This blended learning course combines expert-taught face-to-face, peer-facilitated face-to-face, and tutor guided online learning.
The face-to-face expert facilitated workshops are usually held over one and a half days on one weekend each month, apart from a three-day kick-off workshop at the beginning, a three-day design studio workshop in month eight, and a two-day project presentation and graduation workshop at the end of the programme. These sessions are highly experiential and offer practical skill training in social or ecological regeneration and design, as well as opportunities to practise facilitation, communication, and decision-making skills and processes.
The online component allows each learner to engage with the curriculum content in more depth and in their own time. We recommend a minimum of eight hours of study time per week for successful completion. The online material is based on Gaia Education’s UNESCO-endorsed Design for Sustainability course, and special regional tutors will help you to relate each content area to regional examples and applications. Each cohort will collectively engage in a bioregional mapping exercise to identify the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of their region, collate relevant social, economic and ecological data in one place, and identify likely collaborators in the region.
In addition, the course teaching team will divide each annual cohort into a series of Local Project Groups (LPG) that will co-design and implement community projects or educational initiatives. People who want to use the training to develop a detailed business plan for an eco-social enterprise will be paired with Business Plan Buddies (BPB) or allocated to a Coop Launch Team (CLT). The groups will meet fortnightly for a three-hour evening co-working session and will be challenged to organise one community outreach talk or workshop per curriculum dimension in localities around the bioregion.
The ten-month intensive programme requires an average monthly commitment of one and a half to three days of face-to-face workshops, 32 hours of online study (eight hours per week) and two three-hour face-to-face working group sessions. In order to gain your certificate you will have attended 125 hours of expert facilitated face-to-face workshops, studied the GEDS-online material for approximately 260 hours, and worked in a Local Working Project Group or on in a Business Plan Buddy Team for approximately 160 hours. See table below:
Table showing how the three types of blended learning modalities are integrated through this ten-month intensive training for Regenerative Bioregional Development Practitioners.