Gaia Education was created by a group of educators called "GEESE"- Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth- who have been meeting over a series of workshops in order to formulate their transdisciplinary approach to education for sustainability.
The GEESE first met in 1998 in Fjorvang, Denmark where the common ground for the development of the ecovillage design curriculum was established. The first milestone in the development of Gaia Education was the launch of the innovative curriculum Ecovillage Design Education, during the 10th-anniversary conference of the Global Ecovillage Network at the Findhorn Ecovillage in October 2005.
In 2008, Gaia Education Design for Sustainability (GEDS) online programme was launched in partnership with Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Initially offered in Spanish and English, the course attracted students from both developed and developing countries, rural and urban regions, on all five continents.
In 2011, the Spanish Gaia Education Design for Sustainability became a formal postgraduate course, attracting mostly Spanish and Latin American students. Since then, Gaia Education has converted the GEDS postgraduate Spanish course into a Masters degree.
In 2013, Gaia Education started to offer GEDS in Portuguese, in its online learning platform, where it has also been possible to take the GEDS course in English since 2014.
In 2014 Gaia Education developed the new stream of activity Project-Based Learning, supporting the community-led implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 2006 Gaia Education has successfully supported the delivery of more than 180 programmes on six continents. Internationally, the number of four-week long intensives and other course formats are increasing steadily along with a sharp increase in the number of applicants and participants of these courses. These vocational courses are open to a diverse group of people with a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds who are interested in taking an active role in the sustainability transition.
Gaia Education is a leading-edge provider of sustainability education that promotes thriving communities within planetary boundaries.
Gaia Education manages three streams of activities
- 1. Face-to-Face
Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) programmes taking place in 42 countries with more than 70 institutions
- 2. E-Learning
Design for Sustainability global classrooms in English, Spanish and Portuguese
- 3. Project-Based Learning
Activities taking place in the Global South supporting the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda
We work towards a resilient future within planetary boundaries where no one is left behind. A world of safe and nutritious food; of clean drinking water; of universal access to sustainability education; of physical, mental and social well-being. A world which uses energy and materials with greater efficiency distributes wealth fairly and strives to eliminate the concept of waste. A world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity; of justice and equality; of respect for race and ethnicity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realisation of human potential while promoting shared prosperity.