There are many that want to see a positive change in this world. To achieve this, there is a need for leaders in our communities: Young energy inspired by creativity and co-creation to take the local lead. It is time to speak out, to support those around us, to expand what we believe to be achievable, and to show that change really is possible.
One initiative that inspires this shift is the Living-Change Program; a 15-day leadership course hosted in the stunning Peruvian Andes at an off-grid location. Living-Change is structured around a Permaculture Design Course and involves hands-on sustainability practices, such as organic agriculture, yet goes beyond, to address how to change the current social paradigm. In order to empower the participating youth it will involve the following 10 elements, which are integral to successfully inspire positive global change.
Here are 10 reasons why immersive learning opportunities are truly transformational:
Understanding the bigger picture. For many course participants, this could be the first time leaving their home area or experiencing rural life. To witness the global wheels working can be an eye-opening experience: How can one understand the situation in other parts of global society without experiencing it? To understand the trickle-down effect of Western consumerist society on largely untouched rural areas, one has to see it with one’s own eyes.
Living off-grid. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a big part of becoming a leader. Temporarily living at a rural off-grid location effectively achieves this; access to the nearest city and other modern amenities (such as internet, electricity, mobile phone signal, shops) is limited. With less distractions learning is more focused. What’s more, living off-grid makes one very aware of one’s overall impact; the resources needed and the waste produced.
Cooperation and collaboration. This rugged environment of living off-grid requires collaboration in order to succeed. Community helps to support and solve any issues or conflicts that arise; the group must trust one another.
Nature. Nature has an inherent power and quiet to it. Located on the slopes of the white peaks, a power of humility and self-observation is ever present bringing into focus a re-connection with nature and oneself.
Reflection. Rural life and high altitude slow down the pace of life. This makes the program location ideal to take time for reflection and digest the experience; thus deepening the learning experience.
Patterns. For those coming from Western consumerist culture, life among indigenous people allows a reflection on this way of life: what is important and what is not. This exposure can force an inspection into life patterns and expectations.
Intercultural experience. Immersion in different cultures shows that not all that is different is ‘wrong’, it is just a different world perspective. The program location offers a unique experience of witnessing traditional culture interfacing with new technologies.