Monday March 30 , 2015

Learning the Future Now

 Education for Sustainability: igniting the debate


For the last 150 or so years people across the world have been building systems powered by abundant supplies of oil and gas. We know these life-support systems by such names as commodity supply, transport, the national grid, health, housing, food production and the economy, and they have woven themselves together to become our web of life. Our cultural expressions, our politics and even our ways of educating function through a world view that is fuelled by cheap, available energy.

We are now at a pivotal moment when big business, governments and people across the world are waking up to the fact that fossil fuels are finite, their emissions drive climate chaos, and huge systemic shifts are inevitable as we wean ourselves off our high-carbon lifestyles. Even projecting just 20 years into the future, when fuel prices are much higher and we are meeting strict carbon emission reduction targets, we can envision impacts on all our life-support systems. Yet, for the most part, we are educating our children and young people as if no such changes were happening.

David Orr, the leading U.S. educator for sustainability, writes in his book “Earth in Mind”:

“Those now being educated will have to do what we, the present generation, have been unable or unwilling to do: stabilise world population; stabilise and then reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which threaten to change the climate, perhaps disastrously; protect biological diversity; reverse the destruction of forests everywhere; and conserve soils. They must learn how to use energy and materials with great efficiency. They must learn how to utilise solar energy in all of its forms. They must rebuild the economy in order to eliminate waste and pollution. They must learn how to manage renewable resources for the long run. They must begin the great work of repairing, as much as possible, the damage done to the earth in the past 200 years of industrialisation. And they must do all this while they reduce worsening social and racial inequities. No generation has ever faced a more daunting agenda.”

What skills, knowledge and abilities do this rising generation need to flourish at a time when systems are being forced to change and even break down so that a new world view can emerge? A world view that supports life in all its forms so that life itself can be sustained, and not just human life but the whole web of life. In this context, what is education really for? It is both hugely exciting and daunting to engage in this debate. It takes us from the broadest sweep of life, the universe and everything down to such questions as “How do we wake people up and empower them to be agents of change?”; “What does it mean to teach from a place of authenticity and not knowing?”; “What are the really good approaches that already exist in education and that can be reconfigured with sustainability at their core?”; “What does it really mean to be human on this planet now?”.

These are not just questions for educators. How we prepare young people now to create sustainable futures is of concern to all of us. We invite you to contribute and take this conversation out there into your families, schools, places of work and wider afield.

Isabel Carlisle

To contribute conversations here add the correct category i.e. "Learning the Future Now" from the editor's "Selected Category" list.

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Gwyn Jones

Gwyn Jones

After many years establishing and running consulting practices in Information Technology across continental Europe, Asia, the Middle East I decided that I needed to focus on the more important aspects of my life: family and community.

For several years I have been exploring other ways to live, and earn a living, that are based more on relationships, values and a (more) responsible relationship with the planet.  

This lead me to explore the importance of "purpose" and personal core values, and to finding ways to connect people, to create spaces in which we can explore together the fundamental questions that are at the heart of any transition.

Our lives, and our futures, are defined by the choices we make - especially when we don't consciously make a choice - and our choices are guided by our values.  So if we want to move to a more sustainable existence then it seems to me that we need to start by raising our awareness and consciousness of our values and fundamentally address our relationship with nature and the communities in which we live.  I feel strongly that moving away from a consumer-centric life and a model of success that is based on "what we have" rather than what we contribute to our communities is essential.

Many people have inspired, provoked and challenged me to be more authentic and to think and live in abundance.

In 2006 I met Mike Zeidler and came across ASP for the first time.  Since then ASP has been a major influence and a unique space in which I have forged some valuable relationships and developed many project collaborations.

Joining the local Transition Movement in Poole has been very significant.  Making a difference in my own backyard is very rewarding as well as meeting many other like-minded and inspiring locals.

I'm interested in all things related to food - bread baking particularly. 

And self-awareness and empowerment:  Landmark Education kick-started this process for me and Tai Chi is  proving to be a fascinating melding of body, mind and spirit, requiring a different level of discipline than I've experienced before.

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Build your ability to respond more powerfully to the state of our world.

Two workshops this Autumn, both are based on 'The Work That Reconnects' developed by activist and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy. 

This empowering approach provides

  • processes to support our emotional response to disturbing information
  • practices to strengthen our connection with life
  • strategies for engaging our passion to act for life
  • insights that help us find our power to address global issues


Residential Weekend

6pm Friday 12th September to 4pm Sunday 14th September

The most frequent comment from past participants to improve our workshops has been "more time"!  We hear you!  And so we are running a weekend residential workshop at The Fold in September.  We are really excited about this, and what this extra time and space will allow.

Starting on the Friday evening, and going on until Sunday afternoon, we will be able to spend more time at each of the four "stations" of the spiral, exploring each step, and diving deeper into the process.  We will have more space to go outside, and connect with the outside space at the Fold, the river and the other elements.

The cost for the weekend residential includes all food and basic accommodation.  Costs are £195 / 140 (conc)

We also have Early Bird prices, of £165 / 120 which we are extending to ASP-ers until 31st July.


One-day workshop

Saturday 18th October, 9.30am - 5pm

This one-day workshop is a chance to stop, reflect and reconnect with your passions and purpose, at The Fold. This has proven to be a powerful day for past participants, providing some much needed reflective space in these busy, and challenging times.  Previous participants have gone away feeling "even more focused and empowered", and even commented "this has been the best day of my life"!


Price includes lunch:  £60/45/30 (price variable to ensure the workshop is available to people with different incomes).


See more information on our website:

as well as our Facebook page: 


Spaces are limited for each of the workshops, so if you are interested, please do contact me ( ) for a registration form. 


Kirsti & Will


Kirsti Norris

Action for Sustainability

T 01823 662934 M 07798 67 67 96

Join Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan, Raphael Bemporad, Chief Strategy Officer of BBMG, and moderator Jennifer Kho, Guardian Sustainable Business USA Editor, as they take you through highlights from the just-released 2014 Aspirational Consumer Index, a new study tracking the rise of more than 2 billion Aspirational consumers globally who unite style, social status and sustainability to redefine consumption.

We'll explore the demographics, psychographics, key sustainability behaviors and brand preferences of this influential segment and outline five ways to reach, engage and unleash the Aspirationals to drive business growth and positive social impact.

Professionals focused on brand, marketing, communications, corporate responsibility, sustainability, and corporate affairs will find this webinar of particular interest

Space is limited, so please register your place today at the following link:

We hope you can join us!

Kind regards,

Chris Coulter, CEO, GlobeScan
Raphael Bemporad, Chief Strategy Officer, BBMG
Jennifer Kho, USA Editor, Guardian Sustainable Business

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:16

Humanitarian Water and Food Award

On behalf of The Humanitarian Water & Food Award I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who may be interested in attending our Master Class on sustainable business and annual award ceremony. 

We are also inviting up to 1000 students to attend this year’s Water and Food Award that will take place in Central Hall Westminster on June 18th. 

Besides presenting the latest in food security initiatives – our finalists have succeeded in creating food security under challenging circumstances – students will be invited to interactive dialogue with representatives from corporations and NGOs as well as the finalists.

Student attendance (and accompanying teachers) is free.
Please check out our website: >
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 08:09

Journey into Mastery - a one day workshop

What does it mean to be human in our times of chaos, challenge, creativity and the crumbling of systems – from biodiversity to the financial juggernaut?

Journey into Mastery is a one day workshop being held on 10 May 2014at Hackney City Farm in London.

The day will explore what it means to be human in these times in a way that is profound, creative, inspiring, challenging and fun. The invitation is to bring our aliveness, our fullness and our wonderful wildness into the space.  

We believe so many of us are being called into greater aliveness, deeper inner alignment, truth and integrity in service of bringing about the world our hearts know is possible.

And so much is possible together that simply isn't on your own. Come and play!

The day will weave together play, presence and connection with profound inner knowing. The Journey into Mastery day is part of the Mastery in Sustainability collaboration between Patrick Andrews and Debbie Warrener. Its purpose is to offer a nurturing stimulating space for all who wish to live more powerfully in our times to make their contribution to creating the more beautiful world of our dreams.

The facilitators:

Debbie Warrener is an experienced facilitator, coach, activist and artist who speaks fluent Japanese and used to work in international development. She is one of the UK’s leading practitioners of Joanna Macy’s “The Work that Reconnects”.

Patrick Andrews, a long-standing ASP member, is a former corporate lawyer who is involved in pioneering work on governance structures with eco-car company Riversimple amongst others. Debbie and Patrick are both passionate about creating spaces that liberate the human in each of us.

Venue: Hackney City Farm strawbale building, 1a Goldsmith's Row, London E2 8QA


Saturday 10th May. 9.30 am (for 10.00 start) until 5 pm.


To secure your place, pay your £20 deposit here.

Further information: contact Debbie on or Patrick at

Charles Eisenstein at Embercombe - "Activism" in the story of interbeing

Saturday, 17 May 2014 from 18:00 to 21:00

"Many activists sooner or later come to face frustration, cynicism, or despair. Far from being obstacles to overcome, these feelings are invitations into a deeper level of activism that includes the personal and relational. On their other side lies optimism, confidence, and vastly greater effectiveness as agents of change, as we come to realize that our dashed hopes and betrayed idealism were showing us a real possibility." - Charles Eisenstein

Embercombe is delighted to invite you to a conversation with Charles Eisenstein about “activism” in the story of interbeing.

Gates open at 6pm and we invite you to share with us a delicious and home-grown organic dinner as well as refreshments from our 'apple' bar which are both sold separately.

Charles’s talk will start at 7pm and will be followed by time for your questions. We will end our conversation at 9pm.

If we are blessed with good weather we’ll enjoy this conversation in our beautiful outdoor space. If it's too cold or if it rains we’ll have the conversation in our big hall.

Book your ticket via

The money from the tickets is for Embercombe as the host of the event. You will be invited to make a donation to Charles separately after the talk.

As much as possible Charles offers his work as a gift. His events are generally by donation. The idea is, “How am I to know what the value will be to you?” Better let you decide. So, if you would like to make a gift to support Charles, his children, and his work, you will be invited to do so after his talk.

Inspired by Charles Embercombe wants to do the same. Therefore we invite you to use money as a means to create relationships (as a gift) and choose how much you want to give for attending this event. If you choose to give 10£ you will support people who can't afford a basic 5£ ticket. If you choose to give even more you will support Embercombe's growth as a place that inspires committed action for a truly sustainable world.

Booking is essential to guarantee a seat as we cannot promise that there will be tickets available on the door.

Find out more about Charles Eisenstein here


Watch the webcast - Sustainable Living: Making Progress, Driving Change

On 28 April 2014, we will be hosting a webcast to share and discuss our progress made against the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, and what more we can do to help make sustainable living commonplace.

As it's now three years since we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, we've carried out a detailed review of where we've got to and what more we can do to help make sustainable living commonplace. While we've made good progress in some areas, we've also looked at how we can drive more change not only within our own business but also in areas where we can influence systemic change. This has led us to broaden and deepen our plan in ways which we look forward to sharing with you during the webcast on 28 April 2014 at 9.00am BST.

You can join the webcast by registering for it here to follow the discussion and submit your own questions. You can also join the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #sustliving.

We hope you can join us.

Date: Monday 28 April 2014
Time: 09.00-10.30am BST for the presentation and Q&A
Register: Click here to register for the webcast

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 15:39

The Forest Floor - one year on

Last year, a group of us ASP folk gathered in Minstead under the heading “the business school of the future.”   The idea was to re-imagine business education, and more broadly organisational learning as a whole, from the ground up. 

We have moved on since then, we have a name “The Forest Floor”  and have drawn up a manifesto (copy attached).  A learning event was held at the Eden Project and several initiatives are emerging from under this umbrella. 

It feels like time to regather at Minstead again, and we have reserved the study centre there (a beautiful place in the heart of the New Forest National Park) for a day from 5 pm on Friday 25th April until 4pm on Saturday 26th April.  Would you like to join us? 

We invite you to come with an open heart and an open mind.  We offer no rigid agenda,  no predetermined outcome but rather a very lightly facilitated dialogue that will be  designed to allow whatever needs to emerge to do so in a playful, engaging and lively manner. 
Approximate cost - £50-£60 (dependent on numbers) which pays for food and accommodation.  You will be expected to pitch in with cooking, washing up and cleaning and to bring a contribution to the food. If money is an issue please ask - we may be able to arrange sponsorship, particularly those who have significant travel costs too. 

Hope you can make it.

...and feel free to invite someone who would want to be there.

Please let us know, preferably by registering here...

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 15:12

Discover the power of brand values

Explore the powerful impact of unearthing the values at the heart of your organisation, and putting them at the heart of your brand.

8 May 2014, 14:30 to 17:30

The Strategy Lab
Hub Westminster
80 Haymarket
1st floor

Lead facilitator:

Martin Roach, Creative Director epitype



Watch >> Our Design Process << Video


    Understand values, their importance in organisational culture and the opportunities facing brands that harness them.
    Experiment with the process of unearthing, evaluating and establishing the values of an organisation
    Understand the relationship between values and brand
    Experiment with the process of codifying the values of an organisation with an engaging call to action
    Explore the process of communicating brand values.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in:

  • brand values and their impact on culture and communications, whether in private, public or third sector.

Anyone involved in:

  • Marketing and communications
  • Brand management
  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Human resources


Join us, reserve your place: REGISTER  ( )

The Rubbish Diet is Recruiting for a Project Manager in West London

Can you talk rubbish?  Make slim bins the social norm in West London!  Social enterprise The Rubbish Diet is looking for a Project Manager in West London to create a new community conversation about waste reduction.  Need proven track record in community engagement work.  3 days per week, competitive salary;  dynamic, supportive work environment.   For more details see




Katy Anderson

Cwm Harry Tel:  01686 626234  Mobile:  07876 703583


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