European projects news February 2021

by Steve Charter

We are participating in three European funded partnership projects, with around 20 other partner organisations from across the permaculture, regeneration and transformative education movements in Europe.

The BLAST project is focused on blended transformative learning, which uses the best of both in-person and online methods to create the most transformative outcomes for learners and educators, in terms of both inner and outer transformation. The outputs from the project include a toolkit and training for educators, and will be completed during 2021, with draft versions out for consultation and feedback now.

A UK event to engage educators with the work of this project will be linked to the educators online event in April (TBC), so watch out on our events listings for more information soon. The project is also getting creative by recording a range of interviews and discussions with experienced transformative educators about their experiences and journeys in this field, which will be available by summer this year.

The iACT project we are leading on. The project is focused on creating and strengthening a collaborating European network of learning and demonstration projects in the permaculture and regenerative sustainability movements. Including LAND Centres, Ecovillage living and learning centres, and transition hubs. The project will produce a toolkit, Good Practice Guide and learning pathway for those involved in initiating or developing these types of projects, as well as a network mapping and participative research system. These outputs will be produced in 2021, with a range of activities following in 2022 to activate and strengthen the network. In particular, iACT will contribute to stimulating a new lease of life in the UK LAND network, linked to the creation of our new Projects Network Coordinator role.

The Community Climate Coaches (CCC) project, where we co-lead with Cultivate in Ireland, is developing a training pathway and community of practice for educators, coaches and facilitators involved in community climate action initiatives. As well as training initial cohorts of at least 6 Community Climate Coaches in the 8 partner countries, the project will produce a toolkit with our 52 Climate Actions website as a key part of this. Also, a good practice guide, a network mapping and participative research system, as well as a blended learning system for training more CCCs over time. These outputs will be produced in 2021, with a range of activities following in 2022 to activate and strengthen the network. The intention is that the role of Community Climate Coaches is one that permaculture educators and practitioners can naturally take up, with potential for example to work with the numerous local authorities that have adopted 2030 net zero targets.

Despite the post-Brexit outcome that we and other UK partners are no longer able to formally participate in Erasmus+ projects, we are working to ensure its collaborations with other European permaculture associations and networks continue. To this end, with IPEN we are exploring ways to be involved in two new project proposals that are expected to apply for funding this year - one focused on creating a high quality, collaborative European blended learning and events programme and platform; the other focused on creating a cooperative European diploma system, in particular to benefit those countries that have much less mature permaculture movements than the UK.