Jonathan Dawson

Sustainability educator
Schumacher College

Jonathan Dawson will speak about sustainable economics and future of pedagogy – pathways to prosperity and bringing the classroom back to life.

Our educational systems have had a decisive role to play in reinforcing the existential error of today’s society, where we as a species have lost our way and coming to believe ourselves to be separate from the other-than-human world. In the process, we have become strangers not just to other life forms, but also to ourselves and to our human fellows. Drawing upon the experience of Schumacher College and other similar institutions around the world, Jonathan invites us to explore what a regenerative education could look like and how we can take it out of the margins to flavor the educational mainstream.

He is a sustainability educator, currently working as Head of Economics at Schumacher College in Devon. Until recently a long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network, he has around 20 years experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.

He believes that the seeds of transformation, of new forms of social organization are already sprouting and encourages us to take a step back, look at this dynamic historical moment in a wider frame and explore some of the trends and forces that are presenting themselves as plausible pathways to a more regenerative future.

Jonathan is also the principal author of the Gaia Education sustainable economy curriculum drawn from best practice within ecovillages worldwide, that has been endorsed by UNITAR and adopted by UNESCO as a valuable contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. He teaches this curriculum at universities, ecovillages and community centres in Brazil, Spain and Scotland and also adopted it to virtual format and taught it through the Open University of Catalunya in Barcelona.

Interesting fact: He was the keynote speaker together with Hildur and Ross Jackson when the first ecovillage conference took place in Estonia in 2006.

“Just as education has locked us into this cage of isolation, so it has a potentially critical role to play in our liberation. Changing the curriculum will have an important role to play in this.”


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