In January 2018, CEMUS staff visited Tyndall Centre for climate change research at University of Manchester, and Schumacher College in Devon, England.
Isak Stoddard spent a week in Manchester, exploring possible collaborations with the Tyndall Centre and the University of Manchester. As a part of the Tyndall Public Seminar Series, he also gave a talk with the title ‘From Sweden with Care – Education and Societal Change in Troubled Times’.
One of the seminar participants, Alex Dunedin, from the interesting and thought-provoking initiative called The Ragged University, made an audio-recording of the seminar and wrote up an account and reflection.
The following week, Isak Stoddard and Sachiko Ishihara, representing CEMUS, attended the first meeting at Schumacher College that launched a new Erasmus+ project on “Applied Ecopreneurship Methodologies”. The project brings together four other partners from the Nordic countries and the UK together with CEMUS – Sogn Jord- og Hagebruksskule, a vocational agricultural school located on the fjords on the west coast of Norway, Centre for Ecological Economics and Ethics at Nord University in the north of Norway, Schumacher College in South-west England, and Friends of the Earth Denmark.
The overarching aim of the project is to explore what competences and skills are needed in order to create new social and ecological enterprises (or, in other words, make a living out of working with sustainability and “changing the world”), and how we could support this development through our courses and as educational institutions. During 2 years (2018-2019), the partners will visit each other’s institutions and share each other’s practices, perspectives, methods and approaches, while aiming to publish at least one peer-reviewed article by the end of the project. Through this new collaboration, we aim to deepen and develop our own courses and practices.
The first meeting involved immersing ourselves into the residential learning community at Schumacher College (including cleaning, cooking and gardening!), getting to know each other, exploring what ‘ecological entrepreneurship’ could mean, and starting to share each other’s approaches. There were a lot of unanswered questions which we hope to continue exploring during the next 2 years. The next meeting will be in September in Copenhagen, and the partners will be visiting us at CEMUS in January 2019.
Listen in to Isak and Sachiko’s dialogue on the train trip back, reflecting on the week at Schumacher, with an improvised microphone between us, suspended in mid air by floss (the kind that you use to clean your teeth…;)