sustain their natural environment as they will see it as part of themselves and return to lifestyles that reconnect with nature. 

Humans universally feel peace when they go into nature for holidays and spend time walking.  There is a natural sense of harmony that emerges from nature as the systemic energy flow maintains a rhythm and self regulation in harmony with earth and cosmic systems.   As humans reconnect back to their true nature, sustainability will be a natural outcome.

REAL HOPE is values based model that assists with problem solving.  It looks through the prism of values in order to see a problem and allow for solutions to arise.   

The new work in sustainability will recognise that human harmony mirrors natural harmony, so when we find the natural harmony in, through values, we will be able to solve some of the most seemingly intractible problems facing humanity.

Workshop Focus:
Is to connect students with GAIA philosophy and learn about stewardship and universal values and how their holistic attitudes can ensure sustainability.  Students undertake experiential activities and critical thinking to explore values and to understand the importance of balance.  The workshop provides some data on the diversity of species and extinction rates.   The workshop will inform students about the ecological footprint, human population and materialism.
Target Audience:
Secondary students and community
2 hour to 1/2 day workshop
Expected Outcomes:
The outcome of the workshop will enhance a deeper appreciation of human connection to the natural systems and how finding harmony within through values can provide a prism for solving problems in the external world.    Harmony or peace with nature reflects inner peace.    As humans take responsibility and feel their interconnectedness with the natural system through their values they will naturally pre-serve the planet.

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REAL HOPES 4 Sustainability links the values of REAL HOPE to viewing the environment and how to achieve sustainability.  The program encourages valuing of the earth and regarding the planet as part of humanity and humanity as part of the planet.  This philosophy sees humans as dependent on the planet rather than in dominion over it.  Thus the concept of stewardship is explored.  Students learn about the GAIA philosophy and how the indians viewed mother earth.    They learn about concepts of balance and how juggling is a good example of universal rhythms.  The REAL HOPE value are linked to nature and students are stepped through each value to explore how the values link with sustaining the planet.  For example many indigneous would mimmick nature, that enabled them to feel empathy for wildlife and respect.   Students become aware statistically of how many species exist and how many are extinct.  Student discuss the blind men and pink elephant scenario. and explore diversity and extinction.   Through the value of truth students examine what is true.  They will undertake activites to experience their oneness with nature.  Through the prism of peace they will explore peace as balance.  An Oxfam video will be played ‘Make Poverty History’ to examine the environment and human populations.   Students will learn about their ecological footprint.  How they can reduce their footprint and how to enjoy life with reduced materialism.    Lastly they will look at what they can do to be of service to the natural world that sustains their lives.

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Workshop Session Plan

  • What is GAIA?
  • Sharing or winning (stewardship or dominion)
  • Valuing the earth
  • Balance – Juggling
  • REAL HOPES in values harmonising with  nature
  • Oxfam film (10 minutes)
  • Understanding the ecological footprint
  • Example:  Audit your house
  • Enjoyment, happiness without materialism

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Key Learning Outcomes

  • To understand how to see the earth not as a resource but as part of who we are.
  • To understand the GAIA philosphy and the true value of the planet.
  • To learn about how universal values as a prism for problem solving enable us to solve problems and connect with the planet.
  • To learn through juggling the universal rhythms and learning to balance in a repetitive pattern.
  • Through experiential activities connecting with species and interconnections with the natural systems;
  • To learn through NGO’s the situation for human populations experiencing environmental destruction and how population directly affects natural systems.
  • To learn about enjoyment outside of materialsm.
  • To learn to see environmental problems as challenges and to positively seek to connect with nature in order to live sustainably.

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