Friday, June 02, 2006

A sustainability vision quest throughout the Indian subcontinent -- part A: motivations

I am presently gearing up for a massive campaign of grant-writing to support my upcoming travels, work and research in India. I figured that as long as I am getting thoughts down, may as well put them up for review on the blog. So...

Roughly speaking, my plans are to travel to and within India beginning December 2006 for 1 – 3 years learning and working for sustainability in various capacities including but not limited to:

My goals are to learn about sustainability and community in practice through experience and participation – to learn in an experiential manner and develop my ecological intuition and emotional intelligence for community, sustainability and connection among people and ecosystems. Some areas of practical interest are:

  • creating and maintaining intentional communities;
  • earth building materials and architecture (cob, straw bale, living roofs, passive solar and solar-thermal technologies, gray water utilization and treatment systems and waste composting, biomass energy systems);
  • permaculture and localized, biodynamic agriculture methods;
  • democratic, participatory, non-hierarchical, experience-based liberatory educational modes and creative self-expression;
  • nonviolence practices including communication forms and spiritual development methods such as yoga and meditation;
  • being immersed for a time in the Eastern cultural and philosophical milieu; and
  • practical alternative (ecological) economics – promoting equity, sufficiency, quality over quantity, and sustainability – how encourage living very well (abundantly!) with less monetary wealth and with smaller Ecological Footprints
I will indulge in modes of learning that are inherently different from the Western, linear, reductionist, mechanistic, academic, detached and often alienated style I have been immersed in for most of my life. The trip is a research trip in that I will perform participatory research in effort to build a base of ecological wisdom which will (eventually) be brought into play back here in the Bay Area in a project to create a living-learning center. This concept is being organized by my new friend and colleague Karl Steyaert. I aim to tune my research trip in India to produce experiences and wisdom that will be ultimately useful to advancing the aims of the living-learning center to foster an intentional and sustainable community here in the US in the urbanized ecosystem of Oakland CA.

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