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Creating a Transformative Culture

Ecovillage Design Education Course - Schloss Glarisegg Community - Switzerland


Next Dates 

January 12th - February 17th 2024 

We have heard: 

"Be the change you want to see in the world!”

And we ask:

"How do we do that?"

Creating a Transformative Culture is a process of awakening and expanding our consciousness, individually and collectively. 


We position that the planetary and humanitarian crisis is in its very essence a crisis of consciousness. Therefore we put inner transformation at the core of outer transformation. We create a culture, where vulnerability in leadership is understood and embraced. Honoring each individual’s unique contribution, we recognize that empowerment is a shared journey, guiding us in the response ability in the healing of the planet. 

By recognizing the power in community and interpersonal process work, we intentionally deepen our capacity for authenticity and intimacy, compassion and connection. 

Our innate interdependence calls us to social and ecological justice for all life on earth. We see nature and every element of creation as sacred, with human beings nestled inside the whole.

By embracing the creative tension between known and unknown, where we are and where we would like to be, we create our playground. Here we celebrate the power of co-creation, where we align ourselves collectively to what wants to emerge.


This EDE is a five weeks Practical 

Community experience where you find your peers and get the condensed wisdom of world wide communities and pioneers in order to Create a Transformative Culture in the World!

What is an EDE?

The Ecovillage Design Education is a comprehensive course in Integrative Whole Systems Design for Sustainability.

It is organised as a mandala that we call the sustainability wheel, encompassing what we perceive to be the four primary dimensions of human experience –
Worldview, Ecological, Social and Economic aspects.

To view the learning outcomes and the curriculum, click here

By fulfilling the course requirements, you will receive:
Certification by Gaia Education as an EDE designer

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The EDE at Glarisseg  is a yearly creation on the base of Gaias Education curriculum. We invite external seminar leaders, game changers, networkers and community builders to join us on the learning path. Workshops are being held with non-formal, embodied, participatory models of education. Course language is English. First step for change! We welcome participants of all ages, nationalities and background.


- Collective processes for community building including Scott Peck

- Sociocracy 3.0 - Group Decision Making

- Possibility Management

- Forum

- Conflict Resolution

- Circle Culture

- Transparent Communication



- Deep Ecology

- The Work that Reconnects 

- Meeting Ecovillage founders

- Global Ecovillage Network 

Sweatlodge and Gender Circles

- Singing Culture



- Permaculture Design & Principles
- Agricultural Self Sufficiency
Global Chocolate Production
- Ecological Gastronomy

- Dynamic Agroforestry - Food Forests
- Hands on gardening
- Food Waste



- Regenerative Economics
- Leadership and Entrepreneurship
- Comparing Community Economies
- Empowered Fundraising
- Money, You and the Economy


Holistic Design

- Dragon Dreaming
- Embodied Leadership 
- Mentoring on group projects
- Permaculture Principles in Design Functions
- Holistic Healthcare 
- Theory U 



Embodied Practices

- Contact Improvisation
- Authentic movement & Authentic voicing
- Playfight
- Life Dance
- Holistic Dance Practices
- Meditation, Yoga & Breahtwork

bring your project

get help making your dreams come true,
bring your dream projects!

Small Design Teams will organize around projects of their choice. Not all project ideas will be selected. The course is anchored by applying the elements learned in each of the four dimensions to these real life dreams.

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EDE Video Library

EDE Video Library
Video suchen...
The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved - Creating a Transformative Culture

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved - Creating a Transformative Culture

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WAKE UP CHILD - A Short Film on Intimacy with Nature

WAKE UP CHILD - A Short Film on Intimacy with Nature

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Ecovillage Design Education - Community Schloss Glarisegg (Switzerland)

Ecovillage Design Education - Community Schloss Glarisegg (Switzerland)

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The Council of All Beings

The Council of All Beings

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Krissy Goecks,


“EDE taught me that there are many options on how to live life. Mindfulness, community and giving back to others were wonderful lessons I learned in my month at Glarisegg.”


Iker Col,


“At the EDE I discovered that there is a network much bigger than I was thinking. I learned the tools to join our forces, to live more in harmony and to be more human. The EDE was like a meeting of tribes that have to join to heal the planet.”


Tayla Antunes,


¨I ended up learning much more about myself, my limits... But also about my strengths. And the best part: learning and sharing with so many like minded people, overcoming our differences, working on the conflicts (internal as well). Working throughout the whole month with  a sociocratical organisation  was one of the best highlights.“


Konstantinos Sbonias,


"The EDE in Glarisegg was such a vibrant learning journey that fueled me with loads of empowerment and inspiration. Feeling blessed for having experienced 5 unique weeks of intensive learning with other like-minded people and a group of amazing facilitators."


Creating a Transformative Culture 

is an evolving inquiry which asks:

“What is called for now?” 

It is an invitation to be ready for the unknown,

to be prepared for the changes that lie ahead.

The team

the team 

We have separately gathered a lifetime of experience in fields of holding space, psychotherapy, music, breath work, Environmental Science, Anthropology, Social Ecology, community building and founding, Vipassana Meditations, deep journeys and have selected a committed team of assistants from the EDE Alumni which add cutting edge tools to the EDE package. Together we co-host the EDE, whole heartedly as we share a vision of global transformation.

We are ready to openly and passionately share this learning journey with you.


Sonja-Vera Schmitt
Glarisegg, Creator & Trainer

Sonja-Vera is one of the founders of Schloss Glarisegg Community and has nurtured its growth for the past since 2003. Most recently she has added Regenerative Entrepreneur to her long list of vocations. Keeping the community running despite many economic challenges has required her creativity and ability to be a village weaver in a much larger empowerment game. While her training as a voice and speech therapist, her love of music and dance and her commitment to encounter processes were easily applied in the community social life, she had to face the details of long -term planning and construction finance involving larger sums of money.

She remains vitally engaged through Vipassana meditation and a genuine love of helping people. She first brought the EDE to Schloss Glarisegg in 2016 and remains a passionate organizer and trainer.


Hawaii, Creator & Trainer

Jashana has always had an intense desire to figure out how humans could live in harmony with the natural world. For this goal, she got degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Science which lead to a Masters in Social Ecology. Having identified Indigenous Wisdom as a base she could not help but to try and stop the war in Guatemala that killed 200,000 Mayan people in the 80’s. Having failed that mission, she began exploring intentional communities 'to be part of the solution', eventually moving to the Findhorn Community in Northern Scotland. She then traveled for Findhorn teaching workshops throughout South America for two years.  Returning to the US, she immersed herself in the world of awakening consciousness studying every offer from Holotropic Breathwork with Stan Grof, Vipassana Meditation, Yoga, Skydancing Tantra, 5 Rhythms, Deep Ecology, Contact Dance and sitting with Adyashanti. Preparing for the world to collapse she helped found a reforestation community in Hawaii.

the Assistant Team

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I love planting seeds and creating fertile soil - in the garden as well as inside us. my wish is to serve a loving and transformative culture by creating spaces and opening doors for connection. exploring the connection to oneself, to our feelings and daring to truly be ourselves in relation to others is a beautiful adventure to me. and then there is all the magic that is created through these connections, the dreams that we can dream together and the seeds we can plant. i wish to support their growing…

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Jan van Margen

In the search for community, I am guided by the question ¨What are the ways of being together?¨ How close to ourselves, one another and the living world can we stretch in our ways of being? what are the deeper implications of co-existence and how can we integrate our findings and live the answers to these questions? 

My ongoing research includes topics like emotional confrontational and release, transparent communication, intimacy, embodyig queernes, movement and voice, wonder and philosophy, non-attachment and love. 

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Since my participation in the EDE 2020, I could arrive again more; In myself and in a world that promises a different future than the one I have often encountered. How does change lead to a more loving life and what does it take from me and from a community? This question accompanies me and I explore it above all inwardly. After studying peace and conflict research, my path leads me more and more into body-oriented trauma work. Through my sensitivity and clarity, I look forward to contributing to create safe spaces in which shared experience towards a transformative culture becomes possible for us.

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The wish of assisting this course comes from a deep place insight myself to witness you beautiful human beings through a journey, that might change your life, as it changed mine in 2021.

Transformative culture means for me, meeting each other from a place where we can share all our feelings, being seen in them and experiencing, that showing our vulnerability is no longer a shame, but leads us to feel deeply connected with each other.

In tune with my heart I feel a lot of joy, knowing that soon we gonna start all together a new adventure into the unknown.

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Being part of this course has been a true perception changer. Witnessing the power of community, the bliss of conflict, our existential need for connection and the healing forces of self acceptance, has impacted my way of walking on this deeply wounded earth. It gives me hope in the crisis we are facing. The practices i´ve learned here, I perceive as missing key elements, which could be very helpful for other movements too. This is why i would love to share this experience with you by contribuiting as a bridge builder, that helps to connect other struggels and realities to this transformative culture. 

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I discovered for myself, that I, myself, need to become a healing system in order to be able to be part of creating one… which is the greatest mission of my life and what I feel to be here for.


The deepest of truths that I found in EDE was that we do need each other. We need each other to touch what cannot be accomplished alone. We need community to be able to heal. 

And when we heal individually so do we collectively.And as we heal our potential unfolds and so does our love, so does our power…

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I am exploring what it means to be an occupational therapist in our time. Facilitating therapeutic groups to support the transition to an ecological lifestyle, holding non-violent direct action trainings and facilitating people’s assemblies all feels connected to me. I love deep listening, sharing, contact, playing, singing and swimming.

Diving into 2022's EDE, I found deep connection and belonging. Where I felt stuck and overwhelmed by anger, new paths emerged. Since then, I heed a calling to enable collaboration and empathy at the heart of power through new large-scale democratic structures."

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For a few years now I have been on a journey to create authentic relationships and connections in my life. Being a participant in the EDE 2022 showed me a lot of additional tools for effective and joyful community building and decision making. For me mental wellbeing is the biggest pillar of a healthy community and I am a big enthusiast of embodiment work to express and move emotions in a constructive way. 

The Trainers

the Trainers