by Lucian Toma
Would you rather forecast or create the future? ~ Author Unknown
10 years ago, while I was studying Sustainable Development in a masters Program in Hawaii, I woke up to a persistent and deepening pain for our world. A lot of things that I was studying and most of the news I was turning to were pointing out to a continuously growing ecological and social degradation around the world. I was living a very comfortable and abundant lifestyle at that point, it seemed like these things I was learning about were not effecting me. Yet as I started to pay more attention, I realized that the effects of that ecological and social degradation were around me too. It became clear that the beautiful island of Hawaii was experiencing this also. It occurred to me that poverty, hunger, despair, pollution, deforestation and the likes were not facts just for places like my own ex communist home country or somewhere in the third world. It was happening everywhere around the world. Yes good things were happening too, however at a very close look, the main story of our world was one of continuous degradation, some part of it very obvious to most, but the biggest part of it unseen in the main stream cultural conversations (especially in the developed world).
In my studies I learned that there were people and organizations out there that were talking about and taking action to regenerate what was degraded and through education and training helping people put systems in place conducive to a regenerative and sustainability based future. Education, training and community learning that provided knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, courage, confidence and hope to create health, abundance, peace, to meet human needs while also healing, enhancing and sustaining ecosystems health. I knew immediately that through this type of approach, engaging in conscious, intentional and continuous learning and doing in community, a more beautiful world was possible.
I knew that what was going on at that time around the world could not continue. Especially the lack of hope, and the main focus on survival rather than on thriving and evolution. I knew that if most people were not able to grasp the downward spiral we were on and did not have access to the knowledge, skills and empowerment of the solutions, things were only get worst. And indeed in the past 10 years in many places it has. The effects of ecosystems and social oppression, with not enough effort to stop and reverse them are here, in the present, they are not a matter of the future anymore.
Yet, with all that said, after 10 years of working in the realms of regenerative and sustainable development at the academic, government, non-profit and entrepreneurial level, I can still see the light and believe that a beautiful and thriving world is possible for all. In the same time, looking forward, yes we can and should aim to stop and reverse the damage and its effects on our shared environment and communities. And, if indeed we have missed the opportunity to avoid a catastrophic collapse and revive the most beautiful world possible, we shall learn how to become resilient, adapt to a new degraded world and rebuild the next best phase of our existence.
It is possible through education about and for the solutions of a regenerative and sustainability based future for all. It is possible with more and more people gaining the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, courage, confidence and hope of a better world. It is possible with more people stepping in leadership. It all starts with education. All of that can be gained through education on ways we can meet human needs while also healing, enhancing and sustaining ecosystems health.
For example, I have been teaching and training people in permaculture: a structured, earth and people centered educational approach, based on science, indigenous wisdom from around the world and across our history, and inspired by how our natural systems work and are able to regenerate and sustain themselves. It combines practical knowledge and skills on how we can regeneratively and sustainably: harvest and conserve water, energy and other natural resources, grow healthy, nutritious, abundant and diverse food, build resilient ecosystems that support life and biodiversity, redesign products to cycle back into the natural or even industrial metabolism, up cycling waste, build shelter from renewable local based materials, create adaptable, skilled and wise communities participating in economic and social endeavors that meet human needs while also enhancing and sustaining that which sustains them, Mother Nature.
This is the type of education that gives people skills for any type of world that we may have. Indeed it empowers them to create our common future. Everyone is invited to participate and learn in community about the solutions of a beautiful world that is possible. And, everyone can step into this realm of leadership, contributing to the creation of a different future, and in the process, reaping the benefits of this rewarding and fulfilling work.
Join me to learn how you can start or take your earth, people and future stewardship to the next level. You can do it in multiple ways:
Let’s do it together - One for all and all for one!