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LØS on the move!
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Danish Association of Ecovillages (LØS) is an umbrella organisation for the Danish ecovillages. The association turned 20 years in 2013 and is the first national network of ecovillages, globally. LØS experiences a growing focus among its members to create business in the ecovillages, focused on developing more qualitative educational activities, which are in high demand. Recent phenomena like the financial crisis and climate change lead to an increased focus on the transition to sustainability and the ecovillage movement can reply with its practical examples of transition initiatives and the building of sustainable human communities. Various groups are looking towards the ecovillage society for experience and knowledge. Education and training is therefore a priority growth area for LØS. However, there is a need for capacity building among teachers, both in terms of volume, methodology and content. Thus, LØS has chosen to provide 16 teachers with staff training abroad. All are committed to educational activities in their local context, but are also active on the national scene, through LØS. Ecovillages already have a strong European network, organised through the Global Ecovillage Network (its Europe section in particular) and Gaia Education, responsible for the training part. It even has its own training curriculum, in a 4 week course based on the four dimensions on sustainability. It is called GAIA 's Ecovillage Design Education and is developed by adult education trainers throughout years of experience. Most education in the ecovillage society takes place within this educational framework. But the resource base in Denmark is not strong, since not many have taken a full 4 weeks EDE. That is the background for LØS to send 2 x 2 trainers for EDE training for 4 weeks in some of Europe 's leading providers of EDE courses, being Damanhur in Italy and Findhorn in Scotland. The learning objective is that the 4 people acquire a deeper understanding of the EDE in practice and the nesesary skills and motivation to arrange 4 weeks EDE courses in Denmark in the future. Furthermore, the project is about expanding the resource base for LØS to also send teachers from Denmark elsewhere in Europe, as an ambition. To become a stronger part of the EDE field in Europe. It is more realistic to send people for shorter courses, due to noraml additional trainers from LØS should be offered a methodical TOT qualification course in an ecovillage /learning center in Ireland, with a focus on innovative, participatory methods. This seek to inspire the trainer network in LØS with new inputs. In addition to these 2+2+2 staff trainings LØS will send 4 people to the GEN Europe conference in Germany, summer of 2014, to network and become inspired by a week's abundance of interesting workshops. Previously mostly the organizational people in LØS have participated in the GEN conference, but it is actually becoming increasingly a venue for trainers and facilitators to meet and inspire each other with their ‘best practises’. All the mentioned activities are centered within a wish and a need for quality development, while at the same time seeking to mobilize, inspire and motivate to an increased European focus among the participants from Denmark, who will be encouraged to engage in further building of learning partnerships etc. The teachers in LØS are ' ordinary people ' who live in ecovillages, often in remote areas where European activity is not normal. Therefore, this project is anticipated to resonate, lead to pride, curiosity and some publicity in these local communities. The long-term objective of the mobility program is to create more jobs for teachers, requiring quality assurance of the existing and future educational educational activities and inspiration from European ecovillages that have managed to create dedicated learning centers. Therefore, LØS have deliberately chosen course providers that have been doing exactly this, which LØS has as a long-term strategy. The effect of the mobility prorgamme can be found through a wider and more qualitative range of courses as well as increased professionalism, in particular, demonstrated through a more active involvement in the RCE, the Danish Network for Education for Sustainable Development. Even the nominated UN decade of Education for Sustainable Development ended in 2014; LØS has found a niche that no one else can fill out - namely the use of the lived life in ecovillages as an innovative ’live and learn’ environment. GAIA's EDE curriculum must be contextualized through European mobility experiences and then local application, for LØS to create a landmark. Furthermore, LØS will experience the increasing European cohesion when it comes to education for sustainable development. That is why this mobility programme fits so well into the development plan of LØS, which includes a strong European network and capacity building component, for LØS to take its place.
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