I am the editor of www.transitionconsciousness.org and although British I now live and work in São Paulo. This article is about a course I am running, which I feel could be of great interest to many of you in the Transition Movement, and I will explain why.
This last week Satish Kumar, founder of Schumacher College, Totnes, UK, came to São Paulo to speak at the Strategy and Execution Summit, where Mônica Picavea from Transition Towns Brasil was also presenting. I think most of you will know that the original Transition Town was Totnes, and much of the work that Rob Hopkins did when creating the movement was actually done at Schumacher College, and many people from the college contributed their ideas, as of course did many people from Totnes.
I spent a year at Schumacher College doing a masters degree in Holistic Science. This is a quite unique masters degree, and covers chaos, complexity, sustainability, economics, ecology, creativity and innovation. One of the modules of the masters degree involved practical works with Transition Towns Totnes. This gives students real experience in being able to implement much of the knowledge that they gain on the course. My work with "Transition Tales" was published on Transition Culture:
The word "holistic" in English is a wonderful word, but I am aware that in Portuguese, it can have certain negative connotations. Two other similar words are "integral" and "relational". In holistic science, we are taught not just to understand phenomena by reducing them to their parts, but to understand the relationship of parts to the "whole."
Science is currently going through a revolution, with the concepts of chaos, complexity and "emergence" being introduced to understand the hidden order in nature. However, many of these concepts are not well understood, and although they are also talked about in relation to business and society, it seems to me that we perhaps need to go through a transitional process in order to really grasp the true meaning of chaos and complexity, not just in logical and rational terms, but in terms of intuition, feeling and sensing.
I have been working on the material for this new course since January, and this is the first time I will be running it, in partnership with a São Paulo based consultancy Mandalah. It is called Pensamento Integral – da Biologia para os Negócios, and you can read more about it, and download a brochure here:
It is my attempt to introduce the ways of teaching at Schumacher College in Brazil, and in particular into both a personal and business context, which is why I am delighted to be running it in partnership with Mandalah. This is an opportunity to be introduced to the foundation of the masters degree at Schumacher College, without the cost and time needed to actually travel to the UK, and to Totnes in Devon.
It was really interesting being at the summit last week, because many people felt that the summit, which was focused on sustainability and new ways of thinking, represented a real turning point in how we think about business in relationship to both society and the natural world. However, you could also see some delegates there who were still in the old way of thinking, looking for logical methodologies that they could be taught, and immediately implement back in the office. But for many of us, we see these methodologies no longer being able to function in our ever more complex and inter-related world.
The course Pensamento Integral is designed to give you a deep understanding of these issues, and also an opportunity to explore them in discussions and group exercises. It will also be an opportunity to discuss with me the concept of transition. I feel that Transition Town Totnes has also led the way in developing not just the activities for practical change, but also the support mechanisms and workshops to help people go through what is a very challenging and emotional process, letting go of our old ways of doing things, and allowing the new ways of working to emerge. In developing the course the way I have, I am trying to help people go through this process, one that I call "The Transition of Consciousness". This is of course just one part of the huge overall process of transition of society, our culture, social justice, and economics etc.
I have decided to write this particular blog in English, since I will be doing the teaching in English. The discussions and group activities will be run in Portuguese, and Mandalah are real specialists in facilitating and running these types of activity. The two facilitators Lourenço and Igor as well as being founders of Mandalah have also been on a short course at Schumacher College, and really do resonate with the teaching there.
As I improve my Portuguese I do of course hope to be able to run a course in the future in Portuguese, but that will be next year. I also look forward to really joining Transition Towns Brasil having been involved in Transition Towns Totnes, and I look forward to meeting many of you over the coming months.
Um grande abraço