Report Live Sustainability

11-09-2019

I’ve had the honour to participate on Live Sustainably Training Course (TC), dynamised by Asociación Biodiversa! It was a project supported by the European Comission under the current Erasmus + programme. I had this opportunity through “A Jornada dos Heróis” Association! I am so grateful. I’m still a bit speechless about this life-changing experience  … It was so deep and intense! It will be challenging to translate (in words) what happened there in 5 days, with people from 11 different countries, in Astúrias!

The arrival

I’ve traveled by bus during the night, from Braga to Oviedo. At each stop, I was waking up with the following thought “the true revolution starts within ourselfs”. This sentence echoed in my mind, over and over again. 

The Live Sustainably Family met all together for the first time at Oviedo’s bus station – the group had to go to the small village Valeri. After a 45 minutes bus trip and a walk of nearly 30 minutes we finally arrived to our acommodation – a beautiful typical asturian house!

Everything around us was green and the air was so pure. Actually, we were in a valley … really close to the coast! We were also on the primitive way, the first pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela! A magic, mistic and inspiring place! 

The first contact

After a long journey we finally met our talented 3 trainners: Esther Vallado, Sérgio Gonçalves and Erika Karman! They were so supportive and kind, since the beginning. Then we met our room mates! And … spontaneously we started to get connected! After few hours we could feel the sense of a small community! And … friendship!

The following days

The trainers used the non-formal education methodology … and I was really surprised how it works perfectly! And we were all so naturally engaged in the process! We really trusted in each others and in the inner wisdom of each one. The group was just amazing!

The trainers were not the main entity of an hierarchical model … but facilitators of a circular model! Each one of us was responsible for our own learning process.

All the activities were brilliantly designed and organized. With this structure, the group was just “going with the flow”! We were just perfectly guided in our learning process!

In different problem-solving activities each one of us contributed with our own ideas, experiences and knowledge … I really felt the power of the collective knowledge. It was so valuable and rich. The results were really surprising and inspiring! 

But what have we done exactly? 

Ok … I know that you feel curious about what we’ve done. I will just mention few activities that we’ve had the privilege to be guided through! 

Day 1

We had the landing space moment when we were invited to ground and connect with our purpose for this course, leaving whatever could concern us behind. The TC program was presented and we set all the principles of the group agreement. We did also team building activities! At the afternoon, we’ve presented our projects simulating a Market Fair – where we could get contact to each others work and build network. At the sunset, we’ve had a reunion in council/community circle. We’ve shared what brought us there! We’ve totally opened our hearts and the magic just happened. 

Day 2 

We started the day reflecting about the planet’s status quo! How the world population is distributed around the globe? And the richness? What about the ecological footprint? Seems simple, but … at some point, all of us failed in our estimates.

We’ve also done team building activities to experience how the ecosystems works and what type of impact an action can have. We’ve also reflected “why?how?” using system thinking methodology. So, the basis to work on critical thinking was created.

Are you sure about your certainties? We break all this assumptions in small parts and … in the end we have realized the importance of “zooming” . stopping, questioning, searching! If we don’t do this we will just jump to conclusions and reacting acordding to that. We had the myth debunking moment!

Day 3 

This day was dedicated to research, research, research! Each group had to develop a theme – textile industry, food industry, technology, plastics … What is the environmental impact? What is the origin? Is it a need or a wish? Well… We’ve learned a lot! Then we had the opportunity to share resourses! We’ve created a sustainability data base with literature, documentaries, platforms, etc. 

In the end we saw the documentary “Tomorrow”, that talks about sustainability in different points of view – education, economy, agriculture and energy. Do you want to have a global vision and know some solutions for our future? I definitely recommend this one.

Day 4

This day was incredible! We were sharing personal, inspirational and motivational stories … throught story telling! The true richness is amongst our experiences.

Then we’ve worked through the Open Space Technology. It was amazing! Half of the group took the role of trainer and the aim was to share, teach or reflect about a specif topic. It was incredible the amount of knowledge that we’ve shared!

It’s amazing how we can evolve when we share experiences and we are able to open our mind to new and refreshing ideas! At night we’ve watched another inspiring documentary “A Quest for Meaning!

Day 5

This day arrived so quickly! The time passed with the speed of light! We’ve discussed some topics about the Erasmus + Programe and we’ve had a brainstorming to deepen our ideas about eco competences!

Then we’ve had our “Future Action Plan” moment! Once again, we’ve shared our projects and ideas. New parternships were made (news coming soon)! We will definitely continue on action! In the end of the day, we’ve gathered in council! Our hearts were full of joy and hope! 

What I have gained with this experience?

I gained hope, empowerment and a mission! This course led the sustainability to another level! We really felt and understood the inter-connection with everything that has Life!

It was really intense! It was happening so many things, at different levels, at the same time! So much reflection, exchange and learning! New conections happened! New visons and horizons. 

And so many ideas were created! So many projects were just started there! We will continue this journey, together. Now, each one of us knows that we are not alone. It’s possible to make the difference in our communities! And … the good new is: there are many people around the planet working for the same purpose.

Nowadays we are able to access to a huge amount of information. Unfortunately, normaly we get lots of fast-food information. Rarely we make time to reflect and search. And to construct links with our family, friends, neighbours and community! It’s crucial to create time and space to set our position in the world. 

“the true revolution starts within ourselfs”. Now I’m able to understand that sentence that echoed in my mind in that first night.

For an ECOnscious life,

Filipa Gouveia

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