We covered lots of ground on collaboration between OSE and Gaia U. First, I should explain what Gaia University is about, because its uniqueness is not evident from the website.
Gaia University is an international school-without-walls with about 100 students. This means that education occurs not on a physical campus, but wherever the student chooses. There are mentors and the school is accredited. Gaia offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, and it is also introducing their Ph.D. program this year. Gaia has the capacity to provide credit for applied work and studies. There are other low-residency programs, such as Goddard College and Union Institute in the USA.
The unique features are threefold. First, the focus is on integrated education, and the approach is that of action learning. Andy’s initial design of the University was based on extending applications of permaculture to real societal change. Gaia is also a strong proponent of open source development.
Part of the integrated education program involves a feature that, to our knowledge, has no other precedent. This feature is that the students are explicitly instructed to spend the first part of their studies in designing their own direction. Other schools, if they offer an independent study major, require approval of the study program before it’s accepted. In the Gaia U. formula, the process of formulating your studies and problem statements is an integral part of your education. This allows you to take responsibility for a natural evolution of your eduction – consistent with the fact that most people don’t really have a clue about what they want to study until they begin to explore it deeply, and at that point, they make many mid-course corrections. This kind of approach is for those people interested in gaining a kind of responsibility that cannot be taught when your program is laid out by someone else for you.
The third point is also without precedent in any other institution of higher learning. This part is integrating process work of eliminating psychological blocks as part of the essential training program. This part is brilliant – as anyone who recognizes that we have both a conscious and subconscious mind knows that there are misconceptions, pains, and other garbage that prevents us from reaching our potential – and such blocks should be addressed and not carried until they turn to sickness. This clearing process is accomplished at Gaia University by Re-evaluation Counseling. From the rc.org website,
The theory assumes that everyone is born with tremendous intellectual potential, natural zest, and lovingness, but that these qualities have become blocked and obscured in adults as the result of accumulated distress experiences (fear, hurt, loss, pain, anger, embarrassment, etc.) which begin early in our lives.
This perspective is much aligned with the groundbreaking work of Dr. Bruce Lipton on the Biology of Perception, and the work of Robert Williams on the Psychology of Change. These works represent clear thought leadership on how we can seize our true powers in personal and political transformation, and the Re-evaluation Counseling process appears to be in tune with these practices. Inserting some measures of insight about the workings of one’s mind – and especially its blocks and misperceptions – is critical to any effective education program. Otherwise, we continue to manifest inner pains as outward destruction, or we continue to replace broken institutions with new broken institutions. Gaia Universtity appears to be a leader on the front of addressing this issue.
Interestingly, Gaia University and OSE face similar issues on recruiting, organizational development, fund raising, and other practical topics. Thus, the conversation was fruitful, and I have great hopes for major long-term collaboration. Whether it will be through setting up a Regional Organizing Group of Gaia U. at Factor e Farm, or setting up OSE’s proposed K Through Ph.D. Renaissance Freeholder’s Education for Evolution to Freedom as in this older draft – our goals are aligned towards creating powerful, integrated humans. We both know what it is like to be pioneers, and we also respect the fact that The Revolution Will Not Be Funded. Thus, the bottom line is generating economic power from the ground up. The simple problem statement is to seize global domination – with love.
On the practical front, my task is to line up a few Ph.D. study program descriptions for essential research to move OSE forward. Gaia University can then promote these topics as research material for its Ph.D. candidates. Off the top of my head, there is a dozen or so significant topics that deserve the caliber of Ph.D. research. This is my present task.
As for any of you who want to take on a different course to your education, Gaia University is a great option. The founders are great people, and their intent is right on the human empowerment game towards tranformation. So if you ever questioned the value of your education, you can rest assured that Gaia University provides you with an option to take charge of that process. You can get credit for your past work, and you can choose to do what you really like. In this respect, Gaia U. can’t be beat.