Flourish Gaia

The call for change in education

Floris Koot
Jun 8 · 6 min read

We urgently need to transform education towards a more healthy approach to students, people and planet. Flourish Gaia helps to make it so.

We can’t wait with changing education until all governments are finally convinced the climate crisis needs full attention on all fronts. Almost 7 billion people daily harm our planet more, than that they make a positive difference. How much more proof is needed to understand this is madness? We already have so much knowledge, so many capabilities to start changing direction; to actually help both nature and societies to flourish. Only thing missing seems the will and mindsets needed. To help Gaia, our living planet, to flourish we focus on developing tools, services and gatherings, to boost the movement of all those helping education to do just that.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” ~ rally cry for changemakers

So what do we think should be the basis of this change?

  1. Education should stimulate its students to be part of the global solutions we need to face our ecological crisis that already has started to harm our collective and their individual future. If your school doesn’t help you to see, care and skilled to make a difference, or have you understand how you can have meaning, then what is it good for?
  2. Education needs to acknowledge that each student has unique talents, quite possibly outside the scope of (current) school. Staff needs to to see and and stimulate such talents the best they can.
  3. In almost every behavior lie gifts or possibilities enclosed that may, when well placed and or well developed, benefit society. Most weaknesses have special gifts enclosed. Insecurity often hides sensitivity and laziness creativity, destructive behavior may help break down stuck patterns, etc.

Too often education molds its students just to to fit jobs in the current economy. That leaves many young people left alone in their worries. Parents want them to get diploma’s. Young people wonder for what future? Hence a surge in depression, drop-out and even suicides around the globe. Wonderful talents that might have made a difference when listened to, believed and supported more. The older generation sticks to an economy, which damages the planet and broadens the wealth gap at an astonishing rate. Education needs to realize it’s co-responsible for all our current global issues. It should also not only train young people for work, but also for life and our future. Combine these three to educate to make a difference.

The ecological make over of our whole broken system will provide millions of jobs and needs incredible amounts of young creative daring minds willing to make it happen. Also millions of new jobs will be available and needed, like rooftop farmers, zero emission tourist agency, bicycle infrastructure specialists, regenerative furniture designers, inner gift coaches, waste repurpose engineers, etc

Thus education should boost individual gifts, see possibilities in the unique individual differences, the passions and interests of students. And education should seek to turn those gifts that help keep our ecosphere healthy. So how to integrate that in education, aside from individual outstanding teachers already focussing on that. Not doing so is harming the individuals potential and therefore can be seen as diminishing the capacity of society as a whole. We might even say educating everyone best we can, is the best way to insure our wealth, our health and offer lives of meaning to the generations after us.

The Flourish Gaia Model can help you shape that conversation and push for change.

The Flourish Gaia Model

An integral approach to education and personal development.

In my practice I often teach all those aspects not offered in traditional education. It’s not a miracle to guess that many trainings within companies are all about these aspects. Many employees and managers have very limited grasps of one or more of these aspects: what it means to be human, to be creative, to be intuitive, to know what they themselves want, showing courage, listening to ethics, being empathic. Many are lacking emotional and spiritual intelligence, let alone understand whether they help earth to blossom or whither away. However much money is made, this is global poverty.

What is needed for a human to really blossom and fly in a healthy world?

What we need to touch upon in education for a flourishing future.

These are all the aspects within young people that need to be addressed to raise a well rounded, well aware and capable human beings.

Knowledge, Integral Worldview & Systems Thinking. Knowledge, freely available on the internet decreases being the centerpiece of education. The need to be conscious about what place we all have within the world is increasing. From dying barrier reefs to oil spills, from arms trades to lobbyists pushing cancerous products, both as consumers and as workers we influence the whole. We need to evolve from factual knowledge to deeper understanding and ‘knowing’. Everything is interconnected. We are part of a intricate interconnected and codependent bigger system. We cannot continue to develop workers, employees, managers who are blind to how their actions impact the world. When you develop your profession or company you need to know what you contribute, or damage, within the bigger picture.

Connectedness, Awareness, Intuition. In the growing complexity of our society and world, the underbelly needs to be trained much better. We need to feel more what’s going on. We need to be also deeper connected to nature and others. That’s not something that can be solved by knowledge alone. It needs touch, feel, senses, intuition, even enjoying nature through play. People who have not developed this cannot fly.

Head, Heart and Hands. Much has already been written about these three aspects. Thinking without heart or values. Acting without passion. Knowing without being able to. They all make little sense. We need to know where we can go, want to go, how to go there and being able to. Integration of these three aspects help education to go from purely mental to fully integral.

Guts. When we mostly train compliant employees, foremost focussed on their own progress, then the world as a whole is soo much poorer for it. The courage to see what’s going on and to dare act on needs. Preferably aligned with deeper values and insight in what action will be effective.

Body. The lack of body awareness is sickening our society. We sense through the body. We feel in the body. We express with the body. Good body awareness, our channel to the world is essential and key to develop many of the aspects above. The capability to ground, breath well, relax nerves and listen to signals like stress, etc, are essential to become capable human beings.

World & Your Community. Practical presence in the world is essential too. Rich kids who’ve never been to a poor neighborhood, never did community service and later grow to be minsters or managers can make awful decisions due to lack of empathy and understanding. And what goes for them, goes actually for all of us. Being involved with and in the world through school should be an essential part of education.

Inspiration. Creative expressiveness. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein said. Then let’s bring more art, fantasy, imagination and playing with possibilities into school. You’ll see both children and the world will benefit hugely. Art by the way helps very much with dealing with modern ambiguities, and expressing emotion in a constructive way.

Here’s a longer article on explaining why and how this could be the basis for a new curriculum.

FlourishGaia

FlourishGaia is an educational initiative to bring Gaia awareness, insight and services to schools, so that our young will cocreate a future in which both our planet and they can flourish.

Floris Koot

Written by

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.

FlourishGaia

FlourishGaia is an educational initiative to bring Gaia awareness, insight and services to schools, so that our young will cocreate a future in which both our planet and they can flourish.

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