Saturday, March 14, 2009

Section 1: Goals of a Bioregional Curriculum

Section 1: Goals of a Bioregional Curriculum
a) To deepen a sense of place for the individual and community
b) To develop a bioregional toolkit for allied movements
c) To provide a way to certify a level of competence in instructors
d) To provide support for local bioregional groups to establish and sustain themselves
e) To strengthen the bond within the bioregional network all over the continent and elsewhere

a) Deepen sense of place
Developing a strong sense of place helps us deepen our local and planetary connections based on the landscapes, history and communities that surround us every day. By exploring what it means to live where we live, we nurture local culture, adapt our economies to providing sustainable livelihood, empower and heal our communities, and reclaim the stories of who we are.

b) Bioregional Toolkit for allied movements
By sharing the bioregional perspective with allied movements, we strengthen each other. Central to the bioregional perspective is its inclusiveness and it is essential that we provide tools that bridge, not separate; tools that anyone can identify with enough to embrace. Allied movements include but are not limited to:
relocalization outdoor education
peak oil green politics
permaculture environmental justice
transition town ecofeminism
Earth Ethics and religion environmental/sustainability groups

c) Certify competence in instructors
We envision that the Congress will set up a bioregional curriculum committee whose task will include developing the extended curriculum as well as develop standards for instructors and maintaining their competence.

d) Support for local bioregional groups to establish and sustain themselves
The bioregional toolkit will provide a set of tools not only to understand what the bioregional perspective is; it will also provide tools for local bioregional groups to explore local ecosystems, provide local organizing tools, and provide ways to enhance local community sustainability.

e) Strengthen the bioregional network
By providing a basic and advanced curriculum, we provide a common ground for local groups to share expertise and learn from each other.

Educational Philosophy: In the spirit of bioregionalism, this certification embraces a progressive education philosophy based on the premise that people know best what they need to learn and how they need to learn it. This premise also fosters helping participants integrate action, awareness and knowledge in ways that are both individually and socially relevant for their work, lives and communities. While there will be a variety of educational techniques employed – including lectures, hands-on workshops, large-group and small-group discussion and activities, panel discussions, arts-based learning, etc. – and we will draw on the best of facilitation approaches to create and hold sacred and meaningful space together, all the sessions will also be geared toward the sharing and development of practical and relevant tools that participants can take home to use, adapt, and further develop.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Section 2: Bioregional Curriculum Structure

Section 2: Bioregional Curriculum Structure
The 16-hour pilot certification would include these components, to be expanded out for a 80-100-hour structure in the future:

1.Bioregionalism: Welcome Home
This section is seen as broad-brush, seminal introductory conceptual pieces that help people “get it.”

2.Tools for Sustainable Communities
This section of the curriculum focuses on important organizing tools that the bioregional movement has found as essential for creating and sustaining groups and communities.

3.Tools for Reinhabitation
These hands-on, how-to, pragmatic skills and activities are broken into two sub-sections:
A. Your Address on Earth: Learning about, reinhabiting and restoring the local ecosystems: mapping, learning about watersheds, ecoregions, local natural seasonal cycles, migrations, activities, restoration and conservation issues, defining and deepening sense of place.

B. Relocalizing and Transitioning Our Communities Toward Sustainability: nuts and bolts activities on how to live sustainably in ways that reinforce and live within local ecological parameters. Food, energy, shelter, transportation, economic subsistence, community design, etc.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Section 3: Draft of 16-Hour Bioregional Curriculum to be Presented at CBCX

Section 3: Draft of 16 hour Bioregional Curriculum to be presented at CBCX

Note: we mention some names of potential presenters here, but none are yet confirmed.


1. Welcome Home:
The Fabric of Bioregionalism: Reinhabitation and Ecocentric Ways of Living (structure to be determined, but probably, we would have some speakers, particularly Ken, Gene and Joyce Marshall, David Haenke, Peter Berg, Stephanie Mills, etc. and a way for people to participate fully into the conversation – maybe small groups, etc. Please put your ideas about who and what you would like to see included here in the comments section below). (1 hour)

2. Tools For Sustainable Communities
: Small groups or other formats to discuss how the above presentation/discussion applies to their lives, communities, goals and visions. (1 hour)

3A. Bioregionalism 101:
Getting to know your local address on the planet: Reinhabiting and Restoring Local Ecosystems
Brief presentations, open space activities, hands-on, interactive activities on:
Landscapes and Bioregional Mapping
Becoming attuned to your landscape, your watershed, your ecosystems, your ecoregion
The Seasons: your place as it moves through time
Migratory Connections: how other species knit our home together with other places
Planetary Connections: local participation in planetary cycles of the biosphere
(2 hours of hands-on, guided activities and reflection)

3B. Relocalizing and Transitioning Our Communities Toward Sustainability
: (no workshops today)


1. Welcome Home:
Bioregional Practices in Making and Keeping Communities, and Empowering Self-Governance: (format not yet determined, but perhaps a presentation by Bea and others involved in self-governance practices -- keep this to 30 minutes, more as an introduction to what comes next....)

2. Tools for Sustainable Communities
: Building Community Through Group Process: Group process and consensus-based meetings to grow community (a workshop format with Bea Briggs and the facilitator's pool that forms at the congress on the basics of a sound group process, including some role playing, q & a, discussion – 90 minutes for this)

3A. Your Local Address on the Planet
: Reinhabiting and Restoring Local Ecosystems: (no workshops today)

3B. Relocalizing and Transitioning Our Communities Toward Sustainability:
(participants choose one of these workshops to attend for 90-120 minutes) with workshops in the following areas:
Food and farming
The built environment
Energy and fuel
Water and resource sheds


1. Welcome Home
: Remaking Culture Through Bioregional Arts & Education: Brief presentations about each of the following to facilitate later open space process -- workshops could include such options as the following (with some potential presenters sugsested)
Re-storying the Landscape and Communities – Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Joyce Marshall (on eco-memoir, ecopoetics, eco-theatre)
All Species, Music & Pagentry – Chris Wells and Stan Slaughter
Bioregional Education -- Ralph Lutts, Liora Adler, Frank Traina, etc
Midwifery: Ina Mae, Pamela from The Farm Health, and Healing for Person, Culture, Nature -- Suzanne Richman and others Personal and Communal Empowerment --
(1 1/2 hours?)

2. Tools for Sustainable Communities: Remaking Culture In Your Home
: An opportunity for participants to brainstorm, map out, share what's happening and what's needed to reknit culture through arts and education in their home communities and in their lives. (format: Well-facilitated small groups that discuss all this and also write up on large paper, later posted and shared with all participants, what's happening in various communities, what needs to happen, and what resources are needed to spark new developments in arts and education) (1 hour)

3A. Your Local Address on the Planet
: Reinhabiting and Restoring Local Ecosystems Focus on effective creative art/educational approaches to share local ecosystem information and restoration efforts (format to be determined, but would be ideal to build on #2 above)

3B. Relocalizing and Transitioning Our Communities Toward Sustainability
: What are effective ways to get people interested in sustainable communities, ecovillages, sustainable food, energy and health practices? Open Space plus presenters (suggestions in comments, please!)


1. Welcome Hom
e: Grassroots bioregional organizing and integrating bioregionalism into other movements: Overview on bioregional organizing tools for activism, other like-minded movements, tools for collaboration and bringing bioregional perspectives into other movements and communities. (format to be determined) (30 minutes)

2. Tools for Sustainable Communities: Sharing tools and resources for effective organizing, including introductions to: defining issues, strategies, and goals; building bridges; strategic planning; outreach and marketing; sustaining groups, using listservs and other web-based tools, group activities such as walkabouts, etc. (format: handouts and presentation followed by discussions on local adaptability of these tools and resources, what else is needed, how to find it, etc.). (90 minutes)

3A. Your Local Address on the Planet: Reinhabiting and Restoring Local Ecosystems Green corridors, ecological restoration and preservation, environmental justice--what is working and not working where nature meets culture. (topics, activities in comments, please!)

3B. Relocalizing and Transitioning Our Communities Toward Sustainability:
Final discussion for whole curriculum (at congress) on what bioregionalism has to offer other movements, and how to integrate these gifts into other movements, projects, communities, and build strong links with bioregionally-related movements. (format: this could be organized as a keynote even that caps the curriculum at the congress and also opens the door to important alliances, joint projects, etc.).


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Section 4: Questions for Scaling Up To a 80-100-hour Curriculum

Questions for the Future!
Strategic Planning questions for reviewers/contributors of the curriculum to answer:
a) What do we realistically hope to see accomplished regarding this effort say 25 years from now?
b) What do we realistically hope to see accomplished in say the next 5 years?
c) What will we do towards these goals in the next 2? What are the plans to do this? Who will do them?
d) Down the road these need to have due dates and determination if a budget is needed.
e) In 1-3 paragraphs or so, what chronic problems might go away if we did this?